This One Time, 79

This one time the world was without form and void and darkness covered the face of the deep. Or so say the people who think they know about these things. In fact things are still like that no more than a few minutes away as the photon flies, so much so that if you take the whole of the universe as an average, it’s basically still like that, and nothing much has changed in a dozen billion years. For where I stand, on the surface of this lifeless lump of rock, I can see the truth of that with my own eyes, and yet, and yet … when I look up, I see a zillion little points of light, a bright dusting of shiny debris from the shattering of the biggest mirror ever, and the way my brain is wired, I see that sparkly dust as the truly important part, as some kind of message of hope, and I focus in on those bright points of light in defiance of my certain knowledge of how bleak things really are. On the whole. On average.

When the earth was still healthy and populated, people and animals and everything with any kind of inkling of awareness lived in ignorance, sometimes willful ignorance, of the fact that they lived on the surface of a balloon that could pop at any time, with death below and death above and life only possible on the thin skin that formed between death and death, the meager living filling in a death sandwich of truly cosmic proportions.

I know better than to ask for forgiveness for my morose outlook. I man the lighthouse that warns of death on the rocks, facing outwards to a dead sea that has no ships. There are no whales, no fish. Just wind and waves: the spirit of God moving on the face of the waters. God, who got by for an eternity without us and who will get by for another eternity after we are gone.

What went wrong? Was life too proud, too complacent, too disrespectful? The skin of the balloon is a molten churning mass, pieces of which are still raining down, splashing down around me all the way up here in the tower of this lighthouse that is the Moon. The Earth is back to its Venus-like youth, halted in its slide to a dusty Mars-like senescence by a tiny thing, like the fist of an angel, that smote it to its core.

Where are Pison, Gihon, Idikla, and Purat now? Where is the garden they encircle? I know the answer to that. Those are the names I have given to the four pumps that make and keep pure the waters that preserve the last five acres of tillable earth in existence. I maintain them, my own small spirit moving on the face of my own small waters, occasionally triggering release of my own selections of seed from the seed banks, my own whim and will releasing eggs and spores and other tiny elements and enzymes and microbes to maintain the perfect balance in this terrarium, the last garden ever being the first one to most closely mimic the first Garden, here at the gloaming, the dusk of my own garden’s Day Four. Today will last as long as I will it, while I work up the nerve to attempt Day Five, and then … however long it takes me until I have the hubris to attempt Day Six.

My sea-monsters and whales will be necessarily tiny. My beasts of the air and beasts of the field will be microscopic. Our first attempts, giants, every last one of them, are already buried deep, with my own bones and the bones of my fellows and mates, and will no doubt mightily confuse the future archaeologists. So be it.

I am the last of my kind. My companions died in the ordinary way, though some of them died extraordinarily by any measure. I moved into the machinery, having become my tools, and now my enormous spirit moves on the face of the tiny waters. When the wind blows in my garden, it is my breath. The last decaying biomass from which the richest part of the garden grows is my old body. Tiny, tiny engines scurry around to do my bidding, angels loyal to me but independent, already given their tasks to perform until they also merge with the body of creation in the garden at the base of the lighthouse, bounded by the four rivers.

I have hidden the index to all of the knowledge of life in one binary tree, and, with all due consideration, the knowledge of good and evil in a similar tree. Ethics and morality have no place at the beginning of things. There is only the rule of growth and increase, of twisting dead rocks and the debris of supernovas into biomass and more biomass and explosive diversity, to see what will live and what will die heated in the fire of strange radiations and under the hammer of strange gravities. The garden is a forge, an oven, a kiln. I have gold, and vats of bedolach, and onyx, but for tomorrow and the next day, what I will need is clay and mud.

I will have no choice but to try to sculpt the mud in my own image, in our image. I have no choice but to follow the plan.

After the end of a long Day Five and a long Day Six, I will rest, and watch, and dwell in my garden, and wait, nay, pray, for the fall of the angels — and the inevitable rebellion that will prove that my labors were not in vain. I will know I am successful when they bless me, and curse me with their last breaths, and beg for my forgiveness, which I already give them in advance.


March 20, 2011 · by xalieri · Posted in This One Time  


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