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Around The Sun: Either This Life Is Very Dreamlike Or This Dream Is very Lifelike

Steve Harrison questions his own watery reality.

Ive never quite matched my rhythm to the smooth ebb and flow of the Earth. With considerable difficulty I move from darkness into light, then back the other way. When I do finally get to sleep I am caught up in a world of dreams, a prisoner of my night-time imagination.

Waking up is a slow and difficult task, though once I am awake I revel in the sights and sounds of reality, thoroughly immersing myself in life. I try to savour every waking moment, therefore I find it difficult to go to sleep in case I miss something.

So there you have me - a man who finds it hard to fall asleep and hard to wake up.

According to Western astrology my star sign is Cancer, the crab. Eastern mysticism labels me a water dragon, so according to both West and East I am watery. Water can break down anything. It splits rocks, wears down mountains, carves out valleys, altering landscapes which we regard as precious and immovable.

When water is trapped it eventually manages to find a means of escape. I have never been aware of being so fluid. My escapes have never involved turning into a sudden fast-disappearing cloud of steam. I have been aware though of the hiss and sizzle one hears when something is transferred from frying pan to fire.

In the East each year in a 12-year cycle is named after an animal, with one exception. There's the Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Cockerel, Dog, Pig, Rat, Oxen, Tiger, Rabbit - then there's the Dragon.

All of them are real animals with the exception of the dragon, an invention of someone with a vivid imagination.

So I am a fantastic creature, the stuff of heroic tales involving knights in shining armour. I am a myth, a legend.

Perhaps I am a waking, walking dream.

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