Monday, March 12, 2012

Antilia Part One

 Waking From Antilia

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
Hamlet Act 1, scene 5

Habia una vez our stories were unmixed.   Some sang with the words de las abuelitas; some marched with those of the grandfathers, and others still were the coughs of Unkele or the singing of 阿姨.   Neither our words nor our peoples knew each other’s stories.   We were separated by lines of not understanding, a web of lines that not one could see - the invisible tangle between realities.
Our people didn't always live here under this bubble of otherness circling the earth.   We were once and many times out there, on the swirly blue marble of la Tierra, 地球, die Erde.   There was a time, after all, when time itself was still happening in a given order.  It was apart from itself.  Then the line between realities began to melt and fade, and we were chosen to become a people between.  Between times and realities, between worlds.  Here in Antilia, we live in a tangle of times hidden by a powerful shimmering mystery, our purpose shrouded in the tales of all time.   We are las real hadas, die Feen, 仙子.  From everywhere.  From everywhen.
When our people were dragged, each one apart, from the places where they fell into the gel of time and space, they brought with them many kinds of words and many paths of thought.  Some had the words that march and walk, the ones we use the most now in Antilia, like these you see on this paper.  Other peoples had las palabras que cantan.  The words that season Antilian voices and speak of la familia, Dios, y el credo.  Still another people had the words of ancient forests, die Schlösser und die Riesen, die Worter that connect our people to an older world thick with magic.  Another people carried the words that sound like pictures, swaying in the wind, floating like the colors of water across space, .  We all come together under the dome of Antilia, swirling words and thoughts and ways together to create the world I have grown up in.  This swirling of peoples and tongues and minds gives space to the whirlpool of impossibly possible realities. 
We live as the keepers and messengers on the ark of ideas that is Antilia, floating in the web of time, the mirage thick with das schatten.  This tangle we rest on, it shifted and twists under the bedrock of la Tierra and on through the universe in sheets of magic, like giant swirling sheets of paper in a gritty and crowded whirlwind.  This mirage of shadows, these curtains of time, plucked my people from the forever to serve the purpose of the gen. 
The tangled power and light make the air shiver in the desert, thick and tangible under the sun, the molten air of the mirage.   It turns das schatten among the giant trees into doorways, and the streams of rain into 窗簾的世界, the curtains of worlds.  

You may see it far ahead, a shimmer as you travel through the heat of the deserts de la Tierra.  You may stumble onto it in the oldest forests, eyes swimming into its shadows, looking for an end of the dark.  You may lose yourself in the rains of the jungles of time, pictures blurring before the drops of magic on your lashes.  The mirage.  Das schatten.  窗簾的世界.
Sometimes a person walks into its thickness.  He finds himself in the mirage without knowing how he caught it up.  He had thought it was not so close to his step, or perhaps he was busy with a thing more important, and he never saw the shimmer.   Maybe he had walked across that same space a hundred times, and every time before his feet had hit the sandy red-yellow soil with its normal crunch and give.   This time his feet reach out and find nothing but the thickness to catch them.  
Another wanderer may casually step into the dense shadow of an old misty forest, only to have the coolness seep into his bones, the space beyond dissolving, pixilated. 
Perhaps still another reaches for a color in the rain, and finds her hand pulling her into a cool grey world, suddenly dry.

Some disappear for only a second, before flying back, suddenly dripping coldness into the heat, dryness in the wet, glimmer into the shadow.  
Some will be gone for days, and then appear miles away, confused and frozen in body and mind.
Some will be back in place again sofort, but with the soul lost inside the mirage.  Sin la alma, these ones will have no life on the outside.  Their family mourns their passing never knowing that they are now everywhere, twisting in the mirage, gathering and scattering time, space, and ideas from world to world. They are part of the shimmering thickening, of rain and shadows, the keepers of the mirage.  They direct the peoples of Antilia.
Some come back never, but instead land in the time of powder blue dust, in Antilia, chosen for their skill or heart by the keepers to become Geschichtenerzähler, travelers and tellers between the worlds they didn’t know existed. 
My people, the people of Antilia, we are los hijos, das enkelkinder, the 曾孫 of the ones who never return from the mirage.  We are the keepers and the Geschichtenerzähler.
 We have been here forever.  The forever of a very small child with el credo tight in both sticky hands, always twisting forward and back with no respect for the calendar of the impossible.  
Here we are always and never.
And from here we may be grabbed back. 
Ours is a strange position between the power to shape time and the absolute helplessness of a floating sun mote. 
 I didn’t know this, of course, when I was very small.  Then I lived each day with my mother in charge.  My big sister, Lorena, infallible.  It was a world where anything - anything good - could happen.  The small tragedies of life were quickly fixed.  I believed in magic because I had never seen anything less.  I didn’t know there could be another side of the possible that would one day make my magic necessary.
I can see myself as I was when the mirage finally broke into my world.   
In my mind I feel again the cold membrane of the mirage folding over me, a sombra falling in slow motion, and see the shadow of Mama beside me...
With a jerk.
A stomach-catching drop.
I could not find my breath.  
I plummeted through the darkness, looking for the ground that had dissolved around me, unable to find even my own limbs.  
 It was a separate forever before I hit the dust and the tangled yellow grasses that were the wrong texture and temperature, hot and rusty instead of the cool silvery blue I knew.   
The grass was dry and papery…thin.   
 I curled up at the base of the only tree that looked almost right, tinged by the thinner light of Antilia in the still shivering air.  I cried myself into a mass of slimy sniffles and chokes.  I knew that I was lost in some un-name-able way, though I did not exactly understand our place in the worlds as las hadas, das erzahler, 說書.  Not yet.

No comments:

Post a Comment