Beside it, a triangle which points towards heaven.
The sun is long past its peak. The light that now spills over the city is golden and fleeting. The walls of the many downtown buildings glow in a muted shade of orange, the sky above has turned to a pale blue that only holds a faint promise of the darkness to come. There are no clouds, just endless pale blue ever so slowly shifting to gray.
There are more symbols. She can feel them, almost hear them as if they were talking with soft words in a language she can not understand. The shapes have obscured themselves, blending into each other like colored oils.
She has awoken on a warm bed of light green grass. She had dreamed of a closed door and two men with white horns. But as her eyes flutter open, she is surprised to find herself alone. She lays still for several minutes, tuning into the metronome of her heart, listening to the sounds of the city.
The street is wide and made of multiple lanes of traffic going in both directions. The city is a mixture of ancient and new, old edifices and architecture combined with new street lamps and signs. The street itself is covered with a fresh black layer of asphalt, but the sidewalks are old cobblestone, worn to a shiny finish from years of use. Modern buses wait patiently in traffic beside buildings hundreds of years old.
Two men with white horns. They were speaking. What did the men say? What were they saying?
"In music I will give you the mystery of the baptism of those of the Midst and the manner of invocation for reaching their regions."
A typical late afternoon, a known rhythm. She can sense it all without looking.
Though the sounds seem familiar, there is another sound that lays the foundation to all that she hears. She lays still, focusing, listening.
It's the sound of distant bells. Earlier they lulled her to sleep here in this quiet little park. Now that same repetition has somehow called her back from the dream.
"And in gestures I will announce unto you their ciphers and their seals. It will be a dance and the steps will change even as the music changes. You will never know what step comes next just as I never know what step comes next. The sequence will seep into your consciousness like water being absorbed by cardboard. I want your consciousness to become soggy , a formless pulp."
The street is exact and completely straight, breaking from its course only when it meets perpendicularly with another wide road at an intersection. Each lane is full of cars. They wait bumper to bumper, occasionally letting out a desperate honk that does nothing to move the cars ahead of them.
She brings her warm pink hand to her face, slower than she would have usually moved her arm, so much slower than her habits would dictate. The hand comes towards her as though it needs attention, as though it has just been birthed from the warm folds of silk and is now taking its first breath in a new waterless world.
Here is bright light. Here is something that can see. Eyes and a face, a mind to comprehend.
The dainty white hand hovers a few inches above her face, just close enough for minute ripples of alarm to spread as she sees the short sequence of numbers and shapes on her index finger. This was not there when she went to sleep in the middle of the park just a few hours earlier.
Dark exhaust streams from the back of the city buses. They wait as still as the cars. Nearly hidden inside them are scores of passengers that stare out from the tinted windows with a mixture of helplessness and resigned desperation, unable to do anything to change their fate. An occasional motorcycle weaves its way through the congestion, finding the small pockets of space within the mass of metal and exhaust and horns beeping in useless exasperation.
"And I will give you the baptism of those of the Right, our region, by letting the sun scorch your skin and the eagles eat out your eyes."
It is not just crowded streets, the sidewalks on either side of the traffic are full of pedestrians. Many of them are tourists, clinging to their maps and cameras and staring open-mouthed at the architecture. There are large baroque buildings that take up entire blocks and between them are grand cathedrals on every other corner.
She had gotten into the curious habit of studying her body in the mirror before bed, looking for such strange signs. Why did she start? What made her do it? No clear answers to be found, no clear answers to be stated.
It had turned into a compulsion. She didn’t know what she was searching for when she started. She smiled shyly at herself in the mirror under flickering candlelight, a bit embarrassed by the nightly ritual. But she did it again and again, looking for something. Night after night, she had only found pale skin and freckles.
But this afternoon something has happened. She searches her dreams for a clue. A door, white horns. She looks deeper, allowing her body to relax and drift, to begin the journey once again.
"I will give you the great mystery of the Treasury of the Light where all my wealth is stored."
a field with a book,
a man’s face she could not see.
She pulls herself out of the waves and looks at the symbols once again. She closes her eyes slowly, feeling her heart. It is calm, there is no fear. The ripples have faded.
"I will give you gnosis in order that ye may be called 'children of the fullness, perfected in all the gnosis and all the mysteries."
The tourists walk in small groups, adorned with hats and water bottles. Locals weave through them like the motorcycles, finding the spaces between gawking groups of picture-happy tourists.
She has grown to expect strange things, to hope for them perhaps, though a part of her mind holds onto modesty and stable things like stones and plastic.
But all things are possible in the labyrinth. Puppets and humans alike play, devising ways to come through the tunnels left wide open in dreams.
One of the oldest buildings in the downtown area is an old church with a long, narrow steeple made of metal. The building itself is constructed from bricks and rises five stories high. On the body of the building, close to the steeple, are open square windows. Inside the windows, within the church, she can see the silhouettes of ancient people, wide open eyes staring out.
The church building sways softly in the wind, moving slightly to the right and left, then forwards and backwards.
"Blessed are ye beyond all men on earth, for with access to these spheres you will have room to breath. For the children of the Light are come in your time, you are they.
All that is required for an achievement of gnosis is everything.
You who have abandoned the sky father and the earth mother because I have asked it, unto you will I give all mysteries and all gnosis."
A numeral, a 3. An upside-down triangle.
Beside it, a triangle which points towards heaven.