David Madore's WebLog: Gratuitous Literary Fragment #142 (the Colours of Darkness)

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Gratuitous Literary Fragment #142 (the Colours of Darkness)

A counterpoint to this fragment:

As I was gazing at our galaxy, I heard some music. I thought I must have left the car stereo playing, but the ignition was off. Nor was there another soul around—probably many kilometres around—in this desert. I tried covering my ears and the melody didn't stop: then I realised it was coming from inside my head. My brain was filling the sound of utter silence with something.

And that something, for some reason, was Iz Kamakawiwoʻole's all too famous medley on Over the Rainbow and What a Wonderful World. A message from my subconscious perhaps?

The Milky Way stretched magnificently from eastern to western horizon, culminating in the Southern Cross, which was about as high in the sky as it would ever get. Facing it in the northern side of the heavens, Arcturus, Mars and Saturn formed a huge triangle. Inspired by my mental music, I pictured lines connecting one twinkling star to another. Their colours, it seemed, became more vivid. Even fainter stars appeared wherever I looked, and even more lines.

Curiouser and curiouser! I murmured.

The tune changed, and I was listening to Beethoven's Seventh (second movement, Allegretto in A minor). Whatever the message, it was not any more obvious. The lines in the sky, however, were now visible as a huge geometric pattern of sublime symmetry. I thought I could see them move, perceive the lofty celestial clockwork of the macrocosm, the primum mobile hidden behind the firmament.

I was struck by the sudden understanding that it all made sense—from my own existence to the farthest galaxies and the smallest particles: the why of it all, the how, whence and whither were laid bare before my eyes. I beheld the entire tapestry whose threads made up reality. And I was amazed by its elegance and simplicity. How evident it all was! How could I have missed…?

And then it was gone—as were the music and the lines in the sky. Just like that, I was back in the Australian wilderness. Even as my mind groped for it, the blazing clarity of my epiphany faded like the details in a dream, leaving only a vague feeling of fulfilment and serenity mingled with the aching loss of that brief enlightenment. Whatever I had found for one moment, I would now strive to regain.

I rode away. Smiling.

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