Being Sier Nevada

David Leevers, 2000


Written after spending a day walking to and from a waterfall in the Spanish Sierra Nevada with a group from the alternative holiday centre 'Cortijo Romero'. 

With apologies to "Being John Malkovich", a movie in which people pay $200 to slide down a tunnel that starts at floor 7.5 of a Manhattan skyscraper and ends in the centre of consciousness of John Malkovich's brain. After a 15 minute experience they are ejected and fall out of the sky on to the side of a highway near Hoboken NJ with views across to Manhattan.

Life-size self-portraits of some members of the group


Paying the token,

making ones way to the waiting room of low equity

where the day-to-day shell of survival

is eased off by unnatural group processes.


Then taken,

as a snail without a shell,

an executive without a suit,

an analyst without a couch,

in a group shell-on-wheels to the entry point.


Next sliding down the wetware artery path

through the cortex of Sier Nevada

to the pool of consciousness,

just behind the centre of visual flow.


Here, protected but alien,

there is time to wait for the eternal moment

(within the personal quarter of an hour)


Each vision is different;

backwards into the black hole of the cut-back undercliff

- a temporary haven from the downward stream of seratonin,

sideways into inevitable tumblings as handhold is lost

- a  turmoil of L-dopa,

forwards into the torrent of streaming

- screaming,

or upwards, provoking clash of Egos

- self and Sier. 


Overbearing all is the super-ego of the upper pool,

And the underwearbaring forces of its own super waterfall.


A two-level hierarchy of pools,

two consciousnesses,

enough to extrapolate an infinity of higher consciousnesses,

incarnating upwards to the eternal snowy peak of Mount Kailas.


Now looking forwards through the streaming tears of Sier, 

grinding him down through millennia

as liquid lady of lakes has her way with him.


From Rocky to rockund,

from the jagged sharpness of transparency

to the slippery smoothness of Machiavalency 


And then, quietly, closure is sensed, ejection. 

Into the relentless pounding of those thundering tears.

Then jacuzzied into momentary well-being by the energy of effervescence.

Finally reconceived down the virtual vein,

the channel of rocks and flow.


Initially an eel-like fetus,

eloinging between the rocks,

meandering across the shallows,

hurrying over rapids,

and growing by stretch-force of whirlpools


till, in a moment,

water baby is reconstituted

and falls back

into reality,


with a bump,

at the side

of the Hoboken Highway.




Back to (virtual) reality