Chinese Horse by Su Yah Ping (colorized)
When I went to the stables, I found a spirited mare with a certain look in her eye that drew me to her. Her name was Mahdohkt, “Daughter of the Moon.” I mounted her and whispered in her ear, “Take me to where the dream begins, Mahdohkt.” She started for the wood, and soon we were in a canopy so dark the moon could not penetrate it. But Mahdohkt herself gave off a pale, silvery light, illuminating the path ahead just enough for safe journey. We rode for several hours, my hands twined in her silky mane, listening to the night noises. I felt completely safe with her. Eventually we stopped, and I dismounted. Before me was a cave, and Mahdohkt made it clear I was to enter. I left her at the mouth of the cave, and made my way forward. The cave was dimly lit, from what source I did not know, and I could feel a faint, stale breeze against my skin. I walked on nervously, wishing for the comfort of Mahdohkt and her pale gleam. As I moved deeper into the cavern, I heard singing, faint at first, then stronger. It was ethereal and brought tears to my eyes. I walked more quickly, until I reached a chamber that was lined with gleaming minerals, and in the center was a woman, spinning in circles and singing. As she sang, starlight spun from her lips and swirled about, eventually making its way up and out of the cavern through an opening in the ceiling. I accidentally kicked a rock, and the woman turned and abruptly stopped singing. She had long flowing hair which covered part of her face. She brushed it back and looked me full in the face. I gasped. Except for her hair and flowing gown, I was looking at myself. She smiled, and as she did, starlight spilled from her eyes and blazing light shot from all of her fingertips. As she looked at me, she took my hand and began once again to sing. Immediately, I was filled with such longing that I clutched my chest, throwing my head back in suppplication. All of my hopes, dreams, and hidden yearnings were present, flowing though me. The epiphany struck me like lightning–she was me. I created my own dreams, singing them into life in this beautiful but dark chamber, hidden deep within my soul. The dreams rise as song to penetrate my consciousness, often in subtle and ethereal forms I cannot readily decipher. But despite all of that, she–I mean me–I continue on, dancing and sending messages to myself, waiting for my brain to catch up with my soul, waiting for me to put the words to the music, which I do best when I sit down to write. She–I–am where the dream begins. And ends.