It was a warm night, much too warm for blankets or covers. In the darkness of the room she was sitting up in bed, dreaming of what may come of tomorrow. It was a few more nights before the full moon, but so bright and round it was, that many eyes could have been fooled. The wind had calmed and the sound of air was ringing in her ears from the silence before sleep was ready to awaken her innermost thoughts. She breathed in deeply and let each wisp fall out toward the ceiling; she wondered if her breath would go through the ceiling or travel aimlessly until her breath could be free of the room entirely.
Her thoughts began to escape up to the ceiling with the wisps of breath. They traveled together in pairs, each breath traveling side-by-side of each thought as it escaped into the air from her mouth. She breathed in again and allowed more thoughts of things past and things of the future to seep into her head and escape through her mouth. This time, the thoughts traveled on each side of the wisps of breath; finally overwhelming her breath and keeping her from releasing herself outside of the world of awake.
Looking up at the ceiling, the breath seemed to move the air itself. She thought she could see movements in the air, but it was not bright enough to know. She let her eyes fall lower to the left of the room where a softened glow of a window revealed the outside light cast by neighbors and the earth’s neighbor, the moon. It was a bright night in a dark room.
She slunk down allowing gravity to pull her further into sleeping position. The wisps of breath seemed to disappear, leaving her with only her thoughts. Continuing downward into a flat position the ceiling was easier to see. It was no longer a strain to look up at something that was keeping her from saying goodnight to the sky from the comfort of her bed.
She opened her mouth again allowing the breath to come out, but this time it had calmed with the wind. She closed her eyes half-way and let in another wisp of air to attach itself to the many thoughts in her mind. As her eyes remained half-closed, she saw herself. She was looking at herself laying there breathing wisps of air while her thoughts traveled with each breath to the ceiling. The darkness of the room was beginning to settle in her eyes and she slid completely into her thoughts.
The room from behind her eyes was covered in darkness for a moment, but suddenly as though the moon crept in through the window, the room was vivid and bright. She was no longer staring at herself but instead staring from within herself. To her surprise the ceiling no longer held captive her breaths and thoughts but instead allowed them free passage. Each breath clinging to each thought as the wisps effortlessly traveled through the ceiling as though the ceiling was not an obstacle but rather a pathway.
Seeing the freedom of the wisps of breath, she took in the deepest one she could manage and it lifted her off the bed closer to the ceiling. When she exhaled, she slowly floated downward, gently resting on her back; staring at the ceiling pathway. Staring effortlessly and breathing effortlessly, she again took in as much air as possible, which this time was a little more. She was raised higher off the bed toward the ceiling.
Reaching her arms into the air, her fingertips could almost touch the ceiling pathway. She slowly exhaled, but only enough that she would no longer land on the bed. She took in one great breath of air that expanded her lungs so much it felt that every wisp of air she breathed previously had returned to grant her one great breath. She managed to gently run her fingers across the ceiling and it became as water, crinkling at some points and creating ripples in others where her fingers had caressed it. She let the wisps of air and her thoughts travel through her as they did through the ceiling.
Side-by-side with her thoughts and the wisps around them, she traveled effortlessly through the pathway of the ceiling until she saw the great giant above her. The glowing orb was brighter than daylight as her eyes readjusted from the darkness of the room to accept the overwhelming shine. She again reached her arms into the air and began to hear something very faint. She heard a whisper, which spoke so gently as to not disturb the calm wind of the night. It was something so strange it was beyond her understanding at first. But it sunk into her so completely it managed to remain upon her mind:
Reach out beyond the pathway
And come into the night
The day alights upon it
But stays now out of sight.
Your eyes have seen the temple
Your hands have found the throne
Welcome now the wisps of light
And make the night your own.
The whisper was so faint she had to let her thoughts become quieter than the whisper. The universe must have known that any sound above a whisper would have awakened the wind from the thoughts of her mind and blown her from the pathway. It was the very whisper she again repeated in her mind and made it her only thought. As it became her thought, it gave her a dream she had never seen before. She saw it clearly, as though the night had become the day.
She looked upon the orb of the night and beckoned that it should come to her. Burning for the night to come closer to her she again reached her arms to the moon and just as they tried to touch it, she began to fall slowly away from the night. The wind began to blow again and the more it blew the faster she floated down the path back through the ceiling onto her bed. She alighted upon the bed ever so carefully with her arms still reaching for the whisper.
As if the wind had awoken the dawn, the sun rose and light came upon the window. She looked to her left and the light from the great neighbor above had been overcome by the power of the daylight. Sitting up in bed she looked up at the ceiling and saw something remarkable that she had never seen. Something that if she were to touch it would make her realize why it was not a ceiling but a pathway. It was the only wisp of air she needed, the only thought that need escape. It was knowing that when the universe speaks, it whispers.Originally published by Deborah Amar on 8 July 2008