Brutalist Stories #20
Complications With Awe
I have a dream where I’m breathing water, and I’m only ever breathing in. I’m not under water, there’s a mask attached to my face that supplies the water. I breathe in, deep and deeper still, the water flows, down into my lungs and I don’t choke and I don’t breathe out. I just stop. It holds and holds and then it’s gone, then I breathe in again. Only ever in. Only ever water.
It’s more than a dream, it’s a feeling, intrinsic, the process, the water into the lungs and hold and hold and then more and more. This process, only ever taking in, processing, never giving back, just taking in, taking in and holding.
They make you think, these things. These hypnotic images of the mind that creep in beyond your conscious control and present a version of yourself back to yourself without mode or meaning, but to which you try and prescribe some. Why? There must be some point, some resonance…What am I looking for here, the water, the breath...I’m taking and taking and that only?
I lay in the dark, eyes closed, breathing rhythmical, concentrating on my hypnogogic visions and waiting for that moment. There’s an inner twitch, it resonates with all the cosmos. It’s just the slightest of turns, the muscle reflex of your neck when someone enters a quiet room, but instead of a person, what you see is the infinite. A creeping feeling, up your spine and through your brain, billions of neurons firing, and you’re in a room with a clock ticking, a candle the only source of light, and you know there’s a giant in the room. The giant, it’s that other thing, the mind playing its own tricks, something taking over.
I sink into that moment and observe. A person watching their own mind create a scene, scenario, completely detached from what is taking place, what is being created and I sit and watch, in awe. Terrified, but in awe.
It’s complicated this thing. It’s pleasure, it’s fear, it’s awe and terror. What are you supposed to think or do exactly in this moment? Watching your own mind create its own world? Two completely independent processes taking place simultaneously. One is self, one is me, one is holding onto the fabric of reality through the theatre of consciousness, trying desperately to interpret and internalise and realise and rationalise. The other plays with the infinite. Pure creation out of every moment of everything that has ever been taken in.
That’s the water, that’s the breathing in, that’s what’s taking. It’s underneath everything you are, everything I am, and it’s free, utterly free.
All I can do is observe, I am not here to control, I am cannot restrict. I can only sit and watch, in awe and fear. Knowing that beneath me there lies the infinite, able to create anything. Anything. So, I breathe the water, I take in the world, I process to give to that infinite. Then I watch.
Building inspiration: Chapel of the Holy Cross