My Compass

My Compass

You are dead. Oh, dear. This is isn’t what you expected death to be like at all…

 First, there’s a dark tunnel leading to eternal light and infinite openness and then…harmony, tranquility, and freedom. Or at least that’s what we were told in every Psychology class we’ve had. That’s what every existentialist, every coma survivor would claim as „most accurate picture of death”.

 But wherever I am right now, it has nothing to do with this picture. Here it is all dark and cold, weightless and immaterial.

 Nothingness. This is the right word. Nothing ahead of me, nothing behind me. There are no distinct dimensions, atom is a myth, awareness is an illusion. That peace of mind described in the “conventional picture of death” is missing here. In my head thousands of memories are scrolling at a furious speed as in a film tape, some of them vivid and lively, others – completely distant and faint as if they are not even mine.

 And yet I am here. I am not sure exactly what I am. I don’t even know if I am dead or alive, if I am flesh or spook. I have no name, nor a direction. Ah, those memories…how painfully they keep jostling in my head!

 And…oh, dear, I see you! Not with my eyes but with your heart beating inside of me. There is no way I could go wrong because of my love for you. Oh, that genuine love that even here in death still doesn’t let me down. But you are not the “you” I am familiar with. Not in your human appearance. Here you are a miniature spark of soul amid endless abyss. So petite yet so illuminating. One tiny spark of life-giving energy unknown to the timelessness here. The soul of a beautiful person collected in a small handful of starry light. So contrasting the passivity of the picture with your fast circular movements, tirelessly inviting me to follow you.

 But follow you where? Your heart starts beating rapidly inside me. My mind awakens as if it’s been asleep for a hundred years. Decisiveness passes through my veins like an electric charge and before I know it I set on a journey through the labyrinths of my mind to find you.

 Funny how but the threads of timelessness suddenly start to thin. Dimensions start obtaining lines like a pencil that appears by itself on the white paper. My memories stop racing and shuffling like puzzle pieces from different puzzles and now I can distinguish them almost like a movie. But before I can see anything from this movie, out of nowhere a ball of blinding light explodes right before me as if I have just witnessed the Big Bang itself.

 And I find myself in a concrete memory.

 I look around me…it takes me a while to orientate myself for where and when I am exactly. Is it possible that I could be in someone else’s memory?…And then it hits me like a hammer. Our favorite childhood memory! The most cheerful one. Although I am pretty sure that I am dead I can feel my tears like thousands stinging darts stuck into my eyes.

 A rush of happiness rises up my heart and materializes in my joyous laughter. I am in the circus, just in the middle of the first show that our parents have brought us to see. Under the colorful dome, with bright lights, dynamic music, temptingly sweet smell of caramelized popcorn and candy cotton. Hundreds of kids and adults with their eyes staring incredulously, fascinated by the miracles that the artists work before them.

 As it was so long ago, I can’t remember where exactly we were seated so I start looking around the audience. I am floating over the last row in the left sector from where I can clearly see everyone. I keep looking and looking…but how strange…I can’t find us anywhere, neither our parents, nor the two of us. Once again I get the feeling that this memory isn’t mine. I keep looking around for another couple of minutes but nothing. And our favorite performance is about to begin. The dragon man, you remember? The one who God knows how could swallow flames of fire and exhale them through his nose! Oh, how thrilled we were when we first saw it! But I still don’t get why we were missing in this picture. The dragon man comes out from behind the red velvet curtains and his performance begins. First, he juggles fire balls. Then he swings fire hoops and sticks, he even walks on a rope on fire! All of this followed by applause and cheers but I still don’t find us. And then it happens. The artist starts performing his crowning trick – fire swallowing and exhaling. Dramatic sounds of violin. The audience – tense and breathless in anticipation. The dragon man exhales fire flame that goes all the way up to the top of the dome and takes the form of a giant dragon in yellow, orange and red shades! All the kids in the audience gasp jointly after which they start screaming and laughing rapturously.

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