Looking into a window is not the same as looking through it.
Looking into a window is not the same as looking through it. Windows are like doors opening into other worlds--worlds left better undisturbed. Even now, a fresh spring garden lies before me. I can see the sunlight falling upon the trees and sweet grass, smell the scent of mushrooms growing in the moist shadows, hear the gentle gurgle of the stream and the hum-buzz of insects.
A beautiful lady strolls through the garden, her steps taking her nowhere. She catches a glimpse of her reflection in the smudged and moss-stained window of the old shed. Between the time she sees her reflection and the time in which we now stand, I am with her.
I come without invitation--my laughter breaking her silent mood--and make myself at home in her mind. To the people that live on the edge of light, facing the storm, I float through their eyes like a reptile’s smile, like tears that never dry, like an unwanted love with an absolute stranger.
I am fear.
Even as she continues to look about the garden, I am there with her.
Slowly I fill her thoughts with the sensation of red, biting ants that burrow into her flesh, chewing their way deeper and deeper toward the essential fibers of her soul. She feels torn from herself strand by strand, her confidence slowly ripped to agony. She can not believe that she can endure such pain and remain conscious of it. Instead of dying, she is caught in an eternity of incineration as though she has been struck by a bolt of lightning that will never end. Her legs collapse, and she rolls upon the garden floor with no control over her pain, pressing her fingers through the grass and tearing at the dirt. The gnawing insects peel the skin from her bones, consume the chunks of loneliness, and reveal her true heart.
Yet still she endures.
You could say it’s an incomprehensible fact for the moment, but the moment will change.
She is in another place now. It has no features and no dimensions. It is simply gelid white, multiplied to infinity, faceless as snow, demeaning as ice. It crawls over her like an angry lover bitter with pain.
I reveal her worst fear.
She recalls her mother, who locked her in the attic so that she would be forced to watch her kill herself. It is her dirty little secret. It is what haunts the rooms of her mind. It defines her, makes her what she is, strangles her hope and steals her choice.
She is completely mine to do with as I wish, but I am incapable of feeling compassion for her because I cannot feel sorry for myself. Without the driving force of self-pity, compassion is meaningless.
And I am there. The underlying current that flows beneath the incomparable beauty of the garden. That which is just as real but never let out until faintly glimpsed as a reflection in a window.