04/10/2011

Dance of the Dust Devils




I find myself in a precinct I didn't know existed.  But it must have been there all this time.

Towers of glass and concrete imprison a row of spineless trees.  Fingers of sunshine creep across the buildings but never dip down to where I sit.  The dark brick is rough like someone who forgot to shave.

Clouds roll above me, imperceptibly at first, then fast enough to gauge the direction of the wind.  Large, white, lumbering wild west clouds, puffed asthmatically from a giant steam engine.

A scattering of leaves litter the pavement.  Everything is falling away in Russian doll layers.  Light.  Colour.  Time.  Meaning.  Truth.  At the centre there might be nothing.  Or God.

I see a reflection in the building opposite.  Gradually, I recognise it.  Me.  Or my astral self, a soul trapped behind the glass.  Mute, but waving.  As if to say, "Hi there."

A rush of air whispers in my ear.  The dead leaves flicker and tremble.  I'm witnessing a resurrection.

Slowly, nature reveals its love of curves, bending where concrete cannot.  The leaves begin to waltz.  I'm hypnotised.  They spin around an invisible maypole, a miracle - or the work of the Devil. Magicians hurriedly pack away their paraphenalia and pull down shutters on their paint-flaked caravans.

As one dance ends, the next begins.  More leaves join the throng.  It sounds like an excited audience forcing the letter 'S' through gritted teeth.  It's a twister!  A faint voice cries "Dorothy!"

The leaves rise up in a giddy vortex, spraying out the top of the funnel like confetti.  It's just a moment, I tell myself, one moment; but it feels like infinity.  We're not onlookers or passers-by but witnesses.

It can't end. 

Then it does.

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