[Prequel]”The last adventure”
The last “adventure” would be the hardest. Of that, I was utterly convinced. After all it was a selection process, so, at each stage, some folks fell. Poor souls, they were not now in a good place. Still, they had known the risks and, for them, just as for me, the ultimate goal far outweighed the risks of failure on the way.
How many remained? I wasn’t sure. It might be just me, I conjectured. I didn’t know, I couldn’t tell but, somehow, I felt that I was not alone. It was still a competition.
I lay there in the darkness and did not move a muscle. To say “the darkness” is to wholly understate my environment. Never had a single beam of light come within it, nor did it generate sound, nor movements of air. It tasted black.
For some time I listened. I could hear nothing but the darkest absence of sound. Still, I refused to move. Still, I lay still, my sense extinguished, suppressed, inactivated.
Except touch, I thought. “I do lie on a surface. I can feel it. I am touching it”.
It was true, my hands, my head, my arms, my body, my legs and my heels could feel this surface. But still I did not move.
And time passed. There were no rules. There was no challenge. “What must I do?” But why must I do anything? The intensity of the black increased – or was I just even more aware of it? I looked deep inside myself, searching for answers, searching for questions, searching to search.
I felt something or was it not that? Deep inside my soul, I was falling and somehow I controlled my instincts to cry out and flail my limbs to catch myself. I brought back control and was steadied, calmed, at rest. Then realised, as I focussed my thoughts back to the surface on which I lay, I realised it was no longer there. There was nothing supporting me in this black abyss.
I moved deeper inside my soul………
And time rested
Biting, cutting, almost lethal, or so it felt. It surely was a hellhole, beyond endurance, and now even worse than I’d imagined. Winds shot at me like cannon, and cut through me to my deepest soul and then ever deeper. Darkness still prevailed and still I could feel no connection to anything. I could not even make out if I was falling into a fathomless depth or being held by some non-gravitational force – or non force, or some abstracted, unknown understanding. Somehow being held in the turmoils of violently aggressive darkness.
And the winds made no sound.
Oh yes, they blew. They had force. I felt fragments of my very id peel away and be carried off into eternity. I diminished, I dissolved. The darkness intensified further. How could it? Is there a black beyond nothingness? Is there a depth beyond infinite? The answers are yes, and all the while it was increasing, and my soul diminishing. Such vastness and me, my substance, my essence so miniscule.
I was held there, the tiniest glimmer within the most giant supernova. All the while I shrank, I wore away and more and more microscopic shards of my being, of my identity, were ripped away by the deafeningly silent hurricanes streaming past me from every direction.
And then it stopped…………
I was still there. I was, I was……….., I was there.
I knew not where, or how, or why. There was no point of reference and I could not even sense direction. Or size. I had felt so small, so profoundly insignificant and yet now, although absolutely the same, I realised that I was at once all sizes and every size. I could see no colour yet absolutely each and every colour. And texture, and sound and tastes.
And time. I was aware of the whole glorious spectrum of time, more full of superlatives than I could have conceived. But this was totally inside me, it was potential, it was an unquantifiable enormity of achievable substance.
My reverie was prolonged and profound. I dwelt there. I was aware of that which might be or might have been. An infinity of……….
And then I heard it. A sound.