Marble Hall

Where are You When Your Body Sleeps?

When Are You When Your Body Sleeps?

Marble Hall

I awaken.

I am running.

Smoothly, effortlessly.

I am in a perfect stride, running easily, my arms swinging in perfect counterpoint.

My body is naked.

My bare feet slapping the smooth floor. Slapping is not the correct word – there’s no sound, just the feel of the ball of my foot, my toes, kissing the floor. Not slipping or sliding, just softly touching the floor and then somehow throwing it behind me.

No sweat, no tiredness of any part. No hard breathing, the rhythm of my breath is in tune with my stride. I run easily, under control, in that twilit universe known only to distance runners.

I become aware of my surroundings.

I am in a hallway. The walls and floor are of white marble. The ceiling is not there – no blackness, no whiteness, just… nothing.

Spaced out along the hallway, on either side, are doorways.

No, not doorways, but… openings. Openings in the walls, with light and sound spilling quietly out into my hallway.

As I run past the next Opening on my left, I turn my head slightly and look in.

I am still running, but my body is motionless, mid-stride, both feet off the ground. Not floating, but motionless.

I see a balustrade at the edge of a balcony. I see a sort of great hall below. There is what appears to be a banquet in progress, although not many are seated, but moving about, gathering in small groups, chatting, laughing. They are wearing various garments, but with no certain style – as though each is wearing whatever feels most comfortable… some in what seems to be classical-age Greek or Roman outfits, some in simple shirts, some in robes and gowns, even t-shirts and shorts.

My consciousness is focused on the scene. All that is happening is suddenly, but without any shock, front and center for my perceptions. I see, I hear, I smell, I taste, I feel… I feel heat, rising from a gigantic fireplace at the far end of the hall, a fireplace that must be at least eight to ten feet high, nearly that deep, and twice that in width. The heat is not objectionable, it’s just … there.

It is as though I can move my attention absolutely instantly, at will, and place it upon any or all of the scene, and at any distance.

As I flitter my attention from one to another of those in the scene, I am aware – as if seen from the corner of an eye – of the gaze of someone. Mentally turning my head to return that gaze, I see… me.

And in that instant of recognition, I am in the hallway, finishing the suspended stride.

And yet… and yet I am also in the Hall. I am Gazing at the balcony, where I see – I saw – a flicker of an image, not quite long enough to register on my eyes… but it’s vanished.

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