Archive for June, 2011

Midnight

Posted: June 30, 2011 by zacharyandgillian in October 2010


Technically, the world begins anew at the darkest of hours.

But you wouldn’t know it.

Those first hues that a day see are the quiet hues of a shadow-owned world.  Where the only light is granted by moonshine, and fatigue bears heavily upon living creatures.  At midnight, day-dwellers are sound asleep.  Shops and stores have long since closed, aside from a few holdouts that cater to the misbegotten.  The streets, the streets begin their slumber too.  Cars begin to disappear from the roads.  After a mere 2 hours into the new day, they will be completely abandoned.  The shadows claim them.

The bars call this time late, not early.  At 12:01, they begin exchanging their bottles of rum and rye for the watered down dreams of their patrons.  It is a practice that has long accompanied the morning proper.  Take the beating hearts of men who have bought your product, and sell them the proverbial cherry on top; hope that yesterday’s drink was a celebration for tomorrow’s expectant good will.  Just a couple more hours.  A couple more beer.

(How rarely the day, half over, greets them with gratitude when they rise from slumber.)

How can this be the way the world begins?  Trumpeted in by club music and marched along in the arms of the drunk and stumbling.  All the while the moon is chosen to lead us in.  In to a new day, through the meager hours of infancy and into an adolescent dawn.

It is true that we do not remember our earliest years, so too is it true of the day.  It does not remember those shadowed hours that claimed its first moments.  It merely emerges somewhere in the future, its memories starting to form with the sunlight.  So too the day starts for us.  We do not remember our real beginning.  We merely awake to our first memories – of sun through the window or clock alarms going off.  We arise as children, not as babes.  As babes we were watched over by the stars and the moon and by the scary things that go bump in the night.

At midnight the world begins.  At midnight we begin again.  Though our minds are fresh with the drink or alive in a dancing medley of the shadow-world or tucked under the cover of our slumbering dreams, it is then that we begin again.  It’s then that we start being the people we want to be for a brand new day.

The dawn is when we learn to walk.  But it’s in the dark that we are born.


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Departure

Posted: June 15, 2011 by zacharyandgillian in June 2011

Gate 61
T-minus 7 hours, 24 minutes

They walked with stoic purpose.  Synchronized in their footsteps, their march was a dance perfectly timed.  Stride, swoosh, step.  Stride, swoosh, step.  4 legs that moved as two down the Ground’s Hallow, they always moved in pairs.  This was the time.  So familiar with the way, they did not hesitate at the passage’s winding uniformity.  Stride, swoosh, step.  Stride, swoosh, step.  Their professional pant-legs, a deep blue, ran perfectly down the length of their athletic appendages, to a single inch above their shoes.  Tight enough to rub against the inside of their thighs, loose enough to conceal their genders.  Stride, swoosh, step.  Stride, swoosh, step.  Their shoes left an echo down the narrow hall.  There was no other sound but the music of tradition and procedure playing in their minds.  Dress shoes, with heels slightly raised kept the beat to an ode to purpose.  Stride, swoosh, step.  Stride, swoosh, step.  The white walls with their strange and subtle illumination were their only audience.  They needed no other.  They walked with purpose.  Stride, swoosh, step.  Stride, swoosh, step.


Gate 34
T-minus 3 hours, 58 minutes

They entered the Green Way.

“Are you scared?”

She looked at him as the doors closed soundlessly.  The lift began slowly, with an organic hum.

“No.  Are you?”
“Kind of.”

They could feel themselves rise, their bodies lightly stimulated by the pressure of an increasing velocity.  It was designed to be pleasant.

“What do you suppose it will be like?”
“The Destination?”
“No.  The journey.”

There was a subtle but systematic beat as the lift’s muscles flexed and relaxed to bring raise its burden higher and higher.

“I mean, we have no idea how difficult it will be.  We barely even know each other.”
“That is the point.”
“I know, but we’ve never done this before.  What if-“
“Don’t worry.  I’m nervous too.”

They exited the Great Shadow.  A rush of light brushed over them – pouring through the semi-transparent walls of their verdant lift.

“My god…”
“It’s beautiful.”


Gate 42
T-minus 1 hour, 03 minutes

They were early.  That was a relief.

All who arrive in earnest will arrive before their time.

It’s not that there was ever a doubt in either of their minds, which is perhaps why it was strange that they would even spare a moment for the thought of relief.  Still, they spared it, and then moved on.

The entrance-way of the Exodus lay before them, like layers of silk.  They stood in a large circular platform which contained a violet hue.  The colours here were brighter, sharper even in their subtleties.  Long draperies of blue curtain hung from an unsupported ceiling like tapestries hiding a non-existent wall.  Layer upon layer, they cascaded across one other, delicate doorways to a great beyond.  The light that they had previously basked in on their way seemed now to pour through the layers, outlining each individual layer and filtering its pure illumination into a tolerable bliss.

All who would know the destination will know the light.

There was a sanctity in the journey they were about to embark upon.  They had never considered the Holy before, but now, standing here, they felt it with a profound sense of splendor.  As the poets suggested, they looked back at the way they had came and honestly spared a moment to wonder if they should ever again to return.

It was suggested that some would.  That some might perform their journey and still return to the Earth-of-Dark-Colours, to begin the process anew.  It was suggested that others still would bask forever and ever in the journey, meant to flourish and bloom.

What now?

With a sense of sacred grace, and earnest wonder, they began to draw back the silk.

Moving Mountains

Posted: June 1, 2011 by zacharyandgillian in June 2011

Atlas had been working out.

She felt good.  She felt bigger, strutted around while she walked.  She had that kind of high that you get after the sweat is showered off and you’re walking to your car.  And she walked with a bounce.  There was a spring in her step now.  The kind that you earn through finishing a grueling work-week with poise and accuracy.  Her muscles were toned, her skin was gentle and her spirit was high.

For the first time in years, she felt sexy.  Truly sexy.  Not the kind that comes from knowing that you are wanted, or even wantable.   She felt sexy because she knew she was becoming exactly who she was supposed to be.  She never bothered with robes or lingerie.  She didn’t believe in covering 10% because that’s more sultry than being naked.  Frankly, how she appeared never even entered her head.  She certainly didn’t give a damn what anyone thought about her.

She had carried the weight of the world on her shoulders, for Christ’s sake.

But not anymore.  Now she would no longer let some random guy with a god-complex tell her what she should do.  That argument was a long, long time ago, and to continue as she had for so long was pointless and painful.  Fuck. That. The time of self-flagellation was over.  Now was the time to shed her sense of suppression.  And she was beginning to feel just right.

She did not know where this strength to overcome her burdens had come from.  The mental tormenter that enjoyed keeping her down had turned her into a hunched figure, yearning to be stretched.  And, for what seemed like centuries they had crippled her, drawing her to her knees.  She had become a mother to uncaring miseries.  Her friends told her to relax.  To shake it off and start over, but it was not that easy.  They didn’t understand how hard a shrug could be under such pressure.

But overcome it she did.  Eventually, that pain that she had carried around for so long, that had defined her, had cracked open her armour of personal suffering.  And what poured out was far worse than any wickedness Pandora’s little misfits had concocted.  It was a sense of self-loathing.  A self-loathing that she had not looked at in a long, long time.  And she hated seeing that far more than bearing what she had become.  That was worth working towards never seeing again.

So, she did exactly that.  And what she came to know was that she was stronger than she had ever been.  So too, she had gained an insight of personal understanding.  Her family’s sense of character pulsed within her.  She began to understand how her brother had trusted humanity with passion, even if it meant his end.  He had believed in something, and he didn’t give a shit about the consequences.  She wanted to be like that.  She could be like that.

She would be like that.

And she began to share the sense of entitlement over existence her father and uncle had maintained.  They had dominated life in a way no culture or religion could ever teach.  They laughed at Gods and looked to the sky to claim entire planets for their own.  She felt alive with ownership over servitude, awash with capacity that only her grace, blood, sweat and tears had earned.  This existence was hers, and hers alone.

No longer would she bear anything upon her back.  Now, she would keep the world on a string and the sky at her fingertips.

Atlas felt good.

 

Photography by Gillian Berger
Writing by Zachary Webster