09 April 2017

Anthology

Do we, all of us, walk in the footsteps of our ancestors?  Some people speak of a wheel of time, and others, an arrow.  Might time be both at once, each minuscule ending pointing to some new calamity, a series of singularities?

Is my contemporary homeland the new Rome, doomed both to rise to the same greatness, and to fall to the same depths of annihilation for its sins?  Some people believe that we live multiple lives, that our souls somehow shed bodies in the same way that our bodies shed clothes after a long day's work... or after we're burned.  Do we consider that, if the self has lived multiple lives, that those other than the self may well have done so, too?

Are those who pay the price of repeated mistakes truly innocent?  In some cases, it can be folly to leave one's self open to injury as much as to do injury to others.  Just as foolishness can learn to avoid making mistakes, might innocence so learn to avoid the consequences of such mistakes being made?

Who are we, such small creatures in our arrogance, to question the universe around us?  Or to question our gods?  The image is reminiscent of the peddler's dirt-smeared child asking questions of the emperor, a chance meeting in the street- if anything so momentous could be attributed to chance.  And, in the small, quiet hours of the night, when we fancy that we hear our foolish questions answered... are we sure that the voices doing the answering are to be trusted?  Might the universe tell lies?

What makes the life of a human, more aptly an ape of the species Homo sapiens- oh so scandalously hybridized with H. neanderthalensis, H. rhodesiensis, and most certainly others of more hair and smaller brains (and thus more scandalous still) in the ancient past... what makes our lives so much more valuable than others?  A blade of grass is alive, just as much as a fish, or a cow, or a worm.  Does a blade of grass not have ambitions?  Does a worm not have them either?

Do the ghosts of all of humanity wander among us, unseen by all by a gifted few, and laugh at our errors?  Do they despair of them?  Our fathers and mothers, and their fathers and mothers, so on back through the mists of time to the first mote of a protobiont, surely are wiser than we are, in our infancy.  And the stars from which nearly all that we see and know was born- dust and rock, water and sky, light on the moon and the embrace of another living creature- those ancient stars, are they yet wiser still?

And so, like a wizened and surly mage in some tale of wars and heroes, I haunt my tower.  Surrounded by my books and herbs, and accompanied by my familiar, I advise such kings and lords (though less well-dressed than in bygone days)... I advise such kings and lords who as are bold enough or reckless enough to climb the steps, and of nights I ask questions of the stars.