Friday, February 03, 2012
It's supposed to hurt, I think.
Space travel, I mean. There's no friction to tear at the body. The ether neither helps nor hinders as we slip between stars. Rarely, and growing rarer, are the delicate tugs of gravity wells. Gentle enough, like a new lover guiding me to bed.
Our minds, however, meet with some resistance. The chymical sleep slows the very clockwork of my cells and the researchers insist that I could sleep until forever ends, if I wished. I had laughed and insisted there were less expensive ways of accomplishing that, if I wished.
They chymical sleep doesn't seem to stop the mind. I am hesitant to say my mind is awake. Yet it is not what I remember of dreaming. And all the time...this tearing sensation. There is a substance to my mind and whatever that substance may be it is scraping against the emptiness while my body glides fluidly past diffuse nebulae and remnants of supernovae.
The lack of scientific terms tempts me to think of a soul as it travels through Hell. Except I don't recall the storytellers every describing Hell as quiet. I suppose it could be that, too. Silence. Loneliness. Not even a heartbeat for comfort. No pulse in my vein reminding me of life. Only the memory of life to trouble my thoughts until I awaken to the sting of a syringe and my destination.
I travel on and do not complain since I don't remember how to. The void sips at me. What the philosophers taught me to call the Self wisps away in eddies and swirls. I travel on and do not fear.
When I awake, I suspect, the consciousness I return to will have no template in which to properly store this experience. It will be reduced, contained, and shelved. Perhaps at times I will recognize it long enough to regard it as a novelty, like the wax cylinders my father collected. He would tell me of the symphonies they held within that he longed to share with me, if only there were a phonograph to play them with.
His regret was worth respect but I could only nod as we stared at the dusty, molding cylinders behind glass in the dining room we never used anymore.