In an instant I was there. I found myself in a somewhat disoriented state in the rooms beneath the true house, and lacking in both memory and awareness, which had gone the long-way round via the river. I hoped I would be able to hang on until they arrived, or at least I would have hoped if I had been able to think clearly. These rooms were filled with the stuff of fantasy, hazardous material of psychology, and I unconsciously realized that I might have to face a test in this place.
I was very little at this stage beyond curiosity tempered with conscience and I wished above all to see the fairy again, despite the mirage of treasures for a wandering mind that layered the environs and stepped in my way. I was overloaded with sensation and a voice by my left ear was wondering whether I might have left reason alone with the fairies for a wee bit too long. Could I really have been in the Eastern land for an eternity - it had seemed like mere moments - but here was I at the meeting place with my reason, surrounded by a mixture of illusions that looked real, or reality that seemed impossible. I had expected a place of refuge but it seemed that my ungoverned mindful aspect had found a will of her own and run riot in my absence.
It did not seem like a bad house, but the tantalizing pleasures being enjoyed by all the inhabitants were slightly disturbing and just out of my grasp (same old story). Could this be the goal of reason when it looked rather more like an impure chaos? I decided I should look through all of the rooms for something more familiar, still reeling from the shock of the sensations.
Upon closer inspection, when I had gained my bearings and pulled myself together, it seemed that my novel surroundings had certain potential and I felt my tongue prickle expectantly. There was some sort of music playing, the sort I used to dance to, and lots of people milling about – both male and female – as if a party had been in progress for quite some time. I was a bit late - never a good time for me –for I had come an exceedingly long way to get here and was now slightly desperate at the thought of having lost time (there was no reason, though, so it was only a human fear). My memories of the garden and its gentle creatures receded a little as I searched for the lost things, but still they remained in the back of my mind, guarded by the silver breath of consciousness as it slowly wound its way through the rivers of belief. Consciousness always took its time and arrived when least expected. In some cases, where the journeying soul had pushed at the extremities and failed to take an impression, it never arrived at all.
I wandered absent-mindedly into another room and without warning chanced upon the pair I sought, although they did not see me at first for I remained out of view, the quietest of those present. Both of them appeared to have changed clothes and become more real looking, which served to diminish their power in my eyes and deprive the sprite (as she had become) of the intensity of pure magical beauty. Funny, then, that she attracted me somehow more strongly than when she had been composed entirely of fire and air. The attraction was more basic though, for mingled with clay and water she seemed human, even if the golden hair, which had lost some of its length and lustre, still tumbled past her slender shoulders and glistened invitingly in the half-light. She stood with her back to me, both hands joined with those of reason, who gazed at her in such complacent adoration that she did not see me at all. Their breasts were almost touching but I could not tell if they were dancing, making love or struggling with each other. Slight annoyance was mingled with an overwhelming desire to touch them both; I was totally beside myself and moved towards them determinedly.
As soon as I stepped forward they turned quickly. My reason beamed at me beatifically, “At last, you’re here, what on earth have you been doing, you were ages, we’ve had a fantastic time!” I acknowledged that the other one was less pleased to see me but that she grew lovelier once more as the weight of reason drew away from her. The reason for being moved languidly to my right and draped her arm across my back, head on my shoulder, “I love you”, she murmured softly, once again my modest companion. Fire grew in the sylph-like eyes of the other and with every inspiration she became more like the wind. Subtly, almost imperceptibly, her robes changed once more to the hue of dawn on a bed of blossom and the coils of hair unfurled into their pure golden streams.
I abandoned myself for an instant and lay down so she could pass over us both as she flew away, for this would be my only direct experience of that glorious being who had arrested my reason for endless hours. I closed my eyes as she spread her wings and sighed in half-forgotten ecstasy as leapt silently into the air and across our reclining figures, touching our skin with the hem of her gown as she passed on the scent of lilies and melted into the future night, rosy as clouds before dusk. Had this been the image of my passion? I held it close as I lost consciousness and entered oblivious insight, soothed by the treasures of the sleeping mind.
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