“Oh my child, come here, I must speak with you and show you the world. The day is warm, and we might see each thing and understand it.” Fredrick was a kind father, he seldom spoke above a whisper, his eyes hid the spark of tender wisdom within them, and on such a day as this, it was released and fell into all things. Jacob was a young boy of seven, and his restless heart tugged to go play within the emerald wood, and hide amongst its cool shadows of scented wind. His father looked upon him and the day, and spoke: “I promise, we will walk in a moment, here––oh, I can see it is of no use, we will walk immediately!”
Ah! The boy’s eyes sparkled as his, and he knew he struck the chord rightly, for this was a day for the song of life, a sparkling wine one can not resist, capricious and light with chance. Into the damp morning which lay concealed within the tender cupped shadows and its web of tangled light they did travel, Fredrick but young once more, filled with the liquor of light’s essence, he began: “Look, into the deepest corner of shadow, there, can you see something moving above the head of each branch, so dark here within the webbed shadows.” Silent as a shadow’s breath, they did peer, breathing but hardly, and in the still, the first ray of light did slip through the uppermost arch of sheltered sky, and the young one beheld with sharp young eyes, what wisdom did sense with ease. An owl, fell as a flake of snow, in gloved silence, as smoke falling, soundless and distant, falling closer, and then away, soundless and majestic is the sound of breath held, falling, amongst the first shadowed tangle of cool morning. “Father, how did you know, I could hardly see it.” “Shhh… Can you feel it. Imagine, sweet one. I do not know, I am. I feel. You already know this, but in silence is magic made naked before us, and then we may learn, a magic gift is not a gift nor magic, but an uncovering of what is. I am. Here….I ask you in silence, do not reply, simply answer by doing. Of the sight you saw. Can you feel it?” And in silence, he did think upon and within the moment of silence, of flight, and was within it. “Yes father I can.” A smile warmed within him to know, it was true, the boy understood, he felt that which he saw, and was part of it.
“You please me greatly, my son. Here, let us walk.” And into the deeper forest, where dawn was finally breaking the web of fingered shadows, the world began to glow from within. Over the distant hillside, through the branches they saw a flicker, and Fredrick moved toward it, slowly, easily picking his way through the tangled brush, knowing as if by sure knowledge what he might find. Into the clearing they did travel and sit in warm meadow grass, swimming in noon’s summer, the cool tangle of branch and shadow left behind.
His eye did gaze and the younger’s follow, and then, the doe did venture, unaware of them, her tender hoof silent amongst the soft moss at the forest’s edge. And in a look of love silently cast, the boy did understand his father’s meaning, for within a glance is the fullness of a thousand volumes. Within feeling’s tender glove the boy did find himself within the doe, and knew her, and he found that she, was made warm and affirmed by his feeling, somehow, this must be true, and he spoke of it: “Father, I did find myself as the doe and within it, and now, I feel somehow that I love it, and know it, and have filled the animal, so tender and kind, with warmth. Is this right?” “This, is the higher knowledge. You, are a man, of tender years, but, a man. We, are becoming very much alike, small one.” His eyes were swimming in tears. Then, the breath of happiness again spent its sparks, and he did speak: “Now, that is within and that which is without, are one. This, is true. Open your heart, your feeling, and allow the world within you, to fill you, and you it, as you did the doe.”
And within the moment’s spending, the world did unfold within his open heart, and fill him, and he did pour within all things: each tender shadow and branch, each hillside and rolling curve, the tempestuous sea, the winds of storm and cool, the deserts and animals within the forest and all the creatures and land were within him and did fill him, as he did return unto them all which he was, now, the twig of snapping youth broken, the streams running and flowing over the tender bank did fill him and know him, and were themselves––affirmed.
In silence they did return to the world, and were within that which they did see. Now of the world, within and without are but song, verse, made real and spilled into light and back round to fill knowledge, so is wisdom but love and caring, the light and marrow which fills, and connects all things.
The Break of Night
Leslie was alive, a blossom held aloft in life’s season. The strange wounded tumult of joy and awkward exaltation which is youth buoyed and savaged her, and she opened her tender unknowing before it, and like a sail welcomed all dangerous winds and seasons to find their breath then within her, and claim their heights as her own. All the world is weather, and gladly fills such a sail.
Likewise all those who sail want nothing more than rope to rig their mast and hold such a sail, so they may invite the wind to test it. Jack was a sailor to be sure, and beheld Leslie with the hunger, hope and daring of youth’s highest wisdom. Only one who has yet to find the cross winds of his true seasons is wise enough not to doubt such a truth, and in the sure wisdom of youth they were wed.
The wisdom of youth beholds the future never knowing it is not the present, and so believes itself true. All sorrow and happiness, dull, awesome and terrible, were to fill those precious years with life’s full froth, for bitter makes sweet, and life is such a brew as this. In storm and season the mast was sure and the sail was swollen with those winds which blow twice. And so Leslie knew her body, and its season filled her heart with crimson sweetness, and so her body knew her husband filled her and she him, and did forget herself, and choose to know this season’s full breath, will and measure, in place of her own. She was full to be pleased and to please him, and was that not happiness? She served him before all things, and so placed her burden down and was virtuous. “After all, who need carry water for two, when to serve one is wet enough? Am I not full to know he is happy, and is this not sacrifice and virtue?” So she whispered the words of her secret soul to herself no more, and found it easier not to hear them. Is it not easier to be silent when the season fills our heart? How can a blossom not deny itself for the wind? What but passion could speak loudly enough to quiet the dead?
Again the wind blew and the sail was swollen before time with its second breath, which her body graciously returned. Her child bore her heart aloft, and she blossomed to his season, and plummeted to his depths, and they were as life loves life, in double draughts of bitter and sweet, and so time’s thirst was slaked and its season spent.
So full with time’s hungry winds, her days were consumed, and she was alive and floated upon the stream of its passing, born high above her lost words, the season’s happiness was within her and cast no shadow. How could she see her hollow shadowless happiness from such height? “Is it not best to sacrifice our words to the season of our children, and find our place happy amongst their streaming clouds and windswept days? Is this not sacrifice, most beautiful?” So did kindness call her disappointment virtue, and name her unwilling emptiness beauty. After all we are kindest to ourselves when we murder ourselves, and most forgiving when our lazy steps find virtue shuffling over our thousand graves. Who but virtue could quiet the dead? Under whose feet does our happiness sleep? Under whose leaden feet is our happiness pressed mute?
So time came as a virtuous thief, to steal the cost of Leslie’s virtue. Leslie found her body tire, and an empty place came, where another season once bloomed. Her children left and she cried out to her husband, “I am empty and gray. My children no longer need me, and my sacrifice is unreturned.” He said unto her, “You may love me, and I you, and so we might fill each other with time’s last drops of life.” So they found the shadows of evening fine company in play amongst this Autumn, and Leslie sacrificed to her silence and bore her husband’s weather within her as her own, and was happy in her Autumn shadow.
Leslie’s husband, at last, could no longer cheat time, but left of her, and knew no more days, and sacrifice claimed the wheat of Leslie’s life, and so Autumn melted into icy winter, with the empty field of frost and stubble her sacrifice had born. Leslie cried out, “My husband, my love!” but he was gone. “My children, my reason!” but they were gone. Only the night remained to hold her, only the night remained to hear her, a windless vacant sphere, a silent vacuum which has forgotten the promise of sacrifice, where the pulse of passion has been long silent, where no echo of dawn remains.
Leslie thought of her life with its hundred seasons—red lust, loves glowing shadow, purple anguish bruised and tormented, shy yellow days and golden baskets of wheat, and how these filled all the light of her days with color. Now only palest night remained within her, empty and unhued, for what is blackest is also what is most absent, empty and pale, in its darkness.
The night held Leslie without touching her, and its silent voice cradled her to listen, for the night loves us by receiving, its absence is its whisper, and so Leslie heard, and knew that a new season had held her in the tenderness of perfect silence. She understood the black pale beauty of night, the shades of its ink which whisper the sacred prayer of our days into an empty ear, a waiting hollow like night itself. Our night soul is a hidden cave filled with still air and the echo of our days. Once the echo fades we are blessed to know what remains. This is the night’s silent wisdom. So does the night bestow us to ourselves, as a silver whisper, cradled in ink.
So Leslie unfolded her winter heart, and laid it open before the night, to hear the night whisper into the quiet of her soul. Only the palest diamond leaves light unspoiled. So may our winter heart know the night: as a crystal chalice filled with what the hot sun has spilled into the night, made tender and perfect once poured through the white ice moon, and washed pure. Leslie thought this to herself and knew the night and its rejoicing, listening silence, and found her courage could be heard in the still night air. She decided to cheat the virtuous ghost named Time, and steal the moment of her night happiness back, and so give it Time’s breath with these lines of verse:
The Break of Night
The break of night, day’s under season
Slowly yields its gold to ink.
The folded page, now free from crimson
Finds in blackness freedom’s light.
Ever often passions straining, faded as a laurel worn
Now but ink reclaims the heart
In darkness stilled, and still reborn.
What air is drunk in silent folds, the tender ear in rapture slakes
Of heaven’s thirst and then in season,
Feels the perfect still of night.
No longer pulled, no longer heated
Spring of fire be gone, and so
I hear no pulse, but know this evening
Only now, my promise hold.
The Black Mirror
Joseph was hollow but for his tears. He never wept, and so not since he was a child had he known such terrible fullness. He could no longer deny himself, and knew not what he was, or whose tears he cried. Like a wounded dog, he limped in a pitiful circle and could come no nearer the cause. He sat upon a bench in the wood, and placed his heavy head into his hands, and his tears fell into the earth. The earth drank them into itself, and knew his pain, for the earth knows itself, and so knows the world.
As Joseph wept he cried aloud but to himself, “Why has my wife left me, my child abandoned me and my friends scorned me? Why am I alone, what have I done and why, why am I alone?” His self-pity covered him as a rotten blanket which falls away in clumps. And so he knew his sorrow, his tears so long absent filled him with their empty song, their question which fell to earth. There is nothing so empty as a question, the answer to which we can not stand to know.
The earth sent forth a messenger, a knower of things without compassion, so full and grateful was the earth to give answer to such empty tears. Joseph heard a strange rustle in the leaves and sought his pity no longer, but pressed his eyes and wiped his tears to behold a fearsome ugly sight which seemed too fascinating to resist, and so held his fear behind a strange still glass, as if an inborn respect had been awakened within him to hold his judgment suspended in the air along with his horror. As the leaves shuffled he saw a form rise up from beneath them, covered in dirt with roots hanging along its back. The shape of a huge insect, a hard-backed multi-scaled beetle grew from the earth, here before his eyes, until it assumed the monstrous proportion of some 150 pounds or more, as far as Joseph could tell. Frozen in the awe of disbelief the summoner stood before the summoned, and was judged and known. The beetle’s eyes were perched upon stalks which drooped downward with a sort of respectful reverence, they seemed unable to gaze directly upon him but were drooping, always forward, the strange inexpressive eyes pointed at the earth under his feet, as if the bug were expressing its reverence before a king. The plates which covered its back clicked and shimmered in the light, so black. They fascinated Joseph, but he found he soon felt sick and nauseous, and had to look away from their ugly form if he beheld it at too great a length, or looked too closely. The bug for its part had no discernible affect other than its strange reverence which would not meet his gaze. It crawled over to the tear soaked earth and consumed it with its protruding mouthparts. Joseph seemed to understand the thing was there to help him, and so he waited in like respect for the insect to seat itself, such as a beetle can, upon the bench. He asked the beetle, “Why has my wife left me, my child abandoned me and my friends scorned me? Why am I alone?” The bug heard Joseph’s words and tasted his tears and it seemed as if the two had somehow combined in its insect gullet, and the bug seemed to be upset, even annoyed or perhaps just dyspeptic. He could hear a strange scraping sound emerging from its innards, coming from deep beneath one of its abdominal plates and then a froth began to appear from its mouthparts. First a bubble then two, but soon a froth of white foam amidst a furious clicking as the now obscured mouthparts worked feverishly beneath the growing ball of foam, to some mysterious end. It was all the beetle could do to keep its eye stalks erect and allow its eyes to remain safely above the turgid secretions. When the clicking and scraping sounds stopped the beetle seemed to vibrate head to toes until it suddenly shook with such violence as to fling the foam off and into the air, showering the area with the weird air whipped cocoon, including Joseph who hardly bothered to recoil, so fascinated was he at the result. The insect had produced a single scale like those which comprised its back. It scuttled over to Joseph and offered it to him reverently, eyestalks lowered, the black scale gently presented from its mouth. The bug returned to rest upon the bench and ceased to move, as if a June bug in September, which is now no longer a bug, but just a shell.
The black scale was awash in the colors of the daylight, it seemed to absorb them and suggest a subtle deep hue in its darkness. “Depth never forgets,” he thought to himself as the darkness gazed back at him, and pulled his thoughts from him. The black mirror showed him what he kept buried in black, now like a subterranean insect beheld in the sun, he knew what he had seen. The image was his, and then, the beetle’s! The bug! The eater and speaker of filth too foul to behold, and even much less, oh please God never to know, and then surely but surely, never to be! To be it all! To know it forever! The filthy loathsome thing! But the mouthparts were his, the thorax his, the tendrils and eyes of abomination, but his alone! He had driven his wife out for she had come to know the weak, fearful, dry, sad, selfish, cringing thing he had become; so wounded, mean and hollow in his reproaches he drove her off with words that were surely meant for himself. She all but saw how he was, all but knew him rightly and so he drove her off before she knew him complete, before she dared say his secret aloud before him. His son and friends abandoned him and scorned him to see him as he was, a cringing black soul too small and empty to love, so then transformed into the inverse, the sharp spine for those who are deserving and in need of his tenderness most! He wants them gone, and so they are gone. So the mirror tells him and so he knows. Now his reflection is again his own, and the insect has dissolved in his new knowing tears, which fell clear and black, absorbed into the mirror as it rested on his knees. The mirror accepted these pure tears not born of self-pity and self-righteous humility, but honest tears clear and black, funeral tears of knowledge, disgust, hope and change. He knew himself and was filled with laughter to know what he was, laughter being the shining note, the signature utterance which weaves our sad cloth into the highest of hope’s songs.
Now Joseph was as the earth: he knew himself and so he knew the world. This was the cruel gift the earth’s happiness had given him. The earth is not compassionate, and so may be trusted. As he walked around the streets and homes among men, he beheld the truth. Each was a carnival of shame, layered thick with strange lies or beautiful truths which concealed empty places. A cacophony of horror greeted his awakened eyes! First the grocer is the grocer, then a bug with its snout on a flexible stalk, probing the loins of each customer engaged in conversation, breathing its stolen air into a sack with an unblinking eye attached, its pupil dilating and constricting in pleasure, responding in the rapture of hidden intimacy and the mysteries of forbidden places with each unseen breath. The stock girl becomes a caterpillar so friendly and broad of head, her tube feet pulse with happiness, and she glows in kind acceptance. Something is concealed beneath her lovely fur and he knows it is nothing. She is an invitation who will not exist, a fraud who refuses herself, life and despair alike, until she is filled with another. She is an empty place, a hollow wrapped in a promise. But no! He feels her turning in her doubt, her sad interior consumed in choking doubt, and he is filled with her true hopeless soul until Joseph can not breathe to know it! She is the stock girl again and he must leave at once! To know yourself is to know the world, and so know hell! For the world is that which will not know itself and so will remain hopeless, and ugliest of all. The world banishes what hope needs to celebrate and destroy with her laughter. As with all who can destroy and resurrect, hope’s laughter is black before it is bright.
So Joseph ran back to the forest and his bench where he sought the companionship of the bug, or “his beetle friend,” as he thought of him now so warmly by the hearth of his new vision, in his mind’s eye. The beetle was warmed there by this hearth, its fire led him to feel truly grateful to the beetle for having helped him. Although it sat as if dead, he spoke tenderly to it, “I have to thank you. Truly you have shown me my ugliness and I am changed. I am better than I was, surely more in your image, I am honest and new. I feel like you in this way of knowing and want you to understand I am glad in the knowledge you were kind enough to give me. I find you the most beautiful of all my friends, and perhaps the only one I trust, although you are no doubt dead, and mute even in life.” The beetle came alive, but now its eyes no longer drooped in reverence at the end of its stalks, but instead looked squarely at him. Joseph noticed this with some alarm and spoke, “Why do you suddenly find you may look upon me? Do you no longer respect me after what I have said?” The beetle replied to him with a calm voice and caring tone, “We who are subterranean see only what lies beneath the surface, and find the sight of your posturing, lying race too loathsome, too hideous and unbearable even to envision. I can look at you because you have looked, so only now, can I stand the sight.”
The Dream Temple
As Sam fell asleep he could feel her, feel the night come to him pregnant with mysteries, adorned with fragrance and color wrapped in darkness. The night came to him, sweet and yielding, full and engorged with light and shadow, fat to bursting, each silent moment, pregnant, hiding and dark bent down in silence, and bestowed the night’s awakening kiss, night’s sweetness, her light wrapped in folds of darkness––and so did she dream of him.
Sam saw the temple, an alabaster stone monolith, smooth and unperturbed it stretched into the azure sky, its arching columns and the seamless unbroken sweep of the crowning pale white dome of stone and sun, as but a reflection of the vastness and promise of a hollow unknown hope, a question too large, empty, beautiful and aching, a question which can not be asked, too broad to hold as it arches over the sky…but must be answered. The turquoise Greek letters above the temple entryway were unknown, but familiar.
He knew she was there without looking––the slender vase of a goddess who held sway here, pale and delicate, she had every key hidden in her carelessness and her serenity, Sam’s soul lightly held in her delicate ivory fingers, fingers which opened Sam’s soul up, spread it open as a fan is slowly opened to reveal its pleated heart as a bashful wind of still breath stirs it to life in the hidden currents of whispered breezes, so did she know him. Her light already exhaled, unseen and laughing, to know him with each breath he drew, he sipped her light into his soul and danced as a fan gladly knows itself, the pleats and folds, the secret intimacies of its webbed gossamer broquet catching and shedding the light, alive and shimmering with her breath, an autumn bruised, a fall leaf dancing with the teasing breath of annihilation, spun light and a last tug of breath pull, pluck it into the air to dance with the cool pale light, to warm the fallen sun with rose and know itself for the moments as it falls. She looked into him and spoke: “This is your temple.”
The words hung in a terrible stillness, an unquenchable quiet flattened him and narrowed Sam’s soul into a dark sunken thing, small and tight, flat, cloistered and small, thick and mute with fear. She revealed the door. He pressed himself through the keyhole into an immense narrow darkness, stultifying and slick with an unbearable sweetness, the lidded nausea so over ripe and narrow, slick and double thick to breathe this over ripe rotten air, cupped into itself, sick and hidden behind and under itself so twice sweet and double rotten. Sam squeezed the black oily spirit of his hope between the dirty cracks and pressed into the heart of the edifice, so white and broad in the day, so narrow and putrid within. In the very center of the temple, Sam found them: The three sisters of his hell. Ugly and knotted, their blotched skin so hidden and sloughed, a disgrace that hides and oozes under the weight, the gravity and weight of unlookable eternal shame… which knows.
The first head spoke to him: “I am here for you, little one! Behold, for I am your secret! Do you still wish to know me? I am what makes the sun warm and the sky arching and blue, I am the eternal hope in torment, beauty itself spilled into life’s most gracious cup of dawn, I am all illusion which knows better than truth and so is named ‘hope,’ I am you!” And Sam saw her and knew this terrible knotted visage, the hideous vile countenance which had wrapped itself in darkness and disgrace before all mortal souls–– Sam saw the face of Lust! Her foul, shameful breath of fetid, lurking desire, staining all pure moments with her leering sultry filth and hollow scratching need which must be born! So has shame known and named her: Lust!
And now the next head of the dragon-witch spoke: “I am a sweetness in your breast as well, little one, oh yes, I am again your secret, yes twice again! I am all which rules the sky and orders the day, I am the law of strength and balance which has found its way, I am the wisdom of victory and the sure heart of your soul.” Sam looked upon the mottled grimacing mound of filthy flesh with its bloody brown eyes and the dull hate leaking out from within their lying gaze. He smelled the rotten, putrid bloody drains of a thousand wars and a thousand sewers, the pleasure and hatred of the worst of man, the camps of the Nazis and the heaps of skulls under the gentle watchful eye of the eternal tyrant, Sam saw the blood soaked vile serpent of man’s most putrid and shameful appetites proudly trumpeted as virtue. Sam saw the face of sadism, cruelty and evil, so did shame call them and so was she known to him–– Cruelty itself leered out at him and from its dark lips came the words, “Know me, for I am you!”
And the third head spoke unto him: “Know me too little one, for I am peace and resting, I am release, and of all things well and freshly done, I am the purpose, the countenance of cool repose, the reason. Oh yes, I am your finest hope and your best promise. I am peace.” And Sam saw this last and worst of his three demons, she was terrible and unblinking, cold, sure and uncaring, black, mouldering, putrid and devouring without noticing, shame saw all needs summed in a single blackness, a single hunger, a pinprick where all appetites and defeats converge to annihilate even each other, leaving only hunger itself––and shame knew her and hid her, and so from under the darkness of shame she spoke unto Sam, “I am your highest gift for mankind and your highest hope: I am Death, and you hunger for one thing alone, little one… Me!” And so did Death speak to Sam, sick and hollow, hidden under the dark lidded curtain of immutable shame, sealed within this sepulcher, this splendid, breathless, alabaster tomb.
“If this is a temple, it is a temple of shame! A temple of false appearances, smooth white sun and pure walls which hide and house, seal and sustain every hiding, lying shame which fouls all of life! If this is my temple, I proclaim it a temple of shame and lies!” Sam swept his hand in an arc of circumference and the ceiling of darkness split open in a peal of laughter and he knew he had found it! Sam slit open the very belly of shame and beheld them––the three witches who under the brooding oily lid of shame had threatened to consume him with their knowledge, now unfolded themselves and poured their glad waters before him, nourishing all the land. The hideous head of Lust was born pure and golden, white and ice, deepest blue and rich purple, thick, wet and drenched through, soaked with color and bubbling to overflowing are the waters of Eros, now all of the world subtle and glowing, crimson and swelling, falling and rouged in amber dusk, so did Eros embrace and enfold, encircle from without and enfold from within, as a pure silver stream did she spread her clear and colored waters to gladden the land, to enrich all sunken and lofty worlds and bring to the earth its reason, its rejoicing, its unknown promise. So is Lust revealed as Eros once born into day, once released from the fetid womb of darkest shame!
From the shamed form of cruelty came a proud golden ax and staff: The tools to do and to see done. And so is a man’s will, his hope. In discipline is forged our triumph, our new day is earned laboring at her forge! And so did the forge of Sam’s will glow cherry red with hope and the ascending waters of light, hope and all futures made real spring forth from this forge and stream upward, flowing into the sweep of the sky, red and sure, golden and right. Once born out into the light of day so does our will master the world, or become cruelty once shamed and made impotent.
From the sunken ugly head of Death came the brightest spring of all, the sun itself! A golden white river of light pouring into the vaulting heavens and filling all the empty void above with light and its pure speeding white hope, forced into brightness, burst into a spattering of yellow brass and white molten metal, liquid platinum and quicksilver light crushed into being by the very weight of death itself! So is death the spring of man’s eternal striving and urgency, his quicksilver spring of hope and light itself born under the black footfall of death! Ahhh…the very reason for light is born in these leaden steps, immutable and barren, sure and unyielding, the tragic and meaningless blots of gravity that are the footfall which awaken the light in the heart of man! What but anguish could cause such pleasure, such exaltation and light could only be born of this! Only in knowing this––do we need it completely. For from what womb would light need spring but darkness? What else could cause such longing, where but in our certain darkness would a need so potent be born––a need so deep it became the birthplace of light itself? Only a knowledge as crushing as this might make it so, only in a cauldron as black and sure as this might we need so deeply that we find…ourselves. So are we all a taunt, a grin, a smudge of bright mist and light born out as quicksilver and gold, born as we are trampled underfoot.
Now Sam beheld the exquisite lush landscape of green carpeted hills, outstretched palms and cedars, weird colorful fish and sad mocking monkeys, pointing at each other and laughing. Smiling gazelle pronged for no reason, and shag sloths with their carpet of red and purple cords and laughing inverted eyes hung in the branches and looked at him, peering from the trees. Sam saw this wonderful painted world with its laughing colors and was happy. He looked within each of its creatures and found he knew them. He looked within the soul of the lion, saw it stretch before the noon sun and preen its bloated belly, fat from killing, content and warm. He saw into the soul of the peaceful sloth and lived within the tangles of its multicolored lugubrious laughter. Sam found the hidden heart within all things and knew them, and so found his rejoicing, his tears and his happiness flowing through him in this moment of knowing, and he heard her again, “This is your temple”––and he knew it.
Fondly, he took the sad things and brought them, so broken and pitiful, into the light, before the warmth of his purple noon he brought and encircled all broken brittle things, now tenderly set before him so he could know them. Now they rose, one after the other they floated, each after the next, as a staircase of bright and silver laughter, these frozen ripples broken free and flowing upward, uncaring and playful, teasing bright tears ascending from a resounding laughter, a laughter bright enough to stain the darkness, and awaken the true heart of Man.