The Twenty-second Leaf

I know not what to make of this new event. In order to avoid the endless questioning I have avoided sleep. The effect has been exhausting, and quite unpleasant. But now this? Now, even without sleep, I am hearing his voice, or other voices. Perhaps not voices at all, but suggestions, intimations. And the imagery of numbers oppresses me. How can this be? I know nothing of numbers and take no effort to become acquainted with them. Perhaps this is all from lack of sleep. I can take it no more. I have made my decision, I will take a great risk and once again succumb to the dreamworld. May Finn help me.

- Sorren

There must be an explanation for such a continuing torment of this man and that he should try to stay awake forever. And now, the mysterious specter follows him into his waking world. I know of only one explanation to describe this horror. Sorren has surely penetrated the realm of Satan, and the devil has answered. What form of witchcraft does this man practice in the dead of night? And how strange it is to me that he should evoke the help of Finn McCool, instead of Christ. His torment is beginning to frighten me as I read these malignant words.
— M

This leaf is beautiful and dreamy.  Is Sorren being driven to these words by this persistent melancholic state, or are his words instead, a reaction to this condition from which he is helpless to emerge?  Many writers complain of a condition known as writers block, but in this instance, it seems to me that Sorren would welcome such a condition.  And though his words are beautiful to me, my guess is that Sorren is driven to the point of exhaustion at this stage of his illness, if in fact it is an illness at all. 


My method thus far has been to read these leaves of Sorren in order, and to reflect on them for a day or two before offering my subjective analysis.  After reading, and then subsequently responding to leaf 21, I read leaf 22 before going to bed that night.  The nightmare to which I was subjected has left me in a state of uncertainty as I ponder the dream in the light of day over a cup of coffee and a croissant.  I feel the need to describe this dream before offering my analysis of leaf 22.


In my dream, I was awoken suddenly during the night by a peculiar sound, a faint tapping on my window.  It was the sound of a whippoorwill, and I was terrified because I had been stalked by the whippoorwill for several days until I was exhausted.  All I knew of the whippoorwill was that it was waiting for me to die so that it could steal my soul. The tapping continued, and I soon understood that I was to go to the window and open it.


I went to the window and there was the whippoorwill on the ledge, staring directly into my eyes.  The eyes were like the eyes of a serpent, and I was captured and could not look away.  My mind began to reel.  And then I felt my spirit leave my body and enter the body of the whippoorwill until it began to glow.  I pounded on the window, trying to get out, but the whippoorwill looked at me once more before flying away.  Finally I was able to open the window and I jumped out.  Suddenly I was falling, falling to the ground, but I did not hit, for now I was flying like a bird over the dim rooftops surrounding my house.  The sky was obscured with a strange mist of frozen fog, but I was able to get back to my house, back to the window ledge.  I landed and tried to get in, but my head was now the head of the whippoorwill and my beak could not break through the window. 


I tapped, harder and harder to break the glass until a strange man appeared and stared at me through the glass.  It was I, or me, or he, or whatever I was.  He pounded and pounded but he could not break through the thick glass.  His eyes were like terrible, amorphous orbs, and I became frightened and flew away.  When I woke up I was in my bed and my body was wet with perspiration.


Now it is not my intention to analyze myself in these pages, and I will not do so.  But since I began studying this book, I am beginning to wonder if it may be some form of key, or catalyst into another secondary structure of consciousness.  What method of sorcery could this be that can transfer sickness across time?  What form of sympathetic magic is it that can project such thoughts across the centuries?  I am no less outlandish in my musings than M, and in this way we are alike.  It is also clear to me that I can never allow anyone other than myself touch this book.  It is too dangerous.


Sorren is now seeing numbers, though he claims to be unfamiliar with them.  What kind of numbers?  Why doesn’t he say?  Is it possible that Sorren is being programmed by some strange form of mechanism that he cannot even understand?  What are his visions then if not some peculiar system of wolf tone?  Just as M is subject to the same residue of this wolf tone, and just as I am beginning to succumb also, I see this as a manifestation of the same thing.

Lastly, I must make note of Sorren’s plea for help from Finn McCool. I was under the impression that Sorren was a Christian, but I see that the vestiges of his past pagan heritage come back in times of crisis. This may have been an accidental admission on his part, or it may reflect his closest inner beliefs uninhibited by the social protocol of his position. Finn McCool represents the supernatural, the psyche, the Jungian archetype, and it may be that Sorren is looking for comfort in such powerful mythology.  I must stop this analysis here, for I am beginning to rant.  I know not what else to expect from this strange Book of Sorren.