By Simon Barget
When I came to I was alone with a panorama of trees ahead of me. My vision seemed to have been elongated, stretched, with miles in either direction, left and right. All I could do was keep walking. Things rushed through my head, things that had happened, but also things that hadn’t had a chance to yet. I saw myself in a plane about to jump out. I kept seeing the vision of the plane with me perched on the edge of it. It didn’t seem real, only indistinct but I knew it was going to happen. I thought that something was going to go wrong because it felt it should do, or alternatively something was about to go wrong in a time frame yet to come. There was something perhaps I needed to do, something I should have done but couldn’t. But I kept on walking being completely alone. I kept walking with the distinctness of the trees and the piercing fluttery green of the furthermost leaves on the outermost branches. Each object in my view was very clear, almost sharp, as if resonating at a higher frequency. There was light and there was shadow. My body felt full of something unusual, something it had rarely been full of. I can’t describe the emotion. It was a presaging to crying but I can’t be sure. A sense of being engulfed and too full, as if close to suffocation. Still I walked and the images kept coming. I kept seeing flickerings of my mother but nothing seemed to stay or rest. Was I creating the images or were they being created by themselves? I saw all lines back and forward, all possible births and configurations. There was a stark contrast between the complete still of nature and the berserkness of my mind. There was my mind looking outward, seeing nettles and bushes, tree trunks, completely motionless almost dead, not given a chance to go anywhere, against the multitudinous abstractions of innumerable restless souls. If I had to say where the images came or at least where they passed through, I would point to the back of the neck, but then also it would have to be the temples converging in on the eyes, not starting from the eyes but somewhere at the back, at the bottom of the skull. A steady pulse. I kept on walking. I thought about what I am and what I could have been. I thought about how hard I had been on myself and others. I felt breathless again, unsteady, ever so slightly faint. When I had been small something had happened, I could almost put my finger on it. Something formative but not necessarily outright disturbing. Something I couldn’t remember or could I if I tried, if I relaxed if I kept walking, if I stopped putting so much emphasis on making sense of the past. The images were so indeterminate, barely formed, inchoate. There I was playing piano in an orchestra. It was a solo bit. I wasn’t one bit afraid of being spotlighted or scrutinised. I was more conscious of my black patent leather shoes and their movement on the patina of the floor of the concert hall. I kept looking down into them. I realised that at some level I had value. I realised I was my father and became scared. Then I spotted him in the crowd. I saw him leaning inwards bent towards the left leg that he tended to cross over his right when he was engrossed or at peace with himself to some faint degree. I saw that you don’t really have a choice with the gifts you bring to the world. You will be a blessing against your will. I thought that if this was the place I had to be for ever I wasn’t sure if it was really ok. It was cold and my hands were starting to sting. I saw that some people will just make it their business to interfere, just to recreate the turmoil and baseline trauma that they feel inside themselves, that they don’t fully realise is there. I wondered whether I was one of those people, but it no longer mattered. I was free. I was gone.