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*MANDALA:* /A Mythopoeic-Dream Dialogue
by David Sparenberg
2009-11-15 09:57:14
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*Performance Note*: /This is a piece of experimental writing with a discernable dreamlike quality/ /and mythic overtones.  It is best read aloud or recited and better yet performed. However engaged, one should be aware of and involved with the energy and emotional process and ride the waves of that process as they rise and fall.  The narrative is called a dialogue because it can be played out as such and is indicated so here.  But it can also be treated as a monologue, which a first read through will reveal.  If as a dialogue, the first option is to play it as a public debate between the polarities of a Man and a Woman.  Physical sequences can be added, as felt, and a third and even fourth player possibly introduced as non-speaking dancers, mimes etc./

*Man:* A man called Three Faces could no longer endure the wound in the chest of creation, marbled like a cancer through every dying life.  Silence of confusion gnawed him; cold despair sucking the content of his body, while in his mind a bleak vision formed.  He journeyed to the crossroads of the world’s great cities, sketched a design in the unsettled dust, sat, with folded legs, involuntarily weeping.  One man’s meditation of bifurcating salt drops; cosmic gravity of human tears.

Three Faces brought with him fossils of defective reptiles, foot patterns of forgetfulness, sounds from discarded languages—some skeletons of ghost haunted birds, some skins of scaly fishes, jellied in the suffocating perfumes of wild mountain heather and electric rain, and the vibrating hum of obliterating insects.  None of which had any meaning, other than the meaning each thing and kind has in itself within the intricacies of nature.  Nothing being symbolic, no symbols, except the roads, which, like roads everywhere and at all times, real and imaginary, were and should be understood as indicators of the otherness of reality.  Symbolism of roads.  Symbols of travel.

So too these crossroads, being the humbling or else domination of deceitful pretenses, dissembling commerce, intercourse, viscosity of address, meetings, occasions, leave taking.  For from these and similar points of departure, all pilgrims choose their directions, moving away from or toward the inscriptions of meaning, toward either love or isolation, life, or living death.  Glimpses and fixations.

Here the man Three Faces lifted no more than his arms, naked like votive torches, his face upward like a sorrowful engraving, his lips trembling, the sacrificial waters easing from his eyes’ altars.  Releasing the thread of a broken prayer into the wind: toward the funeral pyre of sun; behind the canvas-stretching sky.  He sat and was blistered.
*Woman:* A woman with painted lashes, whose stiff, black eyelashes hid the warm summer of almond-hazel eyes, withdrew to the solitude of the moon.  Perched on frozen branches, she dreamed; like the flight of a huntress owl condemned to starvation in a withered forest; the fine, rounded bellies of beautiful, pregnant women.  Her limbs retained sensations of revulsion over centuries of blood infected psychic armor, over huge mounds of putrefying debris, with commonly vulgar, sardonic humors; mouths of accusations in the parched sterility of inaccurate records, screams and howling of ignored children, chipped into tablets of malignancy and custom.  Bodies burned because they burned; witches drowned because of dreaming.  And nothing was symbolic, nothing symbolizing except for the silence that suspended and sustained her.

In the first fullness of evening, Three Faces glanced high above his head and beheld the woman with almond-hazel eyes, motionless, like a statue in the courtyard of the moon’s palace.  The snow of her eyelids followed his tears.  In zigzags, her anguish fluttered around him.  The slow descent of micro-particles defiant of the transparent gravity of air.

Behind the Oriental mask of her present obscurity, her imagination was hanging chandeliers around a flight of salvation.  The bell of her soul rang softly as she whispered: “Most certainly, to liquefy at a point in time, in one geographical and spiritual space, becoming fluid out of love—dissolved by love’s extremities—and to go on from there into incessant transformations.  This is the process I wish to call the dance of natural adaptation, my ultimate ritual.  It is a delicate and delightful poetry.”

As the exile maiden dreamed aloud these words, Three Faces caught them in the heated basket of his heart, where they germinated into defenseless roses.  His eyes sailed toward her, kissing the white milk of moonlight.  And the dream of her articulating became a promise, joining man and woman in one purpose with all unspoken, creaturely aspirations.  Three Faces answered:

*Man:* “I have gone into the sands of memory and arise more distinctly as fog, as conscious vapor.  Hard dissolves into luminous artistry and out of suffering the egg of possibility ingests the questing seed of hope.”

*Woman:* So they made sweet song, a compact without thorns.  Either a precarious hybrid or nature’s restitution, in post-exilic, alchemic harmony. Love’s fairy tale.  Life’s myth profound of commensality. Equality.  Ah…

*Man:* Perhaps, because of everybody who has ever hurt, because everyone is always, after all, more or less hurting, the analytic rulers of old empires invented crucifixion: a necessary torture in the miracle play of unconditional love?  Questions of this sort; for the release of love’s denials, love’s spontaneous ecstasies, in the punishment of torn and bleeding flesh, is an inescapable question, defying definition; often elect to be expressed at inappropriate moments.  As if a flower would will it’s self-execution in the process of the bud untwining, spinning sensitively open before the eyes and nostrils of a sadistic, imperialistic exploitation.

Queries.  Evasions.  Protestations meandering around a solution that has not yet grown a common face with which to present its rights to the world of tattered effigies and the theaters of dangling and painted dolls.  Now only tangents of associations, convolutions over pools of distorted memory.  And, moreover, it is worthy of philosophical inquiry to think that the superabundance of love, poured toward the plenitude of animated, perceptible creation, yet lacking satisfactory terms of expression, invites, of its own momentum, the need to be punished at the hands of those who refuse; literally, who cannot bring themselves; to respond to such unconditional abandonment unconditionally.  Therefore, many delicate souls, thinkers, poets, philanthropists, crackpots and institutionalized persons, are afflicted with a sickness unto death.  Which, also, is old news, alienating and bothersome to normalcy.

*Woman:* Three Faces sits still in the dazzling downpour of moonlight, even as he had sat with his contending heart through the unflinching heat of day.  He does not relinquish the thin silk of trust.  But his folded legs are like branches in the wilderness, his premonitions like the flesh of Biblical Job.
Cautiously, Three Faces ponders the frequency of this patterned repetition.  Of how, if such a blade existed; sharper than the sighs of Eros and forged before the original, spiritual prototypes of time; he could cut through the paper thin and ornate schemes of culture, unleashing a pristine energy.  A newness of mythology.  First heartbeats of protean storytelling; first utterances, first groping.  Then she, gliding softly above his wrestling soul, in an orb whose buoyancy is, too, but a melancholy illusion, might awaken to the liberty of her creative gifts and again, like heroic romance personified, come down to Earth, chanting across their shared homeland.

*Man:* Meanwhile—while everything continues normally; caravans traversing laborious roads, new and passing generations, wars, privations, lies and inventions; narratives of ruined and unhappy nations interpose themselves like desiccated bracken.  Tales we have experienced everywhere.  Words as dry as manna the desert could not eat confess that human beings are long accustomed to making banquets from the objectionable, to sleeping in the company of maggot breeding flies.

*Woman:* That there is here more longing than can, at any moment, be contained; our apprehension of time being as a thimble in the throat of the ocean; grabs us roughly, without warning, breathes a drunken shadow into our minds.  Although, even most recently, we have witnessed it in ten million brutalized faces, in each of the squalid, great cities—among the fleas, scorpions, centipedes, ideologies, testifying that we have but the strength of bandages to cope with, despair having offered death’s body eons before the nursing smocks and monkish robes of compassion.  Yet, it has most sensitively been written that every life is a world, that to save a single life is to save a world, and whosoever can but does not save has participated in destruction of a world.  Worlds are within worlds, identities are commingled and destinies conjoined.

*Man:* Thus once and ever after, in response to such aspirations, old, aforementioned empires, with their /ism-istic/ and inflated sense of permanence, contrived crucifixion—to suppress rebellion, confine the contagion of over abundant lovingkindness, nail down the vocal cords of dignity, the impulses of looking half a foot above eyebrows; outrage opposing vanity and greed—and gave to history a sacrificial exit from the bonfire of unremitting suffering.

*Woman:* And yet, those who halt nervously in temptations of insecurity remain condemned to inversion, hanging in bat postures from naked twigs, bathing in stultifying contradictions; slowly roasting, for conscience sake, through the soul-felt refusal to surrender.  For there are, among the atmosphere’s merging pollutants, demons with gleaming white foreheads, with acquiescent smiles, preferring exile and crucifixion to justice.  Three Faces does not join them.  He is the punctuating dots of incompletion, trailing away from the problem’s contemporary articulation.  Our “and yet...” of being human, of vulnerability. A single signature on the spiral of evolution.  One beckoning.  One…  One androgynous contemplation of eternal longing.  Symbols…

*Unison: *Symbols of travel, symbolism of roadways. All these misgivings on our hearts and heads.


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Alexander Mikhaylov2009-11-15 18:39:59
Very clever indeed... although I very much doubt the author understands what he is writing about...

Emanuel Paparella2009-11-15 23:29:15
But, with all due respect, Mr. Mikhaylov, the mythological and the poetical has less to do with rational cleverness (whole of by half, as the English say) and more to do with imagination and the intuitive, as even a “clever” scientist such as Einstein recognized while asserting that God does not play dice with the universe while remaining perplexed at the mystery of it all. Perhaps He does after all! He does not seem to be a chess player and often plays out of bound...Sure, science gives us instrumental practical truths but a mandala, or an archetype, or a myth, or a fictional novel by Dostoyevsky or a drama by Aristophanes give us another kind of truth without which science only ends up dehumanizing us despite our activism on human rights and social justice. Even a rationalist such as Aristotle understood that much. Have you noticed that in the West, the more we commemorate holocausts and gulags with clever monuments and museums and parades, and summits galore, the less we seriously ponder the real meaning or truths of those monstrous events? We have the means to end hunger in the world tomorrow but don't do it. What does that do to our alleged humanism and sense of justice? Just a thought for whatever it is worth. Clever by half perhaps, but cathartic in any case..

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