I sighed in relief at the emptiness and the peace of this place, when I noted a disturbance behind me, and turned to see.
On a rock, a little distance off and to the side, sat a young man, easy, legs crossed and leaning back on his arms. He wore a white shirt and dark trousers, and had curly light blond hair that fell about his face and shoulders. I had never seen him before yet there was a startling familiarity about him too.
I searched my mind for where or when I had seen him before but I could not place him; yet the familiarity was so strong, I must have known him at some time. It was most puzzling and I could feel my brows crease and wrinkle.
He watched me with amusement and said, his voice very clear and sharp in this place that did not contain a wind or even air to slow it down:
“So this is your time, then. See how you like it!”
I looked down at myself then and found my body was unfamiliar, uncomfortable, pained and creaking. I stroked a big round jutting pregnant stomach with awe with my hands – my hands? They were thick, stumpy and rough, cracked nails, calloused to the extreme and stained with dark in cuts and grazes.
I stared at them and then held them out accusingly to the man.
“What is this? What have you done to me?”
He sat up straighter and chuckled, then he began to laugh. Laughed so much he had to wrap his arms about himself as though he was trying to stop himself from falling apart.
The sounds of his laughter flew at me like sickles, big and round and flat, slicing through me and across me, though it did not hurt at all.
He stopped laughing abruptly and pointed a finger back at me.
“A little lesson in snakes, my dear!” and as he spoke those words in a single arrow, I disintegrated into slices where his laughter had cut me up and each one blew lightly from side to side, like a feather would fall, slowly and ponderously, until all of me was settled into the white rocks and I saw things from many different angles and positions.
I became mirrors then, reflecting endlessly amidst my self and on myself, all around me and beneath me and on top of me, a total mirror maze of me and yet it was entirely blank and carried no reflection.
I searched the mirrors for a sign of life, a figure or two, perhaps a landscape or a trace along the sides of a hand that might be holding them, but they lay perfect water, perfect white, perfect blue, in shards and there was no-one, or nothing that could hold their interest or break their deep self satisfaction.
Where are you?
Where are you?
No vibration. The thoughts came and went, with handkerchiefs pressed to their dry eyes, parading around the casket, then fleeing swiftly, trailing gentle shrouds.
An eternity of nothing.
Oh but I wished for a sound!
Oh but I wished for a single note that might make its way, somehow, ricocheting amidst the barriers, finding a single crack so it might penetrate perhaps by accident, a thousand notes dispatched yet not a one would make it through and be reflected to within where starving, did I lie, where waiting, did I lie, with never a breath nor a moment’s relaxation of my endless vigil.
So I prayed.
At first, I prayed for strength so I might now continue waiting.
And I had strength that lasted for millennia.
Then it ran out.
So I prayed again.
This time, I prayed for power.
And I had power to re-construct the mirrors and to make them show me anything and everything you could ever want to see or know or be, a universe of lifetimes of what might have been, what could have been, what would have been, what would have been if laws of nature were reversed and spun and cracked and smashed and re-arranged in my own image.
It lasted for millennia.
Then it, too, ran out.
And so I prayed again, and this time, I prayed for love.
And from the deepest whywells of the universe there sprung a star and it shone so brightly, inscribing me and all there was with a message of the ripest understandings and the storms of everything beyond, beneath, above and deep inside, as well.
It poured inside me and it filled my mirrored jail and filled it more and more and all the shards did nothing but reflect it stronger and yet stronger still and then I begged that it should stop, for here I had unleashed a force that I could not control and that would threaten all that had been gone before, and all there was and all the safety of what had been my sanctuary, my one true home, and then I tried to give my last confession, and I tried to recant and say, no, I was in error. I wished not to escape, I never did; I was just playing, wasting time, I never would have called for this if for a single instance I believed that this would truly come to pass.
I prayed for salvation then, but the light did not run out and it filled the cosmos of my silver mirrors until it was a searing pain and I began to burn and burn and burn again and when I had burned to my bones, and when my bones had burned to ash, and my ash had been burned to dust, and my dust had been burned to nothing, and there was nothing that could hold the mirrors now in place, they shattered from within into a constellation birth in slowest motion, taking each with them a fraction of the light and preserving it as a warning and a beacon to be followed when you set your path to follow on a star.
Falling stars above, all the stars raining down on me.
My back against the hard stones on the ground, I can feel.
I can see the stars falling from the sky at last.
Here, now, is the moment I have waited for so long.
Until the stars fall from the sky.
They are falling now.
Falling upon me like snow.
Falling upon me like snow and they are covering me with their icy silence, and at last, there is the peace I have longed for so long, at last, there is the silence I have sought for so long, at last there is the resolution. I lie and rest at last, profound beneath the mass of ice that grows and grows around me, covers me, lovingly, all encompassingly, totally.
I am finally safe from it all.
Now, there is no more suffering.
No more war, no more screaming voices, my own or that of others.
No more weariness, no more hopelessness.
It is over, at last.
I give such gratitude that holiness transfuses all.
I am at peace.