Ask Alice, she’ll tell you…the White Rabbit moves in mysterious ways – comes when least expected, takes sharp turns, leads you into realms outside your own boundaries. Last night, he came calling.
Dream? Reality? I may never know. All I remember was standing in the hallway in front of an old disabled elevator I had never seen before. It gleamed like a gilded cage – Art Deco style – abandoned in Time. The once ornate sliding-gate was in tatters…chipped paintings of angels covered the walls. The gutted floor revealed a shaft that plunged into darkness.
I was ready to move on, but something compelled me to stay. Then, as if pushed by some unseen hand, I was suddenly off balance…tumbling… down and down…free-falling into the great unknown.
I waited for a crash. Instead, a seamless landing left me in a white corridor beside a door, left slightly ajar. Curiosity piqued, I accepted the invitation and entered.
Aside from a faint indeterminate light source, the room was dark…without perspectives, without proportions. An empty space thick with presence. Looming straight ahead was the outline of something large and formidable. Inching slowly forward, my foot bumped against a spindly leg attached to a massive object. My hands swept along the contours…then paused in amazement. A Grand Piano! Sleeping in the darkness for centuries…waiting for…?
Finding the bench, I sat down, lifted the keyboard cover…hit a few keys. Nothing. Raising the piano lid, I peered inside. The hammers were rotted, wires mangled. The spirit broken. No music had been played here for a long long time.
Mystified, I tried to take inventory. I didn’t know how or why I had gotten here, or how to get back. I had no map, no tools of navigation…no signal to get me home. And yet the darkness felt benign…expansive, seductive. The power of the Rabbit Whole.
My mind sought answers. Was this an initiation into the invisible world that seemed to occupy much of the hotel? Or…like a photographic negative left in emulsion fluid in a darkroom, was I supposed to develop some new awareness here? I had no idea. In truth, all my usual hopes and fears seemed stripped away, leaving… what?
I stayed with this for a while…intensely aware of mind and heart slipping into tune…the sound of my breath, coming and going in the hushed space.
Gradually the elation began to morph into something more complicated…slightly sinister. Closing the keyboard cover, I made my way back to the doorway.
Just before leaving, a sound rang out, piercing me like a gunshot. I spun around.
From somewhere in the swollen darkness, a single plaintive note had just called out to me.