Two Cellophane Maps
My best friend died last month. I’m still struggling to deal with her death, but I know I’m making progress. I imagine myself on the banks of a river, looking across the river as it cuts through a city where there are innumerable little lights in distant buildings, and so many buildings themselves, rising up from the ground, their sides gleaming as though newly polished. I hear a sound on the wind. The sound is distant and vague; it sounds like a human voice, but there’s no one around.
I imagine the river rolling smoothly over itself, coming from somewhere, going somewhere else, forming an entity that separates one thing from another. It’s a reminder of natural division, but also of natural communion. The river is a stream of water; it flows in harmony. There’s a unity with it and in it. And so I take a deep breath and feel the flowing motion within myself, motion like the constant, united motion of the river, my blood rushing through me, rushing upon itself, being exhausted, being renewed. And I imagine stars projecting outward on a screen, and my best friend’s hands like two cellophane maps, gleaming in the starlight, with innumerable little lines on them. And I know that the past is still real, is still occurring, even if it’s no longer real and occurring in the present moment in a way that alters the experience of the present reality.
I think back, and I inhabit the consciousness of when my best friend was alive, the time we spent together and the things we did. And I imagine the river, and I imagine her hands, and I see the lines of our lives transmitting endlessly on and on, down the eternal path of time, traversing this way and that, and I hold up a mirror and see the stars reflecting back to me.
I put this together — I put it all together — and realize what the sound on the wind is. I’m resilient. And if you’re still, you’ll hear it clearly as it comes, revealed within yourself.