I made a trade with Shyra a number of months ago. I gave her a sculpture, and in return, she gave me a story. These are our emails; perhaps they too become an object. A three-dimensional experience.
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2015 17:56:35 -0700
Okay, here is my exchange. It's a story I thought you might appreciate. Many years ago a strange thing happened to me. Something I can't really explain. I was trying to find my journal entry about it but couldn't find it. Here is my description of the event:
I was lying on my bed one afternoon reading a book. I was staying with my parents at the time while I found a new apartment, and I can remember the clanging of pots and pans in the background as my mother was tidying up in the kitchen. I don't remember the title of the book but it was about the writer's aunt, who had passed away by the time it was written. It contained a lot of descriptive, nostalgic writing. I became very relaxed as I sunk into the story, and it made my eyes want to close. As I read I couldn't keep my eyes open. I put my book aside and clasped my hands together and rested them on my stomach, with my elbows by my sides. I closed my eyes and sunk into the relaxation. I didn't feel sleepy, only very relaxed. I remember having a very slow breath and was very comfortable.
Then I noticed this small vibration start at the back of my neck, and it grew and grew to the base of my head, then down my back, and outward toward the end of all my limbs. It enveloped my whole body. It was like a vibration that came from within, not externally, and it was loud, like a jet engine. As the vibration grew I had a sudden sense of anxiety and fear that I didn't understand what was happening, and then just as quickly I had this overwhelming sense that there was nothing to fear, and that I needed to let it happen.
At this point I consciously released any tenseness in my body - something told me I could not be at all tense for this 'process' (it felt like some sort of process - something with a purpose), and I wanted to see what was going to happen. Once I relaxed the vibrations seemed to dissipate. As it dissipated it was like all solid form around me disappeared. I could not feel any pressure against my body by the surroundings, and I moved as if I was made of air. There were no physical limitations. Instead of the furniture holding my body in a position, I seemed to be floating with no support, and my head fell back at a more natural angle, and the pillow that was once there was gone.
It was a strange but pleasant feeling. Like the feeling of having no concerns, or fears, or worries, or any serious thoughts of any kind. I was utterly content to float there forever. I remember thinking I must be dead. I died reading my book on my bed, but I didn't care. The thought of death meant nothing. It was only a basic fact with no emotional or psychological weight.
I have no idea how long I floated there. Time was of no consequence. But then a REALLY strange thing happened. I heard a voice speak to me. I still had my eyes closed so I don't know who or where the voice came from, but it was like someone leaned over and spoke right into my ear. I remember the distinct audible sensation in my right ear. It was a woman's voice. She said "Who are you?", and I was tongue-tied by the question. I took the question to mean something deeper than my name. I told her what my name was but as soon as I said it, it seemed like the wrong answer, and I was embarrassed. I was shocked by the notion that I might not know who I am. I tried to answer again but only random noises came out of my mouth. I was beginning to feel panicked again. I felt this is a question I should definitely know the answer to, and my lack of an answer made me anxious.
As my mind was racing to answer the unanswerable question I heard my mom and her noisy pots and pans in the background again. Suddenly I felt the guilt pangs of being connected to this other world. I realized that if I was dead that I would be leaving a void behind where I used to be. I had a vision, as if I was staring down from the ceiling of the room, of my own body, on the bed, in the same position I took when I casually shut my eyes. At this moment I realized that my mother would find me in this state, lifeless, and that sent me into extreme panic. Suddenly it was so difficult to move. It was as if I was a vein of silver encased in solid rock. I tensed up and tried to open my eyes. It was like lifting weights with my eyelids. I could only open them a little bit, and only saw unfocussed fuzziness through the slits. As Ibecame more panicked I managed to finally open my eyes.
Once open, I found myself completely relaxed, on the bed, with my hands clasped together.
Shyra De Souza www.shyradesouza.com