Correspondence pigmented archival print 2013
prescript to a treatment
“The small blue haired first mate whispered into the Chief’s ear so thoughtfully, 'Don’t worry captain, all’s well, it doesn’t have to make sense for it to work. It’s all part of the plan.'
The captain knew his kind assistant was right. He knew they’d moved too far out and been through too many perplexities for the whole thing to feel clear to him in moments like this. The key was to stay out of the way and to let it be. He returned to his breath as he surveyed the sprawling instrument screens before him scanning for anomalies. He reconnected to his prayers which because of his many years of training now went on independent of conscious effort. The huge black ship slid on through the night sky as most of the passengers and crew lay nestled like newborns wrapped in lambs wool blankets symmetrically arranged in their cocoon-like travel chambers. They were linked by their dreams. They all dreamed of the new world toward which they moved, silently and weightlessly.”
He was a stranger even among them and they were all cloistered away from the world most know. Some rarely left their rooms. Some were catatonic never uttering a word. His first year was marked by a skyless indoor summer followed by holiday meals on trays. The food was good enough but the loneliness was numbing. He became adept at backgammon and painting and eventually, solitude. He fell in love with the doctors, Buddha-like characters from faraway lands who seemed to know so much of other worlds. They sometimes filled the atmosphere with their presence. Especially, he adored the sage, the Section Chief, Dr. Collins. He was a large and subtle man with a constant gleam and a deep and reassuring silence. Dr. Collins loved him as only a saint could. His unwavering compassion was rare. And there was Dr. Benalcazar who came from South America who was dark and cunning and who could be heavy and grave and then at times given to the abandon of a boy. Unpredictable, shape- shifting, carrying the charge of a chamán, he was a true and magnificent man. The black haired magician lead him to the mountaintop over the course of the first year only to vanish to Switzerland, leaving him alone with God and under the supervision of a brilliant, elegant and severe Jewish Doctor named Howard Osofsky…
Then there were the sad ones. Lost souls like little Victor from British Columbia, the son of concentration camp survivors. He hung himself in his closet to bury their suffering while the group was gone to the gymnasium for movie night. There was sleepy eyed John who also hung himself only weeks after returning home from two and one-half years there. There was Sam, who was generally loathed by the others for being pompous and overdressed and forever posing. One afternoon, he threw himself in front of a car. There was Thad who looked Nordic and warrior like and who spent months in restraints. One day they let him out and he ran through a huge reportedly impregnable glass door. There were numerous others.
Our young hero however, knew he would live on. His awakening gave him hope. The trickster had been brought down. He saw a burning bush and his life pass before him. He saw inexplicable things so profuse and scaled that there are no words. He found life to be unimaginably different than he had anticipated--yet utterly familiar. When he met God, it was much different than he could have expected. The Universe is much vaster and scarier…and tenderer and more immediate than any words might tell. He left the clinic many years ago.
Like wounds that can never stop bleeding, now he is free.