An Assembly

An opening behind closed doors.

owl perched on branch

Some of the patients were irritated. Some were tired of being told––what was a mind problem, a body problem––when experience suggested nothing less than a revolution of mindbodyflesh. Some began to reject various boundaries, and when invited in, walked out; when expelled, remained. 

And what is the subject here? one asked. 

Obviously, the object, said another. 

A third objected.

It is somewhat of an exercise, one of these continued, this habit of trying to observe myself with my own eyes while my own eyes are unwell, and yet. If disease is a theory to explain illness, and illness is unchecked growth, the attempt certainly raised interesting questions, didn’t it? About the assumed hierarchy of growth over––say, loss.

Of course it did! Many agreed, and it was confirmed by official decree that the bulk of the assembled were unwell. This was old news. The patients gave a collective shrug.

Looking out the window one night, one had some additional questions. To no one in particular, they inquired: Can you read this hand? How about those skies, or that owl over there, for anything but weather? Without making any one of us a specimen? 

It was not immediately clear if anyone heard. The night continued. Later, the owl made a sound. It was like cooing and not unlike song.

Author: Stacey C. Johnson

I keep watch and listen, mostly in dark places.

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