McArdle's Mind (fragment)

May 17, 1926. As McArdle rode his mare out through the morning fog, he turned his eyes away from his well defined and self-sufficient farm and looked inward, instead, to the places were there were still mysteries.McArdle’s lids were closed as he allowed the mare to amble slowly that particular late-autumn morning, but his eyes were very much awake.

They were searching inside his mind, darting left and right, spinning in their sockets, seeking out the hotspots of emotion, the green and verdant ideas, even the dark places furthest hidden where waited the angry jealousies of which he was most ashamed.

He rode on the border, the very cliff’s edge between What Seems and What Is: To McArdle's right, sun rose through fog-pockets over well-managed fields.

To his left, darkness oozed and crept and whispered through the time-forgotten bush, a thousand rustling Somethings still clinging to night while the day yawned and stretched.

Straight ahead, yellow light glowing in the windows of the manager's house, warm with Mrs Anderson’s breakfast sizzling on the stove.

But inside and behind, mysteries. A vast and shadow-filled landscape-of-the-mind that, if ever it were unfolded, would spread and smother the breadth of this continent in its arteries and thoughts, as well as half of Antarctica and a goodly portion of Asia, then stretch and extend its eastern edges, slowly, island by island, towards the shores of Argentina. Eventually, if left to its own devices, McArdle’s mind turned inside out would wrap itself over the entire globe. All its edges would meet and merge and smother the land until nothing of Earth would appear as it once was.

Space travellers would find in their journeys through our galaxy not a blue planet but a red-and-purple one, filled with blood and a visible pulse, electric thoughts sparking emotions and ideas across the surface with such startling frequency and force that our world would appear beset by deadly and impregnable storms. Text: McArdle's Mind, a fragment from a story I've been writing about a man who gets so lost in the world of his own thoughts that he becomes trapped, unable to return to the 'physical' world of action and community and time.

Images: gorgeous, ghostly bush photos by Irene Suchocki of Eye Poetry, who kindly gave me permission to use them here. Irene's blog is linked above, and you can buy the stunning photographs at her print shop.

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