A Veil Romance
I stand looking at my closet. Behind the closed wooden doors are veils; I see them in my mind’s eye. I’ve been working brilliant, complex layers of dye into long panels of fine silk. Nestled on hangers, the fibers of these completed veils breathe through the colors I have brushed into them. They wait. They wait for their dancer. The friction of motion will burnish the threads, working the dye in deeper.
I turn away from these and toward my current veil puddling luxuriantly on the sofa. She is long and beautiful—a sunset I haven’t yet seen—of lavender and pinks with a golden edge. I love her. I love that she can open the inside of me with her shades and tender touch. I take her in my hands. So soft. I breathe and stand. My wan legs don’t want to pace around the rug, which is what they will have to do if I want this veil to float.
I toss her gently up. She slithers down to the ground, exhaling very, very slowly. She finally settles. Wanting to watch all that again, I bend and gather her and toss her and watch her respire. Gorgeous. Again. And this time I want her to unfurl so I toss her but don’t drop her. I let her billow. I wrap a wide arc of space in her skin. Soon she has seduced me into her world. My legs and feet have forgotten their clay and I am in the small sky that inhabits my NYC apartment. Air is always a morsel of sky, yes? Breath is always a morsel of sky.
She hypnotizes me. I forget the restlessness outside the Moment. We move together. We are calm, hanging in timelessness, hanging in a Moment. The middle world, where I swirl with my veil, is romantic. The middle world. The middle of the world. The center of the world. We pass through a large invisible door into that movie clip of two lovers at a cafe table holding hands consumed in one another. We Know about mysteries. Otherness. Unity. The conversation bumbles and peters out, a soupçon of thought and feeling spicing a full serving of Other.
I look up from the Lover’s Eyes and gaze out the window at my mind. I enjoy my mind—lots of architecture, thoughts that divide and separate and sort, chip away and reconstruct. BUT…once I enter the Moment the room is too full for a mind so full of itself and out of its depth. Mysticism is not of the mind. Mysticism uses the mind in order to discard the mind. How hard it must be for the mind to accept this servitude. Mind thought it was ruler. The Moment is that part of being awake that goes beyond thought. I can’t sleep my way into the Moment. I have to wake my way into the Moment.
Here I am with my veil, in the Moment. My lungs fill with sky. The veil fills with sky.
After a while I lie down, my veil a sylph sleeping on my chest. She grows warm as she sleeps. My organs relax under her. My skin melts into the cloth covering it. I am in the Garden again, innocent, protected, at One. Even my often-separated body is at One.
Please…tell me your story of dancing with your veil…
Top photo of Alia Thabit by Dunya McPherson
Photo of Dunya by Paul B. Goode