Wandering Star Sep 7, 2010
Wandering stars for whom it is reserved---the darkness,
Portishead – Wandering Star
It is quiet here at night when I turn off the droning guitars and subtle demonic vocals of Sunn O))). The crickets are everywhere outside. Their song is one song, and it cushions the slick blackness into a proper nighttime. The fan in the window blows along with the crickets. If I lean against the screen I puncture a thin temperature barrier into a cooler world. I smell the grass. It is wet and sticks to my feet. They become cold but I am lost in the stars. I know that somewhere else are people I have known, but that right now, in this dark garden, this insect drone, it is just me. I cannot feel those others as I do when they are with me. It is as if they are dead. It is like I have become a child again.
The suns of faraway worlds dot the black sky like the sand of your Earth beaches. I recall fondly the pleasantness of Earth Time *.25–*.75 and the accompanying gross thermal and visual energy associated with the period. The current hemi-planetary low-energy period lends itself toward inward reflection. I discovered that I will be unable to make the necessary repairs to my vessel as your infrastructure is several hundred generations behind that of my home world, so I destroyed it. My ship, not your world's infrastructure. Your language's pronouns fail to convey the amount of information to which I am accustomed. My language has hundreds. Regardless, I am content to live the duration of my lifespan on your pleasant planet. On my world, it is acceptable to kill hundreds of one's peers for such an opportunity. Do you know how many delicious species of insects you have?
I have lived eighty years and woken, sweating, to the view from my bedroom window. I killed men, women, and children, and spread ruin across star systems before realizing the clock which had read 17:02 a moment ago now reads 02:33. This is not about my power to create mountains in minutes by pressing up from the underworld. I am a prisoner of eternity in a world calling me Sovereign Master. The dying man congratulates the birthing mother and the child has my aeon-wasted eyes. My life is meaningless because I am context collapse. I must shape this or that personality or align these or those stars or become this tiny gust of wind about a bird's flight feather and I have so much to do.
The Lake Around Which Are A Thousand Tiny Fires cannot be filled in with earth. It is an eternal barrier to light and sound, erasing them and instead being its cool and slick nighttime sloshing or occasionally a gentle slap. It is full of muck and thin strands of seaweed, both of which coat your feet, and eels which will bite you. Those who swim it are drowned, and those with boats are wrecked. The giant ghost crabs slowly scour the flesh of the bloated dead from the boot-sucking bottom with their limbs like puppet cranes tearing the bedsheets from collapsed apartment buildings. The fires of that razed city burn on in the jungles around the lake, but here they are extinguished and frozen into rubble found in the desert: the great stone pillars which the living find lying in sections. As when they stand next to these broken monoliths, the living are always much smaller than the dead. To be truly dead is to be larger than comprehension, so that by any means of inspection only the tiniest particle can be observed. It is then that you are a veil across the stars, and have become one with the great mouth of Death which swallows all things.