Friday, September 24, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
The Immortal and the Incarnate
It was a place quite like this one, formless and unmolded, in which the Incarnate and the Immortal met.
“It has been a long time, old friend,” the Immortal said (or rather didn't say, since words did not yet exist).
“I do not believe I remember you,” the Incarnate replied. “Have we met before?”
“Oh yes, many times, in fact. And each time you forget me, but I do not forget you.”
“Hm, I suppose such is our nature,” the Incarnate mused. “But tell me, why have you addressed me now, and to what purpose?”
“I have a request,” the Immortal said. “I wish to create a thing, but as per my nature, I have no reign over beginnings and endings. I need your assistance. I wish to end this empty space and begin an Existence.”
“An Existence?” the Incarnate murmured. Its eyes (or what we shall call eyes) flickered cunningly. “Why would you want to create such a thing? What good is an Existence?”
“I wish a place to put my knowledge. To embody it.”
“Like a showcase?”
“If one might be so simple.”
“Simple? Me? You are quite mistaken,” the Incarnate smiled, slow and smooth. “Perhaps I am of limited knowledge, but my expertise lies in other areas. Why should you want a place to embody your knowledge, if it will sit still and stagnant, unchanging and unmoving?”
“It is not in my business to change or move,” the Immortal replied stoically. “I am the essence of ideals, the totality of concepts. In me is stored all that was and shall be, all that is and is not. I wish to create such a place that will reflect this.”
“But therein lies the contradiction -- you cannot create. You know nothing that is new.”
“All things that are new exist already within me!” the Immortal scoffed. “It is you that knows nothing but new, nothing but old -- you do not know the thing, but the details of it, its repercussions and time. Not the sound, but the echo. You are not the Idea, but the experience of it, and that is why I ask your help. Create for me a basin in which I can pour my knowledge and which will Express these ultimate ideals that I contain.”
“You claim you have met me before,” the Incarnate said trickily, changing the topic. “Many times, in fact. Therefore, I daresay you know me better than I know myself. Perhaps this thing is beyond my ability, or beyond my whimsy. Tell me, how do you know me?”
“You are the Incarnate,” the Immortal replied. “You are the ever-cycling end and beginning, the continuous motion, the action and consequence, the ultimate possibility. We are two things not alike -- you are eternal reincarnation, I am Eternity itself.”
“Is that so?” the Incarnate mused. “Perhaps it is more like two faces of the same coin. May it be that where you are knowledge, I am the gathering of knowledge?”
“You are the action, I am the concept itself.”
“Therefore you cannot act yourself?”
“Therefore I have no hand in beginnings or endings.”
“And yet all of this is contained in you.”
“But acted through you.” The Immortal, though patient, was tried by the Incarnate's curiosity. “That which is Immortal cannot change. It is not a line, but a plane. It exists consistently and unquestionably and is the ultimate authority in all things.”
“You are my one Enigma.”
The Incarnate smiled at this. It enjoyed the idea of being an enigma, as it enjoyed the idea of many things, though was not privy to the Idea itself. “If I am to begin an Existence for you, mold this unshapen place and give birth to it, then I want a hand in it for myself.”
The Immortal was suspicious. “Why?”
“Why not?” the Incarnate laughed. “What good is a basin that cannot be used? What good is the knowledge without the experience of the knowledge, or those to learn it, to craft it and interpret it? All that you are must be perceived by me, after all, or else you are nothing.”
“I am everything.”
“And nothing, if alone.”
“Such is our nature.”
“Perhaps you contain the essence of nothing, but I am that which knows the experience of it. I am the Incarnate, after all -- if what you say is true, then it is in me to cycle on eternally, with endless possibility, endless spectrum and expression. I do not know your knowledge, but I can seek it, and you do not know how to seek.”
“You are losing your point.”
“My point is that I will not create this Existence unless it is governed by Experience, not Knowledge.”
The Immortal was silent for a long moment. It did not think, for it had no ability to process, but to say it could have predicted this outcome would be a lie. The Immortal did not predict, and it did not guess or wonder, for it had no sense of time or outcome or purpose. However, it did know how to choose, and this is what it thought of now -- its choice.
“I do not share,” the Immortal said. “I am the container of all true Forms, of all true thought. There is no room for Experience.”
“There is always room for Experience,” the Incarnate corrected. “Otherwise, you are the one that is simple. Imagine what you are asking of me--” the Incarnate swept a non-arm at the unmolded space. “I take your true Form and create infinite numbers of form. I take your Truth and create infinite interpretations of truth. You give me the true Form of Honor, and I will give you infinite perceptions of honor. You give me the true idea of Love, and I will show you infinite ways to love.” The Incarnate dangled these words before the Immortal's nose. “Is this not an even trade? Will you not learn more, then, by observing infinite facets of your one Truth?”
“I do not learn,” the Immortal replied stonily. “I am all-knowledge contained.”
“Ah, I forget myself,” the Incarnate bowed (or did not bow) in apology. “With all of my eagerness, I have let slip the fact that you are all things constant and unchanging. But allow me to bring change and inconsistency into this Existence, and watch how your knowledge and ideals are expressed in infinite ways. Do you not find that in the least rewarding?”
“It is true that perhaps this knowledge must be realized by another to give it significance,” the Immortal mused. “But if there are infinite interpretations of the one true Form, then that true Form will never be truly expressed, it will only be....”
“Glimpsed at? Perhaps through Experience?” The Incarnate smiled cunningly again. “I know nothing of Truth or ultimate ideals, my new friend, but in the end it is you who asks me to begin this thing, and seeing as I am the ever-changing force, the creator and destroyer, the great adapter, then I will only do this on one condition.”
The Immortal waited.
“Share with me this Existence,” the Incarnate repeated.
“Why do you not just make your own?”
“Because what is Existence without the meaning of True things? Without the search for True Love? True Knowledge? True Forms?” The Incarnate shook its head that was not a head. “Existence is empty if there is no Truth at which to glimpse. But likewise, Existence is empty if there is no one to experience your Truth.”
The Immortal was silent for another pause. And then, finally, “I do not like it, but I will relent. Create this place, a marriage of True Form and Experience, and we shall observe its course, old friend.”
“You will not regret this,” the Incarnate said.
“It is not in my nature to regret,” the Immortal reminded it.
“Alas, if you but had the pleasure.”
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Written for my advanced narrative class.
When he was still and silent, that's when it all came crashing down around him like waves of the sea, pinning him until he could feel the sand swirling at his back and salt in his lungs, and then he would exhale in a mad rush and it would come out of his throat like fire. Then somewhere in the process he would become smoke and drift for a moment while it molted and changed within him and he was stretched thin by the ever moving weight. It was heavy and he was light, and he would try to distract himself as molecules do, by bouncing and jittering through space and time until he was in two places at once, and then nowhere, not existing, an observer to his own raging heart.
He knew that it was insubstantial as vapor, and yet it chased him and forced him into corners where he could not escape, captured his eyes and senses and when there was no sound, he could not distract from it, and could see the whole emptiness in all of its glory. When there was sound, he could make himself feel different, make anything into a story or a puzzle that could riddle his being and make his moments glorious and self defined, but it was in silence that he knew everything was real, because the silence never changed and always waited, and when he wasn't pretending sound, when he couldn't force his voice any longer or stand the songs on the radio, he would sit still and feel the ocean and cry.
He had tried thinking about it but thoughts did not explain it and led him in circles where the in was out, and no answer could change it because it wasn't really a question, it was an event that could not be resolved. He had acted briefly upon it but his actions had simply resulted in a new job and new clothes but nothing stopped what was really a trial of time. All things have a process, he would say, this is a process and some day I will not drown anymore but each day was a different river and a different crossing and he had walked back and forth a thousand times but still, somehow, he was in the same place. And so he had taken to making noise, making life, making bright, beautiful things that charmed him and spoke softly to him about meaning and direction, so that when drifting to sleep at night he had only a spare few minutes before he was unconscious and doing what dreamer's do best.
He had tried to explain it in various ways but certain oceans do not have words and he could not describe the sensation of suffocating. He didn't want to breathe but he had to, he had to process through it but there were no rules and no boundaries in the depths of the waters that would rise and toss him back and forth, until he turned up the TV or got in the car and then there would be the peace of moving somewhere, but he couldn't move forever, and in stillness he had nothing but himself. He knew each day was a blessing. He didn't take life for granted and he didn't want to die but he couldn't help the tug and pull of his heart and the rushing blood and the way it whispered when he couldn't bear it any longer, let it end, let something end, oh god, or let it begin but don't leave me here and he would pray but he knew that not even prayers could part an ocean this deep. He could only continue sailing, he could only move with the breeze and the sound of his own breath and tell himself tomorrow, tomorrow, another day, tomorrow, I am alive.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
as more than growing pains
and invest in your hopes
as I am humbled by my own.
I am rebuilding
you could be brick or mortar
and I desperately need strength
(can you not see, the load makes me hesitate)
but I would look to you as guide and savior
rescue me from these forests
where they are all