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Beginnings and Ends
I see it every time a wave breaks on the shore, I know it, and I feel it. I see it whenever blades of grass dance in the wind in unison, a silent chorus. It is there, I have no doubts now, but there was a time . . .
Alive. What is this? I feel. An introduction for all-too-familiar feelings in an alien setting. Nothing becoming words becoming ideas. I sense many things overwhelming me, my mind swoons under the onslaught. Am I to understand things in a communicable way, and from that understanding and communicating learn, and from that learning grow? One does not consider such things under circumstances like this. This is not.
A hand slowly flexes, cracks; an eyelid opens, two. Dust falling from every movement, spiraling to the ground in the breeze. I see. My own hands are made of hard gray cracks and pieces, and my body the same. They are attached to me, and I notice they are wet. "What is this wet?" The words wade through my head, in the fuzz, and tingle below it. I feel my midsection twinge.
I can move slowly and the wet hushes me. Something is missing, was taken, something wants to come back. "What is this wet?" -comes out of the fuzz many times. Where did that come from again? I look at my hands, look at the ground and the moving dark wet that cuts it, and look back at my hands and then through them. Something in the movement of what I see makes the fuzz go away, and my legs push me up high.
The ground so far below is dizzying, there is a breeze that suddenly makes me overly aware of the questions forming within my mind. Mud? This is not my own, there is no internalization going on within a mind so far detached from its body. This disconnectedness reverberates throughout my body like it's high tide. Shapes above and far away come nearer and nearer, moving triangles in the sky. My legs are shaking and the rubble that falls drops into the wet. Triangles that become rectangles, I am hushed again. Noise. I hear. There is an urgency to the noise they make, the rectangles circle overhead and I close my eyes. Where are we going?
Whenever I close my eyes.
What chance do I have of finding these answers I do not know. For now the movement of my legs will have to do. Yet I will never get use to the noise of stone on stone, despite the fact that my heart beats in the palm of my hand with a similar effect. The grating noise becomes part of a chanting, I hum to myself and realize that it too is contributing to this our chorus of noise. The dark wet is behind me now, it no longer hushes me this far away. The fuzz reassures me of that.
Concentrating on the noise my footfalls make detracts me from developing any feelings that what I am about to do is horribly wrong. I remind myself that it is just stone on stone, with each step the stone connects and disconnects. Crunch. Picking up stones here and dropping some there, my mind is slowly becoming accustomed to the intrusion that is external sensory input. There is form; there is a toppled pillar of bright white piercing my presence, with dancing pieces so small they draw me in. Dust and I breathe. The sound, crunch, my hand and my heart hypnotize me. I imagine myself turning around quickly and violently and it is enough. Oh yes, I recognize my own faults. Rectangles and triangles I hear them as if we were all one entity.
It is difficult to take the first step, the irony of that statement and my self-realization of it do not make it any easier. Whether it is an unjustifiable fear or not I don't know, but I have a feeling that I will soon find out. When you don't know where you're going, what's coming with you, or who is watching over you, you can be anything but reassured it seems. The rectangles above me snap me out of my introspection. They get closer as I continue walking and they are following me.
I stop walking and stare at them. They stare back at me as much as an eyeless distant unknown can. Above me and all around is red, dotted with their black presence circling in swarms. The structure of my body is suddenly rigid and momentarily immobile. Their intentions are clear to me, they see mine as well. You become acutely aware of times passing after long moments of thoughtfulness. A sense of purpose -my own creation, a burning desire for answers to questions I am at this time unable to form. For this reason my being cannot materialize within my mind's eye.
An sharp intake of breath through my nostrils is another awakening, I have a scent, my mind attaches it to the current moment and my surrounding conditions, the feeling of being watched. Ashen. Senses threatening to overtake my thoughts. Preoccupation with such things can only lead to stagnancy? No memories attach themselves to me now, those have yet to come, but a first has been born, one of many yet to come. First there must be recollection. I hush myself, and focus on walking as straight as I can manage with my clumsy shell of a body, away from where I came from. No sense to attach my being to that place, only an emptiness, and a beginning. As empty as my surroundings, just the omnipresent light all around, and the red hue that accompanies it, broken only by my following troupe of shape changers. There is nothing of distinction, as I stop to look around, left, right, behind and in front of me. Nothing, and so it must be.
He has no sense of self.
We see the way he labors over his own thoughts, it is actually quite humorous- for one of us. For the rest of us there is nothing new here, forgetting. One at a time, one thought at a time. There are maps that can guide us to individuality, splitting rocks, finding stones, smelling ash. What he does not realize, we do. What does he know? There are emotions attached to him of which he is entirely unaware of at this point in time. What purpose they have will be manifest in a future we know all too well. For the time being he'll have to manage for stone eyelids do not close once they are opened.
So many precious memories, and so many, as we categorize them, other memories. With time they fade, replaced by memories and existences past present and future, it is as one infinitely long journey, a sharpened line fading out in front and behind of a painfully real moment. Focusing on more than one at a time is impossible, they blur into one, a circle, and a sphere. Details are left behind; we are a summation without end. As all encompassing as we might feel it is, there are constant reminders that there are barriers. We see them, feel them, and know them well. The shells of individuals pass through and leave the memories outside.
Before the emptiness consumed it, it was meaningful in it's own right. Now it just is.
Absence. There is no explanation. Thoughts mingle like the threads of yarn on a weave. Jumping from thought to the negation of thought, frayed threads. How obvious it must appear to someone outside of this vicious circle that I am at a complete loss, and why shouldn't I be? I am standing in a chamber oblivious to the world and what it entails, and I become wet. Pushed on all sides by it, penetrating me in my entirety. Replacing the nothing, with something. Many different things.
The dark red liquid drips off the sleeves of my robes onto the scattered rubble upon which I stand. I have no sense of who I am. I. I don't know anything, except that it doesn't matter and it doesn't bother me in the least. Why should it? Watching each drop roll off of the folds of my thick clothing slowly into the cracks in the ground, it troubles me. The fact that something inconsequential is unsettling to me is somehow strangely comforting. A dark form appears wholly in my mind and streams throughout my consciousness, I know this. I know you, and I wonder. I instinctively relax my clenched fist; so many things that need not be. There is a dull thud and I raise an eyebrow to feign interest, for whose benefit but my own I do not know.
I brace myself out of habit not for fear. It will be an eternity of waiting before what is inevitable gains, overtakes, and brings me to my knees again. My skeletal hands, what I have done with them. The images conjured by brief associations of familiar firing of nebulous thought. I have all answers, I can hear them. I know they are watching me from the river not 10 strides from where I now stand. Staring where they would be could I see them, I can't help but wonder if they know that I know.
We see the way she labors over her thoughts. It is painful for us to witness her struggle. Painstakingly slow, chiseling away at her formerly complete unity with that from which all is born. It is hardest for one, a new addition to our group, still absorbing, dry.