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forever

Just wondering – should I stay longer? It’s cold here on the cliff. The whiteness is enchanting but the danger makes me prickle. I know the edge is very close.

I start to inch back towards the path, but then I’m confused. Which way?

I stop, fearful of taking a step in any direction. The flowing mist suddenly seems hostile. This place is not for me. I feel the fear rise.

Then… a sudden surprise.

The white cloud parts.

And I can see forever.

Depth below me, beyond my understanding; the edge is close at my feet, so close I feel I’m floating in the empty air. There is no flatness about this scene, no sense of a picture in a frame. This is the world in all its solidity and its emptiness, and it is vast.

And then the sea, the floor of the world, just clear enough that I can see the rocks beneath it, the hint of yet more and more depth; and then it is cloaked in silver-blue, sweeping away, away, away to meet the sky.

To the boundary, veiled with the merest haze of blue.

To the islands.

To forever.

The earth is shallow

Even the sea is shallow

But the sky is deep.

So very deep.

It opens over me like an abyss so vast that my eye can’t comprehend it and my mind can’t accept it.

Perhaps that’s how we live; by cultivating our blindness so that the sky looks flat and near-at-hand. Because if we really saw it the way it is, every moment, if every glance upwards gave us such a sense of endless, endless empty depth, we’d hardly be able to live

for fear of falling.