CIRCLES EN PLEIN AIR




Of being
These are a few of my favorite things
In detail
A person
With many
Different Persons
In detail
A person
With many
Within
The residue
Of written
The residue
It feels Like being in the real world
This is not something
We have
Within
We like it or not
Dancing
I said no
Or tell me
On light
To know
The beginning of forms
Like being

Circles
En plein Air

He stood there for hours. He could. The sun was bright, but shifting. Before him, a wide blue ocean and sky, all steeped in a reassuring air. Above him, an expanse of blue. And to his front, the sea was spotted with bright green: islands; some small, some rocky, and some suddenly soaring upwards, cutting into the expanse, gradually evaporating into the blue. Throughout the view from his edge of the world—a cold, summer’s edge in mid-July—there was a perceived flatness. This flatness, to him, seemed to have allowed an opening, which, he had never before in his life experienced, an opening while looking out into the great beyond, that which surrounded him. This oddity he observed prompted change in the weather to be easier to sense. Suddenly it was overcast, then totally clear once more. From humid to dry in a matter of moments. Up here, where he was, higher in the northern hemisphere than usual, these slight shifts were so much more intense, and easily palpable. So, excited, he stood at the water’s edge looking out. Here, he stared out alone in silence and time fell away. He stood on what he came to feel was his space, his grass, a knoll he had found while running down a bobbing pathway for several miles along the ocean. He found the hilly clearing enchanting and had returned several times. And on this particular day, he decided to stay there a while, when time had fallen away. Besides the gentle chattering of small birds, he remained alone and un-disturbed for what felt like minutes but was hours. In his solitude, he felt he was really able to review all of his surroundings.

After a while, he noticed something strange: a small hole had appeared in the sky on the horizon. It appeared to be a white circle. Slowly, the circle was passing through the sly across the horizon. It appeared to be a flat aperture, with hard edges, opening to something light-emitting behind it,  like the sky was a sail and this circle was a grommet, open for a rope to pass through. This circle was so bizarre, so curious. How was it possible?....It reminded the boy of the way the Sun made it’s progress across the sky, but, the sun was also there, hanging directly overhead, sinking as the time passed, lighting his view, another circle glowing before him. Unlike the sun’s path, which is curved, this sudden apparent rupture moved straight, parallel to his level view of the horizon. Realizing the potential implications of what he was seeing, he was suddenly struck with horror. He fell to his knees and cupped his eyes, temporarily blinding his own vision in an attempt to protect himself, and moving his head forward, so that when he finally branded the courage to pull back his hands, his eyes were looking down on the soft grass surrounding his feet, and that brought him comfort. Had a hole been burned into his retinas? He blinked furiously but then, making his hands into fists, he glanced back up to sky. No! Away from the circles his vision was unobstructed. When he looked back out again, there, on the horizon, the white circle remained, quietly moving in parallel to the edge of the water, passing over and in front of the islands… He couldn’t take his eyes off of it. For a while, he stood again staring, and, he felt, he would be fine to keep looking. So he relaxed. He opened his mind. His fear quickly melted into curiosity, and the boy placed his two hands on his hips in excitement as he smiled and continued to look out. As the circle traveled further across the sky, the boy felt he was witnessing something important. The circle was like a window to something. He was moved by its circular shape. As it passed, he considered the fact that it might be going somewhere. Could the circle be running from something? Was it seeking refuge, like the moon at dawn? The more he stared at the circle, the more he noticed that overall something inside of him was changing. Some sense of his being was shifting. Maybe this is what getting older feels like, he thought. Maybe at a certain point, everyone sees circles on the horizon. Maybe circles are a part of humanness. There was the circle, moving across the pristine landscape. There it was, and there was nothing he could do about it. Not leave, not stop looking, all he had to do was just watch. He suddenly felt a sense of helplessness, of having no control. He felt as if he were crashing into pavement, as if his brain was slamming against his skull inside of his head. Watching the circle was shock of white on his consciousness. He felt cool, numb even, The sun slipped a little bit lower in the dappled grey-blue sky and the circle moved onward. The moon was quietly more and more visible somewhere in the sky. And the boy just kept looking. He started to feel fuzzy, all he could do was look out at the circles. Just standing there, he could’t really think anymore... and then, he heard a voice:

Voice (from inside the boy’s head):
THAT’S HOW YOU FEEL?
LIKE YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING?

Boy (from inside his own head):
Whoa!
Who are you?! What are you!
How are you doing this?

Voice:
This is a response. This is to your body as a body-as-suitcase-for-mind...

Boy:
Get out of my head! GET OUT OF MY HEAD!
Is it all over? …Am I dead?
That circle…
It’s moving across the sky..

Voice:
You guessed it: It is moving!
Turning time as loud as it can be heard.
I wanted you to know, ...we wanted you to know, what it feels like.
See the circle there?
It’s like a vacuum in the sky, it’s like a portal…

Boy:
HOLY SHIT, are you God?

Voice (laughing):
Well... See that? That teenie-beenie dot of light?
See the hole?

Boy (out loud to himself, slowly):
I can see it, that’s what I’m saying. I can’t... really stop staring, I can’t really move... 

Widening his eyes, the boy blinked and kept on looking.

Boy (yelling at the circle):
What am I supposed to do!?

Voice:
Nothing. Don’t try. Allow. You can do that... shell-on-shell; what do you think we see? The big-bad-ugly? The end-all-be-all? You can see all that too. Can you see the orchestra of burning wind? Can you see the halcyon plume? The dayglow-orange-neon-ultramarine?

The boy blinked and suddenly the blue sky became a burnt orange color.


Voice:
We all know you can never be where you are, we’re all always a moment behind ourselves. …where are you… really?

Boy (who now started floating off of the ground, staring directly at the circle out in the ocean):
Stop! Stop this. Make it stop!

Voice:
This? What, this? This is... just a memo, this, this is a simulation of forgetting. This? This is like ribbons that flutter in the wind, a baby feeding hand to mouth, your brain; haunting you. Take a deep breath, young one. Relax, open your mouth: drop your body.

Boy (gasping):
Is this really it?!

The boy’s body gently lowered back down, and his feet softly landed onto the cool earth. His eyes blinked. The voice went away. The sun had set, and the circle seemed to be a floater in the edge of the boy’s eye, a quickly fleeting memory. The full moon was rising past the edge of the horizon, sliding behind the what of what we can’t see, and now, quickly appearing behind the silhouette of a wide, well-forested island in front of him. The boy blinked, then sighed, and as darkness continued to fall the boy started to walk home.

Circles en Plein Air, a short story composed as part of The Beginning of Forms, a compendium to accompany the work completed at the Rogaland Kunstsenter Independent Study Program in Stavanger, Norway during the summer of 2017.