Thursday, September 11, 2008

the rising

The big blue sky was so broad, expansive, and its vast emptiness attracted me. So great it inverted, so intense it refocused itself on me, and drew me in, beginning with the eyes; the pressure of that great hemisphere of air turned the other way and sucked me up into it. With no trees to anchor me down, my feet left the ground, but I left my toes touching till it fell out of reach.

Then I kept going higher, the ground dropping away like a fish-eyed thing and the sky expanding weirdly to fill my field of view, which soon encompassed the world. My existence became that deep, endless sky blue, which is a color but not a shape, a clear mass of invisibility blocking the cosmos from sight in the day. A thing you can't see past but doesn't seem to be there at all.

The speck of where my body had stood moments before was the entire planet I had left, yet the blue still continued, no inky blackness encroached upon me, nor stars. Uncertain but excited, nervous but exhilarated, I realized I was not rising in the normal sense: I was going deeper into the sky, a separate entity from the earth or its atmosphere, distinct from space.

Deeper into the sky, it was deeper blue, like an ocean but lighter and the depths did not crush; rather, they made my heart feel like helium, rising higher and higher. The color was unearthly, the blue so impossibly near black as might be glimpsed for a second at dusk in some obscure corner of the night sky. It was like a luminous ocean of deep blue, dark but seemingly lit from within with a subtle saturation of intense color.

It was the most delicious blue that could be seen by any eyes.

Looking around myself, I could see only blue, graded shades fading back toward the more familiar sky blue back where I'd come from. I couldn't identify any mechanism doing this, but there I was in a sea of sky. It wasn't defying gravity so much as evading it, for it was clear that I was not moving against it.

As I began to think about the improbability of my situation, the situation set about resolving the seeming paradox. I felt it first only subtly, and I could tell only because colors began to shift into lighter shades that I was moving back out of this strange sea of air.

Disappointment flooded in and I already mourned the loss of that place while still in it, despair accelerating my descent. I knew then that I would never have such a chance again, that my memories, vivid and unbelievable as they might be, would pale in comparison to what I was seeing, a mere black and white rendition of something that almost consisted of pure color.

Sorrow took me, and by the time the green earth came back into view, I was lamenting the loss of pure sky. The ground, green grass growing, soon took me back and shackled me its prisoner. Perhaps I'd never left it, I thought. Perhaps it was just a daydream, a waking hallucination, something thought and not seen. My journey of color was at an end, I thought.

Looking back at the grassy earth as it took me back to its bosom, I realized that perhaps it wasn't all over: I could still perchance take another trip, sailing to see a sea of green.

Noticing the many other colors around me as I planted my feet back down and my sight became once more terrestrial, I became hopeful that I might be lucky enough to journey into any one of those hues.

No comments: