This week's chapter marks the beginning of the 9th part of Radiance, Chochma/Wisdom. I'm not entirely happy with the shape that this is in at the moment, and I think it needs a lot more work than I was able to give it this week (as I was finishing my time on Noam camp). Hopefully the poem is just a placeholder and will be improved for the next iteration. Thanks for your patience.
23] I was formed long ages ago, at the very beginning, when the world came to be…
27] I was there when He set the heavens in place, when He marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
28] when He established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
29] when He gave the sea its boundary so that the waters would not overstep His command, and when He marked out the foundations of the earth.
30] Then I was constantly at His side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in His presence,
31] rejoicing in His whole world and delighting in the sons of man.
And while the earth shook around him, and the city trembled before the onslaught of the Leviathan, Asher strummed Layla’s nylon strings, letting the beating chords wash over him, filling his soul with their rhythm. And when the pattern struck him, the words tumbled out in their wake, shifting with the music as it cascaded over him like the rising tide.
“The ebb and the flow
The rhythm of the world
The beat and the metre
Of the stream of life.
I sing this song
Of hope and despair
Give voice to the words
Of courage and fear.
And looking inside,
Rise into the sky,
I can soar above.
I find the heart
Of myself, my life,
Reach the core
Of all there is.
The most divided,
The bars, the rests,
Are most united,
And in myself
The spark of life,
Within us all
The life of all.
Asher sang this song, and felt the energy of the universe begin to pour through him, the flow of power that he had come to identify with Malchut, the power within himself - but he realised now that that was only half true. The power was deep inside him but he was not the source of it, no more than a person can give life to themselves. He was its vessel and its conduit, its bearer and its guardian.
The music pulsed through vibrations in his fingers, vibrating the air molecules in the room about him, a distinct rhythm, quickening all the time, against the indistinct shaking of the earth.
So Asher reached out with his soul, with all his fear and hope, his sadness and rage, and he found the edges of everything.
Each particle of dust danced to its own tune; each molecule of air sang its own melody, its own praise of God; everything that is seemed to be proclaiming the glory of creation, the majesty of the Creator. He expanded his mind outwards, as the song raised in pitch and key, reaching out to everything that is, everything that ever was, separating moment from moment, essence from essence, finding the edges of all. As his own song reached its crescendo, Asher divided and divided, reaching deep within everything until he began to perceive the smallest parts of the entire universe, all in unique fragments, separated from everything else.
Asher gazed into a timeless glimpse of reality itself, Layla’s strings dancing and pulsing to their climax and inevitable end, and he understood that the power within him was no longer Malchut - seeing everything at its most divided, he saw the unity that makes everything the same.
Time froze around him, his finger’s in mid-air having strummed the final chord, nylon strings still quivering and vibrating the air. And yet Asher was no longer quite there.
Emma watched her son rise, burning a meteoric trail through the heavens, while his body remained in his small New York apartment, just as hers was still sitting in Netanya, an open book lying before her.
The session was adjourned, the court was nearly empty, only one angel remained, drifting towards Emma as she stood by the colossal windows and gazed out at the cosmos.
“I won’t see him again, will I,” she said, not looking the angel in the eyes.
“You gave up everything,” the angel whispered, “anything and everything to reach the court.”
Emma sighed. “I know,” she said, “and I would do it all again in an instant. I had my time, a long time ago - now it’s Asher’s turn, his turn to rise. But, I wish I could see him one last time, hold him in my arms, tell him I love him.”
She bowed her head as she fought back the hot tears rising unbidden to her eyes.
The angel said nothing, though something about his presence seemed to shift. Emma turned to look at his face, perfect and glowing, and found a smile playing on his perfect features.
“You gave up everything,” the angel whispered once more, “yet Compassion is in the ascendancy.”
Her mind raced - was there really a chance?
“Call to him my daughter,” he whispered in her ear, “call to him, and rise together.”