Elfwood is the worlds largest SciFi & Fantasy community.
- 152368 members, 5 online now.
- 12296 site visitors the last 24 hours.
| This is an idea. |
Upon consideration of how an immortal might tell his/her story, this was what came to mind. But it's just an idea...
I do not live in this world. You – you, whoever you are – may live in this world, but I do not. You are the ambiguous two, the ambiguous few, the ambiguous many reading words scratched into shape, worlds etched into the edges of reality in a simple stain of ink, worlds that are nothing more than words...
I know not.
I do not live in this world. I did once. I do now. But now is
another thing, a thing for theorists and philosophers, a thing that
always belongs to... you. But now is not now. Now is not. Not is,
was, wherever, whatever, whenever, now is was.
While is will be was, was never is is.
Will be is another matter entirely.
Take solace in the fact that few things are eternal. That is not something to lament.
Yesterday is yesterday.
Water is cool. It is warm. It is gaseous, it is a liquid, it freezes into solid so very easily.
Life is gentle. It is brutal. It is adaptable, it is a battle, it clings to even the most unforgiving landscapes so very easily.
Interesting, that the latter should be made up so much of the former.
Today is yesterday.
Thirty thousand, eight hundred and two.
It was cold in the dark. I was cold in the dark. Here, in the solitude, I could stop and think, and so I lay in the dark and wondered, why is it cold?
Water dripped, plip, plop, plip plip... ringing on the walls of the dark. I wondered, why is it plipping? It plipped.
Forty one thousand, nine hundred and sixty three.
The ripples sang out from the centre, tinkling gestures, and in my
solitude I wondered at the sound. I wondered at the solitude. I
wondered at the plip. Plip. Plip... ripples sang, and I could almost
sing along, and I lay in the dark and I knew no different. I knew no
light, no quiet, no world but the cold, the dark, the plip.
Ninety four thousand, three hundred and ninety one.
Is this time?
Time is a word. I learned the words when I was small. Small... whatever small is, I learned as such, and forgot as much and now all it was was words. I wondered at the dark. Was dark normal? I lay on the floor, was lying normal? Was there space? I slipped into the void, but my mind went on.
Three hundred sixty two thousand, eight hundred and twelve.
One million, two hundred twenty three thousand, fourteen.
Numbers. Words. A thought, constructed constructs and I knew they
were not mine. I moved.
I looked. It was dark. Why was it dark? I remembered light; I wanted light!
And there was light.
I stood and looked, and the wet stone looked back. Far beneath me, an eye of the world stared up at me, invisible. Visible. Saturated colour.
A drop of water plipped to the pool below.
Three million, two hundred thirty six thousand, two hundred and three.
Yesterday is today.
Look, ma, I found a flower. Pretty flower, so pretty. The woods
surround me, surround all, soft green, sweet light, wishful singing
of the leaves in a halo of the sun, singing to me and me alone. All
is beautiful. I am beautiful. Ma is beautiful. Ma stares off into the
distance and I see her halo and I believe I hear ma singing to the
singing leaves and ma's so beautiful and I know ma is a tree, a tree
like the trees around, comforting, singing, wishing, forming a halo
in the sky in the sunlight in the green...
Ma, I found a flower, ma! Pretty, beautiful flower, like ma. Like ma. Like me.
I see the joy in the smile in the space beneath the halo, the face beneath the halo, my face, my ma, ma, ma...
I am the joy in the smile beneath the halo, and I dance the dance of the song sung by the singing, leaves singing, ma singing, ma is so beautiful and I dance and ma sings and the leaves are green.
A leaf falls. I look at the leaf. I believe I can read the story in the lattice of veins and I read the story, I sing the story, and there is joy in the smile. The smile is green.
Leaves fall. Leaves are yellow and I look at the leaves and the
leaves sing to me and me alone, but the song is sad. The song drifts
on the wind and I feel the song. The wistful singing makes me sad,
ma. The singing isn't green, ma!
The gold singing makes me sad and I feel sad in my heart, and my halo is gold like the leaves, yellow, falling, where is yours? Ma, ma, where is yours, ma!
The sun is gone from the halo of the leaves and I wonder where the
sun went. The singing is white. The singing is soft, muted, dead. I
listen to the singing and look for the halo, but the halos are gone
and the sun is gone and ma is gone and I am gone? The green is gone.
The gold is gone. The white sings in whispers and rises and falls. I
see my halo lying amidst the white and then the halo is gone
And I am not so small. I am not so alone. I remember my mother as the singing beneath the halo, but I can tell no one. Civilizations drift in and out like the white once did, as the white, the snow, they call it, snow, always does, but I remain. I wonder why, but never aloud, never aloud and they never hear, the drifting civilizations.
I take a name, I put on a mask, and the halo stays hidden behind it, the soft white halo that disappeared in the white. The snow. Only the mask shows. They do not question it and I do not question theirs, yet they all wear their masks. I wonder if they even realise their masks, or have they worn them so long that masks are all they are? Have I? Their little worlds have risen and fallen around me, bustling, quick, superficial, and always I have put on this mask, this same different mask, and examined their masks. What am I, beyond this mask? What are they, beyond theirs?
I exchange greetings with the travellers and they do not see me,
and then the travel is done, as with every passing of light and dark.
I go to a place and examine the faces of the walls of the buildings
they always erect and wonder what they will be tomorrow and I go in
one, a different one every time, yet always the same one, and I
become the mask I have worn for the passing of the day. A job, they
call it. Designing, they call it. Engineering, they call it. Editing,
they call it. Reversing, they call it. Accounting, they call it.
Never the same, yet always the same, artificial, a construct like the
words they always use.
I use words too.
Then I travel with the travellers back through the alien song of movement, and they do not see. They never see, because they never look, because they do not care to look, and then the travel is done and I and the travellers go to other places.
I return to the soft green leaves. Under the leaves, I believe I hear them singing, and sometimes, I can see the halo of the sun.
Around me, civilizations, their own little worlds, drift like snow.
Yesterday is tomorrow.
Six billion, two hundred thousand twenty two million, eight
thousand and twelve is a big enough number.
Sufficient to learn the song, I restore my mask and return to the sky.
It is so bright.
Tomorrow is today.
These are my words. Mine alone. I brought them into being and I will bring them to their end, and they were mine before any of the walkers had theirs, before any of the walkers stole mine as theirs. All these are is words, but they are my words, and mine alone.
When the walkers come up with their words, they get them wrong. They use the wrong words, they speak the wrong words, and the words contain no worlds. When the walkers create their own words, the unfeeling describe feeling. The faithless describe faith. The finite describe infinity, and they get it wrong. They get it all wrong. Only those that have loved can name love, only those that have lived can describe life.
I must make their words for them, pass them on to them so that they never know how the words have meaning, just that they do. It is better this way. Before, words were so empty. I used their words, before, never mine, even though mine are not empty, not empty at all. My words contain worlds, because they came from worlds. They are worlds. So now I describe the feeling, the living, the place, the thought, the idea, because I listen, I watch, I look. I see the faces of the walls and the faces of the masks, and sometimes, I see the faces behind the masks. But I never see halos. The walkers never see halos.
Yet I can still describe the halos. I can still describe the masks. I can still describe and name all the things that the would-be describers have never felt, seen, dreamed, been, because I have.
Only those that have loved can name love, only those that have
lived can describe life.
I leave death to the walkers.
Today is tomorrow.
It happens suddenly.
Today is ENIAC's birthday. The few who still remember celebrate with cake, and understand the exponential potential of an exponent atop of an exponent atop of an exponent.
Took them long enough.
Strange, such a sudden moment in time. I almost missed it. Have I missed it before? Funny, how it takes going faster to learn to go slowly. But to learn to go slowly, one must first understand the importance of going slowly, and speed is a very effective and fatal way to learn.
After the thunder and futility and scope and mass, a few have
stopped looking to the horizon in blindness and instead look at what
is right ahead. The masks come off. They look to themselves and that
around and perhaps, some day, they will hear the song of the leaves,
of the white, of the black, of the roaring, of the soft, hard, slow
walls, of the silence and solitude of it all, and they will stop and
slow and sing along.
Already, a few have made their own words, unaided, and those words were worlds. Because they actually look, they actually feel, they actually live, love, and die as more than just masks, their words mean something. I can almost see their halos. Almost
And then it is gone.
Today is today.
The last of the civilizations blew away with the spring.
I had never seen dark before. Only the sky, vast, blue, grey, white, orange, purple, green, so many skies, all overhead. Here, though, it was dark. It was cold. I was alone.
I took off my mask, my face, my identity... I would not need it here. Identity is a construct for the constructed. Here, all I needed to be was a halo, another halo, white against the gold.
Here, it was dark. I wanted a light, so there was a light, but it
was still dark in the recesses beyond the light. In the shadows
behind the light, the darkness gathered as it fled, drifting
fearfully and fitfully in the crevices and behind the spires from
floor to ceiling, always a mere step ahead of the light. I advanced
upon them, passing the faces of the walls, and I looked on these with
curiosity. These were nothing like the walls of the buildings that
once stood so proudly above, these were soft and hard and slow. These
walls arose, haloed, from the ponderous passing of ages while
everything else passed them by, and they watched it all, impassive.
Like me, they knew no death, no awakening from an eternal dream.
Water trickled over the softened, hard edges of the walls and glittered in my light as if it had never felt such light before, it said, hello, light, with surprise and joy and the halos of the walls danced in the water's joy. Their halos, like mine.
But the water fell, down, down the walls, softening, forming, slowly shaping the walls to the most perfect possibility, and it fell beyond the light and the glittering dance stopped. Far below, I heard a plip.
I shivered in the cold. I had no reason to shiver, no practical reason, but the walkers of the civilizations had tended to shiver, and I remembered them. I remembered the bustle and the haste and the fear and the change and the superficiality and the mortality and it made me wonder. The water plipped... was the plip no more, no less than the civilization? But the plip did not delude itself as it happened, as its memory passed on up the columns and shelves, out of the darkness, into the darkness, a sound in the silence and no more.
Plop. Plip. Plip, plip plip.
Time passed, as time is wont to do, and I listened.
Plip, plip, plip...
It felt like a song and I stopped to wonder. What was a song
amidst the silence but the ultimate affirmation of reality? I had
sung once, too. So now I stopped and listened.
The shadows gained courage and crept slowly out of their hiding places, gaining ground at a steady crawl as the darkness wondered back. I listened. I had no need for the light, and it faded.
Two hundred and three.
It seemed so familiar. Around me, the halos of the walls shifted ever so slightly and shifted the walls with an exacting touch.
Eight hundred and sixty.
I began to understand the song. I began to understand why it was so familiar. It was the same as my song, my song in the water amongst the rock, and I could almost sing along. Almost, perhaps, dance along. I waited, for it to speed up, for me to slow down, for that was all it was. Slow. Gentle. Green.
Three thousand, four hundred.
I drifted to the song. It filled me, was me, and I was it and the
halos intermingled along the gold and white and obscured glitter of
the golden glitter of the plipping glitter of the gold halo of the
rock with the green halo and the glitter and the white.
Slow. Slow. Plop.
Nine thousand, six hundred twenty two.
The gold was green.
Tomorrow is tomorrow.
I hear the walkers singing. I see their halos: they are blue, like
the sky they had so often dreamed of surmounting. I remove my mask
before them, and I speak in worlds, and they speak in worlds, and our
halos glow. Ma, you should see them, how they glow. Hundreds,
thousands, brighter than the halo of the sun, they glow so prettily.
I would say this has never happened before, but who knows. Who knows? It is so beautiful, the joy and love and hope of it all, of them all, the walkers.
So now they walk, dream, fly, overcome the boundary of their sky
after finally coming to understand a way of things, to what, they
know not. It matters not. They sing and their halos glow as the sky
they so adore.
Mine glows as the snow that will blow them away in whispers, the white that will remove all trace of what has passed. Meanwhile, the walkers walk to their doom. The snow gathers and sings its soft song, soft, white, cold, and beautiful, an instant of death that is all that is required
For it to begin again.
Tomorrow is yesterday.
I forgot ma.
I forgot myself, I forgot the masks, I forgot the words, the halos, the songs, the whispers, I forgot it all.
But now I know I forgot. Does that mean I remember?
I cannot remember.
|Pointlessness...||Wanted: Rahah Okeishu|
|Ode to Pants||
A story of Stops