The limitless nature of The Story is curtained by my micro-view, one which has been pecked and prodded by the real and the unreal. It’s hard to know one from the other, the real arriving in single-serving sensory packets, and the unreal winking and nudging from muses in every direction.
I recently viewed the magnificent Keith Haring Art is for Everybody exhibition at The Broad in LA. Before our party of three paced alongside the cording for those with timed entry, we traveled down the nearby Angel’s Flight in an intersection of turned corners and chance. The downhill journey on the funicular railway, its reputation established decades before and its design part fairy tale, part feat, was a prescient threshold to my next life, the one that arrives only and ever as now. Our trinity of souls departed the unlikely vehicle at the crossing to the Grand Central Market in a neighborhood called Bunker Hill, provisions and protections embedded in the namings. On a hot day, the Market offered an iced Open Heart tea that was made by and tasted of love.
After the mind-expanding Haring exhibit, I scooted to the docent in charge of monitoring the line for the Infinity Mirrored Room, which requires a timed-entry ticket. All slots had been snapped up when I tried to reserve spots to view Yayoi Kusama’s masterpiece when the month’s supply was released. What about stand-by? I wondered as I stood in the atrium of the beneficent museum. Maybe there will be a sudden no-show slot for me? And after a short wait on a bench by the window, the docent waved me over, like a ferryman in a fable. It’s your lucky day, he nodded.
I stood in line for twenty minutes, anticipating the sixty seconds I would be given to commune with Yayoi Kusama’s three-dimensional, immersive art installation all by myself. When the couple before me exited, a kind guide motioned a welcome as the heavy black door opened for me into The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away.
Secured in the art space, I breathed an “Oh, wow,” smiled without thinking, and pulled out my phone to start filming, my attention divided by the creation itself and my documentation of it. I turned on the balls of my feet in a clockwise circle that had me meeting myself up close and then at a distance, turned sideways in a never-ending diagonal, the glistening lights, by the thousands, obscuring the difference between them and me. I insisted on dividing my attention between being there without having to prove it and proving I had been there for when I no longer was. I couldn’t help myself. Something possessed me beyond mere awareness to a place in space and time that longed to prove my existence in the here and now. I was the light and was not the light. The light was not me and was me. All was real and unreal in an unworldly complication of terms like a dream.
A dream can be a director, a Demeter, a discourse if the receiver allows an interplay of energies, images, urges, births, longings, paradoxes — messages from that which mingles the self and the beyondness that lives within, around and through this experimental tag of being human.
Before I wake this morning, I am dressed for an occasion as a solo diner at an exotic restaurant where I have never been. When I push open the nondescript door of the unnamed establishment, I am met by a vaulted ceiling, like I am inside a globe. Its surface is sarcophagus blue and mother earth red, the arches outlined with a yellow as old as the sun. The ceiling calls forth a space of worship, and the guests sit in curving booths against terracotta walls, speaking in hushed tones. As the most recent guest, I stand waiting, not knowing what will happen and feeling a softness in my belly that nothing can harden. The wonders of life are unceasing as Dream dangles around me like Yayoi’s room of infinite reflections. The invitation is simple: to shine.