Night

by Etel Adnan

Silence is covering memory’s shaken trees.  No prohibition can hold back the waves that are none other than childhood’s attempts to enter time in the Palace’s antechambers.  Grass grows differently than words.

The desire to inhabit the storm’s other side takes us to cities in flames.  Traces turn easily into signs.  Thinking precedes itself in the deepest recesses of the brain.  A body is always naked under its clothes.

There’s a uselessness to this night.  The river’s absence.  Infinite love is delayed.  The light was bright under the oak trees because in the heart the door was closed.  We had to enlarge the road to allow blood streams to proceed.  One bus at a time, while visibility lasts.

We’re born in the womb’s darkness.  That’s why night is origin. What was it before this hour that kept the clocks from running ? Something always remains from anything, even from nothingness.

Bitter bitterness.  Inner thoughts slide in like worms.  From surface to surface we go, derailed here and there.  Induced into error, we swim against the current.  In high seas, often.  In the meantime, the brain creates lines of strawberries, banks of whales, angels, in profusion.

When the world came into being, we’re told that it didn’t ask for maintenance.  Was it pure mind, then ?  There’s something from these past hours that we hear, an echo, a breeze under apple – trees. Don’t rebel against the night.

The forest stood as rain under the light.  The deer, at this moment, is capering all over the fields.  Past midnight, love descends on the stage’s curtain.  O to live away from our shadows, in a clarity just given.

Eternity is non evident.  In the skull, the sun rotates endlessly.  Stillness outside, a storm within.  The river runs secretly in many parts of this country.  By the ocean, the wind gathers speed; it shattered our happiness.  We returned home, in tears.

When passing in front of a mirror, heads look like lit planets. Can one live within a flower ?  Imagination moves in circles, our sole piece of baggage.

In the shortness of life there’s still place for volcanoes when they sprout and then fall, as flat as tires.  Of all the energies that circle in the air we breathe, it’s best to follow the ones that happen in dreams.  The season is cold.  My soul, on the mountaintop, is waiting for me.

Life’s origin.  Drop after drop, it’s not the music nor the pain, but the seconds that advance toward the snow, sound after sound.  To celebrate the mind’s independence we have to go one thought at a time.

The roots of the olive tree lie in deep earth, in peace.  Night falls with a steady beat, brings news not too different from those of Cesar’s times.  We’re living in pristine valleys.  Down by the coast, in the summer, the sea welcomes our warm bodies though it’s clear that it has some special affinity with the mind.

Words have a way to reach the ocean.  On the ridge, from some windows, many signals are being sent.  A large stride, a deep breath, are the means toward the conquest of tranquility. Through the forest there’s a river as predictable as daily bread.

A clearing.  The need to fasten our hands on things.

Worlds are continuing their odyssey.  For the spirit to overcome its uninterrupted defeats we have to keep our eyes fixed on the sun’s center.

The absolute is breakable.  It’s equipped with such a prism that perception becomes refraction and destruction.  It also knows how to reassemble the pieces it generates into new patterns,

enough for the world to renew itself.  But the buildings across the street are so impersonal.

A night – goat knocks at the door.  “I’m disoriented, I want to enter the unknown,” it says.  The night is crowned with dreams.  It’s because of their mortality that things exist.  In all seasons.  In immortality’s split seasons.

In this night, all nights.  All the oceans in this brain.  Life pushes the leaves out of this branch.  Who, or where are you ?  Drifting with the continents . . .

And where are you ?  Dedalus left for the sky, but to join whom ? What ?  Large bands of clouds separate my memory from its habitual subjects . . . I’m left behind.  There’s no void in this room.

Lost love creates a strange heat . . .. there’s sweat on the bed – sheets from past voyages.  Atmospheric pressure.  A few chairs, a table.  The air is pale.  Traces of the soul are shed in every plane, train or car that took us to new miseries.

There’s a heart in this body, a pump.  Winds are prevailing.  One window is closed, the other is not.  The house is painted with white chalk.  Something has left the room.  Outside, visibility is nil.  But you feel that something is passing by.

To look at the green leaves against the black trunks of the trees is like asking a question.  Bubbles of water in suspension.  Steam on the widow – panes.  There’s a passage through the passage that life is, branching out.  The body presents always a skin, even when it’s

opened, or sewed afterwards.  Fingers fetch hurting points but they also press on the soul.

There are scratches over the moon’s visage.  Shadows free themselves from the objects that project them.  Mind has its own phases.  The river that delineates the landscape runs

according to its whims.  Standing by it, is the weather.

There are times when the spirit is the stream, running under redwoods.  Soft, flexible is the world.  All I can tell is that I was there.