THE DANDELION KNIGHT: Old oils and slow waves

I ran it forwards and backwards in the quiet valleys of the hours that followed, but the provenance of that dream still puzzles me. It was not a hypnologue like this, nor like my exposition of my history had been, yet clearly I was not innocent of influence — few likenesses of Daniel Mauleneault exist these days, for one thing; no portrait of him appears in the Apostasy of Altronne, and Legai’s Moment Preceding Insertion of the Last Voussoir, the famous oil hung behind reinforced glass in the ground-floor lobby of the Vinculum, depicts him with his back to the viewer, barely distinct from the gathering shadows in the painting’s lower left corner. (Some remote eddy of my memory laps at the banks of my attention: There is an intermittently exhumed controversy in art forensics regarding the color used to paint Mauleneault’s renowned giant dandelions. Those hacked down by Captain Emine are a sun-dappled yellow as brilliant as the gleaming blue of his gun and armor, but those still looming on their stalks are a dirty shade that some scholars claim is out of step with the overall palette in that area of the painting. Many a dissertation has been written on the nexus of political pressures that may or may not have come to bear on Nergis Legai, but the Last Voussoir has always been considered too valuable to submit to even the slightest investigative intrusion; a few dissertations have been written on that fact as well. I understand that its glass shield was shattered in the massacre at the Vinculum, but only the frame was damaged. Perhaps the angels will know the truth of it one day.)

I have digressed again, but there is not much to return to. I am sure my presence influenced the dream, but — excepting trivia like the above — I do not know which parts of it originated in Mireille and which in me. A thought does come to mind, though. Some centuries ago, a team of archivists uncovered an ancient essay reporting that biological matter from the father of a child could, at least during gestation, be found in the mother’s brain. Is it not poetic to think that Leander’s reactions in the dream might, in some small way, reflect what he would have done in flesh?

Well, perhaps it is a morbid sort of poetry. I am short of other moods, these days.

(© Matt Weber, 2009)


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