… devils rush in where angels fear to tread.

 

For as long as I can remember, there is a dream that keeps coming back to me over and over again. And while some of the details alter imperceptibly it somehow remains the same throughout the years that I find myself wondering what it means. It’s a room built in antiquity, overlooking a lake dark and still in the distance. Inside, the high ceiling is supported by intricate screens of carved wood, a maze that furnishes this room and nurtures it luxurious purpose. In the centre, squats a bathing pool – square and solid. Lapis-blue mosaic tiles, white marble features and a hundred small fountains echoing the silence as incense burn heavy in the air.

 

Fascinated by goldfish, as they dart through the water huddling under the fleshy leaves of the blushing pink lilies, I stand on the edge of the pool looking into its mysterious depths. Sometimes there are people in the room and other times I am alone but always there are goldfish in the water. A wind blows gentle enough to sway the awnings made entirely of silk – a brilliant white that fades to a dim glow. A glow that comes from a laptop screen on which words are typed that have little consequence and serve a singular purpose. I used to be so good at words but now they fail me – somehow everything I say or write seems hollow – and I’ve realised that I am running on empty.

 

It’s been a tough week as we near the apex of months of a scourging legal battle. Not quite a clash of the titans, it’s a quest to put right so many wrongs that sometimes you forget what life was like before it all began. And when dreams are skittish and fear disappointment – you struggle to hold onto them longer than the fleeting moment they first appeared. Like apparitions in the night, the sales guy has disappeared in what is a watershed week for him too. Fighting every instinct to continue reaching out to him, I’ve come to realise that only he can invite me in. His call returning my messages will come, but I’ve realised that the gnawing fear at the back of my mind was justified. I guess I understand him better this time around to know it’s nothing personal.

 

And with that, the weekend is upon me again, with many things to do the only thing I can manage is cocooning. The weather has changed from the scorching heat of the Highveld to overcast and windy – the perfect weather to wrap up in and hibernate – reading the thoughts of others. Years ago, when I first started I stumbled somehow onto the words of a man who was able to carry me away into another place far away from the darkness of my own. Since then we’ve become friends, exchanging emails every so often. His latest note, received this morning, sits unread waiting for me. I don’t know why but I printed out every posting he’s ever written and as his words unfurl on paper in front of me I am mesmerised and seduced by his literary genius … again.

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