The following I wrote long ago, as a part of fiction, and I saw it here again. I think it’s worthy of being posted today.
I am, I shall be, I can, I was, as it were, I will. Taman Shud.
The world was grey in the morning I went out to drive to Fredericksburg, and I waited for some imbuement of color to revive it. It was overcast, but showed no signs of rain, although in my direction of the distant East something was brewing. I drove into it; intrigued by the late-autumn storms that had grown more and more frequent in the last years.
I pursued it, in all truth. I kept on my way, still towards the city, but I’d almost forgotten my destination, or even why I was leaving. No, I was headed towards the storm; I was headed towards the black mass awaiting me in the sky.
There was something destined about it; as though I would meet my fate in the downtown alleys of an abandoned citadel. I was drawn to it, it’s peculiarity~ and be it that there were a thousand reasons to head in the opposite direction, or to approach Fredericksburg from the south in an attempt to stay dry, I instead made it my duty, my purpose, to approach the storm.
So I continued. I had already been down my path for an hour, watching the clouds go from the composition of thick lanes of grease-covered cotton, into darker, more ominous trenches in the sky.
They seemed to whisper in the echoes of the thunder they were not yet ready to unleash. I felt them in my ears, “come closer”, “witness us”, “test us”, they hissed in the black of my mind, waiting for me, calling me, gesturing that I join them.
I listened to them, intently, wondering their next moves or messages, all the while straying farther inside them. Their speech of a nearing winter was not mine to take heed of; and not theirs to deliver unto me. I was to be their navigator~ the navigator under the sky; the storm chaser behind the wind, and the meteorologist proposing a course of action. I might as well be the leader of the church, speaking of the great sign of the coming rain, or the prophet speaking of the coming flood.
But why stop there? I was under the storm…and I was all that the storm rained. I was, in that place, every possible person that could enjoy this fleeting moment, and it was I that took the world in. The more and more I thought about it, the more and more, I might change what I was beneath the sky.
Perhaps…perhaps…I was that sky. I was the shaded night and thing blotting the view of the sun. How? How could it be so? I stared into the sky, darker and darker still. Who gave it darkness? God? The unthinking universe? Who gave it a name? Who defined what darkness was? Who could make such things?
I closed my eyes in the drift of the car; just for a moment, just to listen to the whisper of the world. I listened, holding my breath. The wheels underneath me whirred and whistled; the sky thundered and haunted the Earth, the world was an echo of an ambiguous sound from a distant land, farther away than dwelt in the knowledge of any mortal man. The echo of a roaring wind in distant trees, and the darkness of my sight, the lack…of anything, for just that moment embraced me.
There was only one explanation. I could stand to forget the world, forget everything, forget the lies of history and murmurs of distant society which once walked upon this world. The lies of a world of people who were too…weak. They were too weak for the world I now dwelt within, too weak to experience the darkness. I kept my eyes shut; the world around would cease to exist. They, would hiss in my ears, try and convince me against my senses. “We’re still here” they’d say. Lies….filthy, weak, liars…disgusting rats. That is why they ceased to exist in my world, they were simply not worthy to experience the truth.
I felt my hands on the wheel. It seemed so necessary; it was the fabric of control, of reality, it was the axiom that those rats, those unspeakable heretics would tell me otherwise. They needed me to hold on to the wheel, they told me I should, I had to keep touching that wheel, it was insane to let go, it was pure madness to drive with your eyes closed, it was insanity …the risk was too great. “You could hurt yourself, you could injure yourself, you might die”, they’d say. It was their entire lie, binding me to the illusion they were so desperate for me to share, the illusion that they were independent of me, that they existed, that I should respect their deceitful existence in my reality.
I smiled deeply, free of their curse, and then, laughing for a moment as I chose it, I let go. I let go of the reigns of my chariot. I let go of the gilded arms on my throne. I let go of my robes, and allowed myself, for a moment of time, in darkness and in silence, to think against the echo of the world. And I, I the emperor, I the Papacy, I the Kingdom, I the Prophet, I the one, I the all, felt what I would be in the midst of a darkness which was awaiting me. I, alone, was what the rain rained for and what the sky rose for, what the Earth bent for, what the wind blew for, what the wilds challenged for, what the dogs fought for, what the mountains towered for and what the God above sought to be appeased for.
In the moment of silence, the moment of darkness, the moment of not knowing where I was or what I am. Of knowing the one thing; that all around me, and that is, in orbit of me, the world was turning, it was echoing, it was humming, it was painting itself, for me. It was the show of the arts around me, it was the theatrical performance of which I was involved, it was my play, and it was my creation.
I sought the distant star, and before I’d known it, I had painted it. I sought the moon, and before I’d seen her, she became cool, white, pale and pristine. I sought the pain of life and the glory of pride, and there they were, in the death of my wife, and in the taking of her to bed. I sought a story of memories for myself, and before I could even recall it, I had painted it perfectly, for my exclusive enjoyment.
The storm was mine. It was mine, not even to test me, but mine to roll in with the glory of the dark and the thunder and the rain. The sky was mine, and not mine to administer, but the sky to shine for me on nights of clarity, and the concept of clarity, it too was mine. Mine to annunciate, but also mine to know, that nothing could be so clear as knowing that I was all that was known to be, and all that wonder around me was the greatness of that happening of my creation, of my casting, of my painting.
It was a product of being alone, to be sure. It was a product of the darkness, a product of the silent echo now far away, a product of the senseless~ but it was also to know, that I was and always would be alone to the happenings of the world. That the casting of the stars, that the blooming of spring, that the echoes of pain in regret and that the pure sound of a living was mine. It was not something which happened around me, but something that happened to me. It was the art I had made, in so quick a fashion as not even to think about, so automatic a response as not even a moment was wasted on it, but it was mine, and all around the masterpiece I had made for myself, be it darkness or light, the world was the thing I had not happened to, but rather the world served as that which happened to me, and all around I was its inception, it’s birth, and it’s pure and undoubtable creation.
I opened my eyes. The road was still a soft gray speeding away from me, and my chariot, a 2014 Prius, was riding softly, briskly, and beautifully against the black sky and the shadowed Earth. Or, more correctly, against my black sky, and my black Earth.
I smiled at it all; the horrible storm, the emasculating Prius, the dull world around me. It was mine. The storm, while once considered horrible, was now my boldest daughter. The Prius was the steed of the Gods, or rather, the stead of the one true God. The world was the greatest world in existence, for it was mine and my own, and as I spoke it, it became true.
I looked into the distance to see a city of pearl far and beyond. My Pearl. I looked down to my map. Certainly, someone must have drawn it? I did. How? I did not put an effort into it, I did not put my consciousness into the drawing, no, I simply looked, I simply felt, and there the map was. There, it was my creation. There it was the property of my eyes to draw, of my hands to feel, of my mind to read. I did not need to think nor remember how I created the city, the map, and the mountains, the countless books which were named by countless false-authors or the countless movies with countless false-directors. It was by my deified existence to create them out of the nothing, for it to be my property; and all my own.
I approached my city now. I returned to it like the halls of kings or the way a warlord would bask in the riches he had seized; except this time it had always been mine. I ran out of the car into the rain, taking in my storm. I ran through the streets of my city; “It was mine! All mine!”
I looked above me. My storm curled cruel and black in the sky, like the fingers of a wrathful god to command what was his, to thieve the world as his. The roar of a deep thunder bellowed through, and I screamed back up at it. “You are mine!”
It rumbled and groaned. I didn’t care about the mortal needs anymore; their death was my creation, for I witnessed it. I didn’t care about the storm or the humiliating Prius; they were mine now. I didn’t care about survival, for the world, and all its fruits, all its virtues, all its dreams, were now synonymous with my property.
I stared into the roaring thunder and I roared back up at it. The feeling was cold, vivid, a panicked rain; a black cloud, a spark rushing down from within. In me, it was the warmth of the world, the tingling of a christened storm to fall upon me, the shock of light, the spark of life, the vivid dream of this world.
I stared into her and her black heart, and I gave her all the majesty of an antithetical Goddess. She was the arbiter I would overcome, for I proclaimed her as so. Yes, she was the dragon of Lucifer, and I was the god. She was the creation I made solely for the purpose of overcoming, and so was the world unknown. She roared and hissed, breathed a hideous and violent witchcraft down upon me. I screamed at the top of my lungs, the lone guardian against a warring sky, “I! I! I! I am your master! I am your creator! I! I! I! Don’t you scorn me for birthing you! Don’t you scorn me for creating you! You are mine! You belong to me! I! I am the one that owns you!”
I captured the sound and said it again; I spoke the most beautiful word across all languages, the most infamous word and the most compassionate. “I! I! I!” It was the most immortal word, and only now could I realize it. I listened to the sound, the sparks above, the dragon’s scream, and then it all faded to that one sound I knew greater than all the others; my own voice; my own voice, screaming the greatest thing which could be said: “I!”
I opened my eyes to the rain, feeling the pain of the cold drops falling into upon my irises. I created that pain. I created the rain. I was the one who created the storm, through the feeling, through the sound, through the astonishment, through the winter, through the wonder and perplexity of the black ominous beast in the sky; I knew why I must have come to her now, or so I asserted and now there was no difference. For I was her father, and for that matter, I was the father of all storms for which I laid my eyes upon, I was the father of all storms for which I knew existed. It was I who created their record, and the beast of the devil in the sky, the devil in the night, the devil outside, was the permanent thing for which I could not see, but was destined to overcome.
I stared into her one last time, bellowing my saintly words into her veil. The blackness itself broke up. I stared to the hills in the distance. The sun began to shine. I was her, too. I was the feeling of the rain and the sunshine, the cold and the heat, the sky and the ground, and I was all things, through both the feeling and the sound.