POSTCARDS FROM THE LOST WORLD
through my childhood, I had experiences of what I later came to read of
as "rips in the veil," the parting of a filmy inner curtain
that revealed the other world, the world later described by poets and
saints and mystics as "Paradise," or "the lost world."
Perhaps because my own parents were dreamers, and for a long time fed
me on their dreams, I felt more comfortable in the dream world than in
the strange, often barbaric and competitive tussle of what was called
While I was young, and my heart quite open, these rips came as great gifts,
like friends from long ago who lived closer in the heart than anyone I
knew in person. I could never tell what would occasion these remembrances;
only that when they came, there was a great swelling of joy, a recall
of something very important, more important than whatever I was caught
up in at the moment, and then, when they mysteriously faded away, I felt
an enormous loss, a panic to be suddenly stranded here, in this body,
in this bright, football-playing world where I was somehow to toughen
myself that I too might, in my own way, bash my padded shoulders, my helmeted
head against the world that would call me out onto some barren playing
field and blow a piercing whistle and I would have to enter the fray.
No heroic event, no stirring human drama, no recitation of the course of history stirred me more than these glimpses through the veil. When they came, they dimmed the human strivings as so much noise.
One recurrent scene came to me in the crib, and then again later in life,
in the midst of an ordinary conversation or during a hard and despairing
time. And this scene flooded me with a great golden hope beyond questioning,
let loose unbridled certain joy and cellular knowledge of what I was and
what for and why. It was simply this: a great cliff seen in sunlight,
in the afternoons golden light, its massive outcrops copper in the
light, the light the gold of just turning, just moving into sunset. And
above the copper-glinting cliff a sky of turquoise blue. In my crib I
lay looking at this old friend, this call to home, this landscape that
moored me to something I could not ever name, but which I knew with my
hearts beat and lifes blood, and had always.
Although this scene came and went, always at its own bidding, never mine, its golden light followed me, invisible, through the gloom of later years. And something of its echo, as a felt sense rather than a vision, would be behind me or within me during precious or trying moments: walking barefoot, as a young child, on moist grass, wearing a sundress of yellow, with the yellow morning sun warm on my bare shoulders, bending down to smell a Black-eyed Susan, its deep dark center cupped by bright yellow petals. The cliffs untold story stayed with me, invisibly, bringing the natural world into delicious, trustworthy focus, making it possible for me to yield myself to whatever, whoever of love was there: a flower, a grasshopper, Marais and Miranda singing deeply and sweetly from my record player, my velvet-soft mothers grained, perfumed arms, my oversober fathers freshly shaven face. I was visitor, then, to this world, but one with unexpected postcards from home....
© 2001 by Naomi Rose. All rights reserved.
For the rest of the story, click on the "Writing from the Deeper Self Bookstore" page, and give yourself the gift of the complete illustrated book to enjoy, and to stimulate your own memories and "postcards" from the Lost World.
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