The Gods who Dream


"Sunset Over a Forest Lake" (Detail), Peder Mørk Mønsted (1859 – 1941), Danish

"There can be no death. My heart, too, has soared through the dawn. You and I shall have a new, golden son, a creation of your tears and my fables. Today I understood the beauty of intersecting wires in the sky, and the hazy mosaic of factory chimneys, and this rusty tin with its inside-out, semidetached, serrated lid. The wan grass hurries, hurries somewhere along the dusty billows of the vacant lot. I raise my arms. The sunlight glides across my skin. My skin is covered with multicolored sparkles. And I want to rise up, throw my arms open for a vast embrace, address an ample, luminous discourse to the invisible crowds. I would start like this: "O rainbow-colored gods..."

- "Gods", Vladimir Nabokov


We were among the high grasses. The time was liminal, neither day nor night. They were merging into each other. How easy it is for one to fall into melancholy at this hour? The time that passes. The day that shall never be again. The us that would never be again the way we were on that day. The high grasses around us were moving with the wind. The sound of the wind became more and more clear, as the noise of the day, was getting quieter. The grasses would scratch against my skin. It felt more sensitive than at another time. Then, the skin began responding to the coolness of the wind. Its texture changed slightly. You noticed. Nothing ever escapes your eye. "Are you cold?" - you asked.

"The cold does not bother me today. I want to feel it." - I responded


The abashed, yet amused expression came over your face, but you allowed the cold, the drop of discomfort on that day, to touch me. I closed my eyes, and allowed the breeze and its tender cold to become the only thing that existed in that moment. The one who whispers into my ear his great stories of autonomy, came for a visit that day too. He said to me: "Now you are seen without seeing. You cannot allow it!". His voice became even louder as I felt myself under your gaze. He said: "What if he discovers a great secret?! What will be with your allure if you are not veiled in secret?". I smiled at his little concerns, gave the impish spirit, a tender kiss, under which he melted away, and left me with the eyes closed, vulnerable from the absence of secret.


I did not feel a presence of time for a moment. But then I felt, a sensation around my feet. You said: "There is a snake wrapping itself around your ankle. Are you not afraid?". "No", I said, "let the snake go as it desires." "You do not want me to kill it?" - you asked, one again "No, I do not want you to kill it." - I answered, feeling its cold skin against mine.


The snake left, but then a grasshopper appeared. Large and green. The one that the humans instinctively hit. It stopped at my arm, I felt you, raise yours, ready to kill, but then I said: "Do not kill it. Let it go on its journey!". You listened to my request. You did not kill it. The grasshopper left, just like the snake did.


Then the bells were heard. There was the noise in the bushes. I did not want to open the eyes, but I was curious of the events of the world. So I said: "Tell me, what do you see? Be my eyes, tell it to me!" You began: "There is a herd of sheep coming from the side. And just behind them there are cows. One of the cows is very beautiful. Its colour is golden - brown. They seem to be heading home." "Invite the cow to us." - I said. Even with my eyes closed, I could feel your urge to argue the absurdity of it. But, just as my impish spirit of secret was told away, so you told yours away, and instead of arguing me, you asked: "How do I invite the cows?" I smiled and told: "Say like this: "You, in who God takes the shape of a cow, come to us." You did as I told you, and they came to us. They laid down before us, without a fear that we might hunt and eat them. There was no hunger. The sound of children's laughter suddenly filled the air. It was coming from a distance. "What are they saying? Be my ears and my language! Tell me!". "They are saying: Rainbow! Rainbow! Look rainbow! Can't you hear it?". "No", I responded, "their language is unknown to me. What else are they saying?" "They are far, but one of the children is saying: rainbow is God! But the other child is against it. She says: rainbow are the eyes of God!" "Which one do you think it is?" "I think that it is you and I. Perhaps we are gods." - you uttered with a conviction. "Are we?" "That's the only logical explanation to all of this." - you sighed. I giggled. I opened my eyes, the rainbow, bigger than any rainbow seen before, was in front of me, I let a breath out and thought: "O rainbow - coloured gods".


"When you laugh, I want to transform the entire world so it will mirror you. But your eyes are instantly extinguished. You say, passionately, fearfully, „Would you like to go... there? Would you? It's lovely there today, everything's in bloom...“ Certainly, it's all in bloom, certainly, we'll go. For aren't you and I gods? I sense in my blood the rotation of unexplorable universes."

- "Gods", Vladimir Nabokov

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