NOVEMBER 2ND All Souls’ Day: day of my birth. Alone, I come to the asylum-hotel. Belonging to all time here, I stand in the foyer, and glimpse from the edge of my vision the admission of a young man – his chaos controlled by tranquillising giants, and behind dark glasses. Climbing a number of flights of hastily narrowing, spiralling stairs, I arrive at where a white-clothed proprietress pauses – matronly in her smile: in her denial of dislocation – of the door locked and bolted; the opaque window. A nurse lingers – out of her view. Descending the back stairs, I find myself in a tunnel, barely lit – its walls and ceiling unplastered, revealing the unique fragrance of psychosis…. Along this forbidden corridor, shrivelled creatures mutter and shuffle.  I cannot communicate: I observe. Before my throat tightens – even before I have spoken your name – you are coming towards me, sister of my soul: your fairness seems an illumination…. One by one, all subterranean guests are moved by your stillness: you unlock them; unbolt their doors. Male and female, they follow us patiently – climbing that straight, wide staircase to the nucleus of the house: a landing facing east where an arched, stained glass window admits a whole birthday of light through its red, gold and blue – engendering presents of energy, clarity, communication…. You have asked for the woman in white to join us: we form an expectant crescent.  From clearest sky, sunlight taps, taps the brightly stained. Copyright © JENNY JOHNSON