the dance of the ink riddled fingers

the sachets

Posted in handfuls of ambition, thought spills by enisea on 07/01/2012

They were contained in little transparent sachets.  She had about a hundred of them. Hidden under cloths, in boxes, at the bottom of drawers, back of cupboards, under her bed, between pages in empty books, beneath blanket covers, in tins, piggybanks, wedged deep into car cushions, and buried in her glovebox.

But exactly that. They were hidden, and as long as they were hidden, nobody knew.  She’d inherited them from, well… they seemed to have leaked through little cracks in her world.  Sometimes they were waiting on the arm of the couch, other times they’d have been unknowingly spat from a vivid friend in frantic excitement, or a couple of times she’d woken with it on her forehead.  Either way, she had begun to wonder how much longer she could merely collect them for.   Sure, they were beautiful, but she was sure there was a point where she was supposed to do something with these little shimmering packets of powder.  As much as they appeared inanimate and stationary, she was convinced that they held some sort of potential, as though they emitted some ambient hint that they were not just a unique shimmer of ordinary glitter to sprinkle over ordinary coffee conversation.  As though to infer “just add water”, which she tried but nothing happened. The stuff neither absorbed nor transformed, and when she had drained the water it remained as it were previously, but perhaps a little deeper in colour.  She has experimented with a few, she named them by whatever the hue reminded her of.

She left “cheesecake crumbs” in the sun for over a week to see what the weather might do to it.  “Acidwash denim” was soaked in a cup for 2 days. “Old map shreds” were put in the oven for 2 house with a slow bake cake she was making at the time. “Holely teabag” was kept in its sachet and carried around in her back pocket for 5 days.  “Broken glass”, she hammered repeatedly for ten minutes.  “Parrot beak” was sprinkled over a lit candle. And “dried watermelon” was sprinkled on buttered toast and eaten (later she found a new packet of what she was completely convinced was the exact hue of the stuff she’d ingested – though there were so many colours appearing every now and then that an unfamiliar set of eyes might’ve mistaken it for a new packet, but not her – and she was glad to have a new packet because it felt like a pretty big risk eating the unknown substance and she wasn’t about to inspect her faeces).

With every experiment to discover what these curious little sachets contained and test the properties and character of these different colours and shades of intrigue, there seemed to be little response.  The stuff apparently maintained its form, except for one thing… with every different thing she tried, by the end of her experimentation she seemed to have a little more than before, and usually it would appear a very, very, slightly deeper tinge than before.  Provoking the thought that every effort was welcomed and grew (in a very, very, slightly gradual progression) the stuff.

But she was younger then and more curious when she was younger and soon enough something happened to her, rather than the little sachets of coloured dust she collected.  She, grew up, and began to forget about it.  She took the occasional packet of stuff with her sometimes, to a hill with a great view, to coffee conversations and would sprinkle them over the day, letting the wind snatch  it in a wisp and be gone.  Sometimes, the company she was with would notice and might gasp or stare at the little dance it might do before disappearing, some would commend or marvel, others would smirk as though they were once familiar with the little specks of beautifully hued dust but now… they were concerned with more important matters.

One day, she had a very sensible and grown up idea and she placed a sachet under a microscope. It was a tattered little mechanism but it did the job and here, she stared in wide-eyed disbelief.  These little specks of dust were not just little coloured bits of powder-like substance, they were extraordinary! She spent about an hour inspecting the first sample, and here she slowed down her thoughts and began to understand a little more.  Each different sachet had a different shape about them. And then there were the instructions etched into each speck of little dust; extremely small and very simple – sometimes there were even options between suggestions to take.  She could see that there were a few lines of sequential to-dos, but only the first step was clearly legible, after that it could not be read, or it seemed incoherent.  “How do you read instructions off a speck of dust?” you ask, well this was the peculiar thing, the more one stared at it, inspected it, the larger it seemed to appear and after staring at one for an hour through my microscope, a single speck of the dust appeared  about the size of an apricot seed!

Now, she was rather perplexed and although absolutely enthralled, she was just as quickly sobered.  These little powdered premature beauties were very grand, and more advanced in requirement than her most practiced ability; they resembled an ingenuity of greater prowess than she’d ever recognised in herself.  But she jotted some of the instructions down all the same.  Appreciating what she understood of a few little packets, each packet a different hue of intrigue, she closed her eyes and breathed deeply.  She didn’t dare inspect more than a handful of sachets for fear of overwhelm.

And then she prayed:
“Hello God, there is too much and not enough in and of me to do justice to these powdered dreams. I’m going to need help. Please and thank you. Amen.”


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