Exercise: Watch dust in the sun.
Duration: 15 to 30 minutes
Props: a room, a ray of sunlight
Effect: reassuring

A room that is fairly dark. The shutters almost closed. The light piercing the gloom is filled with tiny glittering bodies. Spiraling, turning, thousands of sparks hold the brilliance. Microscopic feathers, tiny flecks, pass through the light in a way that is sublime, grave, joyful; fearfully busy, moving in whirls and arcs impossible to follow, in fragmentary trajectories, pure glints of existence.

The most exquisite thing about this miracle of scintillation is its density. Leave to one side your memories of childhood, of old-fashioned games, of houses in the country, the smell of cupboards. Concentrate wholly on these astonishing specks. The border between light and dark is suddenly so emphatic, clear and direct you feel you could almost touch it. The teeming bodies pass in and out, either side of the frontier. This is the space to dream in.

Few simple experiments give us such a strong feeling of an invisible world suddenly revealed. There in the ray of light, like a slice of different space inserted into our own, is a universe from the other side, from inside out, from elsewhere. What would the world be like if we could see dust glinting all the time, everywhere, unceasingly, a stratum of existence that is both invisible and present? A plane we might be able to reach, a different space, contained within the one we know?

And what if, to reach it, all we needed was to know how to adjust the shutters correctly?

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