The Source Between Dreams
Sarah Brooks always knew what she wanted to do in life. She wanted to be a writer. Gifted from early age with an overactive imagination and the ability to create meanings where there seemed to be none, it wasn’t uncommon for her family to find her sitting somewhere, notebook and pen in hand, lost in fantasies that felt more real than everything else.
Whilst most of them were in constant evolution—small obsessions that popped in her mind, got dealt with and then gave way to new ones—there was one in particular that captivated her senses in a different way altogether. It revolved around the cherry trees she could see from a distance which she always conceived to hide a gateway into another dimension. Sometimes, when asked why she loved those trees so much, she would simply reply with vacant eyes: “Because the Source is there...” and carried on with her life.
As she grew up, the desire to play with words never abandoned her, yet it adapted and accommodated itself to her needs at any moment. Sarah opened her paragraphs to the world, entered a couple writing competitions here and there, and success soon came knocking on her door. Before she was 20, she was already being harassed by publishers from all over the country, eager to have her a sign an exclusive contract with them in return for her literary prowess.
The prospect of being famous and somewhat wealthy doing the thing she loved most immediately seduced her and, during the following decade, she published four novels that were resounding hits, a book of poetry and two collections of short stories. The last two didn’t garner as much critical acclaim as her most polished creations, but they were still good enough to be deemed successful. Life was beautiful then, but there’s no such thing as everlasting beauty.
The decline began when she moved from the countryside to the bustling streets of a big city. Away from the quietness and solitude that she was used to, her mind started wandering from idea to idea, never once allowing them to gain any form of consistency. Her sentences became erratic, her pages winding exercises of repetitive frustration, her vision of loveliness clouded by a storm of stress, and the veils imposed by the use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and anti-depressants.
The rising star who had given birth to a new constellation of feminine wonders was now plummeting down at high speeds towards the ground. Amid all the heat and friction upon re-entering the atmosphere, it was unlikely she would remain whole.
Early in the year, she returned to the origin, only to find her old house in complete disarray. Most of her family had already died and no one had really seen fit to cherish the property in a befitting manner. It broke her heart to see shambles instead of the perfection she remembered but, at the same time, something else made her heart leap.
In the distance, the cherry trees were still there, in full bloom. Though everything around them was subject to the decaying effects of the entropy, the soil they grew in remained strong, luscious as ever. But why was that?
“It’s because of The Source, don’t you remember?” asked the little girl that still lived within a small recess of her grown-up mind. She had awakened from an awfully long slumber and was now anxious to dance in her white dress until the sun went down on all the sorrows of the world.
Sarah smiled, imagining that the child was really there, presenting itself in front of her like a living, corporeal entity. Of course, she remembered her ideas about The Source, how it was located between dreams, the spring of creative thinking and supernatural pleasure. Though she had mentioned it many times in the past, in truth she had never sought it out. Why would she, anyway? Perfect purity is a folly when corruption grows everywhere, and even a youngster knew that though would never admit it out loud.
However, that day was different. Perhaps, it was the fact that she was still drowsy after a restless night; perhaps, it was the answer to a call of otherworldly splendors. As yellow and orange streaks of lights painted the sky above, two women walked hand in hand, whistling a tune as the distance faded into proximity, and the proximity turned what was familiar into something else. Between the shadows of the hanging flowers, Sarah looked down and realized she was leaving no footprints behind.
Still, she pressed on, amazed at how many trees there were, many more than she had ever counted, and discovered a small path that headed right. Traversing it swiftly, her younger persona let out a shout of joy when Space opened up, and a cascading rainbow splashed all over her feet.
There, out of nowhere and everywhere in the same place, stood a garden where infinity reigned, a place where fairies and mermaids idly chatted with one another, where games of metaphors were being played by people of old and their shadow selves, and a flower bed invited her to stay in, forever and ever.
All her characters were there, including the ones that hadn’t been committed to paper yet, for in The Source what mattered was the spark, the fleeting moments when you’re on the brink of creating something. In there, all failed manifestations at any given moment were allowed to exist, saved for future reference, preserved for the satisfaction of anyone who dared to look for them instead of lingering in the falsehood of easy fixes.
“Do you understand now?” the child asked as she dove into a silvery lake.
Yes, she did. She understood the fascination that mystical reality had always exerted upon her from the outset. She knew that she, too, was a part of it, a different kind of dream, but a dream, nonetheless. Only there was she in perfect harmony with her emotions, controlling them, and being controlled at will when the time came to let the stories flow. Her Muse would never die.
Peacefully sitting by the lake shore, she began to write once more.