I recognized the atmosphere immediately, the cobbled sloping streets strangely familiar. I stopped and looked around. One of the huge main buildings was right in front of us, in a southerly direction from where we were standing. The tawny stones of its massive structure shone brightly in the strong summer sunshine. It was a true edifice, dramatically radiant with distinct power that was in a class of its own, bordered with immaculate shrubbery that was slightly too formal to be beautiful. Even more amazing than the building itself was the sheer blazing light suffusing the entire scene. I had seldom seen another place with walls so bright, they gleamed without ever failing, be it by the sun, moon or stars, utterly resplendent with cool classical beauty.
For the first time I felt slightly uneasy and struggled to remember something that was eluding me for the second time. I looked and looked again. My companion had reached my side successfully and by now I wished to confide in her, hoping to jog my memory.
Once before had I seen this place - exactly as it seemed at this moment - but then it had been a dream. Many times before had I seen a place that now appeared to have been its image. It was strange, almost perfect, the enigma of architectural enlightenment, but I had unmistakable doubts upon my arrival. One could not help but feel that the atmosphere was potentially restrictive to a free spirit. There was a suggestion of dark and hidden corridors, both without and within the actual buildings. If it were a fairy tale, there would have been a gingerbread house (and all that goes with it) nestling on a side-road somewhere. I had a distinct feeling of possible exposure and wished not to approach those inner walls, lest they should bear down and became a prison of knowledge, for all of their glorious appearance. Once stuck in a position of learning, it might be extremely hard to escape honourably without first renouncing individual intelligence.
I could see that genuine – possibly dangerous - secrets were being guarded within and that I was able to discover what many other students (or clones, as they appeared) never comprehended - the depth of knowledge actually in situ - except of course for the gilded few who by birthright were trusted by the establishment. I realised for the second time that there was a conspiracy but could not fathom the mystery that I longed to understand.
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