Waves of Smoke and Flames

Agnieszka Grodzińska, kolaż, 2013. Wystawa “Beyond the Obvious – Contemporary Women Artists from CEE”, Inda Galéria, Budapeszt 2015

„szuka miłości-paszportu, miłości-przepustki, miłości-klucza, miłości-rewolweru, miłości, która by mu dała tysiąc argusowych oczu, wszechobecność, ciszę, od której poczynałaby się muzyka, korzenie, od których można by zacząć splatać nowy język”.

Julio Cortázar, Gra w klasy (1963), tłum. Zofia Chądzyńska (1968)


„Sen był skomponowany jak wieża z niezliczonych warstw, wznoszących się i ginących w nieskończoności lub też zniżających się koliście i gubiących we wnętrznościach ziemi. Kiedy mnie porwał w swój wir, zaczęłam krążyć po spirali, która była labiryntem. Nie było dachu ani podłogi, ścian ani powrotu. Były tylko tematy, regularnie się powtarzające”.

Anaïs Nin, Winter of Artifice (1939), cyt. za: Julio Cortázar, Gra w klasy


“The dream was composed like a tower of layers without end, rising upward and losing themselves in the infinite, or layers coiling downward, losing themselves in the bowels of the earth. When it swooped her in its undulations, the spiraling began, and this spiral was a labyrinth. There was no vault and no bottom, no walls and no return. But there were themes repeating themselves with exactitude. (…)

If she could find the missing fragment of the dream in the daylight she might reconstruct the entire tapestry. She was seeking a window she had seen in a dream. She was walking through the city at night, looking for the window, and she found it. It was the window of a house open on two avenues. In the dream it was the window of Proust’s house. It was also the window of a house she had lived in, she could not remember when but she was certain that she had already known the feeling of standing at this window looking down at the two avenues like opened legs. (…)

The dream was synchronized. The miracle was accomplished. All the clocks chimed midnight for the metamorphosis. It was not time they chimed for, but the catching up, catching up with the dream. The dream had a way of always running ahead of one. To catch up with it, to live for a moment in unison with it, that was the miracle. The life on the stage, the life of the legend dovetailed with the daylight, and out of this marriage sparked the great birds of divinity, the eternal moments. (…)

It was here that everything happened to her. The daytime was only a sketch. In the daytime all the gestures were thickened by obstacles, by remembrance. Only in the dream was the loved one wholly possessed, only in the dream was there ecstasy without death. Life only began behind the curtain of closed eyelashes.

The woman who walked erect during the day and the woman who breathed and walked and swam during the night were not the same. The woman who breathed and walked during the day was like a cathedral spire and the opening into her being was a secret. It was inaccessible like the tip of the most labyrinthian sea shell.

But with the night came the openness.

The day body made of rigid bones, made rigid with fears and dissonances, was set against yielding. At night it changed substance, form and texture. With the night came fluidity. With the night there ran through the marrows not only blood which could always commingle with other bloods, but a mercury which ran in all directions, swift, mordant, uncontrollable, spilling and running in star points, changing shape at each breath of desire, spilling and dispersing without separating.

With the night came SPACE. No crowded city. The dream was never crowded. It was filtered through the prism of creation. The pressure of time ceased. Joy lasted longer and suffering less, or else all the feelings were telescoped into a second. Time was arranged and ordained by feeling. Fear was eternal, anger immediate and catastrophic. Sifted and enveloped in a mineral glow, each object of the eternal landscape appeared on the scene with space around it. The space was like an enormous silence in which there was no sword of thought, no rending comments, no thread ever cut. She walked among symbols and silence.

She ceased to be a woman. The secret small pores of the being began to breathe a life like that of plant and flower. She went to sleep a human being and awakened with the nervous sensibility of a leaf, with the fin knowledge of fish, with the hardness of a coral, with the sulphurous eyes of a mineral. She awakened with new finger tips, new tendrils, new wings, new legs, leaves, branches. She awakened with eyes at the end of long arms that floated everywhere and with eyes on the soles of her feet. She awakened in strands of angel hair with lungs of cocoon milk.

With the night came a multiplied breathing and new cells like honeycombs filled with a strange activity. Filling and refilling with white tides and red currents, with echoes and fever. Cells, beehives of feelings, inundated with new forms of life dissolving the outline of the body. All forms became blurred and the woman who was lying there slowly turned into a heavy sea, carrying riches on her breast, or became earth with many fissures of thirst, drinking rain.

With the night came the boat. This boat she was pushing with all her strength becase it could not float, it was passing through land. It was chokingly struggling to pass along the streets, it could not find its way to the ocean. It was pushed along the streets of the city, touching the walls of houses, and she was pushing it against the resistance of earth, of cobblestones, of sand, of lava. So many nights against the obstacles of mud, marshes, garden paths through which the boat labored painfully.

She was not altogether asleep. The night was like a very black silk curtain, but there was still a slit of daylight. She felt the approach of the dream. But while there was a slit of daylight there were words floating around her. They were sharp, they cut like knives into the feelings, they separated, they scalped, they uncovered the skin, they exposed, they killed the feelings. The moment words cut into the dream, into the feeling, they cut into the pulse and the pulse ceased to beat. The slit of daylight was made of steel.

The boat was passing through the city, unable to find the ocean that transmitted its life voyages. The light cut into the bones with bony words that could not commune with anything or change substance for communion.

She recognized him. He was the transformable man. He was the man without identity. He came into the dream and acted like a lover. (…) There was a secret between them. A fire burst upon the hall from the garden. It moved forward like the waves on the shore, waves of smoke and flames rolling in a long line across the garden”.

Anaïs Nin, Winter of Artifice (1939)  e-libra.info





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