I am belly down on a hard concrete floor. Thin fake-wood linoleum poorly masks the coldness below. I hear a voice I recognise as Anya’s. It is the last class, and she speaks of endings. This never happened. I am dreaming, but I don’t know, but I am aware that it isn’t real.
We will part soon. We danced together for six days. Some I will never see again, but here we became a unit. We grew into a singular. Defying Parmenides and Democritus we are many who have become one. But it is time for us to disperse.
Her voice drones on. Perhaps I know it is a dream because I do not make out exact words. The idea of her speaking is there.
I start to cry, because there is a sadness in parting. The same sadness as I see in death. The sadness of needing to go, having to go separate ways. The sadness of the one becoming many again. The market packing up, each stall into each its own wagon and slowly diluting into the surrounding countryside. Becoming small ones from the many.
Sadness overwhelms me, and I cry. I cry in my dream, underneath closed eyelids. In my dream open eyes staring into an unfocused gym hall somewhere in Ukraine, inside a memory, recollected by a dream.
I dance with a pure sadness, not touched by anger or fear. I am not angry, because I am not being pushed away. I am not afraid because I am not being left. We are all gently disconnecting, with intense care for each others sadness. Yet still disconnecting, returning.
In my dream I stay. I am still on the floor, unmoved by the diminishing voice of Anya. I am finally alone, in the bright lights, the cold floor. I feel towards myself, and I notice that there is a fear, and an anger. A fear of dying and an anger at living. A running from parting, and a pushing against being. A forward and a back, I am caught between the two.
But below all these, there is the lingering prospect of sadness, an unseen shadow. The reason for the turmoil of anger and fear. There below it all, sits under a willow, the sadness of all of me as it will once part. Whence the show ends, the actors take off their respective personas and leave, the set is dismantled, either destroyed or reused.
There will be a point, when all of me, will leave for distant shores. The signal will sound, and every molecule and atom will begin the arduous task of unpacking me. Of unravelling every little knot that was tied to make this ship hold together. And an infinite quiet sadness overtakes me, one that can never be heard over the booming volcano of anger and the screeching winters howl of fear. Here underneath it all the strings of a viola is being strummed gently to the tune of “farewell, goodbye, so long”.
A long pause occurs in my dream as that reservoir of tears slowly dry out.
Silence overtakes sadness, in the stilness that so often plays echo to greatness.
The actors are looking dumbfounded at the director. Gaping mouthes, all quiet for once. Some slowly drop their masks revealing stunned faces. The director stands their after a tirade “Can’t you see it’s just a show, it’s not real! We’ll all go home after this, there’s nothing coming AFTER the show… Don’t you SEE?!… DON’T YOU SEE FROM UNDER YOUR PERSONAS?!”, the director cries and screams and shouts moving from one actor to the other…
The director slumps in the chair whispering “Don’t you see?” – and then looks up.
The taste of the sadness of death, not the succumbing fear of death and not the angry fight against death… The taste of the sweet sad parting now clears the subjects eyes. The subject sees that everyone is still in the room. No one has left yet, there are still many days to go, years even. And even with the sadness to come, it can only come about if there is a love now. A love to hold together and become one.
And so the subject sees that in the right-now, there is still the love to hold together. The audience is still cheering, the play is on, the tents are still up, the market is thriving and the noise roars like an infinite song of the many becoming one.