Paradigms Between Stepping Stones By Peter Baltensperger
July 10, 2014 Comments Off on Paradigms Between Stepping Stones By Peter Baltensperger
And then there was the river again, not the same yet still the same. It was more watery, less confined, perhaps a revelation. Argentina Delaney clapped her hands, braced herself against the night air, and jumped, surprising herself. There was a slight shift in the rotation of the universe and the river changed its course, the way things flow. She followed the river until she didn’t recognize the water anymore. It was enough to know. She had done what she could, and what she felt necessary, even though the night sky was black with clouds. She could have taken it for a significant omen, had her mind not been preoccupied with more important, more immediate considerations.
On the night of the full moon, when the moon was at its highest and the sky at its brightest, she waded into the lake fed by the two rivers and let herself float among the golden reflections. It was best not to disturb the surface of the lake. She lived with enough broken mirrors and shattered glass. She was never able to see her whole face, or the complete panorama or the entire implication. The cracked fragments refused to make any sense, no matter how hard she tried. She stared into the fractured mirrors until her eyes watered and everything blurred, the way it always was, clarity a precious premium.
Once she walked to the end of the world just to see if she could find an entire reflection. Yet all she could see was her shadow, for measuring time. It brought her some comfort, even though it kept changing all the time, as all things must, waning behind her in the morning, disappearing under her feet at noon, waxing before her in the afternoon. She never walked at night, when she could have seen so much more. It came as a surprise, even to her. She never resorted to clapping her hands. There was nothing to jump from or into on the flat road.
For the night of the new moon, when the night was at its darkest and the stars at their sharpest, she commanded the oceans to lie still and went floating in her lake. It wouldn’t have mattered if she had cracked the reflectionless surface, but she didn’t want to upset her mirrors any more than they already were. Instead, she stared up into the sky until her eyes blurred and the stars blurred and nothing made any sense at all, not even the occasional meteorite slicing its affirmation into the sky. If only she could have listened to its voice.
When she returned to the river, she could only find the water but not the bed or the bank. The water was flowing freely in all directions, as if it knew what it was doing. Argentina walked tentatively into the water, tested its significance, and let the current sweep her away into the vagueness of her night.
© 2014 Peter Baltensperger
Peter Baltensperger is a Canadian writer of Swiss origin and the author of ten books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. His work has appeared in print and on-line in several hundred publications around the world over the past several decades. He writes, and has been writing all this life, because he is driven to and because it lends a special significance to his quest. He makes his home in London, Canada with his wife Viki and their two cats and a tortoise.