An excerpt from Sleeping Beauty
One day like all seemingly other days a long impending day that was to be set apart from all other days by the opening of an impenetrable chasm I idle found myself in medias res wandering wandering intrepidly all about the palace running round running running round about the castle restlessly questing searching aimlessly for new corridors galleries hallways passageways exploring everything unexplored exploring everything there was to explore exploring exploring headlong heedless up down seen unseen patios courtyards quadrangles balconies terraces verandas roving about from one apartment to another from suite to suite opening doors to kitchens pantries sculleries laundries salons parlors anterooms atriums foyers vestibules banquet rooms ballrooms guardrooms by-rooms even dungeons roaming as my fancy took me straying into nooky niches alcoves ambries cubbyholes corners cloisters colonnades opening posterns doors to sanctums closets ateliers bedchambers boudoirs bathrooms crossing aisles archways gateways gangways bridges climbing up down in out round about ascending descending belfries watchtowers clock-towers cloud-capped towers bent on bent on bent on bent on………
Alive, alive-o… alive, alive-o… look alive… look alive… like a red, red rose… while the sands of life shall run… run… run………
I moved to the corolla call of an inner Villanelle “My Villanelle” which began to serenade my efferent being up up a steep winding scantily-lit staircase step by step by centripetal step up winding winding stair after stair sepaled calyx caracol winding stair mounting magnetomotive stair upon stair upon tremulous stair steeper narrower darker tenebrious darker Cimmerian stygian darker caliginous umbrous impelled by unknown fissile fission fissure fusion centrifugal? forces flexuous forces Parcae enchantments arcana attractions within without coriolis coerced by coactive concatenate kismet obscurity kafkaesque where was the light? round round and round in helix circumgyration what was my head, what my heart? who was I? swiveled pivoted pirouetted orbiting stupefyingly sappily giddily headily slapdash onward vertiginously vital was it forward upward? toward I knew not what.
I want to learn to live before I die
To glimpse the light that makes my vision clear
To see the truth that lies within the lie.
I freely put the questions ‘how?’ and ‘why?’
And seek the face unknown in darkest fear.
I want to learn to live before I die.
I could not stop there was no way back only on and on kinematically on darker chimerical stair upon stair darker blundering stair after Gaudian stair after stair pendulous fervid was I drowning in delusion? step by step by involuntary step by minacious step turning in each on each on nebulously on and on I want to learn to live before I die my aperçu until at last my faltering feet reached their dizzy destination.
There was a door forbidding inviting stymying welcoming with what is more an oh so old key a passkey a master key an open sesame key an ankh roman à clef protruding from the keyhole a skeleton key to unloose unleash unlatch unlock unbolt unbind unbar unblock unclothe uncloak uncork.
My hand met the passe-partout rusty dusty turn me key to open the doorway to cross the threshold to see the truth that lies within the lie.
When she-I turned the massive key in the antique lock of the topmost tower room in the spired turret, the inexorable iron door sprung open creaking on its heavy hinges. There in Rosamond’s feminine gaze was a spellbinding spectacle she-I had never beheld before.
In the dim garret her-my wandering wondering eyes caught sight of an ancient woman who was spinning flax fibers into linen thread.
Round round and round revolved a mysterious wheel spun to a soft tap tapping treadle tread. Round round and round in perpetual rotation wound a continual yarn thread spinning twisting round a spindle surrounded by fire skeins and the worsted water of Lethe, a taboo spindle banned to be looked upon forbidden to be known round round and round whirling twirling in mesmeric somersault swirl oh irresistible to girl-child-damsel-woman-me entranced at the entry to the wide wide world.
Stetit puella rufa tunica;
Si quis eam tetigit, tunica crepuit.
Stetit puella, tamquam rosula;
Facie splenduit, os eius floruit.
Round round and round in up down sound spinning spinning-whorl whorling me nearer twirling whirling skeining me worsting me nearer nearer vortexing me nearer ratcheting nearer pawl by pawl in irreversible maelstrom into a strange and wondrous web from which no retreat was allowed.
At the seat of the spinning wheel of my Rosamond miss fortune the spinning spinning wheel with the penetrating pinprick point atop sat an antediluvian hag in the spinning place the first spinning place her acumen ages ages old wizened visage in unbornness spinning trance.
In the fury and the sound of the heart beat beating of the poison drum beating at the gateway of thunder rataplan rataplan what on earth could I do? Forward backward my whorling way was blocked. The spinning wheel beckoned I came to the vatic call the mantic call the prophetic call the portended Charybdian call of the spinning spinning wheel which spinning spinning spinning spins from flaxen fibers the weft woof warp threads that form the aboriginal orbs of life after life after filament life after life after life after oeuvre life after life after life of countless entities undergoing the gloria mundi metempsychotic spun out extrusions of birth life abiding change extinction anthropic samsara spans.
“May I try my hand at spinning?”
“Why yes yes yes of course.”
The aged hag relinquished her place. I-Rosamond took up the acquiescent spinning thread in my right hand and the distaff in my left to the tread treadle tread for which I was fated.
In the spinning spinning caress of the wheel my fingers found followed fondled the cosmic womb spindle of necessity the thin tapered rod twisting winding the thread to its ever sharp end beginning.