Monday 10 September 2012

Radiance 31 - He set the heavens in place

    In a time beyond time, Asher is suspended beyond all things. In no space at all, he floats in infinite blackness, the only substance in an eternal nothing.
    And Emma is there, smiling at her son, proud and full of joy, rare laughter creasing her face. They embrace, and laugh, and cry.
    “Mum,” says Asher, “I’ve messed everything up.”
    “No, no,” she answers, stroking his hair as she did when he was young, “everything is going to be okay.”
    “The Leviathan is free, my friends are dying, and it’s my fault.”
    “We only do our best,” she answers him, “but now you must set it right.”
    “How?” he asks, trembling in the black.
    “You already know,” she answers, “the father creates the mother, the mother crowns the daughter.”
    “Yes,” he says, “I do know.”
    And he does.
    His song still whispers in his ears, whirling around the cosmic emptiness all around, and deep within he finds the spark, the trace of holiness that burns within him.
    And just as the turning of the key creates the lock, and the door, and the palace, the seed creates the womb.
    In the palm of his hand, the shards of crystal begin to hum and vibrate, glowing with the inner light that is starting to shine in a time beyond time. As the fractal goes down and down without ending, so too the crystal shards contain the spark of all there is, each fragment has the DNA of the whole, and now Asher pours the energy of life through it.
    Radiance, emanating all around. A spark engraved in a ring of no colour at all, and the Palace of Understanding begins to be reborn. Crystal sprouts like grass, bursting all around and spreading and not spreading to the ends of all things.
    Radiance, like the sun, spreads light through the growing crystalline structures, animating them, growing them, and dwelling within their chambers. And from the mystery of mysteries, bursts forth the deepest light, the light that shines and does not shine, hidden at the dawn of creation.
    Radiance, the water flows once more in the fountains of the Palace of Understanding, emerging from deep within Asher’s soul and spreading throughout the palace and beyond, for a river flows out from Eden and waters the garden. Water, music and words all wash together, pouring and burning throughout the universe from a source unknown and unknowable, spreading colour throughout the palace. No longer white or clear, the Palace of Understanding emerges in vibrant colour, shining a vast array of hues into the void. And then there is no void, no blackness, nowhere where there is nothing - for she contains everything, just as everything contains her, on and on forever.
    Radiance, and everything is alight, everything is alive.

    Amidst the rubble and debris, Virgo struggled to rise to her feet once more, reaching down to her core and draining her every last reserve of strength. Blood dripped from a dozen or more wounds, half her ribs were cracked or broken, and she knew that she would not be able to last much longer.
    No words rose to her lips, all scripture seemed blank to her mind in the face of the all-enveloping Leviathan still roaring its primal rage from the river. It had taken everything Virgo had to survive this long, to even stand up to the cosmic force the sea monster embodied, resisting the waves of energy that sought to turn everything back to chaos. Every second was precious, every moment another drop of life left in the world, in which, perhaps, enough good deeds could be done to sway the balance for the world.
    But somehow, Virgo doubted it, as she hacked up globules of blood.
    Li wasn’t doing much better. Her left arm hung uselessly by her side, and one eye was swollen shut. With the power of Compassion so grossly out of control, Li’s own abilities, drawn from the side of Strength, were drastically diminished. Only prodigious willpower kept her on her feet.
    Together, they were the only thing preventing the Leviathan from destroying the world.
    A flick of the creature’s tail wiped out a whole string of houses on the opposite shore, dissolving them to dark water while the Leviathan barely noticed. Virgo hoped their occupants had long-since fled but there was no way to know, and nothing she could do. House-sized bites were missing from the road as the creature thrashed in its rage against the two warriors who steadfastly opposed it. They just had to contain it for as long as they could, and hope against all likelihood for the impossible. Two women against the manifestation of chaos itself.
    Then the impossible happened.
    First a Hebrew letter began to form in Virgo’s exhausted mind - a single point of the tip of a Yod, with no dimensions in itself yet with the potential for everything contained within. And then the Yod itself emerged from her mind’s confusion, burning like a star in the heavens, radiating to the darkest corners of her brain. One letter gave life to the next - the Hey followed, the continuation and the home of the Yod itself, radiating to the long Vav. Finally, the last Hey emerged, completing the four letter name of God, reinvigorating all the letters that came before, causing them to pulse with meaning. Yod Hey Vav Hey, the ineffable name of the Most High, the deepest symbol of balance, of Adornment, of Tiferet.
    As the holy name filled her thoughts, a familiar object materialised in Virgo’s hands - hands that until a moment prior had been shaking with exhaustion, seized now with boundless energy. She held the Staff of Moses once more, blackened and singed but unbroken.
    With her Staff once more in her hands, the name of God in her mind, the words of scripture flowed once more through her brain, coursed along her veins themselves, healing and rejuvenating her tired body.
    A glimpse towards Li told her that the same process had transformed her as well. Gone was all trace of exhaustion or despair - a fire burned within her eyes and pulsed along her finger tips. Already she was rising from the ground, borne aloft by the energies of Gevurah somehow rebalanced.
    And Virgo knew that the Palace of Understanding had been reborn.

    Asher and Emma stand at the centre of the Palace - they feel the warm water bubble around their feet, wash the pain from their bones. For a timeless age, neither speaks.
    “You have to go back,” says Emma, tears coming to her grey eyes. “They need you.”
    “I know,” Asher says, but does not move. He holds his mothers hands in his - they feel thin and old. “But you have to come with me.”
    “If only I could,” she says sadly, shaking her head.
    “I have travelled the heavens, conquered fire and ice, defeated angels, all for your sake, for the sake of everything,” she answers, “but I also never left Netanya. I’m sitting there still, in the same position I sat forty days ago - I haven’t eaten or drunk anything all that time. Asher, I’m sorry.”
    “I can save you, let me save you.”
    “You don’t live through something like that, Asher,” she says, and puts on a brave smile. “But I’m not sorry - I wish your grandmother could see me now. What would she think?”
    “Mum, you can’t die. First Dad, now you. I need you!”
    “No, not any more. You have great strength - greater than your father, greater than me. I know you’ll do us both proud.”
    Asher nods. In this place of balance and truth, acceptance comes easily.
    “Goodbye, Mum.”
    “Goodbye, Asher - I love you.”
    And then, like waking from a deep sleep, Asher was wrenched back into time.

    “Glad you could join us,” said Virgo, suddenly standing by his side, while Li showed him a rare smile.
    “Me too,” Asher said, a single tear trailing down his cheek.

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