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Fractal Journeys - 10

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Lightning Strike

It took me some days to return to the fractal world. I was not myself, and could not muster the necessary concentration to penetrate the in beteween. I felt like one half of a complementarity, seeking in vain for my completion behind every experience. Only a massive force of will opened the way back to the secret realm.

Entering took all my energy; I was spent. I could neither sense the subtle flows nor create an image of my intended direction. I was listless and alone in a darkness that was full of light.

How long this lasted I cannot say. I became transparent, a waif, stretched beyond myself. Lost.

At length, I began to notice the faintest glimmer between the cracks of space. Something emerged before me like a slowly breaching whale, almost indistinguishable from its surroundings, and proceeded towards me. Somehow it was both dark and light, a shade of itself.

LightningI could do nothing for myself but quietly await this newcomer, sapped as I was of all but the barest coincidences of consciousness. Suddenly the thing expanded, became monstrous and alive, shifting form too quickly for my thin attention to follow. It dove at me, and tearing spikes shot into my mind, white and blistering with energy. I became a lightning bolt, crackling with electric flame, with pain unbearable coursing within me. It felt like I was being sliced into thousands of tiny pieces, some of which fused together while others dispersed to infinity.

I was being sorely tested, and nearly blacked out, but the sensation fled as it had arrived: suddenly and mysteriously. As if by comparison to the previous intensity, the absence of pain left all my senses dull and asleep, and only slowly recovered. This was when I had the sense of being approached.

Directing the thin stream of my attention about me, I noticed the spheres from my previous journey all about me. Within each, tiny but unmistakable, was myself. No two of me were alike; each sphere held me uniquely. They clustered about me and I could not but feel somewhat afraid; I was at their mercy. It was to my great surprise then, that the thousands of... versions? of myself began to speak. Not through the outer formation of words, mind you, although it appeared that my mouths were moving. Rather, I had the sense that a thousand tiny points of light within me were continually coalescing into morphing shapes that I can only describe as speech. It was like the entirety of my insides were formed in a moving image of meaning. They had found a way to do what I had been unable to: communicate!

The content of this first meeting lasted but briefly; I was overwhelmed with the sense that these beings were somehow taking care to be gentle with me, letting me perceive their mind step by step. All that was 'said' can be expressed (inadequately but just as enigmatically) as: "We are the Knowing. Share with us -- time bends to itself again. All changes."

Lightning: 1600x1200, 4000x3000

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