Tuesday, March 18, 2008

through a glass darkly


There's no such thing as true transparence. Light bends, refracts, doubles back on itself. A window becomes a mirror, and, trying to see what lies beyond, you're met with the flattened opacity of your own regard.

But yesterday, as I struggled to describe something that had happened in a dream, I saw, not in part, but wholly, fully, with a perfect and unlooked-for certainty, another afternoon from another cold, bright March. And what I heard was Sarah's voice.

24 comments:

Lori said...

What did she sound like? What was her message to you?

Were you comforted, or left with a different feeling?

niobe said...

Lori: This was a memory of something that actually happened and, though I'd forgotten this part, I'm almost positive that it happened on March 17, many years ago.

Sarah called and said, "Hello, this is Sarah." I said, "I'm sorry, I'm in the middle of something" and hung up. That was the last time I ever spoke to her.

I was struck not so much by the content of the memory as by its extraordinary vividness.

LAS said...

I love this photo.

thailandchani said...

Wow.. what a message that was! A powerful message!

It was vivid because it was an actual communication.

Ruby said...

Beautiful photo!

Who's Sarah?

niobe said...

Ruby: A long, long time ago, Sarah was my best friend.

charmedgirl said...

what comes to mind is the typing and the typewriter and the hallway.

Amelie said...

It always gives me a painful prick when you write about Sarah.
The picture is fascinating. Are those chess figures?

niobe said...

Amelie: I think they're glass decanters. If you look closely, the second one from the left has a tag reading GIN (though the letters are reversed).

christina(apronstrings) said...

oh, sarah, who once did something that now keeps you from trusting people?

niobe said...

Christina: Well, to be fair, I can't really blame Sarah for that. As someone once said: we're all born brave, trusting, and greedy. And most of us remain greedy.

Tash said...

Is it a good idea to keep liquor by a window, exposed to sun and heat/cold? I'm just saying. Lovely picture, but I'd keep the wet bar stashed down below. (Although they do look empty.)

The practical me always takes over, doesn't it. And yet I have no idea what to tell you about this Sarah business. Was the dream positive or negative? Do you think the dream was trying to get you to think about the Sarah thing, or vice versa, was the Sarah thing trying to get you to respond to the dream differently?

missing_one said...

We try to forget what we think we don't want to remember...

allypally said...

This reminds me of missing pieces...of trying to make out a shifting shape with your peripheral vision. Something about the conepet of "change" is going on chez vous, on dirait.

Julia said...

That's a great shot. As usual, of course.
I remember you writing about that conversation once before, from which I can only conclude that it is unsurprisingly significant to you.

When I woke up this morning and tried to figure out what was that thing in my dreams, I realized it was the problem I was trying to write for the exam. Lame!

Which Box said...

Love the pic. The perfect mix of the reflection and the inside.

I have those moments of clarity too, when something comes rushing back. It's always a bit staggering, isn't it, that vividness of something you had long forgotten (or not remembered, which is different) and have no idea why it popped back.

I love, love, love the way pieces of this story come out slowly. But there are days I just want you to write a long post and disgorge the basic outline. Cause it's obvious there's more - much more - than meets the eye.

It's like searching the web for spoilers of upcoming movies or TV episodes. Sometimes you just wan to know. But sometimes it is better to watch it unfold as the narrator intends.

luna said...

I also love this photo. the first para makes me think of transparency and reflections of people -- the image that one presents vs. that which is truly inside, with light and truth highlighted and distorted in turn, depending on one's perspective...

always thought provoking, niobe. ~luna

CLC said...

beautiful picture.

sometimes dreams can be so unsettling, but sometimes they can provide clarity too. i hope you find the clarity.

thirtysomething said...

Please call Sarah.

Beautiful photo.

Elizabeth said...

Gorgeous photo. I don't know the Sarah story, but I have experienced those moments of the past intruding on the present.

Thanks for the info you gave me on the custody issues. It's something I'll definitely discuss with our attorney.

Ahuva Batya said...

I find the same memory can become clear, and clouded, at various times in life. It was a beautiful picture, and a bittersweet memory, it seems to me.

Monica H said...

I hope I was not the one to get you thinking of Sarah by my post the other day.

If you were AN, then that makes me Sarah. I am so very sorry.

niobe said...

Monica H: Don't worry, it has absolutely nothing to do with you. And it's clear from your story that the relationship between your and AN was absolutely nothing like the one between me and Sarah.

Jennifer said...

whenever I dream about my former best friend...we are always at school...I am always late for class..and she is always saying..'it's about time you joined us'