The day before it happened to me, I had taken the decision not to write anymore. I had had enough of fighting against my own mediocrity. I had had enough of writing things I thought were ordinary and about which I knew no-one would care. Even the idea of keeping on writing for myself seemed pointless. I felt like doing nothing. I felt weary and tired of everything. After weighing the pros and cons in my mind, I went to bed that night not having faith in myself anymore.
When I woke up, it was early morning and the sun was rising above the still-blue hills.
The only thing I was wearing was an almost transparent nightie with large straps. I found myself all alone, the snow around me being my only companion.
I stood up and took a look around: as far as the eye could see, a white blanket covered everything. There was a small frozen lake nearby. The birds were rather quiet, reducing their songs to feeble chirpings as scattered as the pieces of a broken mirror.
Silence was all around me. I started to walk, feeling the coldness of the snow beneath my feet, cooling me down as though I were on hot coals, as though I had a cocoon surrounding me, protecting me against the harsh bite of the cold.
I felt different inside; I kept on walking without worrying about a single thing. I was in a sort of dreamlike state, as though I were sleepwalking. I didn’t have any questions about what was happening to me. Everything was normal. I felt I had already been there before. I was experiencing a deja-vu feeling, without it being really the case. In a word, that place looked familiar and made me feel comfortable, without me ever having been there – and I was totally sure of that.
I also felt surprisingly more determined. I was walking step by step in the snow as I would have had into flames. I felt that fire, that fever that I once used as guides, slowly coming back into me, just like a geyser that would unexpectedly spring in the desert. I was intoxicated, like walking on top of the world; I strongly felt immortal.
All of a sudden, everything was mine. I could take all the time I needed – I didn’t have anywhere else to go. Just like a panther kept inside a cage for too long, I was now free, wild again, belonging to the place that surrounded me.
I enjoyed sitting down on the rocks or on the strong roots of the numerous trees that were there. I enjoyed the coolness coming off the rocks; I liked feeling the skeletons of the trees which I lay my back on. I could feel their roots pressing on my back as I was gazing at the frozen lake and the numb nature that lay before my eyes.
I don’t know how long those moments lasted, but they felt like an eternity.
When I finally got up, I set off to a small knoll. Like in a dream, I picked up twigs of dead wood, and placed them in a vaguely geometrical shape, just as I would have done with roman candles in a shrine. There was something all together religious, mysterious and mystical in that, as though I were creating some religion of my own at this very moment, something I only had to become conscious of. I felt completely calm and relaxed; I knelt down and put some snow into my mouth and let it melt on my tongue. I was in extasy, spellbound, as though praying deep inside – something I never did once. The state I was in was quite close to that of prayer or meditation, but without it being quite the same. Along with this feeling of internal peace, the promise of something glorious, something I alone could accomplish, was growing inside of me.
Having finished my ‘construction’, I found what I was waiting for in the snow, next to me. I cut deep into my arm, letting the blood flow on the pure and cold snow. To me, that gesture had a positive significance: it was the sign of a rebirth, of coming together all over again, a sacrifice for that creativity I found back again.
With my eyes till closed, I lay down, hearing a pulse in my ears, something organic coming from the ground beneath me and, at the same time, from my spine, as though someone were softly playing a muffled organ on my bones. It relaxed me completely and I fell asleep, without feeling any pain or burning from my wound.
* * *
When I woke up, I was in an unfamiliar house, curled up in a very warm blanket, lying on a couch not far from a fireplace where a fire was brightly lit.
I took a look around me: it was dark outside. The house was close to a grove – perhaps the one I had been found in. The whole back wall was made of French windows, and there was a grand piano placed in front of them. Its lid was up, waiting for a little hand to tickle its ivories.
Apparently, I had been sleeping for quite a while. I turned around and the family that had rescued me was there, talking to me. Their faces were too close to me, they seemed deformed. I couldn’t hear a thing; sounds came to my ears as carried through a long corridor, just like in a dream. My back was hurting intensely, as though I had been lacerated by stones.
Still wrapped in the blanket, I made an effort to turn on my stomach and used my elbows and forearms to get up. The brown blanket fell to my knees, revealing newly adquired wings. I took a good look at them, stunned, and took off towards the ceiling, around the light, just like a moth. The people who had saved me gazed at me, flabbergasted, suspicious and somewhat afraid at my sight, as though I were an improbable monster.
I managed to escape into the night by one of the French windows, quickly capturing my reflection into a mirror: I really had wings.
* * *
From that day on, I recognized my own inner potential. And now I live in that place I had always longed to go to.