The Source of Stories was a hole or chasm or crater in the sea-bed, and through that hole, as Haroun watched, the glowing flow of pure, unpolluted stories came bubbling up from the very heart of Kahani. There were so many Streams of Story, of so many different colours, all pouring out of the Source at once, that it looked like a huge underwater fountain of shining white light. -- Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Salman Rushdie
How can I describe it? A moment impossible to catch, even as it happened, and a sensation I don't know the name for, though I've felt it before.
And what called it out? Some kind of alchemy, brought about by the Illinois highway, through perfect wheatfields and growing corn, the old watertowers, the clouds tangling at the horizon.
Maybe the music (Mumford & Sons, Freelance Whales) lately doing dances in my ears. Maybe because my busy full brain was sitting back in exhaustion. Detaching for a while, and letting go of all it held.
And there it was.
If Salman Rushdie didn't talk about a Stream of Stories, I'd think I was crazy. (At least now if I am crazy, I'm in elite company.)
I could literally feel its presence on my skin, the otherness of its air, and my eyes tricked me into seeing it, flashing in and out of the shadows beside the road. Real glimpses of impossible places, keeping pace with our car.
Rushdie calls it a stream, and I agree. Though this time, it was a river: fast, cold, and deep. I've felt the current of it before, and best of all, that giddy conviction that there are stories there for the drinking, thousands and thousands. Some have my name on them, and they're looking for me.
And if there was a way to reach them, I'd have stuck my fingers out, my hand riding the wind, and I'd have trailed my fingertips in it...
For now, it's enough to know it's still there. Under the exhaustion, busyness, recent conversations, errands, activities, distractions... it's still there.
Fast and cold and deep.