How I Fell Into O
On the eve of my 10th birthday I witnessed the moon eclipse the sun.
The lunar eclipse formed a perfectly round celestial O, black in the middle and white at the rim. I gazed with my aquamarine eyes into the depths of the dark moon and I felt it burn a void into my being. A whirlpool was formed in the depths of my ocular spheres and what was a bitter sweet lake of blue in my eyes, rushed like a river into the newly formed abyss. I looked upon the world with eyes now grey.
After that night the black void followed me everywhere.
The sun of every day and the moon of every night appeared before my eyes in an eternal eclipse. Suspended between Nyx and Hemera. I lived in the in-between of incompleteness, in the void that is but the brim of light on the edge of an infinite darkness.
My grey eyes perceived but a timeless world. It was a lonely world.
One half night and half day, what had become a personally permanent daight, I was peering into the depths of the abyss, framed by its celestial halo, when I thought I discerned a movement. A ripple had bounded across its black surface and all of a sudden there was a shimmer of new light in my darkness. It was the birth of Aether. He danced in the depths of my darkness, and with the graceful gait of his naked soles he birthed new celestial orbs unobscured by their adversaries.
I saw moons within my moon and suns within my sun, and I no longer wished to live in the in- between of incompleteness. I longed to leave this wakeful dream.
So I journeyed through the forest to the peak of a nearby mountain to meet the light of Aether and step into his world of celestial completion. When I reached the edge where the halo of light kissed the mossy tip of the mountain’s peak, I stood before the gaping void and my erect body formed a line on the surface of its sphere.
Together we were φ.
I reached out an arm, my milky skin glistening in the eternally dim light of daight, and I felt my fingertips meet the cool waters of the void. I edged my feet closer to brim of its pool which appeared so full, and yet so empty.
The waters in the womb of my mirror moon engulfed my fragile figure and I met the longing embrace of my darkness, whose amniotic fluid caressed my every limb.
I was suspended; Suspended in time.
Now but a drop of rain in an infinite pool, I could not discern where the black oceans ended and my body began. I could no longer feel myself, my self, apart from the liquid cosmos. When I begun to cry in mourning of my I, I felt no tears to be mine, only the infinite waters of the celestial pool. Unable to touch the signs of my own suffering I suffered all the more.
After what felt like an eternity in the darkness I began to realise that I was sinking. Since I had fallen into the pool of the eclipse, the water had slowly begun to seep into my soul through the whirlpools of my ocular voids, etched on the last night of nights, and I felt them filling to the brim. The weight of the water was pulling my body into imperceptible depths, depths of no particular direction, for there was no more up and no more down. There just was.
As I felt myself fall through the darkness, soothing undulations of the water caressed my skin in a tactile lullaby and lapped gently on the grey shores of my eyes. Soon any feeling at all became as suspended as my body, and gripped by a wave of fear, I began to fight. The more I fought the more I sank, and for the first time since falling into the pool I felt like I was drowning.
As if to teach a child a lesson not yet learned, cold mucus coated tendrils began encircling my ankles, fondling their way along my legs, tightening around my waist, seizing my chest and cupping my prepubescent breasts. The tentacle limbs covered every inch of my skin until I was wrapped in an amphibious cocoon. At first I tried to recollect myself, my self, I tried to remember, but the longer I was cocooned the harder it became. I was trying to find it, me? But I couldn’t remember where I had left whatever it was that I had been looking for, and the more I tried to think the less I could remember what I had forgotten.
Within the embrace of the oceanic arms I rested until every crevice of my being had been penetrated by the pool, until my linear body begun to dissolve along with my linear self. My erect I was absorbed into the O of its cocoon.
Together we were φ.
I awoke as the lips of my aquatic cocoon began to part, wet with the drool of its sleep, I emerged from its monstrous mouth to see a purple haze in the distance. In the faint light I looked to what had been my body, but a body no longer, I had been consumed and I had been digested. The purple glow cast a warmth through the oceanic depths and I began to move towards it.
I could have been falling, but when there is no up and there is no down, you only fall if you believe you are falling. I believed I was flying.
Thus I flew, and the purple haze cleared to reveal an orb which grew bigger and bigger until suddenly I burst through the surface of the amniotic sac. Soon I was floating.
Having journeyed through the looking-glass moon of my ocular void, and delved into the pools of Erebus to awaken on the other side; it was an awakening of Copernican significance. For I had ceased to be the centre of my being.
No longer living in the darkness of my memories, I live in the sensual immediacy of every moment, I bathe in Aether’s eternal embrace, for now I live in the O and not the I.
Together we are φ.
I am the sun. I am the moon. There is the sun. There is the moon.
There is a bubble of sea foam which breaks the surface of the ocean and burst in an infinite O.
Richard Learoyd, Empty Mirror, 2012, Silver dye bleach print, Location Unknown.