[Opinion] Reflection/recollection

A furtive splash; a treble plink gobbled up by moss-slick stone.

The emptiness is hungry. It longs for that which it is not, and it is not anything, nor yet everything. The nature-abhorred vacuum with its clutching, yawning ab-embrace swaddles us when all else has vanished, or fled. It offers us nothing, for it has and is and will ever be nothing. The anti-ness engulfs.

A treble plink on moss-slick stone. An incremental puddle fashioned out of cast-off oceans, the liquid waste of gently weeping strata in slanting rows above. Ripples on a spreading surface, etheric vibrations persisting long after the universe forgets whose ghosts they are, or even cares.

Now freeze this moment; hold it in your mind, and trace it back through time. The ripples close, rewinding to their origin; harmonic motion devolving into chaos as disorder reasserts itself and entropy is quenched. And then, the inevitable spike: a drop of water glistens in some of the infinitude of moments before it un-accelerates upwards, slowing as it rises, and reattaches itself to the rough abrading tip of the stalactite, to hang as it must once have hung. Quivers. An instant of relinquishment that has passed and cannot be again.

You see, the emptiness is not only in space but also in time. It follows in our footsteps, marking our passage through the here&now with meticulous exactitude, but just the barest sliver out of sync. In the there&then it prowls, devouring our relinquished moments with an endless, insatiable hunger for the minutiae of our lives and an appetite that grows with feeding; but we stagger onwards anyway, flickering through the moments available to us, because we have no other choice. And as we throw the ragged scraps of the here&now behind us, never daring to look back, we bookmark the present in senseless vignettes and inchoate images, trying to hold on. We enshrine our then-selves in memory.

What’s done is done. The emptiness does not give back. It cannot, for it has nothing to return, and nothing is missing – at least, not now, not in the fleeting moments we inhabit. No, time disappears behind us as we wonder where it’s gone and mourn its passing. But our memory persists; imperfect and temporary and fragmented as it may be, a slipshod scrapbook compiled by a madman, our memory retains, and it reminds. The moments gone, but not forgotten.

So: a ripple on the moss-slick surface. She was there and so was I, and the emotions tint the remembered images in shades of green & blue & also purple. Oh, purple most of all. And though I shaped these images (with conscious or sub-conscious, ego, id or other), they have also shaped me, and affect me in the here&now, in the moment of current perception. She was there and so was I; the moments fled and gone, but echoing on, uncaring, in my mind. The emptiness cannot consume them for they are safe, in here.


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