As it was then, a wave of happiness sweeps through her, without a barrier in her body or mind, leaving an impression as if time was standing still. Baba is as always barefoot. His orange lungi bleached from the sun, wrapped around his hips, has one end slung over his shoulder; his hair is covered by a turban of the same washed out color with a couple of strands defiantly escaping their constraint. They are of a light brown color and only a meager hint of the mass of dreadlocks that are hidden away. When allowed to fall freely, they reach far below his back.
She is crazy about his hair though she has never touched it. It is of such an abundance, and despite its felt like matting it has parts of lighter, even golden color weaving through it, leaving an impression of softness and silkiness and of locks rather than tightly rolled strands. The sun has given his skin color, in contrast to his clothing, tanning, rather than having it burnt dark and dry.
Again, she must acknowledge what a beautiful man he is. High forehead, well arched brows, straight nose and full lips, his face a combination of softness and manliness, without a hint of harshness or crudeness that many good-looking male faces show. But something very special are his eyes; they can be anything, - warming fires, still lakes or moonless black nights.
Most of the time he carries his hair bundled into a big knot on top of his head, with many strands still trailing down to his shoulders, but when allowed to fall freely, it is as if a mighty waterfall was cascading over his chest and the back of his body. It changes his face, makes time go the other way, losing the features of maturity and turning it into a young man’s face, with cheerful sparks in the eyes, and an overall contagious joyfulness. But enough of reveling! He is Baba, he is Sadhu! He can be young, he can be old, and he can be this, or that!
He has not moved, still standing, waiting, with his little brass pot and his walking stick in his right hand and a bundle at his feet that really is a blanket in which he carries a few possessions. She gets up, walks over to him with open arms, inviting him to sit down with her, and while she is talking and gesturing, he answers with more smiles. Even as his face brightens there is no sound, because Baba is mute. She knows, sometimes Sadhus commit to silence for a certain period of time, or may give up talking for good. Though she found out some information about him, it is nothing specific. She has no clue, if he will ever speak again and it does not help at all that he can write in order to communicate, because they don’t speak the same language, and their writing is not of the same kind either, meaning, the word is out, spoken and written. They had and obviously still need to use different means to “talk” with each other. She cannot recall this to have been a problem, but naturally there is no way to find out concrete information, nor is it possible to exchange opinions or intellectual thoughts. Of course, that is the purpose of such exercise, as it forces you to go back to basics, eliminating a whole lot of jibber jabber.
Strangely though, at the moment she finds the one-sided conversation awkward, despite Baba having no problem to understand, sitting down with her, as she wanted him to do. But immediately another uncomfortable thought rises: ‘What now? I have nothing to offer him!’
She looks at him, uncertain, raising her hands, empty palms turned up while shrugging her shoulders. He smiles and points to his bundle, then unrolling it and displaying all his treasures. There is no longer a cloud in her head, his smile driving them all away. But even better, - a sudden clarity stops her in her track, just like a parcel had been delivered to her, filled with memory of old: Where she comes from, body-language is a common means of communication. Having not used it regularly for some time, she has somewhat lost the skill, but she has not forgotten it all, and she remembers now that she still had used it at times, though not being actually aware of it. She realizes that she has relied on language as the main tool of communication for far too long. No surprise then that she felt disconcerted before. But language is only an extension of pre-existing skills such as sensations, senses and feelings. She remembers, it was a skill still commonly practiced, besides language.
‘Oh Baba’, her heart raises its beat excitedly, being filled with gratitude and joy. If that is not a reason to celebrate! First the unexpected reunion with him, bringing her a gift from her lost memory; then like a ripple effect, she believes it points to the ring’s function and organization. Most likely it does not demand special skills and no more requirements other than letting senses and emotions do its work. And besides all that, the ‘room of antennas’ belongs to her just as good as she is breathing and she may even have found another way out of the house!
Happily she watches Baba preparing a shilom. He offers her to start it, but she declines. Her lungs would not cope. So he raises it, holding it with both hands, to his forehead, obviously giving thought to the ritual, and then when he is ready she lights it for him. Taking deep breaths he brings the content to burn brightly and evenly, the wisps of smoke curling up and filling the air with a sweet scent. So they celebrate together, enjoying each other’s company. There is no more to desire, nothing they would need, - at least not as far as them both are concerned.
A young man joins them. He seems familiar to her, but he assures that they have never met before. This happens too often for her liking. It frustrates her because it seems her memory plays tricks, remembering things that she ought to have no memory of, but not remembering the things she desperately wants and should be able to. Whatever! It just makes her wonder as ever so often, if or when she will get all her memory back. It was so far such a struggle, so slow a progress and with so many intervals of no progress at all………; - she stops the train of thought. Now is not the time to lament about it, not in Baba’s company and not in presence of this nice young fellow, who, though having the same difficulty of communication as she, is carrying on talking to Baba enthusiastically. He does not hesitate, using hands and body for demonstration. It appears to be successful, because Baba seems to get it and fully enjoys the performance. And so does Femina after all too, wondering however, if this guy actually can stop talking or sit still, ever.
“I am going to Somnia,” says he, turning towards her and pointing his thumb to the back over his shoulder. That is where she has seen the outlines at the far horizon not able to discern what they were, mountains or a city.
“Somnia?” She repeats straining her grey cells. “Is that in Anarchy?”
He nods in confirmation. “But you know, if I really get there, is another question. By the way, did you get the last news?”
She is a bit uncertain about the ‘you know’ and the ‘last news’. She can only presume that he means the last very impressive ring action she witnessed, not understanding what it was all about. She therefore shakes her head.
“Holocaust”, says he solemnly.
“Ph!” She remarks dismissively: “So what!”
He does not seem to like the answer, looking at her with a somewhat strange gaze.
To distract him she asks therefore, if he really had to go to Somnia.
“Not really,” says he, but he smiles and looks dreamily into the distance, continuing: “I might meet somebody there….”
She leaves him to his dreams and looks to Baba. He lies comfortably on the ground, his head resting on the hand of his bent right arm and eyes shining in peaceful amusement. His quietness makes her feel so good. It is as contagious as the other’s vivaciousness. ‘What a wonderful night!’ Above, over the sky wander steadily these colorful shapes, and the warm night is filled with sound. Baba is like the sheltered harbor, where the seafaring folks can rest and recuperate, and she is in the middle of it all, with her boat safely anchored.
“Have you been in Somnia?” asks he.
Slowly she shakes her head but then answers truthfully: “I don’t know”.
He looks at her, puzzled, but continues without asking any questions: “I have been there a few times. It’s great! It’s a real meeting-joint. A long way to get there, because it seems as if you were chasing a Fata Morgana, but definitely worth the while.”
Somnia, Somnia?! She tries again to retrieve more information from her brain, but without success. What her brain spat out before is all she gets. Such a damn thick-head her head! What use is it to own a safe when you can’t open it! And her brain is like tapestry, with lots of colors and as many holes.
“So you think holocaust is pending?” She changes to the other topic just to get away from her problem. She is not perturbed by the possibility of doom, not at the moment anyway where she feels happy inside out. She could not care less if the world fell apart or the house and she in it was blown away for good.
The young man nods. His name is Ian and he is a surfer, having his surfboard with him wherever he goes, as it turns out, when he carries his stuff over to them. With the surfboard to Somnia? She laughs out loud. Baba has never seen such a board and inspects it inquisitively. Ian explains to him what it is good for. It takes a little demonstration to get the point across, to the amusement of Baba and herself. She teases Ian but it does not upset him. He is a ‘sunny boy’, rather preparing a shilom than spoiling his good mood.
“And holocaust?” asks she again.
“I do what I can,” is his answer, but he looks at her with the same strange gaze as he did before. She just laughs and takes the shilom from him without saying more.
“Listen,” continues he instead, “were you serious that you don’t know if you have been in Somnia? If you had been there once, you could not possibly forget!”
She shrugs her shoulders: “One day I woke up and I did not remember anything; neither who I was, nor where I came from and certainly not where I was or should be going. In fact, I am still stumbling through darkness, but I progress.” She stops talking for a brief moment then adding: “….not bad progress either, but it is like you said, I too do what I can. However, just like you don’t know, if or when you will get to Somnia, - neither do I know, if I will ever retrieve my memory, or when.”
He understands and becomes suddenly quiet and serious. Thoughtfully he says: “That must be really awful, - all of a sudden without orientation……..!”
“Yeah,” agrees she, “but it was really more so in the beginning. I guess, I just have got used to it and I do make progress after all. But tell me, how is it with you? You are as good in this terrible building as I am that one cannot leave. Does it not trouble you?”
“Terrible building?” He repeats: “What terrible building? I am on my way to Somnia! I am in no terrible building!” He obviously has no idea what she is talking about.
“So you are free? You can do as you please? Nobody can stop you, force you to do anything you don’t want to do?”
There is this strange gaze again. “Of course!” says he. “Aren't you?”
Shaking her head, she is close to bursting into tears.
“Don’t lose heart,” says he consolingly, “you will find the answers. You don’t look like a prisoner to me! And right now, I assure you, you are no prisoner, as good as Baba or I aren't. Ask Baba! He will tell you!”
Looking to Baba she starts to smile again. Asking him? Turning back to Ian she says: “That wouldn't be easy!”
He grins amused: “Exactly! You know what I mean! Baba a prisoner? Never! But I understand your situation. Without orientation and reference it is a hard time for you, because you would not even know whom or what you can trust or rely on.” He strokes her hands and reassures her. “You will be fine. You are not the helpless type and you are unlikely to throw in the towel because there are obstacles. And honestly, for a prisoner you look too radiant.”
She admits: “Well, I am not suffering, - physically, I mean. But emotionally it is a roller-coaster or like being taken by big waves. Up and down, at times freaking me out, - you know the waves better than me, do I have to say more?”
“I understand,” but, as he is saying it, his eyes light up and drift afar, seemingly being caught up with the mentioning of waves, and sure enough, he starts to come back to them talking about the surf and then telling them stories about his victories and misadventures riding the waves. Baba and Femina are a keen audience because his accounts and performance are funny. He has them laughing all the way.
Femina nearly forgot about the broadcasting going on but not Ian. Suddenly he jumps up stating that he has to join the ring because there was someone messaging whom he greatly adored. He says a name, but Femina has never heard it, so she decides to stay with Baba while Ian disappears. Nobody in her mind has more to say than Baba, even when meditating as he now readies himself to do, sitting up in the lotus posture and eyes half shut. She joins in, but not to meditate, just to let herself being wrapped in his stillness and engulfed by his warmth. She even can see a glow around him that deepens as his silence grows.
Does she really just imagine to be a prisoner? She recalls Dimitri saying, people were just coming and going. Or maybe, she really found another way out the house? She should have investigated this house rather than just focusing on the exit door! She did not actively try to open other doors! Instead, she gave in and let happen what she calls the brainwashing! No one to blame but herself! ‘Mea culpa’, ‘mea culpa!’
Suddenly she regrets to have caused Dimitri and Pia all these troubles. Though she cannot quite forgive Dimitri for his attempt to control her, he is not an evil man and in his world he had not much choice either. Her feelings for him remain however conflictual, but it has less significance. For Pia no such dilemma exists. She loves her, undivided, feelings that are the reflection of what Pia gave her. But she has to admit, she loves them both, just not in the same way.
Ian returns, raving about the guy’s genius he went into the ring for. He again mentions his name and can’t get over it that she does not know him. But names mean nothing, except there is meaning attached to it. That is true for word, or sound, anyway. They are just symbols, which have developed into something as sophisticated as languages for ease of communication. Just to think how birds talk and twitter, or the whales carry their messages over the distance throughout the oceans. And men with all the books and speeches, one can only be in awe, speechless awe, not always can words express what is felt. But words are never the less an excellent tool and she is more than happy to listen to Ian who tries to enthuse her about the person he admires so much. He is successfully putting meaning to the name, and maybe she will remember it. However, she is far more impressed by Ian. He is like the wind, sometimes a breeze, sometimes a whirlwind, sweeping over everything, blowing and stirring high spirited gusts into all things not tied up to take them for a ride at his whim. He certainly could sweep her off her feet, and she would not mind. And Somnia? Ph! Somnia is there and they are here! Nothing to worry about!
Baba is still meditating. She looks at him and loves what she sees and that she is close to him. Never the less, she decides as she had intended to do, to join the ring, and Ian will come with her. He confirms what she had suspected, vibrations are the element of how the broadcasting works. He admits that some practice is required to make the most of it, but, he says, it is nothing that cannot be picked up quickly enough to at least participate. The more one does it the better one gets. Some, he says, are better than others and some are true experts, but the point is, not to see it as a competition, as it does not matter what so ever. It is however important to let the vibrations find their destination without interference of a prejudicial mind. That’s how messages are received. To send vibrations means, they need to be initiated, ‘which is no problem either’, he reckons, as it is like musical notes. You know them, and you can compose.’ But what is with the notes? Are they a problem? ‘No, no,’ insists he, but it might be better if she just starts with the reception and the principles will become very clear, sooner than she may think.’ Hm! It seems to be exactly what she believes in anyway: Practical learning, rather than studying, and experience replacing lectures. But what of the green light? ‘No problem at all,’ says he. ‘It is the wish to be part of the ring. That energy is projected as the green light.’
The simplicity truly impresses her and she finds it even more fantastic than before. She feels of course a bit disadvantaged due to lack of experience. But maybe, by doing it, old knowledge can be retrieved as well. With optimism she steps into the ring and sits down at the next available empty space.
Immediately a sensation of strength and direction surges through her entire body. She crosses her legs and her spine straightens with such determination as if all muscles were keen to give it support. Her eyelids close and the gaze turns inwards. Light flows through her and every cell of her body strives to gain her attention. They adhere to one another like honey-comb, their walls clear and translucent as if they were of the finest glass imaginable, filled with water or fluid like water and in it floating particles wrapped in thin smooth membranes as if they were tiny little parcels waiting to be sent off when the order comes in. She feels weightless, rather a body of light, but not just of green color, but of all colors, from the white light to that of the rainbow with all the possibilities in between. As sounds and color pictures enter her body her own colors change and the cell walls and cells swing in one or the other direction, some cause a ripple others bundle together, but finally all find their way into her brain. There the actions are packed and intense. Every oscillation, every wave is collected, sorted and transported to specific location. If she thought the ring action was fantastic she is even more impressed with her brain. She has never experienced it the way she does now. Being such a small part of her body it has more space in it than any other organ and, in fact it feels as if the whole universe has place in it.
Indeed, it is not difficult to receive whatever is coming over the aether, as long as she concentrates on the action itself and letting it unfold, without censorship or interference by her rational mind. And very quickly she realizes that with the help of concentration she can of course initiate whatever she wants. It allows the step from initiation to mobilization, hence concentration is the key to receiving and broadcasting, the to and fro street, from the outside worlds to the brain and vice versa. Though for the time being she has to content with the more simple actions, deciphering and creating vibrations that is, but it is only a matter of time to get better at it, which she does not want to spend now. She wants more time with Baba.
Returning to their place she finds only Ian’s belongings lying around. Baba is gone. Disappointed she sits down regretting her little excursion that could have been done any time later as good. But despite having a spell of sadness passing over her, it passes quickly. It is a strange thing with Baba. There is always only an immediate relationship with him. When he is gone, she cannot fathom what he actually means to her. And so it is now. He is gone and no reference or relation to him remains. Without him, her mind cannot and does not care to figure him out and neither do her feelings.
She is not alone for long. Ian returns and like the wind he sweeps over her, taking her on a walk as he flies. Hats and caps, leaves and kites and umbrellas, all are fair game to him.
“Where is Baba?” He asks after all. “Is he gone?” She nods.
“Ah,” is all he says, but continues asking her: “And you? What do you want to do?”
She looks at her pale skin on her arms; “I shall go to somewhere, where the sun is shining, somewhere, where the sea is turquoise and the sand of white gold. That’s where I will go.” And she smiles as she sees this picture in her head.
“Yeah,” says he, “that sounds wonderful.” But he adds: “And holocaust?”
She looks at him, puzzled. Then both at the same time exclaim: “I do what I can!” and they burst into laughter. Oh my, they are of the same kind, they could be siblings!
They carry on talking about the station, its functioning and meaning. They agree about its design being extraordinary. But as usual, the simple things can appear complicated to the doubtful and lack of self-confidence may prompt the inquisitive mind to give up before even trying.
”It is crazy not to believe in oneself”, says Ian
“Well yes, but it is more than that,” counters Femina, “it is a catastrophe. And no-one choses that voluntarily!”
He looks at her thoughtfully before he finally agrees. But he continues with some odd if not questionable statements that she finds contradictory the least.
“After all, everyone decides what he does or does not want, in fact, decides ‘All and Nothing’. What you do or don’t do is always only important for you, and if you like it or not, ‘It’ just happens, this way or the other.”
Femina looks at him indignantly. ‘What the hell is he talking about?!’ Didn’t he say he was no prisoner, could do whatever he wanted and nobody or nothing would interfere?
He interprets her look correctly. “No, no, I am not entrapped! But I have not lost my memory either, like you!”
Albeit! She wants to know far more precisely what he means. Talking about self-determination on the one hand, but then stating, ‘it happens anyway, if one likes it or not!’
“You can’t talk about being free when you state at the same time that you have to put up with whatever happens anyway! You are saying that in fact there is no absolute freedom, at least you don’t have it! Or what?”
“No, no,” says he in defense. “Of course absolute freedom exists, but I do not possess it! I still can do whatever I want. I just cannot always chose the circumstances or determine situations. I may have some influence in some but not in others!”
“And who determines that!!??” Her lips curl as she scoffs at him. He must have gone through some brainwashing himself as good as she. “Well now, who is it,” asks she, “who is y o u r God?”
He looks at her with a twinkle in his eyes. Then he raises his arms and moves them around him in wide circles, finally pointing at him. “This, all around, all, including me, that i s God, my God. If you like you can name it differently, like existence, or ‘the being’.
She falls silent, and he does not even interrupt. She admits, he has a point. It is true, one cannot chose the weather for example and circumstances can be out of one’s control. And it is true, one can chose what to do with the given. When it rains, one can decide to sit begrudgingly at home or enjoy a walk in the rain! Indeed, there is freedom….. Besides, she likes his definition of God. She herself sees nature as the only legitimate ruler over her ‘self’.
She smiles at him, appeased. He looks at her, carefully assessing her, or so it seems. Then he asks her curiously: “Do you sometimes have double vision?”
Femina confirms but is surprised: “What made you think that?”
“Because I believe you are one of the eternal society. So am I. We can see, or better perceive, pretence and reality at the same time.”
She breathes out with a long relieving sigh. At times she was worried about this, but she is uncertain about the mentioned society, having never heard anything about it, nor can she remember if she ever had. Ian seems quite sure and willingly he tells her more.
Hm, interesting what he reports about this wandering folk that has no own country, and its citizens moving through space and time, because the cosmos is their true home. Some of the things he talks about sound familiar, but maybe that is due to her agreeing with it, and maybe there is something to it……., but………
She stops speculating. It is wrong to say no so quickly only because she has her doubts.
“I give you some advice,” says Ian. “Don’t disregard the relative. It is as absolute as the absolute is relative.”
Ah, he really is nice, truly wants to help her. But both know too well, it is the own realization that counts. Either way, she needs to retrieve it or find it. She can be told anything by whoever it may be. And she does not just want to believe, she wants to know.
Ian smiles silently. He keeps busy, preparing a shilom for the end of his day. “It will let me fly ahead of my dreams,” says he and chuckles.
And so it is for Femina as she lies down to rest. She looks into a sky that has no stars but colorful pictures of sound, wandering in a steady flow across its entirety. Lying on the warm dry earth her thoughts hurry away, just like the sounds and glowing shapes above.