I wake up. This is the beginning of my life; at least it’s the only beginning I remember for my memory contains nothing before this point. I simply woke up. I should be frightened at what or where I am, but I’m not. I don’t know who I am or what I look like or even what I am. All I know is that I am alive. I am awake.
I awoke with a start. I could hardly catch my breath. Slowly I sit up. Stretched out before me covered by a white blanket are my legs. I pull the blanket back to stare at these things my mind tells me to call legs. Two appendages stretch out to feel my legs, a right hand and left hand. I am curious about my hands and stare at them. These hands are lethal and I know it. I begin to scan my confines. There is not much to see, for the room contains nothing but me and the cot on which I sit. The walls are bare and white, as are my clothes.
My curiosity arises. Something is missing. There should be something more. Why is this room so bare? Why do I feel so incomplete? I do not belong here, in this place. I put one foot on the floor then the other. The white tile is cool beneath my feet but feels quite nice. I take one step. My steps are wobbly at first as though walking were new to me, perhaps it is. I don’t remember ever walking before. I don’t remember it yet I know what it is. How can this be? How can I be? What is my existence? What do I mean?
I walk all the way across the floor to one of the four walls that bind me in. Gingerly I place my right hand against the wall, then my left. It feels cool too. I walk around and do this to each one of the walls until I am back at my starting position at the first wall. What is behind these walls and how can I get out? I place my left ear against the wall and listen. Silence. I hear silence, then a soft and slow sound like a hum. I find myself mimicking the sound. I hum. I didn’t even know I could do that, that I could make sound, or that I had a voice. I begin to wonder what other sounds can be made.
I listen again to the wall, pressing myself as close to it as possible. I want to hear sounds for suddenly the silence created by these four walls is maddening and deafening. This time the hum is louder and longer. It is more musical. How my ears ache to hear the sound of the music that I push with all my might against the wall so it might fall, releasing me from my confines. It does not budge, not even a little. Hungry for sound, for music, I press up against the wall to listen once again but the music has gone. I listen for a long time waiting for it to return but it does not. The music has left me.
I slide down against the wall, burying my head in my hands. Long silky stuff falls into my face which has unnaturally become wet. I ponder these two new mysteries that momentarily distract me from the absence of sound. My wet face I deduce to be from tears, which is actually a natural reaction when one is sad. The silky stuff, however, takes me longer to figure out. I realize there is more of it pulled back away from my face. It is a part of me. I study it, trying to name it. It is hair, I figure out. But there is more to it than that. It is light but not white like everything else. A word comes to me—yellow, no gold, no blonde. I have blonde hair. I use my hair to dry my wet eyes. What more can I discover?
I lay down with my back against the wall, my knees to my chest. I remember how I hummed, that I can make sounds. I replay the sound of the music in my head, which is also a new ability to me. Softly, softly I make music with my voice. Not words, just music. I make music with my voice until it feels sore. Then I stop for I begin to feel as though something in the room has changed. Cautiously I sit up with my back still against the wall. Studying the room I see nothing has changed, at least not with those three walls. A new emotion stirs inside of me. I don’t know how to name it. I inch forward, just a little, and turn my head slightly to look behind me. My eyes grow big. Startled I jump up. On the wall there is music. Music that I made, I sang it into being. Now my room is no longer silent. It is full of music.
I can’t contain myself. I run around the room in a graceful manner, expressing myself to the music and humming along to it. As I do this I literally feel the music. I am the music, it becomes one with me. The music courses throughout my being, reverberating itself inside of me. As I make music with my voice and move along to it with my body the music grows stronger until it becomes a symphony. When I grow tired I stop and rest, sitting on my cot. That’s when I notice a little hole on the wall to the right of the musical wall. I am not sure if it has always been there. Perhaps I created it like I created the music.
I stand and take determined strides to this wall. The hole is just big enough for my eye to peer through it. At first I only see an eye staring back at me. Frightened I jump back. But I am more eager to see what lies behind this wall than I am frightened of the eye. I look into the hole again. This time I realize I am staring into a mirror and the eye is my eye. It is blue. I stare deeper into the eye and see waves, like an ocean. I blink and the eye is gone. I stand back now hungry for more color. The walls of this room are so bare, so white, and so plain. I go to look into the hole again but stop myself upon discovering that where the hole used to be is a little blue circle.
I made music. Now I have added color to my room. I want more, I crave more. I close my eyes and sway to the sound of the music. I let it inspire me to create. I hum and as I hum I imagine what color the music is. Eyes still closed I move my arms just so, directing each color where it should go. I let the music guide me in creating my piece of art. Finally when I can no longer contain myself I open my eyes. I need to see the color, to feel it, and to know it.
I gasp as I take in what I have done. My mind searches for a word to describe it until at last the perfect word forms—beauty. On the formally blank wall there is now a masterpiece of color, of beauty. I am in awe of what color can create that at first I can only stare at it. I am moved by the beauty of it, and the music along with it. Once again I go and sit on my cot, this time so I can stare at my artwork. As I sit taking it in I begin to hear something soft like a whisper. It is kind of like the music, but not as musical. It is definitely sound, however. Curious I stand to inspect what this new kind of noise is.
I follow the sound to the wall directly across from my wall of color. I sit down in front of it, crossing my legs, and listen. There’s a whole world on the other side of this wall, a world of words. I use my voice to mimic these words. At first my voice is slow as I am not accustomed to speaking with words outside of my mind. When I find my voice however, I find I like this way of expression. I like my voice. And even more, I like words. I close my eyes as I say words aloud. Some words I know the meaning to, some I do not. But they all sound fascinating. I want more. I want to know, to see, to hear more.
I open my eyes. There are words written on the wall. I smile a thing I’ve not previously done, least not to my knowledge. I soon realize that I can create stories with the words. I can add words to the music to create a story or use the words to describe the colors. Before I know it more words and more colors and more music fill the room. It’s so delightful. I sing words. I paint more pictures. The room starts to get crowded, all the music and the colors and the words need to get out. I cannot contain them in this small room. It’s nearly overwhelming me.
I back up against the one remaining blank wall for support. This is my last canvass. I wonder what more there is for me to learn. What other art is there for me to form? I bump into something as I reach the wall. Swiftly I spin around to find the culprit. There are three lines on the wall in the shape of a rectangle. At the left hand side there is black round thing. I tilt my head to the side as I decipher what this new thing is. A door, it is door. Doors lead out. This is my way to let my art out, to let myself out of this room. But how do I get out? I try twisting and turning the knob. I try pulling on it. I even try to yank it off before realizing it is locked. The only key I have is my words.
I tell the door to open, as I do it cracks open ever so slightly. Delighted I jump up and down. I take a deep breath and push the door open all the way. Outside I see a world of color and music and sound and words. It’s so beautiful and wonderful, and so very terrifying. My art escapes out into the world leaving the walls of my room bare once again. I suppose it’s a good thing for art was never meant to be confined. I step one foot out into this exciting new world. It certainly is loud out here, and very bright. But this is what I wanted. I leave the door to the room open as I decide to take a stroll through this exciting new world.
I see art all around me. But it is so much. It is too much. I find this place overwhelming. Suddenly I remember everything. I have been here before. Every day I step outside of my security. I always think it is what I want but in the end it always frightens me. My hunger for something more does not win out, it never does. Today, I think, I will stay. I take a step farther than yesterday, it seems I do this every day too—I take an extra step. I stand here looking around. The colors become too bright. The music is too much. The words are too loud. It’s all so loud. I can’t stand it. The fear makes its way inside of me. I long for the safety of my little room.
I tell myself not to look back, to keep moving forward. But I’m stuck here in this place, unable to go any further. I fight against looking back. In the end I fail. I look over my shoulder; I look into the safe confines of my four walls, the very walls I built. I turn back to this world I’m in and decide I don’t want to be here. I run back to my room, back to where it’s safe, back to where nothing can harm me except for me. I race back to my confinement where I know I’ll be all right.
I reach my room and close the door behind me. The door disappears. The words, the colors and the music are gone. All the beauty is gone, I let it go. The threat of the world outside is still to near. I jump on to my cot and huddle under the blankets, hoping they will protect me. I squeeze my eyes shut to block everything out because I’m all too aware of the world outside. I can still see it. I can still hear it. Maybe tomorrow I will make the right choice. Maybe tomorrow I will have forgotten it all and will let myself live in the safety of my four walls. I hope tomorrow I won’t remember, for it is all too painful to relive the memory every day, and every day run away. Maybe tomorrow, I wake up.
~peace and cheese~