God in a pressure cooker

I don’t remember what age I was. It must have been somewhere in the fluid and shapeless time of adolescence. I had this dream of a pressure cooker on fire. The cooker was boiling, its lid looking like it’s going to burst open any moment.

Reaching out (Forêt de Soignes, Belgium, 2019)

I had no interest in pressure cookers. Or in cooking, for that matter. What surprised me is how I felt.

I was watching the lid trembling under the enormous pressure gathering beneath it. I was watching the heavy vapor and the foam gathering on the sides of the cooker. Instead of feeling scared, I felt as if inside the cooker there’s a kernel of pure love radiating in all directions. I felt its power as I was standing there, hypnotized.

I’ve never dreamt like this before. I’ve never felt like this before or since.

It was a very detailed and vivid dream, and it was in color. I very rarely dreamt in color, even back then. While most details have disappeared with time, I still remember how it felt to be overwhelmed by this black hole of love, attracting everything in its proximity. Love compressed at incredible density in the metal pot, oozing out under enormous pressure. Unconditional, unlimited, unbound.

Since then, I’ve had my share of powerful moments. Instances of connection, when everything seemed to open and light up.

Sometimes, it happened when hiking in the wild. Sitting in silence close to a river, in a forest opening. Becoming part of the scene, to the point where the borders between me and the surroundings became blurry.

Sometimes, it happened when opening the window in the morning and taking the first breath of fresh air. That moment of absolute silence and clarity.

Sometimes, it happened with a lover. Watching the light reflecting off her skin in the dark. Getting drunk on her taste and smell. Hear her whispering in my ear, out of control.

Sometimes, it happened when dancing. That feeling of lightness and flow. That weird, intimate connection with a dance partner you’ve never met before – and maybe you’ll never meet again.

Since I had that dream, I’ve been in love and I’ve been loved. But that feeling of being overpowered by pure love never came back. Not even in dreams.