Emanuel’s Dreamers

There’s this one world where the people are tall and lanky with almond-shaped heads. Their bodies are transparent and color the landscape in casts of green and blue. Their heads are filled with water that sloshes around when they move.

And they love to move. Those lanky limbs are a joy to twirl about, and the way the sun, oh! the way the sun fills you and heats you from the inside, as it flashes in curving strands and arcs through you! And your shadow paints the ground in splashes as you dance!

You can always tell your dancers, they are the ones with opaque heads—usually muddy brown or foamy white. All that jostling stairs up sediments that usually filters out when you sleep. Dances though don’t sleep. Dancers honor both the sun and the moon.

Emanuel’s lotus bloomed in his 63rd year. As a child Emanuel discovered he could make his dreams linger by keeping still. He would practice each morning. On waking he would fight the urge to leap up. He’d keep his head still on his pillow and pretend he was still asleep. In these extended dreams he saw other suns and other moons.

As Emanuel grew out of childhood and his responsibilities increased he gradually forgot about stillness and other worlds.

As Emanuel grew slow with age he started remembering his lingering dreams. He discovered that he could focus on a single grain, he could follow it with his mind’s eye as it drifted and darted eventually settling on the bottom.

For the first six years of Emanuel’s waking dreams a lotus geminated and grew from under the mud. On the seventh year it bloomed. For that last year Emanuel walked the plains and people would come from far and wide to see the man with the lotus in his head.

On the last night of the last year a bodhisattva stepped from the lotus and in a blast of other suns and other moons Emanuel vanished.

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