Friday, September 05, 2008

vignette: small worlds

We read about Atlantis and Lemuria and imagined how things were in Roanoke. We watched TV specials and films on ancient civilizations: Great Zimbabwe, Egypt-under-sands, Heinrich Schliemann’s Troy, ruins of Viking colonies (marveling how some were found under houses, and some under unremarkable mounds). We mourned the End of the Second Age of Elves, gasped at the red skies that heralded the destruction of the DC multiverse, and were in attendance as Gavriel Kay’s metaphorical Reconquista’s shadow fell upon the noble Moors.

All in the past, all imagined or real, all dwelt upon, written on, celebrated, reviled, constructed, reconstructed, critiqued, discussed, remembered.

But there are smaller lost worlds, less grand, hidden, briefly exposed, then burned, lost, obviated.

When you and I met, we created, in the sphere of our new relationship, such a world. We set out on voyages of discovery and then sent treasure fleets to hoard moments, stories, fragments of memory. We built and plundered and planted and razed down and colonized each other’s space in the name of love or hope or togetherness or fate or choice or chance and it was good, this small world of ours, this small sphere that to us was immense, was the solar system, was the universe. It was all good. We defended our borders against outside incursions (real and imagined), sent the barbarians packing, so we could return to the glorious task of living and conversing and arguing and yes, yes, thinking.

Then one day, it was the end, it was over. It doesn’t matter if it was my hand or yours that thundered down the hapless glittering wonders of our world. It doesn’t matter who pushed the red button, who moved the doomsday clock to midnight, who did what when where how or why.

Our world was smaller than Mu, tinier than Atlantis. It did not inspire books or Discovery Channel or mysterious first-person 3D games, did not proffer the wisdom of the ancients (if anything, we were not wise), did not inspire others to dream or write poetry or bake pottery with achingly beautiful figures.

You moved on. I moved on. Our last mutual act was the walking away (apart, in different directions), crossing the silent gulf between dead small worlds and the come-hither-tither allure of new ones.

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