A Lifetime

A shape begins to emerge in his mind. It is not sufficiently formed for him to pronounce a label to it, but his mere focus is beginning to add more physicality to it, more functionality; it has become a deliberate creation of spontaneous strokes. Like an artist staring at a blank easel. With a vast array of colors at his disposal, he splashes brushes of different color paint until it gathers a definite shape, yet unidentifiable, but of grasp, of attainment. He’s in progress to create. He has not recognized it yet and he fears it might disappear in the sunlight if he were to open his eyes, bleached as if it was a stain. So he keeps his eyes shut.

By night he hopes to have a breakthrough and in the darkness he can allow the image to roam free, the black background may even enhance it and layer it with another dimension. But how to know night has arrived? For now these thoughts are idle. It will be a gut feeling. His body, his mind has absorbed a pulse for the passage of time during his existence on earth. Surely it will be able to tell day from night. Days instill an invigorating sense of significance and diligence necessary for the undertaking of daily tasks and nights breathe calm to a man’s spirit. He has never thought of it that way. Will his body amply utilize this deep understanding embedded in him? Can it? Again, he will know when the time comes. All his concentration pours into this image, and for hours he vainly tries to gather a hint of recognizable semblance in it, but it teases him. Yet he is fascinated endlessly. And what is the time? He listens to his body. Can it tell? First his attention falls to his breathing. The air is neither warm nor cool. Then his focus shifts to the rise of his chest, the burning of his heels, the prickles on the insides of his forearms, a scratch behind his neck, a pulsating vein in his right temple.

These sensations are sporadic, random. And none of it can distinguish between day and night. He wishes he could reach for the phone, but he has only just recently moved into this place. It would take an eternity for him to extract the phone from some crevice of this apartment in his current state. Even if he had lived here long enough, is he sure he would be able to map his way around? He had thought similarly with the rotation of day and night. And the damn city never sleeps. You just can’t tell. No matter the time you can hear the chatter’s of people, clatters of footsteps, burring of cars, blow of horns, hooting of pigeons. All this at all ungodly hours. Then he stops in this stride of his criticism of city life. He does not wish to transfer the negativity to the image because it might distort it, make it lose its allure. He will not associate with these thoughts, he promises himself, and he will distance himself like a mother does from alcohol and cigarettes when brewing with life inside. He has impregnated his mind with an image, a clot as of now, but he wishes for a healthy delivery. Hopefully faster than nine months, he thinks. A change in his setting can may be address his need of disassociation, so he rises from the couch and lies down on the carpet, resting his right elbow above his eyebrows. This allows his body to settle, the carpet corresponding to the curve of his spine, and he slips a pillow under his head and his neck rights the angle for the flow of ideas, for inspiration from all parts of his body.

He is now conscious of a system, movements throughout him, wholeness pulsating within him, a leap, a lurch in his belly, fresh pull in his throat, simple resonance in his head, the image carving, though still amorphous, like statues by master sculptors, David of Michelangelo, the image begins to orbit on its own axis, symmetrical, a 3D virtual composition, parts of it narrowing, parts of it extending, limbs extracting from the mould, orifices gaping, spindles of thin strands of darkly texture layering down, broad horizontal balance, rugged striations, and between two arcs oscillates hope. It is him, it is nirvana. He opens his eyes. It is dark. He feels frail getting up. He walks to his bedroom mirror: withered skin, saggy bulges under his eyes; he blinks with weariness. He walks back to the living room. An ancient dust has gathered over the furniture and drapes. He lies down and rests his head on the pillow and rests his hands over his chest and smiles and closes his eyes. Peace.