Monday, October 7, 2013

The Memory of Flight

So I had a very odd dream.

Mary Lynn and I were sitting on the roof of an apartment building, about three stories up. Above us was a blue sky, draped with several broad white clouds. One particularly large cloud bank was approaching, and as I looked at it, I saw that a large round hole had opened up in the bottom of the cloud, and something like a waterfall was spilling down from the opening's rim.

I immediately pointed this out to Mary Lynn. As we watched, the stuff (whatever it was) that was falling from the cloud seemed to level off, forming a horizontal stream, which began to drift by us at the level of the roof we were on. I expected to see just a horizontal column of mist, but as we looked, we saw that the stream was actually formed of innumerable floating feathers, about as long as my hand. Each feather had an intricate, delicate structure, and was colored white with grey touches.

One of us (I don't know who) reached out into this passing stream of feathers and brought back something larger. It was also white, gray, and fluffy, but was about the size of a soccer ball, with the heft of something that had been made of papier-mache. A point at one end that gave it a round teardrop shape, and opposite the point, a long feathery crest hung from the object, nearly as long as I am tall.

After staring at it a while, it became clear to us that we were holding the mummified head of a huge bird. This fantastic white-gray avian had, for some reason, disintegrated in the upper atmosphere, and its feathers and impossibly light bones had spread out into a cloud. This cloud had drifted with the wind until some twist of atmosphere and temperature had caused the feathers to suddenly fall, near the apartment building where Mary Lynn and I sat. Thermals near the buildings had temporarily halted the descent of the bird's remains, causing them to float past us where we sat on the roof.

Below us, an actual river flowed past the building whose roof we occupied. We dropped the head off the roof, and it fell into the river, along with the other feathers and remnants that had begun to succumb to gravity. The head, and the other feathers, turned black when they touched the water, sank, and dissolved.

I woke up shortly after that, knowing that I had seen one of the most miraculous and astonishing sights of my life -- and that it had only been a dream.