(Am currently in an old land of castles and rivers that fill up with the rush of wild waters from mountain storms … through the broken stone walls covered in moss and ivy and overcome by forgotten trees that silently crush mortar and stone it is impossible to escape fantasy … )

 

 

Over Time and Space the legend grew …

 

There, far away, somewhere, is this Magical Tongue, that utters landscapes of milk and honey, sighs the scent of perfumes beyond sensual imagination, strings music that makes the stars flicker, colours the Milky Way milkier …

 

So, the travellers said … the few of them that came back from wherever it was they went.

 

And the more the legend grew the greater the desire to experience such magic.

 

Generations would be born, and heroes would emerge, starry eyed dreams would shine in the eyes of many, the desire to know such beauty.

 

Still only a few and far in between achieved such a dream …

 

And when they came back they would have this quiet awe in themselves, and never again be quite the same.

 

How to get there was strange, complicated, confusing, some accounts had similarities, much was different from traveler to traveler.

 

The words of the languages of the travelers failed to deliver anything but a hint of the Magic, only insights of what could be known and experienced would manifest, and people would listen in astonishment, open mouthed at merely the suggestion of what could be possible.

 

Is it Poetry they would ask?

Yes and no, both but neither!

 

Is it Music they would ask?

Yes and no, both but neither!

 

Is it like the scent of jasmine, they would ask?

Yes and no, both but neither!

 

Is it like the soft sigh of a beautiful woman, they would ask?

Yes and no, both but neither!

 

Is it sukhama-sukhamā, utmost happiness and no sorrow, they would ask?

Yes and no, both but neither!

 

Is it moksha, liberation of the soul, they would ask?

Yes and no, both but neither!

And so it went on, a list of possibilities, of yes and no simultaneous, yet neither.

 

One day a traveler came back.

Tell us about the Magic, they asked.

 

But he remained silent.

 

The People became restless and frustrated and began milling around in market places, tell us about the Magic, tell us.

 

Yet he remained silent.

 

Soon a petition came about, demanding that he be taken to the King and Queen, surely he could not refuse them.

 

Yet he remained silent.

 

And the inevitable unfolded as always, make him tell us, torture him, do anything.

 

They pulled his toenails out, his fingernails, smashed his knee caps …

Yet he remained silent.

 

They threatened him with the rack, and decided upon the stake.

So they built a fire, which started at his feet.

 

Tell us, tell us, tell us … or we will not stop!

 

And the fire burnt, at first low at his feet, and more and more it rose, higher, higher and higher still, to his knees.

 

Tell us, tell us, tell us … or we will not stop!

 

And still he remained silent.

 

And soon the maddened mob knew, the silence would burn away too …

 

And slowly, slowly, the despair grew … as did the fires … the flames burning, scorching away …

 

They tried to put the fire out, but it refused to be spent, as if it now had its own mind …

 

Taller and taller the flames grew, sparks flew out and all about, the first buildings caught alight, then the next, and still more … villas, palaces, castles, vineyards, orchards, the wheat and barley fields, the goodness of Life …

 

Even the rivers began to dry, the lakes became salt pans, the earth cracked and volcanoes spat out their lava, mountains compressed, expanded, Apocalypse …

 

Aeons passed, the silence of sands and mud squashed that which had lived by the weight of Time, only cockroaches and ants survived, and squirrels who squirrel like evolved, their paws adapting to clutch fragile paper thin wings and tiny feet …

 

Still, always, the flicker of the stars, above, each night, and the Milky Way, magically milkier …

 

 

Copyright Gabri Rigotti 2017

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