I remember that clay castle I made. I’ve been making it for a long time now, and it started as a lump of wet dirt that kept getting eroded, washed away. Ugly. I couldn’t even tell what washed it away for a long time. I’d heard of waves and for a while I figured that ‘sand’ was just a different name for clay, but I realised that there isn’t any ocean here. No waves. Made sense, that sand is yellow and beige and my dirt is deep rich brown or black or light brown or purple or green or red or… actually, I don’t know if I can tell. Look at my words and please help me figure out what they mean, because I can’t tell. And back then I couldn’t even tell if the deep rich brown/black/light brown/purple or green or red dirt/clay/sand that I built the castle with was INHERENTLY defective, or WHY it kept getting washed away, or if something was just wrong, deeply deeply wrong with my building techniques or the very hands with which I created, something wrong, something wrong, something horribly wrong that I couldn’t quite place…
Then I realised: it was the rain. Or rather, the rains plural. There’s different types, you know. Some are bad, but some? Some are wonderful. The darkness of a rainy day may seem miserable, but I realise I’m calm with it. I’m at peace with it if it doesn’t go too far and if I’ve made the castle safe, with a lot of umbrellas. Some of the rains even keep the clay happy. The clay is happy.
Some parts of the clay castle are still just bubblelike. Blobs. Lumps. Some of the others, though? Beautiful… I figured out how to make windows, see? And all those indentations. Patterns. Some of them make you dizzy, I’ve shown people pictures and they think they’re dizzying but usually in a good way, in a beautiful way. A lot of the patterns are total messes made either in reverie or oblivion. Some are beautiful and some repulse me, though sometimes a pattern does both of things at once, and then of course the patterns melt into each other and… oh, right, there’s the paint patterns too. Indentations, cuts, paints, colours all swirling and spiralling into each other as if they’re dancing, or singing, or going dizzy, or going crazy, or dying, or laughing, or finally running to meet their friends after a long time and they have to go up a spiral staircase and it’s a bit creaky so they trip right in front of their friend but it’s fine, they’re not hurt, they just laugh it off with their friends and it’s fine.
One time a rock fell on the castle while I was inside. Huge one. Made a break in the castle.. I don’t know if I threw it or if it was some type of hailstorm? I don’t know. I just knew there were more rocks and I got trapped in the one single safe part of the castle. And the rocks fell. And the rocks fell. Was it a hailstorm? It was definitely cold enough for that, but it was also hot and BRIGHT enough that I could believe fire was raining. And the rocks fell. And the rocks fell, and I wondered if they were made of lava? I think I saw some lava. Or maybe the rocks turned into lava because of the extreme heat before they fell and they fell and they fell… I was trying to count them at one point, but then there were too many all of a sudden. The whole place was burning and freezing, but the corner I was trapped in was calm. Dark and quiet, meanwhile the rocks fell and the rocks fell and the rocks fell in the rest of the place. So much light that it would take my breath away, burn my brains, and print onto my retinas. So in short the castle went into chaos… not total destruction, actually, because some of the rocks just made these huge and mesmerisingly beautiful dents in the clay… and I watched. And the rocks fell. And the rocks fell. And I watched. And the rocks fell. And the rocks…
They stopped eventually. I fixed the holes. I mended the clay with more clay, although you can see the parts where it’s been mended and I didn’t do a good job at some parts of it. And sometimes, sometimes I want to DESTROY the castle! Because look! Look, look at that break, up over there! The one from the big rock, it’s too huge and through it I saw things that didn’t even EXIST outside of the clay castle.
And I tried, I really tried to mend it, but the clay I have isn’t enough! And whenever I get near it, oh, the light is just so blinding! I can’t see when I try to fix it, and EVEN THOUGH I tried blindfolding myself, relying on my muscle memory, I just ended up with melted clay in my hands. I just ended up plastered in clay and so there it continued to stay, the break. There it continues.
Simultaneously blinded and made visionary when I look at the hole, I see sparks. I see odd sights of strangely shaped creatures tearing down the clouds and taking the rain for themselves, even though the clouds and the rain are still there when I leave. And it’s so hard to leave too, because the light zaps my hands so they move of the break’s volition and not mine. They stick themselves in the clay, even if it isn’t wet, and then to go away from the break and the horror light’s grasp I have to REMEMBER, remember that they’re in there and that they must be pulled out. I have to remember not to be mesmerised by the beings of fire and electricity and light, but it’s so hard.
And when I do remember, there’s the problem of taking out the hands. Sometimes I remember to bring a bucket of water to make the clay soft before I get mesmerised, but there’s so much to keep track of and I forget, I forget so much. Even when the clay is soft, I make dents in the wall when the light forces my hand to do so. The ceiling too. And when it’s dry, there’s so much destruction… it’s not truly much, and maybe some day I could fix it, but it adds up. The wall crumbles bit by bit, the ceiling crumbles and even the dust that falls is a problem. The air in the castle suffocates.
Sometimes I want to destroy the castle. It is such a beautiful thing, and the indentations and murals and patterns in it are wonderful. I’ve put so much work into building all the little parts of it. There’s so much complexity. Even the crude parts have a sort of beauty to them.
But the break, the holes and scratches from the hailstorm, the horrific light breaking in and never getting better and my attempts to fix it keep making all this dust spread, but then it’s all too much for me to handle and something always goes wrong…
I remember that clay castle I made. Every day it becomes a different clay castle, different as it changes. It used to be a lump, so simple but miserable. Now it is complex. It is beautiful. It is horrific. I want to destroy it. I want to continue building it.