Until I woke up

Once, I had a dream… where a monochromatic sky opened its mouth and I rolled out off a long velvet tongue.

I shot towards a shoreline like a meteor.

My skin was as hot as the center of a blazing star.

My hair was stuck to my face, neck, and shoulders like moss to the base of an old tree.

When I collided with the beach, the ocean cried out in terror.

Jagged rocks rang out like bells at church service when the shockwave rolled across the earth.

The whole world paused to consider the damage.

Birds pulled their flightless young close in the nearby trees. Trees pulled their aching roots close in the nearby forest.

Pearlescent insects with paper wings found refuge under fallen branches. Their bodies glimmered from a distance like twinkling lights as the sun’s rays caught a glimpse for only a moment.

But… here I was, inside a giant crater.

A hole surrounded by wet sand and desperate hermit crabs trying to haul themselves out.

My skin was as hot as the center of the sun above.

I was afraid.

The mouth gasping between puffy white clouds began to drool, and my skin shriveled as the cold droplets began to assault my bare body.

What could it want?

Why did it abandon me here?

I pulled my legs in tight and felt the sand shift uneasy underneath with more crustaceans escaping towards the sea.

From a distance, an ever-darkening ocean rumbled, and fish of many dazzling colors retreated towards unknown depths.

I heard wind arguing amongst itself about which direction it should blow next. I smelled summer arguing with spring about when it should resign and give the season up to the next candidate in line.

The gaping mouth in the heavens began to laugh.

It stilled the turbulent waves of the black ocean.

The tide did not come in to drown me inside of that massive hole.

The gaping mouth in the heavens continued to laugh.

It slowed the decay of fallen animals in the black forest.

The gaping mouth in the heavens persisted.

It laughed until it cried.

It cried until it resulted in more violent laughing.

The grains of sand around me were stiff and bloated with water pouring from the amused sky overhead.

It reached with my small, wrinkled hands and covered my misshapen ears.

I could not take it anymore.

Even the tiniest crabs had managed to escape with their homes intact.

Was I the only one forced to endure this?

My skin prickled in fear.

Why am I here?

When I should have been up there?

I squeezed my ears tighter until my hands turned red.

Then suddenly…

It got quiet.

Hesitantly, I unhinged my fingertips around cartilage and pulled away to listen.  

The mouth in the sky, had a twisted expression hanging across the horizon and a soft phrase felt out between hazy lips colored orange, yellow, and all manner of brilliance.

A phrase I shall never forget.

“Go forth, in fear. Go forth, in joy. Go forth, in embarrassment. Humans are fragile and you may think, you were cast here as punishment, but at least no matter the circumstances, they, always… go forth.”

I never understood what was so funny to the vastness of the sky, until I woke up several lifetimes later.

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