Note: Well, it’s November…and that means it’s National Novel Writing Month. No, I haven’t yet done this. But this year, I’m giving it a go. So in an attempt to challenge my writing process and write with abandom to churn out about 1600-2000 words a day (fingers crossed!) for a total of 50,000 words by month’s end, here are the first 1800 words (not counting this paragraph). I confess that I started this a few days ago and, of course, immediately fell into my normal writing process of rereading-finetuning-rereading-finetuning-overthinking ad naseum. Should I not hit the 50,000 word mark, but if in the writing, I find myself going through the strange and unusual paces of a completely different writing process and I learn from it…man, will I consider this a success. Off we go…
“The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution that has to start with each one of us.” ~ Dorothy Day
Ch 1 … The Babel Whisperer
Energy warm and light touches. It moves along like a dream. It whirls and rushes. Slows and circles. It tickles deep down. A gentle prickling and now a feathered tingling. Skipping along, raising excited little imaginings and tiny delighted yearnings. Coos and soft songs instinctively release their sparkle. I giggle like stardust. I swirl like moonlight. My inner eye closes tight. My energy rises and twists. Becomes a dazzling summit before the tickling and squirming billows out and ripples around.
Now brightness. Now glowings. Pretty and soft and cheery. Laughing colors and happy lights. The sky, the sun? The moon, the stars? Words, what words. All the glistening beings that surround the spacelessness of space? I touch each one…one by one. Smiles stream out in cascades, rushing through and over and under and in and with and for. I feel each one. I know each name. At the beginning of the then. Of the when. Of the now.
They are here. The tall one, the less-than tall one. The right; the left. Together, one. A burst of thoughts radiates through me from the less-than tall one. Oh. So. Yes. True. The right, has a vague sense…cranes to the Every When. The tall one, the left; in Now. I feel the thoughts weave a tapestry of arcing dimensions and taste the brilliant energy. I lace and weave into the ideas. Arc and dance in all directions. So easy. So connected. So true, so one. Singing and reaching, flitting and expanding. Flickering myself in and out of their minds. One in particular. And still…
…they are unmoved. The less-than tall one frowns. He stares into particles unseen, trying to remove the curtain. I smile in return as I sweep the way true and woven again. He scratches his brow as if confused. I smile softly as I envelope him. I am incomprehensibly huge for them…even as I journey so unencumbered inside the tips of their fingers. I am unimaginably miniscule to them…even as I expand unimpeded to the edges of the universes. Yes, soft smiles. I move quickly. Like light, like breath, faster than instinct, faster than awareness. They – the tall one, the less-than tall one – they hardly are ever aware of the fullness of me. Hardly ever do they hear the All.
Dyrst twitched momentarily. He continued to scratch his brow, trying to chase at some kind of mental itch. He hemmed a bit, then jerked his attention to Mya. “Did you hear that?” he asked.
Always searching. Always so close. Right on the lip of it all. But words. What words. Breath shifts. Sounds perplex, escape, stream by in waves of energy and light. Words transformed and transforming. I know what surges through them.
“Hear what,” she asked.
Feel. Be. Am. Here is here. Aware is Here. Possibilities…words, what words. Endless dimensions.
Mya had been studying a piece of scrap metal. It was jagged and dirty and large. Its form contorted. Its edges unforgiving.
Remember. Open. Unknown. Known. Aware.
“It reminds of something,” her fingers thought as Mya stood oblivious to them and evaluated the object within her hands. She scrunched the corner of her lips together and felt mildly bothered. She turned the twisted metal carefully over and over in her hands, inspecting the scratches, the weathered sheen, the jagged outline that more than once bit into her fingertips, causing them to jump instinctively in recognition. And yet Mya remained oblivious to them. She was grateful for the gloves, but they were more a fashion protest than anything functional: their tips cut away; their seams stitched into to display sparkling charms and hanging, flowing ribbons. Hardly meant to protect her ivory skin. And yet when the metal bit she felt little to nothing, despite the instantaneous reflex that the sensation had generated in her hands. “Oh,” she moaned softly.
Endless dimensions. Infinite choices…now diverging, now travelling down separate paths within the choosing.
“What…did you hear it?” Dryst asked. He turned to face Mya fully, now. The heel of his sandal kicked up dust and sand on the barren-lush desert-beach where they had found themselves. It was early dawn. Or maybe it was early dusk. He couldn’t tell. He couldn’t remember. They had travelled far. In search of something, some kind of object or artifact, but what exactly he couldn’t remember or why. But that didn’t matter. His attention was on Mya. His frown intensified as he watched her stare at her hands. She stared as if locked within a tomb with no room or oxygen to spare. But there she was…freely in the open, free to breathe. In this moment, she was bent over slightly, which had the effect of reducing her height just enough to be level with his. But for all her length and hunched stance she was slender. Even when she was bent over she was lithe and of smooth lines and looked nearly transparent with her golden white hair and her ivory skin and her body adorned in a cream-colored bodysuit. When she moved – before now…before she had become frozen in place – she naturally glided. Not any kind of conscious affectation in her gait. No. Her legs floated her being along silently. Her walk graced the planet like a ray of moonlight rippling in the breeze.
“Dude,” Dryst asked again. “What’s up?” He called her “dude” deliberately, just to get her attention. It always irked her and seemed to have that effect on her even now. Mya glanced briefly at Dryst and narrowed her eyes. He was glad for it because it gave life back to her form. Dryst chuckled mildly. For such a lithe being, she could be incredibly rigid in her ways about some things, he thought with amusement. So predictable when it came to certain things.
Infinite choices…now merged and joined when met in the realization beyond.
“My fingers, Dude,” she bit the words mildly through her teeth, eventually somewhere somehow realizing that taking offense at being referred to as “dude” was taking a stance with little to no substance or meaning. Particularly with a dear soul. But she was dismayed, and somewhat alarmed. And didn’t have an answer for what was happening…and that bothered her and made her somewhat edgy.
“The metal cut into me, but…” she continued, “I didn’t feel anything. No pain.”
Dryst raised his eyebrows. He shrugged his broad shoulders and offered, “That’s a good thing,” knowing full well that somehow it wouldn’t be. He shook his own hand absentmindedly.
“I don’t see anything,” she pressed on in a tone that confirmed his suspicion that it wasn’t, in fact, a ‘good thing.’ “I mean…no blood,” she said specifically.
For reasons he couldn’t describe or explain and, in truth, didn’t even know, Dryst lifted his own hand, turned his palm to meet his own gaze, and studied his own flesh.
“Oh,” he rumbled low. He envisioned. He saw traces of lines that mounded up slightly and then dissolved away completely. “Scars,” he murmurred.
Startled, Mya dropped her hand. That was the only thing she had seen on her fingertips. Tiny little raised scars, pinkish-white in color that hadn’t been there before. She stared at Dryst. He had done something like this in the past….had seen what hadn’t been shown to him. She broke fully out of the freeze that had gripped her, swivelled her body and raised her head to look fully onto him. Dryst’s eyes were kind. She always loved his eyes. So open, so soft, so fueled with quiet energy. She knew they always reflected inward and outward…somehow blurring and traversing any confines, any boundaries. Mya had known Dryst for at least two lifetimes, probably many more, and trusted him like no other. She studied his face…naturally handsome and relaxed, framed by wild auburn-streaked hair that ruffled softly in the air and that suited his earthy, open and rugged appearance better than anything else could. And despite his ease with life and most importantly with himself, Dryst focused his mind in a singular way and on multiple planes. He always tapped into more levels than he let on. Mya knew this, and she supposed he knew that she knew. Well, she thought with some irony, when you’ve known each other more than a bazillion lifetimes, not many nuances escape detection.
Still, there’s always wonderous surprises…even in the knowing…
She twitched briefly, rummaging in her mind at something, then parked her search and switched gears to focus on his eyes. Together, they held the gaze. Together, they read the air between them.
She looked down at her hand again, only to find that the scars had vanished just as soon as her eyes had surveyed her skin.
Addition, not subtraction. Wholeness, not sections. I know what surges through them. The travel in memory beyond time and place. The will to envision beyond answers and control. The weaving all together beyond structure and physics. Oh so easy. Oh so near. The connective light gleaming. Until…
The ground shifted imperceptibly. Dryst clenched his jaw and scanned the tumbleweeds that bullied themselves onto succulent tropical plants. Like a lightswitch that had been flicked off, something had changed. A film or grey haze was building on the horizon. Was a storm coming, he wondered. He peered into the distance, searching out the cause of his sudden feeling of disquiet. Then abruptly he discovered it as he turned to Mya just as a blur of a figure tore along the winds and ensnarled Mya, ripping her away from Dryst, knocking Dryst to the ground from the sheer force of the winds. The figure was large and fierce, with weapons clanging against its sides, and Mya clutched cruelly in tow. Dryst’s heart pounded. His angry breath choked on shock and rage and alarm. He watched helplessly as Mya — imprisoned by the large weapon-bearing figure — hurtled toward that grey haze on the horizon, flying on the back of a whipping, screaming sandstorm. But Dryst allowed that feeling of helplessness to grip him only in that moment. As much as he didn’t know what was happening or why, as much as he didn’t know what was to come or when, Dryst knew he would find Mya. He gritted his teeth and pushed himself upright from the ground. When he did, his fingertips glanced the edge of the metal scrap that had fallen from Mya’s grasp. He scowled as the sandstorm and its dark rider and frightened prisoner stormed toward the horizon. Blood pounding through his veins, he bent to pick up the metal scrap, which burned hotly now and pulsated a surreal glow.
And he knew. Dyrst knew this object would lead him there.
The connective light…beyond time and place, structure and physics…gleaming…