Friday, September 23, 2016

An American Football Left in the Oven (and perhaps, if possible, some reflections on this)

I suppose it was a timely communication.  Or 'what have you', as they say...

I mean there was a huge field nearby the meeting place where I and some others and a recent acquaintance had gathered together for some sort of, well, gathering.  I told him I'd brought it but yes, of course, I'd just left it in the oven for now; and surely it was implied that eventually I'd retrieve it from the over, presumably to throw about on the big, lineless field.  I know nothing much about American football, but I'm sure the field was absurdly large at any standard.

Later, I'm walking at a brisk pace toward a strip of eateries and shops on the far side of the field.  It's somewhere about this time that I actually consider the fact that the football is in an oven; that an oven is generally a place where the heat gets hotter and hotter.  Essentially, what gets me running rather than walking, is the consideration that surely the football will soon melt and be destroyed, and my friend, previously referred to as acquaintance, who is of huge stature, will not be all that pleased with this fact.

I can feel the pace picking up with immense lucidity - even now.  I was picturing the damn thing in that oven, somewhere in this weird place at the back of one of these restaurants where I'd mysteriously tucked it away for later playing.  I know they call them "pigskins", that they're quite thick skinned; but surely that long in an oven and the thing wouldn't stand a chance.  And why?  Why put it in the oven?

I wind up on the other side of the block - the opposite side to the field - where the scene is much more like inner-city, trendy main street kind of vibe.  There are independent music stores, quirky bookshops and a train station nearby that has that preserved, purposefully not-upgraded feel to it.  A long concrete incline leading up to it, though I'm sure there would be wheelchair access in this day and age.  Whatever day and age this is exactly...

There were some other scenes in this sequence, but of quite an explicit nature and as such cannot be included in this mature-age but not-quite-X-rated recollection.

What does it all mean!?

Yes, what does it all mean (rhetorical).  But what doesn't  it mean?  Not like, let's make a list of negational elements related to it and thus infer what the meaning is; but rather, whereabouts in it are there not things of meaning?  The craftiwork of the imagination is a football-field, so to say, of meaning.  Somewhere in there was the sensation - and I hesitate slightly to call it a sensation, but no other way of referring to it comes to mind - of melting cheese.  Melting cheese.  I imagine that an rubber football would melt slowly, like grilled cheese, in an oven.  Oh, and it was a wood fired oven, like those big ceramic pizza ovens you see more and more often now.  I think the football was sitting on a grate of some kind above a fire, enclosed and lit only by the flames licking at it from below.  What a scene, no?  For what would be considered an automated series of images, coloured with meaning and feeling and whatever else, that's fairly impressive.

But what's more, that was an experience of some kind.  I was damn worried about melting this man's football - I mean when I started running, I could feel my momentum gathering.  Not so much fear, but who wants to melt someone else's football?  And damn, I wasn't sure why I had put it in the oven; perhaps in this strange world that was a normal thing to do, but it didn't feel that way.  I felt like maybe I'd have to arrive back, holding a melted football, and have to explain to my friend what had happened, with the very real risk of being questioned about my motivations around putting it an oven in a nearby restaurant.  Logic is not at play here.  The question, "Why couldn't you have just kept it on the ground near the field?" was not relevant.  I put it in the oven.  Period.

And then a shift of gears, over the other side of the block.  No more field, no more chic restaurants.  Things changed to being kind of new-age alternative, with the inner city of my home city as a new colouring, a new environment.  No longer was the football in the oven relevant to me.  Thank God.  Peeking through shop windows and looking out over the street, everything felt different.  Some sort of theme - the new and the old, perhaps.  Or the now and the then.  Who knows?  I suppose I do.  Where isn't the meaning?  It's like short film.  Sometimes it's like feature length.

And when you wake up, it tends to just keep, sort of, going...

Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Stroll Backwards in Time to A Valley's Moon Swimming Hole

The pre-dawn squints back at me through the windows behind the foot of the bed.  Clouds, always, at the mountaintops, hovering there like UFOs.  Hugging the mysteries that lay in the craters, no doubt. A soft, motherly hug.

A little later it's just me squinting and the beautiful colours are rising and the sweet, soft, ripple-less lake calls me to those windows; and I look down at them, they up at me.  Or is it one big eye, with Atlantis buried deep beneath the pupil?  There are so many places, with so many powers - how grateful I am, to be in this one.  Perfect timing.

The mornings have been calling me to a desk outside, wooden, with a water, herb and flower -filled jar in the centre.  A stick of sweet smelling wood lays like a fallen tree next to three coins, and as I've been doing and will continue to do in the mornings, I throw the coins six times.  Christ - it's like talking to someone, holding a dialogue with some sort of timeles matrix of situational wisdom.  And I'm just starting the conversation!  But everything it says and everything I ask and everything else around me feeds into the process and I breathe deeply at the words and say Yes, yes...go slower.  Patience.  You'll be dropped to your knees at this rate...

The subtleties of it all.  If you dismiss the subtleties, you see only the gross; and if you see only the gross, then your life is raw, your layers unloosened and your perception of the all and everything largely fed to you.  What's easiest.  Like supermarket shopping at the delusion store, acquiring all your pseudo-security needs.  But wait for it...there's a little crack in each layer and the watery stream that is you, which is at the centre, slowly leaks out of the crackers in each layer; and it might take lots of time but eventually there's this fucking pressure that builds and builds and it can happened day to day, or maybe one time when you're in your thirties - who knows - but it will come, and Spring a powerful leak out of whatever outer layer you're wearing at the time; and it'll taste, this water, a little bit like each layer.  Such confusion.  Without that sense of subtlety, one cannot taste the airy, empty nature of the centre that was one's self.  The swirling DNA dance of love and ethereality, that lives forever; that never was born, and never will die.

The morning holds another gift for me.  In response to my sincere questioning, I'm hearing more and more about my roots in this world.  I go back a while, tears streaming from a place that is far from conventional memory.  A fish tugging, jerking the tears from somewhere way down below.  The meaning of my whole life somehow some through from it.

I was born three months before my Yiayia died, so we were existing here on this plane for three months together.  All of this time this woman spent in hospital, sick with leukaemia.  That means, also, that my Mum found out that her mum was going to die when she was seven months pregnant with me.  When I read that, I felt it.  Make of it what you will.

We met properly twice: once in a painful, confused way, when she was not well.  She demanded to be taken to me because there is a Greek custom whereby the grandmother puts money and a Greek Eye symbol in the baby's bed, so as the gods keep watch over the new child; and I imagine that the money is for prosperity.  The other time we met, she was in remission and like I envision a lovely Greek grandmother might do, unravelled my baby-clothes and had a good, long look at her new grandchild. Ten fingers, ten toes.  I would be a great man, she declared.  It's taken me a damn long time, but I think I'm finally getting what she meant by that.

There was another time we met, before she died.  Mum tells me that she and I were asleep in her and Dad's room, on the day of the night she died.  Both of us slept for a long time, Mum said.  An unusually long time, and they had to come and wake us both up.  Something crawls inside of me when I hear about this.  Though I don't know what or why.  It just feels.

I was the only one of the kids of the family who was there the night she died, because I had to be with Mum the whole time because she was breastfeeding me.  Mum said I was a good baby at the time; quiet, didn't cry much.  I wonder if I was awake or asleep when Yiayia died?  I wonder if it makes a difference?

Ok, so the morning comes to an end.  Early afternoon and I'm going to venture out, alone, to the pond at Elephant Rock.  On the way I am powering hard, like the Terminator; except I'm reciting the mantra Soham-Hamso all the way to my in and out -breaths.  The mantra is brilliant.  It's lie life and death, just like a breath.  You say So on the in-breath, and Ham on the out-breath; and then you reverse the emphasis so you're saying Hamso; and then you spontaneously alternate between the two words, which is surely symbolic of beginnings becoming ends and ends becoming beginnings; of life and death; of renewal; of the serpent swallowing its own tail, and living on infinitely...

I arrive.

Mountain water, immediately over my body.  So-ham.  So-ham.  Freezing.  Feel it in my bones.  Loving it.  One dip in, stay a few breaths, back out onto the rock to sit and stare and watch everything going on.  The unintentional power walk here has created a huge contrast to the stillness I sit in now; the cloud of insects buzzing about and the sweet, sweet sound of the flowing stream.  The hot rock beneath me.  Me, right there with me.  The mantra slows down.  Everything does.

Coloured-fuzzy-energy in my third-eye space, stirred as it has been; beautiful energies rising, from the flames of repeated confusion.  The waves and troughs move up and down, relatively.  It makes sense to experience a backlash - but holy moley, the uplash is worth it; it is the integration, the life growth, the entering into the new conditions with new conditions.  Learnign from the old.  Loving the old.  Feeling into the new...

And I get a few stones out and bathe them in the stream - a huge clear quartz, an obsidian and some amber.

A dying bee is beside me and I feel a pinch on the lower left side of my back.  An unprovoked sting.  Now it's there, on the rock, slowly dying.  I watch it.  Unfathomable.  Touched by the sting of a bee.  Why did it sting me?  What is there, to the bee...?

The walk home is very slow.  I am seeing everything with different eyes; and among all the things that I see and inspect and feel and sing, I see a black and red butterfly jumping about the path ahead of me; and I follow it.  Until it veers left, off the trail, so I walk up and stop where it turned and see it over in the greenery there, erratically flying about as butterflies do.  It's flight path reminds me of the Zodiac.  Maybe the butterfly just paints out the stars in 3D space.

It come back toward the path, back towards me.  And before I know it it's coming right to my forehead and I flinch reflexively, closing my eyes as I do so; and when I open them again and I look up, I've lost it - the beautiful black with the red stripe, gone.  Nowhere to be seen.  But in that time span, I think.  It can't have gone so far away that I cannot see it anymore...

It can't have gone so quickly...

And I walk on, slowly taking it all in.  Breathing.  With a butterfly fluttering about in my skull, I walk  back home.  Breathing.

Feeling the wind in my wings...

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wouldn't Trade my Soul

For how to give away that which is not yours?  Which is no-thing?  Which is All That Is, ebbing-flowing, rising-falling as a tide amongst many, and which has been and gone and of course not done so for all of forever?  Everything all at once, manifesting distinctly, dimensionally and saying hello to itself, over and over; playing the games of this level, screaming, crying, losing track of itself only to pop up again, as a parent plays with its child.

God, the all-and-everything, how I devote myself to thee in song.  It seems almost as though these melodies are the only way I can express pure truth; express you, my Lord.  Nothing else seems so crystalline as this voice that is not mine, and these sounds that express themselves through us - through the muses and the Great Muse, in poetic embrace.

Thank you, Lord - for the spirits of the forest, the father in the sky, the mother beneath my feet the embodiments of these, as us; gratitude for the connections we can make and the energy we can stir, the hearings that are natural to us, that are nothing special, nothing more than a healing wound - yet an answer to our myriad enquiries about All That Is.  About love, life, what we call the idea of death, family, tribe, pain, destruction, chaos, the Great Mirror we see at all times, always guiding and loving us.  Even when we need the pain that it shows us, when it reflects the fear we've grown into.  Remember, it reflects.  This is a dream.

And what dimension elsewhere exist, that we can fly into?  Bracket your judgments and give humble credence to your dreams, for they are teachers.  What do you see, child of love?  Really - what do you see?  Forgive your conditioning, sweetest dew drop.  Forgive and give thanks - energy chose to manifest as you and you are here as a true connection to all of the past, all of the future.  This life is one of many, though of course we are tricked into accepting just this one form and considering no others; but really, what is more reasonable?  Ask the question but I implore you not to find an answer.  Trust yourself.  How adorably foolish we have been to convince ourselves that there is only one way of existing - this one - and that our vibrational energy is not connected to the mysterious all-directional Dynamism of awareness; or some other such thing, that these sweet rational words attempt to capture.  How playfully tragic, that time and those times, when our fathers and mothers and the web of life at that time began to tell us that our imaginations were "just" imaginary - I feel tears falling at this remembrance, that is not mine but is collective.  In the drama, there are often tears.

As common teachings are varied, so are the uncommon and the esoteric.  There were beings that existed that wee connected to the All - past, present and future - and made contact with other beings that were so; and so there are teachings and practices that allow for a piercing of this mundane world, this common world of understanding that has become bordered by a science that is focused on but what aspect of true science - the science of the ancients.  Look to the heart, open up your skies and once freed from the stuff of the mundane, find not only solace, but an endlessness of dimension.  Death is but a playful mental game for the masters and the gods; a test for the human condition, that once un-defined becomes a key to a thousand doors in a thousand dimensions - and all this, my friend, comes from a poet at the threshold, not a master.  So imagine the poetry of the master.  And then consider that we are of course all Buddha-Nature!  Like the drunken poet Rumi, my eyes roll back in my skull and without a doubt in the world, my heart beats on into spheres of life, of experience, of awareness, that remind my that this game is a beautiful one to play.

And Lord, you know, there are many, many others.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Three Elements of the Dream

In a new place, with great rains and a storm over the water and volcanic mounds, Three Elements of a dream arrive with the morning light.  The sun shines onto the volcano-side and as if liberated from a lightless cave I love and love and take in all the light.  Somehow the lake is coming in through to window, too.  The new day; all has been washed away.

Just as I think No, I dreamt nothing, the three elements come back to me.  Days earlier there was an earthquake and I was with my Dad - Dear Ol' Dad as the song goes - and we were on a coastline.  I'd been at this coastline before; it was like some of the coast back home, long stretches of dunes and foreshore flora scattered across, along with the hilly-ness of the dunes and the ocean creating this scene I know so well.  As familiar as family itself.  The earth shook in big booms, rhythmic and moving the entirety of everything.  That feeling of this force being everywhere and our movements "away" from it really being movements to where might be safer within it.  There were others, but the focus was with me and Dad; and as the earth and everything moved, I looked to the sea, as if peering around a corner, and I saw that the ocean had risen.  Toward the shore came rolling a wave, not of immense stature, but of immense power and volume.  It wasn't tall, like in a film; it was backed up by volumes of water that cannot be described so well with words.

And what I find most touching about this dream was that neither me nor my Dad were afraid.  Something was different, in this dream, to the apocalyptic-like dreams I'd had before.  And I have had a few - wars, disasters, fleeing.  But no; this one was different in its feel and in the feeling I felt in it and after it and reflecting upon it.  This dream was calm.  The earth was shaking and the wave was rolling in and yes, we were moving to a safer place - but there was a special tranquility.  Christ, I thought, reflecting on that dream.  I'm ready for the end.  

And today I find myself confronted with these Three Elements, so distinct in the dreams that I cannot help but see three layers, three levels, three...

One.  Childhood.  My present self is in the countryside somewhere.  It is green everywhere and there are fields and fields of lushness, of the greenest green and grasses and green crops and perhaps somewhere a barn or a shed, but the most if it as leafy and grassy as anywhere I've ever seen.  I remember once, landing in Amsterdam, looking at the countryside around that city - this was a little like that, but euphoric and dream-worldly. There is a group of children about on some sort of field trip, or excursion.  One of the kids, a little boy, splits from the group, and I join him and we run around the fields, the grass.  Water is everywhere, also; in dew, in the wetness of the grasses.  We run about and play and have fun and at one point I say to the boy, "Don't forget to always have fun."  Not like a parent to a child; no, more like myself to myself.  The little boy - and tears well as I write - is of course myself, scooting about in a focused way, roaming these fields and playing.  And I know I'm reminding myself, in this beautiful present of growth and delving and understanding, to remember that little boy.  To remember to have fun.

Two.  An element of the teenage years.  I'm walking with a friend, with someone, on a cobble-stoned street (I think - I know it wasn't a paved road or walking path).  And I see a flash, an apparition, of a girl I knew once; she is with her friend and she represents the awkwardness of my life experience, because when I see her - as when I saw her some time ago, at the start of high school - I am overcome by foolishness, shame and uneasiness.  Me and my friend say hello; she and her friend do the same.  But as we walk out together, I'm lost for words.  My heart beats fast.  I don't know what to say.  And then it's all gone.

Three.  The present.  I ask an older woman how a ceremony she attended last night was and she tells me it was rough and terrible.  She's confused and wide-eyed.  We forget about that and I hug her and in a short time we're playing.  Karate.  Or Tai Chi or something.  Or maybe we're just playing like kids play - that would make more sense, I'm sure.  We're in a workshop and there's plenty of space to move about one another in various poses, kicking and chopping at one another from a distance.  We're out of something.  We're playing again, the both of us.

The Three Elements off the Dream.

And what of it all?  Well, nothing that can be understood by anything but an open heart.  The poetry of the soul seeping out, reflecting on my reflections and telling me that it's me telling myself that I am all that I am; and that this is beautiful.  Every step is brilliance, even if it's a step of great pain, of chaos, of disaster.  Mirror, mirror, on the wall - you are everywhere, after all. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Little Brother

Somewhere in a time and space considered to be in the past, Little Brother sits perched in the upper regions of a tall tree, peering down into a yard.  I know Little Brother, because he's me.  Little Brother is afraid and I know he's afraid because I am still afraid; the echoes of Little Brother and all of my many little brothers warble and bounce over time, piercing it and bringing everything into a large sphere of experience, of life at the present, of all these kinds of every-things.

He looks down over the years but he's not really thinking about it, but instead is thinking about how far away all the people seem; about why things are so confusing, why no one seems to be able to see and feel him the way he can.  Sickness in the stomach; a seemingly constantly furrowed brow; a shrinking away from it all because it all seems to be some cruel joke that can't be understood, and doesn't seem like it's ever going to be understood because everything around is functioning on a level he cannot relate to.  Why? he asks, over and over.  There's not enough logic and rational thought there yet to create a large, detailed analysis of the whole thing; a lot of it is just felt intensely, and left for the stirrings of rationality to fail to make sense of.

So, I send him a star.

I feel I know what he needs, now, though I've never really spoken to him.  Just felt him there, poor Little Brother - and all of his little brothers from different times and spaces - sitting atop that tree, staring out over the neighbourhood in the suburbs of the place he was born into.  The tree, right at the top, was always a safe place; and also a fun place, where he played a lot with his blood brother and sister, and his friends.  It's peaceful up there - believe me, I should know.  Once you get that high up there's an air of ambience, a glow that sits over and above all of the things happening in a suburb like that; in a life like that.  The oxygen is different, too.  There are birds all about and you can see them and the sky seems to be displaying it's vastness in a more personal way, like it's been trying to coax you up all along, for a long time; as though it's almost always been saying, "Hey!  Come up here!  I have something to show you!"

And in a way, that's exactly what it is telling Little Brother, because I''m sending him a star from the cosmic infinity above, sending it way down through the layers and layers, the auras and auras of the Earth, right down over that city, that suburb and straight down in line with the trunk of the tree, to the space at the top where Little Brother is sitting.  I know he'll get the message; see, if anyone knows him, it's me, because I'm not only his older brother - I am he.  All I have needed to do is to look into my heart, look into my memory symbol system, to see what needs to be sent within the star.  A message, from one heart to another; and I've always said - always - that our hearts are old friends.  Sometimes, old friends write letters to one another; and sometimes, they send them across time, space and absolutely anything and everything, in order to for a needed vibration to be able to land right where it's needed.  So I sent the star.

Little Brother is in need of something that couldn't be provided then; and he doesn't, of course, understand why things are as they are.  How could he?  There are no fingers of blame.  Maybe he wants to start pointing some; maybe that's how he reacts and maybe that's how some of his older brothers reacted too.  But this needn't matter.  The message is sent to help Little Brother, not to reprimand him.  Such a boy deserves no punishment, no judgment.  Those kinds of vibrations would have stopped me reaching right now, where I feel I can send him this message.  Everything has led up to this; I am prepared now, understanding, that some messages need to be sent out, back over everything and time; to little patches in my heart that are like the sounds of that echo, bouncing of the walls of my soul.  Calling me to pay attention to something - or someone.  Little Brother.

He looks up and sees this huge star coming from the wide blue sky.  It falls right down into his soul, fitting quite easily (it was very specially designed); and yes, the message reaches him.

It reads:

Little Brother: What you are feeling is very special.  There is love all around you, and you are well on your way to finding your way.  I love you.

And little brother releases a little bit.  The star from the sky has reminded him of something he forgot about; and deep inside of him, he knows that it was he who sent that star, and that to be so powerful as to do such a thing, he must be on his way to growing into a very special person.  This feeling grows and grows, as Little Brother steps forward in time; and that place, up there in the tree, where there is peace and beauty, fresh air and the company of wondrous natural things - that place goes into his heart, as a guide.

Little Brother knows he may need it later on.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Frantic(ally) Overthrow(n chunks)

Why deny, flyer through the sky?  Are you intoxi-canted?  Why tie?  Knots and knots and knots of them, waving and praying and play-ing things in the face of lightness, the debate ebbing and flowing for all of time, back to front, then to here to evermore.  Acoustic sounds, strings, sacred saucers flying as always through the night sky, ever-high, each new voice familiar, like a family, brother; like a family, sister.  Those words beg of us, siblings - fight for the game to go on!  Without little victories, little defeats, there is nothing worth fighting for; there are no sides nor sights to see.

Walking through the streets, a man comes and is rambling frantically to himself and the streams of words evoke latent fear, for the fear of a foe is always waiting to meet the latter - it's just a matter of time, lover, before you meet it.  And so he spoke, on and on and the as he did so the waves rattled the shoreline and the vibrations changed, the streets grew wired with an essence of madness, evergreen and ever-growing; my eyes light up; I can see his eyes and they meet mine; and I speak to him fearless, as the purple backdrop explodes into streams of emptiness, empty play.  My chest has burst open and there are bits of heart all over the sand, as I laugh lovingly at the immensity of it all; the roots growing down, the branches up and across, far-far, so as they shelter whatever might come by that is in need of shelter.

There is the biggest grin, sitting away from the body as it rest and rests and rests, forever; for you will return, brother, to the earth - to the ether - to the sea; both you and me, whatever that construct of ours actually means.  Big smile, sir.  This is our ride; our breadth.  Ride well into the forest and there you will rise again; rise, rise again.  Birth yourself.  Baptise yourself.  Breathe in what you are, every moment.  Go inside and when you come out again, come out.  BURST!


A man explaining anything from his heart is worth a listen, be it a stream of guesses, a web of lies or an infinite sea of wisdom.  The latter, see, is inextricable from the mode mentioned.  It bleeds the reddest, ever, of all things.

Lean over the edge of the ship, sailor - though I know you're a pirate - and let all that rum come up, let all that fight take flight and succumb to the necro-mantic antic of the cosmic machinery, smoother and finer than any blade you've ever made, ever wielded; any body you ever every shielded.  As a rainbow's arc it shoots down, into the dark blue sea, that great reflector of you and me - shadowy and infinitely deep, as all those who have lived know.

And as the rum comes up, the memories flow back; but they are not memories, they are this, this empty space that allows notes of music to erupt over it, words to spray themselves like earth all over the finest sheets of paper you've ever seen.  You are it, sailor.  You are the thing that loves.

Borne of the roots of endless time, endless space and the pace-by-pace of divine rhythm, a divine race.

Rats remembering.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Englishman and the Soap (Part I)

"So many of them...hrmph.  Just so many..." And his words trail and trail, on and on into the abyss around him.  Atop his head, a top-hat; and below his behind, a stool of sorts - wooden, being exact and what not.

"How did I, uh..."; and then a start, leaning forward with one hand on one arm of his spectacles, considering.  "I was just...and now there's just so much, so many!"  But don't let the exclamation mark fool you, he is whispering to only himself.  Ruminating on it all, all that very much, that so many, swirling and swishing about him; or perhaps within him, his mind as it bowls him over.

A suit is what he wears, with bits of white underneath.  Perhaps a shirt - but he is not concerned with that right now.  There is something pressing, quite hard, against his intellect.  If you have ever seen a very furrowed brow, imagine now a brow that is nothing but furrow.  One could plant seeds in those furrows, those deep lines, and surely in a cycle of the seasons, whatever it may take, one could observe the reaping soft what they had sewn.

"If it was just...just a little less, I could make it out.  But no, no there is such quantities here; such immensity of content.  I simply...cannot..."

And all of a sudden - in fact, just a-suddenly as there appeared an Englishman - there comes a bar of soap, tattling along from out of nowhere, almost literally.  It is a plain bar of soap, unused.  There are no markings on the soap's surface, no brand names or indented images.  Just a bar of soap.

But with eyes, a nose and a mouth.  Of course.

The soap rambles up to the Englishman, as though steering slightly off course to pay heed to this odd curiosity, huffing and figuring under his breath, here in the middle of a white-lit abyss.

The soap speaks with an Irish accent, a voice that sounds like something you'd imagine in a Celtic fairytale, "Hello there, sir.  What a curiosity you seem to be, here, in thus white-lit abyss, talking under your breath like that.  Did you need some, uh, directions?"

Not exactly startled, the Englishman looks up from his mind-wanderings and addresses the soap cordially, but distractedly.

"Hmm?  No uh, hmm.  No I am just sorting the, uh...the vast numbers of it, the uh..."

"Of it?" the soap interrupts, wisely discerning that the man will banter on ceaselessly without some kind of intervention.  "What is it, sir?  Are you trying to count something?"

At this point the extra stimulus somewhat baffles the Englishman's already busy mind and he places an awkward hand on his hat and leans to the side, his eyes sort of darting about, left and right, blinking rapidly in apprehension.  The soap leans in closer, squinting at this strange spectacle.

The soap tries to ease the situation, contnuing, "Ah but of course, my friend.  Aren't we all, eh?"  And the soap chuckles a bit, though a bit forced, too.  It becomes a little self conscious at this effort, laughs a nervous laugh and then, seeing the Englishman has returned to his initial state of muttering and concomitant body language, returns to its relaxed state of approach.

The man continues, "At first there were one,, forty.  There were forty-five.  And no there are countless of them, and they're each so many much so that if I add the first ones to the second of them there seem to be - " and so on and so forth.

The soap has, meanwhile, been bending its knees and sort of pacing about with its body language.  I mean, it was just passing by, but now it seems to have gotten a little involved.  As though there many be something it is obliged to do here.

"Would you like a bit of a clean, then?" it asks the Englishman, timidly.

Silence.  The man has stopped, apparently taking note of the question.

"Yes," he says.  "I think, in fact, that is exactly what I need."

The soap, of course, is slightly taken aback.