very like a whale

“…that region of ecstasy on the brink of the final, formless Deep, which is the source and end of all things”
–Mona Douglas, from the foreword to The Sacred Isle

Space and time work differently in dreams.  The most mundane of objects might just be a doorway to another world.  A child’s inflatable paddling pool, for instance, found lying full of water, in an old forgotten corner of the basement in a pub where you once worked.

You went in search of something – who knows what?  Perhaps yourself.  You knew you were lost.

The basement was a labyrinth, full of old, forgotten things.  You wandered for what felt like hours, until you reached the pool.  And in the pool, there was a whale.

Space and time work differently in dreams.

The whale is vast, wild, incomprehensible – and you are somehow alongside it, palm-to-skin, suspended.  In the water?  In the air?  Impossible to tell.  Floating by its flank, you feel its thinking, its one question –

-?-

– and as you form an answer, your two worlds draw back from one another for a moment, like the tide draws back from land before a surge.

You see yourself: standing in the corner of a dusty basement, staring at a child’s inflated paddling pool.  And in the pool there is a whale.

Its great flukes rise above your head and crash onto the water, and the wave engulfs you.

And you drown, or you wake up, or maybe both.