Thoughts, Reflections and Stories

One must have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star...
Massoud Abbasi

Meeting Salvador Dali

            No matter what I did, where I went, somehow he would end up right beside me, admonishing me, scolding me, irritating me. He was trying fervently to derail me from my pursuit in search of one of the greatest maestros of the canvas and the paintbrush, Salvador Dali. I could swear I heard him by the screeching sound of the window being handled last night outside my bedroom, and many nights before that, Dali, excoriating me as to why I had not descended upon his village and hometown of Cadeques yet.  “What on earth do you want from me you braggart, you vexatious being who nary has a care to respect my prerogative and my journey?” He stood there, visibly pale, yet robust, like a puffed up cloud that human hands can rupture and yet conversely behold in awe. He laughed at my words: “ha ha, prerogative, pursuit, purpose, I’ve never heard you sound so silly, almost as if you had regressed to being a child again, happy with a pittance, a plum without its pit, you foolish man.”  Staring at him with blood shot eyes, I folded my fist which clasped the reins which were roped around my Horse’s thick neck and mane on which I sat. Tugging back gently, the Horse turned around to face him as did I. He stood still, prostrate, unyielding, like a bug whom you swat at repeatedly in vain.

 

                “What now, what will you and that Horse of yours do?” he said to me, tauntingly. I clenched my jaws. I could trample him with my Horse perhaps, I thought. My fists tightened around the noose ever more, eliciting a grunt from the animal.  “Shhhh” I whispered to it. It quieted down. I patted its head, my loyal partner, and for a second my gaze looked passed him and towards the long, winding road that I had traversed in this idyllic Catalonian countryside, gracing the Mediterranean sea all along the way. It was nighttime now and I could not see much of the details of the land, but I had seen it before, and it was thus seared into my mind like all experience. A generally green vista all around, nurtured by the veins from the sea which carried forth the water which nourished its soil, tinged in many spots with hues of the sun which splashed across the landscape like caramel in candy shops, leaving everything just slightly golden. The Pyrenees Mountains could be seen afar inland, their many choppy summits punctuating towards the sky as if angels reaching out to heaven for repose, and from here, a light mist which undulated across the landscape. “Hey!” I heard shouted at me now, disrupting the meditation I seemed to have fallen into, seduced by nature, drawing my eyes directly back towards him. “where have you gone, there is nothing out there for you, you are a pine cone dropped from its tree, dry, lonely, without purpose, forlorn”  he yelled at me with disdain, “go back home, and leave him and forego this pointless pursuit of which you are not worthy, you wretched, miserable being.”  My emotions now superceded my rational faculties and I pulled the reins tight causing the stallion to immediately react with a heavy neigh, drawing his forward legs up and into the sky as he pushed with his hind legs forward and directly into the body of him who I loathed but could not eliminate. I let out a wail of my own as we pressed into his frame and went right through it. This had happened before, when I had hurled my fist at him.  Turning around to face him from the rear now, I wondered exactly what he was, this man. Am I hallucinating, or dreaming, I thought again? No, I could not be, I knew I wasn’t, for I was bleeding, my forearms cut earlier. You never bleed in dreams. My Horse was discontented at it all, its feet unable to stand still, moving back and forth as if roaring for another thrust. It continued neighing but it obeyed me, and I stood staring at him yet again, who was now laughing at me even more wildly, as if beside himself. Why would I oppose myself? Why did he oppose me so? “I shall consume you whole eventually” I now said tersely, “as I have everyone who stood in my path before me.” He simply continued laughing at me. I gripped the reins again and pulled ever tighter. My Horse pounced forward carrying me and itself through him once more and now forward up the road again which had begun to merge into the mountain and ascend it.  Cadeques lay on the other side of it, and I was sure, Salvador Dali as well.

 

            I’m not sure for how long I had been traversing these small, tight, winding roads along the mountain edges, which dropped ominously off into valleys and canyons just below, with no rails at their side. I had now reached the top and was surprisingly not wearied. Soon we would cross a winding bend around which we would begin our descent into town. The majestic animal on which I rode along these jagged and jarring cliff edges beneath the dim moonlight had never relented in its long, dutiful strides forward and upward as it carried me. Neither of us tired, our sustenance came from one another, like two bodies sharing warmth. After a few hundred more meters we emerged behind this final bend and from here I could see the small, brick wall that held the rusty, antiquated sign of this town. A smile birthed on my face. I was so very near to this mysterious man who had been calling me like a ship’s siren calls the sages and like lightning calls thunder. I experienced a moment of profound stillness and inner joy just now, which neither fire nor sword could steal from me. Right then my peace was interrupted by the eruption of noise and movement from my Horse, which lifted itself and jerked forward. Much to my chagrin, I quickly realized what had happened, turning us both around to once again face him who clearly had struck the animal.

 

               Just as I suspected, once again, he stood before us, the same hallowed and mocking look on his face. “What now?” he spoke, “you will stumble into town and pronounce yourself the ass that has come to meet Dali?” Staring at him with burning eyes like kerosene lamps in the dark, I wasn’t sure how to react. To my confusion, he began to laugh irrepressibly now, looking down at my Horse, whom he began pointing to. I followed suit, and immediately screamed in dismay. My hands now clasped reins which were fastened not around a Horse any longer, but to a Rhinoceros. “What the hell is going on” I yelled, as my noise and angst woke the otherwise stolid animal and caused it to stumble around in confusion. I eventually managed to calm and settle it, with great effort, nearly falling off several times. Finally still, I looked at this creature wondering once again if I was not hallucinating or dreaming. “Am I losing my mind” I asked myself, quietly.  “Yes!” he yelled at me. I looked at him, wondering how he heard me, I barely heard myself. “Go on” he jeered at me now, enmity in his eyes, “let’s see how you will get there before sunrise on that thing now!” He irked me greatly. I lost my cool for a moment and disembarked the animal, but as my feet touched the ground, they now began to dig into them. The concrete tar of the road was now soft, like brown moss on wet, highland hills, and to my surprise, my feet no longer wore the moccasins I previously had on. No, they were bare now. I looked up at him, still laughing at me, clearly enjoying it all. Panic visited me next as they now began sinking as if in quicksand, forcing me to immediately jump out of where I had stood. I quickly dashed back towards the Rhinoceros now and punched the great beast fiercely and with force on its hind side, sending it into furious action, as it wailed and pounced forward with great might towards the cliff, which I had not anticipated. In shock, as I was unable to stop it, I looked back at him, now more solemn and serious, with almost asking eyes, pleading for help. He gave the most subtle but perceptible nod and right then I turned back around just in time to see this great lumbering beast take the first steps over the cliff, while instantaneously, before my very eyes, its thick, grey mass immediately contracted and morphed into that of a majestic bird, a Falcon, whose wide and glorious wings now foisted it directly onto the canopy of nothing and forward and up firmly into the air. It ascended quickly now, at a slight left angle, never looking back , fiercely moving forward, emitting loud screeches which it bellowed from its soul and which echoed across the land. I turned back to face him once more. Surprisingly he said nothing this time. We stared at one another for a moment and eventually I took a few steps backwards, and then finally turned around  and lunged forward with my legs which felt like steam-powered pistons all of a sudden, pushing me forth faster and faster as I ran with all my might and conviction, my feet bare on the now firm tar of the road, twisting and turning around each bend, not stopping once to survey anything but moving ahead guided by my inner compass, guided by my heart, guided by destiny. There is no force greater than action fueled by a sense of destiny. Many a great rulers have ruled over the world with an army and empire built largely on the back of a firm belief in themselves and their purpose. Thus, conviction amounts to so very much, if you only knew.

 

            I finally arrived as the entrance point of Cadeques and came to a full halt before a circular square and roundabout through which Horse carts and buggies and people moved around. It was now becoming early morning and the light was dawning gently, but it was still dark, and not a soul was around, not even a sound, save for the cackle of a roosters. I heard now, very faintly, the slight whirr of sea waves which were near. Yes, from here I could sense and smell the ocean, from where all life emerged, so very long ago. I was a bit fatigued but being closer to Salvador Dali energized me. I was sure he would have some answers for me, this man of depth, genius and surreal beauty, who warped time and space to his will, like a welder does steel or a carpenter does wood. I was calm. I was lucid. I had arrived. Not more than a few deep breaths had I taken in when I heard once again the terrorizing voice from behind me. I turned around to face it. “Well” he uttered to me, in a condescending tone, standing erect, hands at his side, as if ready to attack me, “now what?” I had no response for him. “I’ll stop you by other means, then, you will never get to Dali’s house, I will not allow it.” I remained silent still, but kept my gaze on him. “A fool should only fool himself when he realizes that he is the fool and thus does so wantonly.”  Hitherto, he had not spoken in such a manner, vague and alliteratively. I sensed a change in him.  In our dynamic altogether. I began to look at him intensely, as if reaching an understanding of some sort. “You’ve lost it, I told you, I tried to warn you, now get yourself together and come back home with me, you are not fit to see the master, miserable, fickle, weak man.” His taunts seemed not to bother me anymore, but that I no longer reacted seemed to bother him too. His actions were shaky now, his voice different, more irritated, more unsure. “Take your place in life and stay happy with what is given to you. Dreams and understanding are for the few, and you are not worthy.” Then, in an instant, a thought and morsel of understanding reached me somehow, as if a little fairy had whispered something into my ear. A gentle smile emerged on my face, and I dropped my head, and began chuckling lightly. While I did, he grew more exasperated, yelling more loudly, like never before. He even began to mix his words such that his sentences did not make sense any longer. He was on the ropes and I had finally understood him and all of this. I now knew who this man was. He was me. It was me all along I was fighting against. He is my inner demon. And a full rimmed smile now sat over my face, and I knew what I would see when I stared back up. I did so, slowly, and there he was, there I was, standing face to face with myself.

 

               He was completely silent now, as was I. Am I dreaming, I thought for a moment? Looking at my forearms, blood continued sputtering through the cut. Blood means you are awake. I looked back upon myself again, completely mute. Then, looking up above him, drawn by a certain noise, I saw the Falcon once again now, wings stretched out, larger than I even recalled before.  I smiled at him. My vision became so calibrated and magnified that I now pierced into his right eye, which reflected me first, then a vision of me carrying out an act which though shocking in nature, I knew immediately was guidance from above which I had to carry out. Dropping my head back down and back on him, back on me, convulsing with energy like a tremor after an earthquake, I leapt forward immediately, compelled by some great force, moving in long strides towards him, whom I now knew to be myself, my inner demon, my other half, and placed my hands forcefully on the sides of his head, drawing it near and into mine, bringing us face to face finally. No resistance did I meet. I opened my mouth as wide as I possibly could now while I began to inhale deeply, and wholly, with all my being. Conversely, he morphed into a vortex of vapour which I breathed in and consumed with vigour, bit by bit, until he was no more. Once I was finished, my arms and legs went limp and my body fell with a thick and heavy thud on the ground. I was trembling and twitching. I slowly regained my composure and my footing. I eventually stood up. After a few breaths, I felt normal again, but different, easier, closer to my path. The sorcerer was me, after all. The one who placed doubt before me, the great tactic of the devil, was me.  The devil lies within, like all things in life. Never without, always within. We are whole, complete universes unto ourselves, if we could only know. And how could I any longer be vexed at my devil, for it was indeed the very doubt which he sowed within me that pushed me forward and to this point. They say that the devil nears when you are closest to your goal, and does so in many forms. Calmly recognize him, and then consume him. Such is the way.  My thoughts were now interrupted once more by the screeching wail of the Falcon above now, still flying forward in a north east direction. He was now guiding me. Once again I pounced into motion and began to run down a different road into town, in the opposite direction of the sea. One can never really know where the road ahead leads, but take it when it beckons. Once more, I was running barefoot on the streets of this quaint, quiet, idyllic old Spanish town, now guided by a great Falcon above me and the Great Spirit within me. I could sense him now more than ever. He was nearer now, Salvador Dali.

 

            The winding, bending, streets of Cadeques are engrossing. They dive in at you at every turn, capturing you with their tentacles. 3 or 4 story antiquated flats on all sides, sun kissed on their cheeks, clay pottery layered on their rooftops, roughhewn brick facades and fortifications of varied colours permeating their outer shells like the many seashells along its shores. Guided by the Falcon above, I did not stop for a second as I kept racing forward, somehow lead thus in a direction I did not know but could feel.  I wasn’t even sure how far I had run, but a slight panic settled within me now as all of a sudden the Falcon was no longer in sight. Has he descended and perched himself somewhere, I wondered? Was he a figment of my imagination all along?  Still running, I now reached a straight and narrow road with white fences of concrete stretching forward on both sides which lead to what seemed like a precipitous drop at the end. I finally stopped, and took in a few deep breaths. Human, all too human, we are. Oxygen always tastes sweeter when it has been earned, just like water tastes particularly sublime when one is out of breath and parched. Now I knew I had arrived at the right place as to my delight the Falcon was there at the end, sitting on a pile of rocks, staring at me. His sight brought relief to my heart. I began to pace forward now. As I closed in on him he swiftly rose up into the sky again, his wings foisting him powerfully. I stared at him as he ascended higher and further until eventually I lost him again.

 

               A moment later, my gaze was back down on the road which had now emerged before me, which I had thought was a drop but in fact was merely a slope. This, however, was a different road than the one behind me. Winding still, but more elongated.  It was darker, narrower, with a more weathered skin. It lead right down into a little port which I could now well discern as dawn was approaching.  The port was a beautiful body of water, with two low lying land formations enclosing it at its tips which gave way to the sea before it like the opening of a Horseshoe. Its bosom held many boats, some of which I could slightly discern.  I looked at one in particular which was salient because of its bright yellow colour.  I squinted to magnify my vision. There was a man in this boat, which was docking at the south embankment of the port. My eyes pried themselves open now as I realized that this was not just any man. No, this was no ordinary man. It was him. It was Salvador Dali himself!  My heart felt immense, momentary joy at this vindication. I could hear it thump with excitement and a puerile glee. A smile forged itself upon my face. It wasn’t long however  before the sublime feelings abated and I quickly began to feel a sense of trepidation.  Happiness and victory come at the expense of a superfluity of feelings which have at their core their opposites. This is why love hurts, it is simply too sublime, and the sublime is always wafer thin, like butterfly wings. Stare upon it, savour its beauty, caress it gently, but touch it just a bit too much and it will rupture instantly and no longer be able to fly. I was once again frozen, caught up in a storm of thoughts of feelings. I watched as Dali’s boat docked and he stepped off of it. After he tied it taut, he stopped, stood up, turned around and suddenly in a knee jerk fashion abruptly lifted his head and stared at me. I gulped, unable to move, or breathe. After a moment in which it seemed our eyes were glued, he nodded to me, a welcoming nod, I presumed.  This brought great relief to me as you can imagine. He then dropped his head again and moved towards a white compound ahead of him with a bizarre design which I now quickly inferred was his famous house in Port Lligat, which is where I realized I was. The house which seemed more like a collection of houses than just one, was an array of buildings , interconnected, all soaked in white. There were several levels but only one floor at any time, resting on various grades of the land on which it was situated. The acuteness and jarring nature of its many sides and angles alone were something to behold, but it was the items on the top which really captured one’s attention. At the highest point there was two silver human heads in a fixed position, lacking any facial detail, but bent into one another like two lovers in embrace. At another spot there was a large white egg prostrated on another building, its top serrated off. In another spot, a half elephant protruded from the wall, with something in its mouth I could not make out. In a world of likeness and imitation, this place stood out like a rain cloud over a desert. It epitomized the term ‘oasis.’ I could delay no longer as I now witnessed Dali enter his home through the front door. I sprinted into action once more. I was so close now.

 

               The door creaked as I pushed it. Thick and sturdy, made of rich oak wood which had been fastened with large iron clips and painted green. The small steps leading to this place had been populated with the most varied and unique forms of cactus plant you could imagine. I knocked on the door, several times, but there was no response. I finally looked around, and walked in. “Hello” I said now, a few times. Nothing. The bizarre nature of this place pronounced itself already in the form of a great white polar bear which had been petrified and forced to stand upright, a variety of tools in its hands including a musket.  The interior was white as well, stucco walls of rough and uneven contours which gave a sense of waviness, almost as if you were surrounded by walls made of milk. Varied objects of all types lay strewn about everywhere, giving the place a very busy feel. Animal heads, vases, ceramic caskets, dried flowers in broken flower pots, colourful Spanish rugs, old wooden furniture, mirrors, many mirrors and of course paintings, so many very paintings, each one more remarkable than the next. All of a sudden I was startled by a noise which emanated from around the corner. I moved in its direction, turning around a wall and walking down a few set of steps. To my delight, I now stood not more than two meters away from the great master himself, Salvador Dali. “Are you an apparition?” I wondered to myself. He turned and stared at me, hauntingly wide open eyes. “No” he spoke firmly, “I am not an apparition.”

 

               Dali turned away and walked to the corner of the room with his cane in hand.  He stopped and put his hand on a round object. “This, is Dali!” he pronounced with great conviction. He turned around again to face me. His trademark mustache, thin, curling in then shooting out with great symmetry and further accentuated the captivating nature of his long, narrow face. One could not help but feel mesmerized by him, paralyzed in place, forced to stare in awe at this spirit whose body was earthly but his spirit other-worldly. He wore moccasins, brown pants and a dark blue baggy shirt. His hair was wet and pulled back in long strands. I finally managed to speak: “Hello, Signor Dali.” He did not respond. He walked back to where he was, facing a large canvas hooked onto the wall. I looked at the canvas and noticed a massive glob of red paint dropping down from its centre, the very same colour as the blood on my arm. “Its begun” he said now. I wasn’t sure what he was referring to. “Whats begun, Signor Dali?” He slammed his cane at the canvas now suddenly, several times, repeating  himself: “Its begun!” Confounded, I remained quiet. He now began whistling and turned and walked past me. I followed him, tepidly. “Signor Dali” I finally managed to emit. Right then he stopped and raised his right arm. “Look” he said as he pointed out the window. I moved closer to see what it was. An opening in the sky past the two peaks which enclosed this port from the sea. A sliver through which the Sun was now just beginning to break through. “Its begun!” he uttered again, almost with screeching excitement, as if the sunrise was something he had never seen before.  He now turned around and looked at me directly: “Why have you come?” I was confused. He had sought me after all. He had come to my village and visited me in dreams drawing me forth. “Signor Dali” I responded, “you beckoned me!” He could almost hold his position and stare without moving at all as if some statue.  They say that art immortalizes a man but also paralyzes him. “No!” He finally responded, slamming his cane against the ground. “You create your own journey. And now you stand in my home. Why have you come?” I couldn’t make sense of it, growing nervous, my hands becoming shaky and clammy.  I was sure he had visited me, beckoned me forward. Why else would I have come? Perhaps my other half had been right after all, that I was fooling myself.  Seeing that I had no answer, he now turned around and walked up into another level in his home. I followed him again. I kept my distance from him as kept moving through this labyrinth of his, whistling all along, finally emerging outside onto the grounds.

 

               The outside was no different than the house, full of weird items, objects and designs etched into wood and ceramic.  The soil was rough, grainy, with green foliage interspersed here and there befitting a desert landscape. I watched him walk, hand behind his back, until he came upon a certain spot ahead of which lay strewn all types of materials.  After a few minutes of silence, I spoke again: “Signor Dali.” No response. “Signor Dali” I said again. No response. Growing frustrated, I was about to repeat myself when immediately he raised his cane up in the air, not turning to face me, but effectively silencing me. He now pointed it forward to the parcel of land containing so much rubbish. “What” he uttered loudly, “do you see?” I saw nothing in particular, in fact. “I’m not sure” I responded. “Look with your imagination, not with your eyes” he said now. I took my time, doing as he instructed, hoping I could please him if I answered correctly.  To my chagrin, I could see nothing but barren earth, sparse vegetation, various rocks, rusting barrels and pots, long planks of wood, and other such rubbish. “I cannot discern anything, Signor Dali.” He stood still again for a period of time without responding. “Signor…” I began but was quickly stopped from finishing by him.  He pointed to his left now with his cane. I looked over and saw that there was a small installation which seemed like a ladder leading about a meter or so high with a resting spot at its top, almost like a tree house. “Go, up” he instructed me now, curtly.  I took a few steps towards it but before climbing it I stopped to ask him again what I had come here to ask him. “Signor Dali, I know our time is limited but I have some very important questions that I would like to ask you, if I may, of course.” He chuckled, not looking at me, in an almost malicious manner.  “How do I see the world so differently? What is the purpose of life? What is truth? How should one live?” He said these things, one after the other, and I was immediately frozen in place. These were precisely the questions I had come here to ask him. How could he know them so precisely? I looked at my arm. I still bled. I almost felt mute, but eventually managed to speak again. “Signor Dali” I finally spoke, “how can you know this?”  After a moment of silence he finally turned around and stared at me, his eyes now less pungent and more calm and purposeful. “Everyone who comes here to see Dali, they come into the world of Dali, become a part of the world of Dali, and in my world I know all.” What could I say to such a response? I was speechless. Genius is pure harmony with life and the world. Dali was one with his world and so the world shared its knowledge with him fully. Who nowadays amongst men is in harmony with the world, and how could they be, when they are not even in harmony with their own world?  “But Signor Dali” I began but was quickly stopped again by him: “silence” he said now as if vexed, his mood shifting. “The answers to your questions are there” he said now as he pointed towards the top of this installation before me.  I took my eyes off him and looked upon it.

 

               It creaked and shook a bit as I stepped onto it. I ascended it quickly. It wasn’t more than a few feet high. On top now, I stared down into this yard now from a vertical angle, aerially, like bird. The Sun slowly crossed the threshold of the horizon to my left and began to peak out, illuminating the landscape in a mellow tinge of tangerine. Slowly, my eyes now began to behold something there where the rubbish lay. It quickly became apparent what it all was. It didn’t take long for its meaning to dawn upon me. My soul rejoiced like juniper flies during the spring equinox at this. All the rubbish which a only a moment ago I believed were random items on the ground were in fact all pieces of a great, large man figure with its legs and arms stretched out in the posture of a child forming an angel in the snow. It was a wondrous thing to behold. This was the work of Dali. This was the genius of Dali. I looked at him now, peeling my eyes away from it finally. “You see” he spoke now, as if he could sense my every move, “Is all about position and perspective.” I slowly began to understand. “Truth” he now said, “is to be received, not calculated. Is already there in this world. Answers that you seek” he continued, “is already in you.” He now turned to face me. “You just look in the wrong place, and from the wrong position.” He turned back around to face it once more. “Do you see, now?” he said as I once again turned to face it too. I understood. Perspective is everything. If you keep a steady hand on the binocular which is your mind, the future and the truth are clear.

 

                After a moment, I turned again to see him, Dali, but he was not there any longer. Stunned, for I had not heard any movement, I quickly turned around to face my rear but neither was he there, and as I turned fill circle, I was blinded by the luminosity of the Sun which was now all of a sudden fully above the horizon, shining over the sea and the land. I quickly threw my left hand up in the air to cover it, it was blinding, and while I did I wondered how this could be so, for just a moment ago it was just barely peeking out from below the other side. In position, I now heard Dali speak to me, but in a much more imperious manner, louder, a more resonating tone, as if it was coming from all around me. I looked around me but could not see him. “Here” I heard him say again, until I finally realized it was coming from the direction of the Sun. I stared back towards it, beaming down upon me with its torrential abundance.  I slowly dropped my hand which had covered it, and begin squinting and staring shyly towards this great God of the sky. After my eyes had finally settled and acclimated, as much as possible, to countenance this great star, my heart beheld a new shock, for Dali’s face was in fact now the face of it. I had to blink to make sure I was seeing correctly.  How is this possible, I wondered?  “It is possible because I am what I desire and what I will” he responded. He said nothing for a short while as I continued to blink, staring, growing fatigued by the brightness but so in awe that my gaze was held in place. “Go to the beach in Cadaques” he now said.  “There is something there for you, on the beach.” What could he be referring to, I wondered? “This thing is both a blessing and curse, but if you take away its curse, it becomes a blessing.” He spoke in obscure sentences, much like his art. Just then everything around me seemed to become even brighter. The Sun had been elevating the whole time but there seemed to be a massive shift just now as it became so bright that I had to throw my hands up again and practically shut my eyes. Yet even then the light grew unbearably bright and I now began to stumble backwards from it and as I did, tripped over a jagged piece that was protruding from the base and fell. I rolled down the steps onto the barren soil and dirt of the yard once more, knocking my head painfully against a small but formidable rock. I felt overcome with an inability to sense fully, nor could I move much. My eyes were coming and going, shutting and opening. I felt incredibly dizzy. A sense of fatigue and weariness crept in now. I began to pass out, fighting it in vain like a slurring drunkard.

 

               My eyelids began to peel themselves open, gently, revealing the world once more to my eyes. Lying on my back still, I could only keep them open for so long without blinking as the burning Sun was now directly above me, and I could feel the heat of day. Groggy, I could not recall at first where I was. After a few moments of still repose, it all came back to me, and I immediately stared at the Sun again, but could no longer discern Dali in it anymore. I sat up now and looked around. I was no longer on his premises. I was now sitting on a beach facing the sea, situated around an idyllic, beautiful, Sun drenched and white soaked small coastal town. “Cadaques” I whispered, almost with amazement. Somehow I had ended up exactly where I was told I had to be. Eerily, not a soul in sight, though many boats lay ahead waddling in the waves tied to their slips. Mossy green hills lay directly to my sides while behind me laid the town square. “Where is everyone?” I asked again, quietly, to myself. Right then I heard a loud bell being rung and turned around further to look up at the highpoint of this small village where I now saw a church, prostrated in a unique position, like all citadels of faith and guidance, above everything. It rang twelve times. It must be noon. When I finally turned around to face the sea, there lay in front of me now something which I was sure was not previously there - a clock. It was about the size of a dinner plate. It had a steel metallic hook at the top of it, for hanging off walls. It was blue on the perimeter and white on the inside, with the numbers 12, 3, 6 and 9 and dashes in between. It had long, narrow black dials for the hour and minute hands with arrows at their tips. I picked it up and stared at it. What had Dali said to me? That I would find something which would contain the answer, an answer I would receive when the thing had been turned from a curse into blessing. Is this what he had referred to? This clock? It must be. There was nothing else around in sight near me save sand and water. I continued staring at it, as if it was a riddle or some foreign object. It worked, and the time was accurate, judging by the bells. I could only examine it so much. Neither would it open without me perhaps smashing it. I sat there, and stared at it for some time, trying to make sense of this riddle.

 

                Moments later, still sitting there with the clock in my hands, defeated by the enigma before me, I heard a sound which delighted me - the Falcon. Its mighty call was a pleasant welcome to me as I looked up to my left and saw it gliding gracefully and with poise. I smiled at it. All of a sudden my hand which held the clock from the handle felt the tinge of something hot as it recoiled, forcing me to drop it. I gently dabbed it with my hands again, and indeed it was hot. How could this be, I wondered? As I continued staring at it, it now began to completely twist and contort, as if it was melting. Its appearance now began to change. It actually started to become elongated and almost wobbly looking, like a pile of goo. It was no longer a clock anymore.  “What is going on?” I asked myself in astonishment at its transformation. Just then my heart jumped a beat as the Falcon swooped in and sat directly beside me, forcing me to abruptly shift my position. I felt comfortable and safe enough around him that I remained where I was relatively, but the Falcon kept making noises and seemingly gestures at me, staring at me and at the melting clock before me. I reached out to touch it again, and now it was once again cool. I finally picked it up again. The Falcon went quiet. I stared into this completely distorted clock and tried to make sense of it once again as I had before. I stared at it without cessation for a great many moments. Finally, it hit me. It all made sense now. “When the curse is lifted from it, it will become a blessing and the answer to your questions” he had said to me, Salvador Dali. The thing he referred to was this clock. It had to be. And ultimately what is the purpose of a clock? Quite simply to tell time. It hit me right then and there. I understood what it all meant. Since this distorted clock could no longer do its job, tell the time, then the curse, by logic, could only be one thing - time. There was great magnitude and force in this revelation for me. It struck me with great rapture. Time, then, or the illusion of time, is the curse and its absence is the blessing. I had to sit back and absorb it all. Like a hearty meal, all truths and realizations require digestion. My mind ruminated on what I had discovered now. It wasn’t an easy morsel to swallow. Time is the greatest illusion and also the greatest addiction of man.

 

               My thoughts circulated until they found meaning in all that had transpired on this journey.  I had found now a quiet calm within me which I lacked before. Pure immanence, wholeness and oneness with life. Had I grasped the Parmenidean truth thousands of years later which this ancient Greek had expounded back then at the dawn of thought? More than anything I felt a serene sense of presence. I could grasp the moment. I knew now that everything else would henceforth flow readily from this premise and foundation and that all things in life would become apparent from moment to beautiful moment, one moment at a time. If the focus is always on now, then what power can past or future possibly have on one so inclined and attenuated to the fleeting and momentary nature of consciousness and existence? Answers are only needed when the question in mind pertains to past or future and to time. The present requires no answer as it is always there, within grasp, if one is so able to live, think and be as such. It presents itself to us purely and fully at all times. The power of ‘Now’ had made itself forcefully known to me, and nothing would ever be the same. Holding the clock in my hand, staring at it with a delightful smile for what it had now given me, I dropped it abruptly once more and let go of time once and for all as I threw my hands up to shield my eyes from a blinding light which had once again emerged seemingly from out of nowhere ahead of me.

 

               When I began retracting my hands again, I noticed once more the Sun on the deep horizon, now in a setting position. I looked up above me. Clear blue sky. Yet just a moment ago it was there, the Sun, and now it had traversed the position of many hours in what seemed like a few minutes. Or had more time transpired than I thought? It couldn’t have, not hours at least. Yet I felt a delight at this confused state of mind. I had lost my sense of time, and never had I felt more elated than now, ironically. Smiling, I stared at this God before me yet again, in all its splendour. I sat there, hands perched over my legs, staring at it drop and drop slowly into the other side yet again, as it has for eons over our beloved planet. I smiled the whole time, for eternal truth had finally visited me, after a difficult but worthwhile adventure. The only thing that I wanted at this precise moment was unification with the world, with this great star. I wished just then that I could fly towards it, into it, become one with it, and bask in its ebullience, brimming with delight at its fate and existence altogether. I closed my eyes with this thought, feeling the warmth of this bountiful spirit intoxicate me. There is nothing more than this moment, for this moment is your life.

 

               The sound of the Falcon beside me jarred my eyes open. I had almost forgotten it was still there. It was sitting to my right. I looked upon it, perched on the sand like a loyal friend right beside me, no doubt also enjoying the over-abundance of the source before it. It looked at me, raised itself on its legs and began flapping its great wings as if stretching so that it could ascend once more. And almost without effort now, another understanding formed within me. The Falcon was me, and I the Falcon. Everything is everything, after all, and everything is nothing. All things come forth from the same source. I knew exactly what I had to do to consummate this grand journey and awakening. I brought myself to face it now, this Falcon, and placed my hands around its sturdy head and brought it forth to face me. I opened my mouth and began to breathe it in, with all my might, once more turning this majestic life form into vapour. Vapour which I could swallow. And swallow it whole I did. When I was finished, drunk again with the intoxication that comes from the unity of life, I fell back onto the beach, my head in the sand, my eyes staring up at the azure sky, blessed with eternity.

 

               After a few moments during which I continued to smile with delight, I finally sat up, and looked forth at the setting Sun. The clock was not around anymore. I had no more use for it. It had withered away. I stood up, prostrated myself, and stretched my arms. Standing still, the waves washing in, carelessly, one after the other, I closed my eyes and listened to their recurring swoosh. Finally, I opened my eyes, looked back upon this beautiful, idyllic little place, now populated with all forms of life, from people to animals. And in their midst I saw him, Dali, standing tall and distinct, tapering his mustache with his hand, a half smile, an approving look on his face, eyes wide open. He gently nodded to me, and I nodded back. I had come to understand where his genius lay now. It lay within, as it has always with us, with you, with I, with everyone, obfuscated by the illusion of time. Man is flesh, yes, but he is so much more spirit, and with these illusions and curses removed, man is anything he wishes to be, for man is everything and everything is man.

 

               I smiled at him and nodded once more and turned back around to face the water, the Sun and the horizon. I now began to run forward towards the water. As my feet made contact with the first drops of the sea, I pushed off the sand and pounced up and forward as if diving into the air. I did not drop however. I felt my body transform and gain elevation. A moment later, perhaps a couple of meters off the ground and above the water, airborne, the draft of the wind in my face from the forward movement, I could feel the full weight and thrust of my wings, as they cut through the air and with each push lifted me up further and further  forward. What a magnificent existence it is, being a Falcon, flying towards the Sun.

 

               Everything you could ever want or need is within you right now. You are so much closer to the Sun then you even realize. Take off your watch and take off your clothes. Will you not let yourself out of the prison in which you enclose yourself even when the keys to the cell are in your hands? What a magnificent existence it is, simply being, for those who can learn to simply be, here and now. Omne tempus in mundo…

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08.12 | 12:21

Good reflexions and philosophy
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25.01 | 15:17

Profound with a lot of philosophical insights. I love the admonition of never abdicating the future. Thanks for sharing.

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06.07 | 19:41

Wow, this is so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing. Love & Peace.

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19.03 | 05:49

Amazing to read and thank you for some beautiful insights.

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