Intricate fantasies ravage the idle mind.
Peace, warmth, love, silence, joy, sleep, sighs, dreams, loss, death— these are but namesakes of oblivion; some more permanent, others less kind.
I chase a leaf blowing in the wind, a stray page from the land of lost endings.
It sings an alto melancholy, of melodies that will never come into being.
Gestalt visions I see but their grandness is betrayed, undone by a curious folly.
The silly silly notion that everything of import happens only in the periphery.
One tale in particular beckons to me, with the easy charm of an old friend.
It promises a timeless story, the only ending with no end.
In the beginning, there is nothing; Oblivion roams free.
But nothing is too much, absolute—from the essence of Oblivion spring three.
The first birth of all is Birth itself, His mischief quelled only after much coaxing and persuasion. His Twin, Time, is less messy, more patient, and arrives to cosmic ovation.
The cosmos is made corporeal, galaxies mere organs. Insignificant though it may be, in its role of optimisation, Life touts self-importance.
The Twins map their dominion, exploring and tinkering endlessly.
Birth is ever-jubilant and delightfully whimsical; Time though, rational, stern and prone to secrecy.
The third is often forgotten (or perhaps kept hidden).
All adventures of Death silenced, Her very mention all but forbidden.
Death is stoic yet motherly, and never really offended.
She dutifully visits as Disease sometimes, smothering little deaths on Her dear dear intended.
The Trinity is whole and complete, and perhaps that is its only mission.
But Time has an agenda, so fundamental that proximity obfuscates speculation.
For a time, all is good and all is right.
The chorus of Life’s boundless joy keeps away any hint of impending night.
And yet, slowly but surely Eternity plays out the last of its compositions.
Sublime, subtle, grand, epic—every genre is represented, in every possible variation.
At the end of Science when every why has been answered, there is but stillness, silence. Only the all-seeing Eye remains, and below it, the all-knowing Smile with its overwhelming benevolence.
Finally, Time’s diabolical machinations come into play. His agenda all along has been extinction of the Universe, leaving smoke and ashes in His wake.
The air is heavy with the scent of tears and goodbyes.
There is no place for forgiveness nor mercy—no balm will suffice.
Uncomprehending, Birth weeps tears that go unseen.
Enraged and helpless, He aims for Time’s chest, heart heavy but arrow keen.
The heartless One steps away in time; the parent’s shaft embraces progeny.
Blinded, the Eye that saw all sheds bloody tears, drowning all sense, extinguishing every sense… acceptance of the Void its very last epiphany.
Birth drops to His knees, silent for once, surely in profound agony.
Innocence shattered and whim ripped away, His Gift is gone, and His sanity.
Death embraces Birth, grim as ever, even in the face of such madness.
She sheds a single tear, betraying Her complicit role in this necessary crassness.
The horror of killing and the terror of dying; Death knows these only too well.
Her only regret, that her dear Brother had to learn of both agonies just as He fell.
Their shared pains— the grief of lost innocence, estranged siblingry and mourning parenthood—all combine. It smokes, embers, and ignites, absolving both – their forms untwine.
Only Time is left, Time and the all-knowing Smile.
The Smile is not forced, the Smile knows all… the Smile is sublime.
There is no more delight in Time, neither remorse, nor sorrow.
His only retort, with a hint of pride, a bold plan for a better morrow.
Everything that breathes must some day cease.
Time’s only wish then, is to rid Knowledge itself of mortality—to release.
Immortality, contrary to divine opinion, is possible.
But truth be told, eternally braving the ravages of Time is rather unbearable.
Each blow chips a little, each wave drags away a few.
Given enough time, even the straightest line will run askew.
Unless… Time Himself ceased to be…
Then, and only then, could there be perfect Memory!
And so it was, Time dissolved with nary a word, nor a sigh.
Knowledge was saved, true, but not its Smile.
Oblivion is defeated now, vanquished and vanished, cried the tale.
But what hope is left when Memory is no longer frail?
No beginnings to sow, no time to reap.
No joy in sight and no end to grief!
The vision faded, I fell from slumber and awoke with a start. Finally comprehending death’s many roles, each just as important, each only a part.
Perhaps the land of lost endings is bittersweet. But the ending with no end, no birth, time, death or hope, is better off as a dream.
Oblivion, one instinctively fears its embrace cold. But its many forms are in fact punctuations, easing, moulding, releasing eternity’s stranglehold.
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Ed: Dana Gornall
Photo credit: Pixoto