5:34pm Tuesday, Oct 23
Man awoke after adulterously lying with the earth. Thus removing the dirt from his eyes, he found himself in an obscure wood where the path had fallen silent amidst the leaves. Finding his dreams wanting, man thus exclaimed:
What a strange thing is man! For what purpose does he drive himself onwards, other than to repeat the same tomorrow? What then of tomorrow? Where in this circle of dissatisfaction does man find tranquility? The earth is brimming with signs, but they are signs that bear the script of a foreign tongue!
Finding his own answers unsatisfying, man shed the dust from his garments and began his down-going to find from where man draws his strength.
As man arose, he looked to the sun in the sky, as it tacitly poured through the treetops, and exclaimed, ďO great and shining star! Many men have you looked down upon with your judicious eye! How often you have visited me in my sadness and lightened my soul! Surely you in your undying wisdom must know from where man draws his strength?
Man draws his strength from routine, the sun calmly replied.
So man became like the sun, prudently embellishing the earth below, and searched for strength in routine. But alas! Manís strength was not in routine, but merely its form.
Man continued his down-going until he encountered a sudden mount amidst the dense forest, and thus exclaimed: ďO great and mighty mountain of this obscure wood! Thou hast seen the passing of many ages and have remained steadfast in thine ascent! Surely you in your confident solitude must know from where man draws his strength?
Man draws his strength from his grit, the mount answered.
So man became like the mountain, implacable from mighty vantage, and searched for strength in his grit. But alas! Manís strength was not in his grit, but merely its breath.
Man, still finding his dreams wanting, continued his down-going until he encountered a silent lake. Peering into the soft ripple of her waves, man thus exclaimed: O fertile lake of the woods! Thou hast the compassion of the lamb, but the ferocity of the lion! In thine waves lies the power to give life and the power to destroy! Surely you in your encompassing force must know from where man draws his strength?
Man draws his strength from his wiles, the waves whispered.
So man became like the waves, silently embracing the shore, and searched for strength in his wiles. But alas! Manís strength was not in his wiles, but merely its gaze.
Man thus continued his down-going until he encountered a towering tree that stood proudly above the others, and thus exclaimed: O mighty and uncompromising tree of these obscure woods! You stand proudly over your peers and exert your mighty branches upon them! You have seen the wrinkling of the fruit of youth and the wisdom of old age! Surely you in your unyielding knowledge must know from where man draws his strength?
Man draws his strength from rigidity, the tree firmly responded.
So man became like the tree, towering over all, and searched for strength in rigidity. But alas! Manís strength was not in rigidity, but merely its construct.
Man emerged from that obscure wood to find himself on a forsaken plain. Taking comfort in his plight, he thus continued his down-going until he encountered an eagle, soaring majestically above the earth, and man thus cried unto him: O sacred and majestic bird of the sky! You regally spiral above the earth and no creature escapes your sight! Surely you with your all-seeing eye must know from where man draws his strength!
Man draws his strength from his foresight, the eagle cried.
So man became like the eagle, resolutely piercing the crisp air, and searched for strength in his foresight. But alas! Manís strength was not in his foresight, but merely its echo.
Man thus continued his down-going across the beaten path until he encountered a cow, grazing lethargically in the field. Seeing the cow in his complacency, man thus exclaimed: O simple and content cow of this desolate field! You please yourself in simplicity and remain undaunted by difficulty! Surely you in your undemanding mind must know from where man draws his strength?
Man draws his strength from his stomach, the cow languidly replied.
So man became like the cow, sluggishly chewing in the fields, and searched for strength in his stomach. But alas! Manís strength was not in his stomach, but merely its rapture.
Man thus continued his down-going until he spied a quaint village on a hill. Still finding his dreams wanting, man hurried on to the village until he encountered a young man staring at his reflection in a puddle. Seeing the boy in his credulous countenance, man thus cried: O man of so few years! You are yet unblemished by the stain of the world! Many are the days where I have so ardently wished to stand in your place and move without fetter from one place to the next! Surely you in your boyish exuberance must know from where man draws his strength!
Man draws his strength from his charm, the young man distractedly replied.
So man became like the young man, admiring his form and shape, and searched for strength in his charm. But alas! Manís strength was not in his charm, but merely its allure.
The sun had adopted a scarlet stain as it began to seek sanctuary behind the treetops. Man thus continued his down-going through the peaceful village until he encountered an old man staring out of the village over the desolate plain and into the obscure wood. Seeing him in his contemplation, man thus cried: O man of so many years! You have tasted the fruits of youth, and forged your way through tribulation! Surely you in your vast worldliness must know from where man draws his strength?
Man draws his strength from his memory, the old man despondently replied.
So man became like the old man, gazing over the beaten plain and into the obscure wood, and searched for strength in his memory. But alas! Manís strength was not in his memory, but merely its footprints.
But when the familiar stranger had gone his way, the old man in his solitude, silently thought to himself: Could it be! That the tired wanderer has not yet heard, that man is dead!
Man collapsed into a heap on the outskirts of the village, wary from the beaten path. Looking out unto the black sky man thus wailed unto the stars: What a wretched thing is man! Granted with a fertile mind but fated for destruction! From birth he is cursed to wander the earth in search of what is not there! Dissatisfied is he with bestial life, but unable is he to ascend to anything higher! Forever will he sully himself in the mire of existence until at last fate be generous enough to snuff his candle out forever! Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sounds and fury, signifying nothing!
So miserable was manís cry that the earth groaned underneath his feet, the trees bent in dismay, the birds in the sky and the beasts of the earth howled in distress, and the stars in the heavens rained tears upon his beaten brow until all of existence dismally sang a symphony of his sorrow!
The earth, groaning in manís misery, began to rumble in a terrible crescendo, mimicking his cry, until it split into menacing fissure that gave way to perilous spires of black fog springing into the night sky. Finding his search wanting, man cried unto the spires: O brother of the undergloom! You await the fate of every man, slowly and painstakingly weaving him a web of terror! Until that fateful day that you may cleave him to your breast and call him yours! What fate is mine?
The black mist encircled him and clouded his eyes as he was torn from where he stood and heaved into the deepest pits of Tartarus, past the river Styx and the House of the Dead, where no man dare tread, not even Lord Hades, ruler of the netherworld himself!
Man opened his eyes to nothing, to silence. No waking dawn did he see. No rushing water did he hear. No beating heart did he feel. Nothing but an endless and undifferentiated black. Nothing, until he sensed the presence of that still small voice, whispering tenderly in his ear, ďWhy have you strayed from man?Ē The voice of a child!
O beautiful and pure child! How desperately I wish to save you from this spectral path! I began this day seeking what caused my spirit to die, and to see from where man draws his strength! But I have only found that my spirit is not dying, but that it is already dead!
Man draws his strength from his tears, the voice replied, and was quickly whisked away.
So man shed his sorrow, and became like the child, quietly seeing himself through the world, and searched for strength in his tears. Manís heart beat gently in his chest, and opening his eyes, he saw Dawn cast her rosy red fingers across the pale night sky. Man cleaved his breast to hers as she unraveled her ineffable signs, and forever illuminated the well-trodden path of the earth.