A Morning Lake

The air is blurred like muddy water, and the air is also in me. I’m lying on a morning lake. I don’t know how I got here. I’m not wet, and I think I couldn’t have walked. I can feel the water as a plastic cushion with the palm and outspread fingers of my hand. I rest my chin in my hands. My elbows seem to be supported on the surface of the lake, but it doesn’t press my body as would a bed, and it’s not hard. I look down into the water, just beginning to dance with light from the ascending sun, through the dirt-green nebulous water, I see fish with brown backs moving lazily in wave-like motions. I can’t see the bottom of the lake, although I imagine it down there deep with soft dark brown dirt and greenish feathery moss reaching, clinging to rocks, undulating in the water. I don’t know why I’m not sinking, but just as the shore all around me, solid ground with grass and trees, is gently holding the lake, the lake is holding me. My eyes blink slowly. With a confused wonder, I think curiously of a dream. My thoughts are inward. Something slow and thickly arduous moves there. As liquid in liquid, without a ripple, it moves. Every thought takes an effort whose effect is strangely blunted as the surface of the lake. It feels like concentration without pursing the face. I find words and sentences for thought. They are molecules lying gently, held together in my mind, forming a liquid body of themselves, and holding my body freely. I find symbol for idea. It becomes from that liquid body, from the morning lake, to thickly move inward towards me. It’s a boat, and, lying on the morning lake, I turn my head to find that it’s approaching me. I realize the boat was how I got here. It’s a real boat, and, sitting firmly on its wooden seat, I find it gently floating on the clean smooth surface of a morning lake. The sun is brightly over the tops of trees; I feel the sunlight warmth on my cheek, and everything is clear and bright.

January 1971