AQUATIKA 2

A deep voice radiating strength and confidence broke in:
“Perhaps you should let me handle this?”
The moment the man spoke, the paralysis went away. Kolin finally could turn around. He found himself facing a tall, muscular fellow. The man, perhaps in his early thirties, produced a friendly smile. His blonde hair glimmered in a short haircut that framed harmonious features. His blue eyes displayed the fierce look of a warrior.
As a confirmation of his status, a circular patch was visible on the left side of his shirt: the symbol of Two Waves, one of the deadliest martial arts on Atlantide. It wasn’t the usual mark of an advanced practitioner but the patch of a master.
What was a master doing here, on the Iron Rock? No way! He couldn’t be interested in the thing underwater, could he? However, the more Kolin thought about it, the more he had to admit this was by far the most likely scenario.
The boys had just a few seconds to examine the master. With lightning speed, the man took off his shirt, shoes, and trousers. A muscular body stood now before them for a fraction of a second. Only in his underwear, the master ran to the edge of the platform. He dived head-down into the sea, almost without making a splash.
The teenagers bent down over the edge, trying to follow his movement several meters below the waves. The water was quite clear, and the master should have been easily visible, except they couldn’t glimpse him at all. He had vanished.
The seconds kept pouring with agonizing slowness. Perhaps twenty, perhaps more. Already more than a minute had passed since Lila’s disappearance. Then something briefly moved underwater, farther away and more to the left. Soon, the master’s head broke the surface, breathing calmly. A moment later, Lila’s face also appeared, coughing and gasping for air. She looked scared but remained calm, letting the stranger’s strong arms maintain her afloat from behind. The master came closer to the edge of the Iron Rock, holding the girl’s head above the waves with his right hand.
“We don’t have any rope,” Solis shouted. “I’m afraid you might have to go around the rock and use the stone steps from the other side.”
It was low tide, and the platform’s edge loomed almost three meters above the sea.
“That’s all right,” the master replied. “I don’t need a rope. Can you catch the girl if I throw her to you?”
“What do you mea…” Kolin began, but the man had already disappeared underwater with Lila. One moment later, they broke the surface again, this time at high speed. The master pushed the girl upwards with a decided move. She flew high in the air until the edge of the platform as he sank once more below the waves. Surprised, the boys managed to grab her arms and legs at the last moment, pulling her up.
Full of anxiety, the youngsters set the girl carefully onto the platform’s edge. Lila was pale but didn’t seem hurt. The boys turned their heads downwards to check on the master, just in time to see him fly out of the water and land gracefully on the platform, a couple of meters away from them.
“How did you do that?” Solis asked.
“You mean the jump?” the man laughed. “It’s not that hard. I’ve dived deeper and used the water to push me up in the same way dolphins do. If I wanted to jump this high on land, it would have been way more difficult.”
It sounded simple and certainly seemed doable for someone who could move so fast in the water. Still, Kolin had never seen any human jump out of the sea like a dolphin. Not until now, anyway. Nonetheless, it shouldn’t have been that hard for a master of Two Waves.
Lila was already feeling better. After a few more fits of coughing, she slowly stood up between the two boys and examined the master inquisitively. All three teenagers were staring at the tall man with an unvoiced question on their lips.
As if reading their thoughts, he laughed and said:
“I suppose you’re wondering why someone like me is here. Well, I have actually come to retrieve THAT.” And he pointed below the platform’s edge, past the sign drawn by Solis a few days earlier.
“What is it?” Kolin asked. “We’ve spotted this thing a week ago and so far can’t figure out its purpose and origin.”
The master was already putting his clothes back on. Shrugging, he replied:
“It’s hard to describe this thing accurately, but it’s a type of device that, in certain circumstances, can bend space and time. By doing this, it can connect far-away places with each other.”
“How does it do that?” Kolin insisted.
“It uses an internal energy source that produces a special class of exotic particles,” the master said.
“Tachions?” Kolin asked.
“It’s a combination of several types of exotic matter.”
“Is it dangerous?” Solis inquired.
“It can be if you don’t know how to handle it. Why don’t you ask the girl?”
The boys turned their heads towards Lila. She shrugged and said:
“I tried to swim towards it but couldn’t get closer. Then I tried to move away, but couldn’t do that, either. It felt as if time froze.”
“That’s why I had to pull you out from outside the distortion zone,” the master added.
“And how are you going to retrieve this thing?” Kolin insisted.
“Perhaps I’ll need to come back with a piece of rope and a hook,” the man replied.
“That won’t be necessary,” a new voice with a harsh tone broke in from behind. “We’re going to retrieve it right now.”
The teenagers turned around and discovered a group of five men dressed in brown, military-style attire standing in front of them. The new voice belonged to an imposing man in his forties with long black hair kept in a ponytail. He seemed to be their leader. The newcomers didn’t have any distinctive badges belonging to major martial arts. Nevertheless, they carried swords at their belts and looked threatening. With a discrete move, the master detached the patch from the left side of his chest and hid it in his pocket before turning to face them.
“Who are they?” Solis asked the master, glancing with a worried expression at the goons.
“I have no idea,” the young man answered in a low voice, smiling and raising his left eyebrow. “Perhaps some gangsters who think they can just come here and get the big prize.”
“How come they know about the artifact?” Solis added.
“There are detectors that react to emissions of exotic particles,” the master said. “But they are large and expensive, and only a few scientists in the world know how to build them.”
“That means…” Kolin began.
“That means they are connected to someone powerful,” the master said.
“Are you going to stop them?” Lila asked.
“No. Why should I? If they can retrieve the artifact by themselves, they can have it.”
In the meantime, the newcomers walked along the edge of the platform. One of them spotted the tiny chalk mark and called the boss. The mobsters drew near and peered down, trying to locate the object. After a few moments, someone produced from a bag a rope with a large steel hook and slowly lowered it into the sea.

The Yoga Class

“Are you sure you’ve got the recording right?” asked the middle-aged Indian guru.
“Yes, it has been extrapolated from your brainwaves,” replied the neurologist. “I have adjusted the psi element. It’s clearly audible now.”
“Very well then. I’m going to put it on during my next class, and we shall see what happens.”
*
Meditation. You never know how much the whole world hates you until you try it. And it’s always reserved for the last fifteen minutes of the class. Some people like it. Some people love it. Not me. I find it hard to stand still even for one minute. I’m a dynamic person.
Or so I thought until recently when I realized I was getting overweight. My type of work and my lifestyle didn’t help me stay physically active. Then my cholesterol went up, and my heart began to have bad days. When things got worse, of course, I went to see a doctor and, at his recommendation, ended up here. Well, he didn’t exactly recommend yoga, but this place was by far the most conveniently located: only five minutes of driving, with a large shopping mall nearby. Also, the time of the classes harmonized well with my own work schedule. It wasn’t expensive, either.

I’ve been coming here for more than a month and have to agree: there are some positive results. My waist has shrunk by a couple of inches. I also sleep better. The chest pain is almost gone. Most of the class is not bad, and the Indian guru is a good teacher.
During class, we keep switching among various positions, or asanas (that’s how the yogi call them), maintaining each one for several seconds. This improves blood circulation, stamina, endurance, and flexibility without putting too much stress on a weakened heart like mine. It’s the perfect complement to the daily pills prescribed by the doc. Everything is fine until we get to the seated meditation in padmasana, the lotus position. And now we have just come to that part again.
I can hear the master’s soft voice coming from the front of the class:
“Relax, breathe slowly. Close your eyes and let your mind expand. Let it become one with the Universe, let it understand that you are one with the Universe.”
Stretched in a half-lotus stance, as the full one looks way beyond what my joints could ever accept in matters of torture, I’m trying to follow his advice. I’ve closed my eyes but still can see him in my mind, seated comfortably in a full lotus position in front of the class, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. I bet he could even sleep like that.
Then an unusual humming sound fills the room. So that’s what the large speakers brought today were for… Wait, it’s not exactly a humming, it’s more like something rhythmic, something with a slow beat. The master’s voice breaks in again:
“This recording is designed to help you loosen up and reach the alpha state of meditation. Just relax and let it go through your body and mind.”
Relax… That’s easy for YOU! How am I going to relax sitting like this? For me, relaxation is lying on the couch and watching a good movie. Or reading a good book. Well, I’ll keep trying. Not that I’m putting too much hope on it…
Relax. Expand. Be one with the Universe. Be ONE.

A couple of minutes pass. I feel some unusual changes around. The slow rhythm of the sound is pouring inside my brain, distorting space and time. I can feel this room as if it were a part of my body. I can sense the heartbeats of the people who are meditating in here. I can also feel the people and the birds from outside. My senses keep expanding. Soon I can feel the trees and insects.
There is a red ant near the left wall. I can sense its body moving, disoriented, looking for the chemical trail to take it back to its nest. And then it happens. I get somehow inside the ant’s primitive brain. I am myself, and I’m the ant, looking for a way home. A mischievous idea springs immediately into my mind. What about paying a visit to my master in this form?
The whole room has become an extension of my body. This makes the job easy. As the ant, it only takes about two minutes to reach him. I climb onto his clothes and discover a small hole that gives me access to his skin. I climb down on the inside of the fabric, avoiding touching my master directly until I come close to his buttocks. The right side appears to be more accessible. With a powerful bite, I inject all my venom into his body. The master doesn’t move. He feels it would be disgraceful to abandon his meditation in such a demeaning way. Still, the pain is there. In my mind, I can see his face turning red. However, he remains still in the lotus position.
I get out of his clothes and guide the ant away, back to its colony. The beats continue to fill the room, the city, the Universe. I am one with the Universe. I am ONE…
*
Our class has ended. One by one, the people are leaving.

“Please wait,” says the master looking at me. “I want to have a talk with you.”
He knows what I did, and he knows that I know that he knows. Three minutes later, everybody else has already left. We are alone.
The master glares at me fiercely:
“Don’t ever do that again! You thought it was a good joke, but it’s a dangerous game. You can harm other people. Badly. And you can harm yourself. Do you understand?”
“Yes, master. I’m very sorry…”
The master’s expression changes into something slightly friendlier. He adds:
“Well, you have potential. Come back tomorrow, one hour before class. I’ll teach you a more advanced form of meditation.”

(c) Marian C. Ghilea, 2019

BUTTERFLY’S DREAM 2

The pleasant rays of the autumnal Sun are sieving in through a circular window from above. They look like drops from a delicate celestial waterfall, filling the room with golden light. Prints of buildings, landscapes, or portraits, all placed neatly in thin frames, cover the gray plastered walls everywhere I look. Sounds of steps and conversations in low tones resonate and combine in frequencies overlapping around my standing body. People are coming in or moving out towards the other rooms of the art gallery. It is a continuous flow of costumes, dresses, and voices.
Why am I here? What am I doing in this place? Where is this building located, anyway? I feel as if I have been suddenly planted, like a sapling, at the edge of this hall. As if I have just materialized out of the void onto this spot.
Seconds later, fuzzy memories come back, shaking my senses with a vigorous gentleness. I remember the announcement about the exhibition. I read it the other day in a newspaper. It was about an extensive Escher collection, almost all his masterpieces in one place, open to the public from my city for a whole month. And here I am, in front of this lithograph from 1956, named Print Gallery.
The flow of people goes on unabated, left and right, forward and backward. It’s a never-ending swirl of footsteps and voices. Visitors pause for a few moments in front of a framed image, then move, almost in haste, to the next.
I keep looking at Print Gallery, hypnotized by its unusual composition. My eyes remain glued to the man displayed there. His eyes are gazing at the works filling a passageway. Through an insane twist of space, the framed image in front of him expands, enclosing the room, the building, the whole Universe. Unperturbed, he stares at the print he has become a part of. And now, I am that man. And I’m looking at the print from the print. And I have become part of this print myself.
“What do you think of this work? It looks intriguing, doesn’t it?” strikes a voice at my right.
Pulled out of this dazzling vision, I slowly turn my head and find a slender, middle-aged man of medium height standing next to me. He is wearing a dark-orange robe, his head is neatly shaved, and his face displays a peaceful smile. A Buddhist monk. Well, why wouldn’t a monk be interested in art, too? However, my instinct tells me he isn’t here by chance. His question sounds beyond casual. It certainly has a deeper meaning.
I take a deep breath and do my best to articulate my thoughts as clearly as I can, murmuring in a low tone:
“I have to admit: I’m fascinated by it. The image seems to blur the distinction between what’s inside and what’s outside us.”
His gray eyes look at me intensely. I feel as if they could drill my skull and read my thoughts. Yet, the peace and friendliness surrounding them can only come from someone who has reached a high spiritual level. This monk is someone who apparently wants to help me with something. But with what? And why?
My memory still has gaps. I can’t recall well the past few days or, as a matter of fact, anything preceding this moment. I don’t remember how I’ve got into this room and in front of this print. Perhaps this stranger has come to help me figure out what’s going on.
“You’re right,” the monk says. “Escher has brilliantly caught the fact that the ego is an illusion, that what’s inside our head cannot be fully separated from what’s outside our skin. Not that he was the first to do so. However, he has shown it in an intuitive and easy-to-understand manner.”
I feel like inside a classroom where I’m a student and he is the teacher. As soon as the stranger goes quiet, an idea begins to germinate in my brain. The whole scene looks like happening in a dream. Like I have dreamed of it before. The situation and the dialog seem somewhat rehearsed, artificial. As if we were two mediocre actors playing their roles on an invisible stage.
I wait for my heartbeats to calm down, then I say:
“My memory is blurred. I can’t remember what’s happened to me recently. I’ve got the impression you aren’t here by chance. Have you come to help me, to guide me somewhere?”
The monk stares straight into my eyes with a grave expression, nodding in silence. Time seems to flow slower now. The air has turned viscous.
I breathe evenly, trying to keep my flux of thoughts under control. Then I turn my gaze towards the artwork. It’s still there, unchanged. Yet, something else, hard to define, is different now. I don’t know where my past is rooted, but I’m somehow aware of my future. As if everything has suddenly begun to flow in the opposite direction, from tomorrow towards yesterday. Unaware of how this information has filled my thoughts, I know there’s a path in front of me, a path onto which I have to step soon. Very soon, probably in less than a minute.
We both continue to look at the print like we’re holding a vigil in front of it. I feel as if Maurits Cornelis Escher himself is standing now behind us, gazing intently at his creation. However, why am I going through this strange scenario? What are these preparations for? What kind of trip is waiting for me? Or, perhaps, it has already begun?
“I wanted to make sure you’re taking the proper path,” the stranger in the dark-orange robe says. “Your journey is going to begin here, right in front of this work of art. Don’t strain yourself too hard to understand everything at once. Understanding will come eventually, gradually, in time.”
“Who are you?” I ask, turning my gaze towards him.
I plan to follow up with a few more questions, but the monk has vanished. There is no trace of him. Perhaps he was only a product of my imagination? Startled, I turn my eyes back to the distorted landscape from the frame in front of me. And again, I am the man from the print, looking at the print. Space is curling around me, wrapping my body like a dark veil. When I turn my head once more towards the hall, I feel I’m both inside and outside the frame. It is a most unusual sensation, and it makes me dizzy.
I think I’m going to faint and prepare to embrace the hard marble floor in my fall. Yet, my knees somehow manage to stay steady. I remain standing. The art gallery is fading away. A few seconds later, I suddenly get comfortable, lying in a bed placed under a domed ceiling. The new room is bathed in diffuse blue light. The walls display a pleasant, refreshing blue.
“Let the story begin!” a man’s voice commands.
I fail to see him. The room looks empty.
“Let it begin! Bon voyage et bonne chance!” an invisible chorus replies.
A flash of light envelops me for a split second. Then I seem to materialize in a different location.
The bed and the room are gone. I’m aware of floating inside a liquid bubble, but my eyes are closing by themselves with overwhelming strength. Unable to react in any way, I’m falling into a deep dormant state. For a short time, I can still hear voices speaking loud and clear inside my brain:
Black! I think the recipient is sufficiently relaxed.
Gray! Body and mind are adjusting to the intermediary environment.
Red! Gradually increase the output up to half.
Orange! The readings of the body parameters are within the norm.
Yellow! Open the gate towards the new environment.
Green! Continue to increase the output to the maximum.
Blue! The gate towards the new environment is active.
Purple! Disconnect the primary environment.
Crimson! Separate the recipient from the intermediary environment.
Violet! Stand by for ignition.
White! Ignition and lift off! The recipient has crossed to the other side!

BOOK AVAILABLE HERE:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H2219PQ
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Marian_C_Ghilea_Butterfly_s_Dream?id=0YVvDwAAQBAJ
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/893316

Silent Twilight

My dreams,
rivers of ice,
carry me,
tireless,
along moon shadows.

They pull me out
of night and day,
and I wake up
in silent twilight.

It’s quiet
as in times
before Creation,
before you and me
became together.

I fill my lungs
with the nascent dawn
my breath,
your breath,
whispering prayers
for a new,
peaceful
sunrise.

text & artwork by Marian C. Ghilea

Isthmus Crypticus

I wade through,
dark streams
wrapping
my ankles,
songs of foamy droplets
falling
behind hidden gates.

Ever lower,
the tide
whispers
long forgotten
words
from the other side.

I slide along
Isthmus Crypticus,
ankle-deep
in your voice
calling
my name.

text & artwork by Marian C. Ghilea, 2021

To a Dragon (Butterfly’s Dream)

White dragon, you inspire me to write.
I love the way you soar, fly, and explore;
When entering my weary thoughts at night,
You make me dream about that splendid shore.

I wanted to compare you to a distant thunder,
But you are more mysterious, reserved, and strange.
Mist floats over the seas that fall asunder
When autumn has the same bright color change.

You fill my heart with falling stars and spells
That sprout from shiny scales and burning eyes;
In melodies of flutes and silver bells,
My zest for you is bright, like a sunrise.

In the enchanting light of the Blue Moon,
Remember to come back to my world soon.

(c) Marian C. Ghilea, 2021
artwork by Marian C. Ghilea

Books by Marian C. Ghilea:
BUTTERFLY’S DREAM: https://bit.ly/2PM63uU
TIDES OF AMBER: https://bit.ly/2HfcHVB

AQUATIKA 1

Change:
Purple Sundown

“Ready? Go!”
Three pairs of bare feet started running at once. They rushed with all their might towards the foamy waves, quickly crossing the narrow sandy beach and disappearing under the tepid waters of Zefiria.
Soon, three pairs of shoulders were popping above the water surface every couple of seconds. In a storm of splashes, lean legs and arms pushed hard to get away from the shore.
The dark outline of the Iron Rock was growing larger and larger. It was the target of their race. And the girl was winning, being already several meters ahead.
Kolin gave up first. He turned face-up and began floating on his back, breathing hard and propelling himself towards the island with his feet. Solis persisted almost to the finish, trying stubbornly to catch up. However, in the end, Lila won. She almost always did.
The girl smiled, grabbed the thin metal rail mounted at the edge of the rock, and got out of the water. Solis arrived a few moments later. Then the two teenagers waited patiently for another two minutes until Kolin caught up with them.
It was a bright and pleasant afternoon, right before the monsoon season. The white buildings from Akonit flickered in the east, close to the coast. Westwards, the fringes of Lavand bathed in the orange halo of the Sun. Southwards and farther away, the white peak of Erol glittered at the edge of the sky, marking the highest local point of the Centrian mountain chain.
“Well?” Lila said. “I’ve won the bet.”
“Yes, you have,” Kolin replied with a resigned expression.
“Now you’ll have to show me the spot,” the girl requested, raising her eyebrows and producing a wide smile.
With a sigh, Solis stood up and motioned the other two teenagers to follow him. Kolin already knew the location but preferred to let his friend lead.
The Iron Rock was a rather peculiar place. Its regular shape did not look like nature’s work. Some people believed it used to be the foundation of an enormous building from an older civilization, a launchpad capable of sending people all the way up into space. Yet, it had been so long since those times that most locals took it for a legend. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful legend.
The island was shaped like a slightly convex circular platform about fifty meters in diameter. Its outer edge was vertical, measuring almost two meters above the sea level at high tide. The side facing the coast had a spot where several stone steps flanked by metal rails reached into the sea and allowed a potential visitor to climb on it with relative ease. The island’s surface — rough and not entirely level — was made of a dark-blue stone almost as hard as iron. That pretty much explained how it had survived the sea’s abrasion for so many centuries.
Solis motioned Lila and Kolin to follow him to the other side of the platform. He peered at the ground, then bent down over the edge, looking for something deep underwater. A few moments later, he stood up straight, went several more meters to the left, and bent down again.
“Here it is,” he said. “I’ve marked the spot with a piece of chalk near the edge. However, it’s still too early to see it now. We have to wait for the sunset.”
“That’s at least thirty more minutes,” Kolin remarked. “What are we going to do until then?”
“What about diving into the water right now?” Lila suggested. “If this is the right place, we might still see something.”
“I’m not sure this is a good idea,” Solis replied. “We know nothing about it. Could be dangerous.”
“You said it hasn’t moved from its location for almost a week,” the girl insisted. “Can’t be radioactive because you told me fish were swimming about all the time and no one died. We have our goggles. They should be enough to take a peak. The water is less than ten meters deep here.”
“I’d rather wait to see the light first,” Kolin mumbled.
“Suit yourself,” Lila snorted. “I’ll check it right now.”
With decided steps, the girl moved to the edge of the platform. Immediately, she jumped high in the air and dived head-down into the dark-blue waves.
The boys winced and bent their necks over the side, following with a worried gaze the trail of bubbles left by Lila’s sinking body. No doubt, she was now close to it. Ten seconds passed, then ten more. The girl didn’t return to the surface.
“Something’s wrong,” Kolin said, stating the obvious. “I’ll dive after her. Assist me from here in case I need help.” Although he was the slowest swimmer, he could hold his breath underwater longer than his friends.
Right at that moment, a firm hand grabbed his shoulder from behind. The boy felt paralyzed. His body froze, his muscles seemed to transform into stone. He wanted to scream but couldn’t utter the slightest sound. The hand didn’t belong to Solis. Someone else had just sneaked in noiselessly, like a water snake.

(to be continued…)

Books by Marian C. Ghilea:
BUTTERFLY’S DREAM: https://bit.ly/2PM63uU
TIDES OF AMBER: https://bit.ly/2HfcHVB

Text & Artwork by Marian C. Ghilea

BUTTERFLY’S DREAM 1

Overture

I am not here to provide answers but to show you some of the questions that define our world. An answer might often be a destination, but the question is the journey towards it. Go on, embark on the journey, and discover the destination yourself.

Elessyos of Miletus (c. 615 — c. 520 BC)

Here it is, the Universe everywhere around you and inside you, with no explanation, no instructions for use. Now, what are you going to do? If the overture describing the beginning looks too complicated, go to the prologue of its evolution. If even that seems too slow for your eyes, move to alpha and continue through the whole alphabet until omega looms above you, for time is circular, and you can always come back.

Seraphios (c. 605 — c. 513 BC) — Dialogues at the Edge of Time


Beginning.
Breathe in.
To be.
Being.
Light.
Thinking.
Concepts.
Breathe out.
Breathing.
Breathing again, in and out.
Ideas. Words. Communication.
Breathe in, breathe out. Start the transmission of data.
I don’t remember being born. I doubt anyone does. Still, foggy memories from the beginning of my existence are stored somewhere, deep inside my brain. Most times, these memories stay hidden. However, once in a while, they surface to my conscious side, haunting my thoughts.
When I became part of this world as an identifiable entity, I was little more than a pack of instincts and incompletely developed organs. Not fully separated from its virtual state, my mind was taking shape out of nothingness and transforming into something-ness.
At some point, the local fabric of space-time began to suffer dynamic changes, like an ocean during a powerful storm. Lines of universe were splitting into thin filaments. Fragments of void were evolving into dots. The dots were transforming into circles. The circles were growing into spheres. The spheres were expanding to four-dimensional hyper-spheres.
The transformation continued at an accelerated pace. The expansion became faster and faster until it reached a predefined boundary. Then it stopped. Here I began orbiting around a sphere of energy, remaining in metastable equilibrium. Growing turned into sending. Sending developed into receiving. Receiving a body, a mind. Acquiring senses to perceive the world…
As soon as my senses came to life, I could see, I could hear, I could smell, I could touch, I could taste. I could interact with far-away objects and with objects within my reach. The surrounding Universe became alive with shapes and colors, like a giant benevolent dragon who breathed in unison with me. From that moment on, time began to pour restlessly from outside — into my mind, and from inside — out of my body.
Events after events started to flow around me and through me. Months and years piled up, mirroring my continuous development, my slow but incessant change. I was transformed, programmed by other beings to communicate, to learn, and to use my newly discovered creative powers. However, my first clear feelings of self-awareness only came after I had spent several years in this new form. They appeared when I was already becoming human.
Being alive. Existing. Manifesting in this material space and time. Being guided…
Soon after our existences begin, those who have previously descended into this realm of manifestations are the individuals who set our newly born minds and memories onto the trajectories of their choice. They were shaped, in turn, by those who arrived before them, who were themselves modeled by their predecessors. This chain of cause and effect goes back in time for a tremendous number of generations. It keeps alive what we call civilization.
During our early years of life, we are always a reflection of others. We mix their characteristics in various proportions, especially those belonging to our parents while being raised by them, as it happens in most instances. Only when our age reaches more than a decade, we really begin to expand our minds and take a path of our own. Yet, this personal path is rarely different from the one imprinted into our brains at the beginning of our existence. We could call this factor civilization conditioning. And we shall never be completely free from it.
Hence, our freedom of expression and evolution is only apparent. Our progress is always limited by our roots, by the foundation of our society. At the most basic level of awareness and reasoning, we can never reprogram ourselves. If something unexpected comes at us, if we are suddenly thrown into an entirely different universe, we shall likely perceive this new place only from our subjective cultural perspective.
And so, a first question arises from these facts: Who are we? Of course, it can be followed by many more, such as: Where do we come from? Where shall our journeys take us when our lives end? How much of what we are is ourselves? Why are we us and not others? Why are we stuck inside a single body and have to live a particular, unique existence?
Answers to such inquiries don’t come easy, if at all. But do we really need them? And then, what happens if somehow these heavy chains of civilization conditioning break into pieces and set us free?
Let’s explore this hallway and see what follows. Open that door, please. Yes, that door on the left. Press the handle gently and walk inside. Take the path that awaits you there and let that universe unfold around your life in its majestic, unpredictable way.
There are no promises for answers, but perhaps at the end of the journey you will see yourself and your reflections from an entirely different angle.
And if you can’t find the mirrors right away, don’t worry: they will bloom in front of you sooner or later. Mirror after mirror after mirror is going to touch your face until you won’t know anymore which one is your reflection and which one is your true self.
A mirror reflecting itself. What would it show?

Text & Artwork by Marian C. Ghilea

BOOK AVAILABLE HERE:
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/893316
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H2219PQ
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Marian_C_Ghilea_Butterfly_s_Dream?id=0YVvDwAAQBAJ

When

When it stays,
it becomes a story.

Its wings
draw patterns in the sky,
constellations
that beckon
hearts sunken in darkness,
filling with stars
the boiling oceans.

When love stays,
it becomes a story.

I’m here,
listening.
So please,
talk!
Tell me your story.
Tell me you’ll stay!

(c) Marian C. Ghilea, 2021
artwork by Marian C. Ghilea