Nine Minutes to One, part one – The Bridge of Falling

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Nine minutes to One, part one – The Bridge of Falling

Later, they told him that he had not come from the mountains.

But that was much later…

In the beginning there was a storm on a mountain top. He is falling, tumbling, blown by the gale as he falls, like a thing that no longer has a home there. There is lightning and fire and pain… The wind laughs as his garments are flayed from him… For a second two other lights blaze over his left and right shoulders, but they leave, ahead of him, and disappear into the dark distance. He knows it will be a long time before he recognises them, again.

Then there is no more sharp rock, and the falling is through air and then through the coolness of water, which is bliss, but strips from him the last of the memories of those heights.

And somewhere, there is laughter; for it has begun…

He is rolling now, turning again, but much more slowly, this time. He is struggling to see as he emerges into air again. The brightness of the origin is gone; there are only shadows here… and steps. Black step followed by white step, and then black step, again; and he has no control as he tumbles down the hard steps and shrinks and rolls, bruised and, apart from the tatters, naked, into the middle of the clock face.

She of the shadows forms from the stuff of this world and looks down at him, curled on the floor. He experiences but does not know. Knowing will come later, he knows… He thinks on the irony of that sentiment, how can he know what he does not know? Then he looks up at her tall presence and smiles. It seems like a good thing to do… It seems like the only thing to do.

In her soft arms and against her warm skin his mouth completes the forgetting. The liquid of this life fills him, becoming the blood that flows through the world within – the world that is not him but is where the ‘him’ locates itself… and the shadow becomes brighter, alone in his world, where his every small need is met.

But not the larger ones…

He knows he is where he is supposed to be, as though some agreement, some pact was made before the time of the mountain. He does not know who he is; and, in this world of shadows it is essential that he knows who he is. Without knowing who, how can he act, and know that it is himself acting? There is acting, which is power; and there is who, which is identity. This who will be a poor shadow of the forgotten, but it will be a start…

And as he falls to sleep, full of the white liquid of this life, he knows that the who will also give life to the blood that flows inside him, endowing it with far more than came in with the white liquid…

And then there is only rest and the dreams.

And the warmth of loving flesh.

———————————————————–

Nine Minutes to One will be a short series, published on Thursdays.

7 thoughts on “Nine Minutes to One, part one – The Bridge of Falling

  1. Very cool story. Mysterious and very vivid images. He seems to be badly hurt, falling and then ends up in the arms of this woman who is giving him life. But I’m not altogether sure who she is and what kind of life she is giving him. His needs are met but other needs are sacrificed at the moment. Does this story continue?

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  2. Thank you, MANDIBELLE16. This is part one of a story that will run for probably ten to fifteen episodes. At this stage it has to be a mystery. The mysterious woman is key to his future life, but her role may extend beyond that. It’s great that you are engaged with the story; please stay with it!

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  3. Wow, what an incredible post!

    Like everything, heartbreakingly beautiful. Why do we do it? But perhaps we never were the ones to decide, and that would add to the confusion, the forgetting. Maybe if we weren’t the ones to decide, we’d even welcome the forgetting in some way, as if betrayed by our origin. Would you force yourself into ignorance in order to struggle to the realization that you always remembered? Is that somehow better than always remembering, and knowing this? Is that separation tough love, or brutality? Do we have a vague conception of that separation and this is what lies at the heart of why it is so easy to turn against ourselves, because a spark of the unity is in us, and we think it is responsible for our suffering? Is this why light is often more feared than darkness? Is this experience necessary for forgiveness, and of whom, or why?

    Oddly I’ve been thinking about this stuff all day, in different contexts. Do we consent? If not, is that right? What is it that is so important to learn, that is worth suffering? Why?

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    1. Thank you, Éilis. That’s a wonderful and thorough response. It shows a deep understanding of what this is all about. The story must tell itself, though, and the mystery must unwind in the realm in which the man finds himself – the journey back must reveal the whole purpose or there would be no point to the story! Your questions raise the fundamental issues we all need to contemplate; and these are the questions that this short series is designed to provoke.

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