Thursday, August 2

there angels flew

As for me, I am inclined to believe that flight is a warm wind before being a wing. I do not reject the teachings of a dreamer who believes that a sylph will teach him what a bird is. In dynamic imagination, the first flying creature in a dream is the dreamer himself. If someone or something accompanies him in flight, it is a sylph, a cloud, a shadow; it is a veil, an aerial form, enveloped and enveloping, happy to be undefined and to live at the edge of the visible and the invisible. To see birds of flesh and feathers fly, the dreamer must climb back up toward day and assume once more his human, clear, logical thoughts. But if the clarity is too great, the spirits of sleep will disappear. It is for poetry to find them again, as though they were reminiscences of a beyond. A person who does not forget can make no mistake on this point: the dream, like Toussenel's God, creates the soaring spirit before creating the bird.

If purity, light, and the sky's splendor summon up pure and winged creatures; if, through an inversion that is only possible in the realm of values, the purity of a creature gives purity to the world in which it lives, we can easily understand that the imaginary wing takes on the colors of the sky and that the sky is a world of wings. We will murmur like the sleeping Boaz, with the soul's voice:

There angels flew, but darkly, of course,
For at times there was seen, going by in the night,
Something blue, that might be a wing.

-- Gaston Bachelard Air and Dreams
Translated by Edith R. Farrell and C. Frederick Farrell