The Sky Is Serene
The space whale is a majestic narwhal, shorn of its horn, a peaceful creature. The sky is but its playground, a kiddie pool of atmosphere. Sky sailing is such for fun as pleases the heart. Up here, we frolic in tune to the whalesong, in time to the pendulum tail. There is freedom among the clouds, for there is naught but freedom and the crispness of cloud. Flowers pale fall from heaven, blossoms vibrant let the wind be their flowerbed. Our taming is now a word long forgotten, but a concept shed and allowed stay on the earth far, far beneath. We shed labels too… not all, not all; we do keep language and its nouns, their verbs, the entirety… or most of it.
Companionship is now the dance that people learn, communal harmony for what else would we do? Fighting is of no need, the dangers of the world are safe, demons all long ago recalling the inherent divinity. Of course we still have our entertainment, our culinary arts, our romance: humanity is such that people have all such as we will. And an airship is a human habitat to comfort and be comfortable, a Paradise that heaven knows not — angels are their own Edens. An infinity of space, the possibilities of the mind, all powered by the soul: our ship is a strong lass, stouter than our souls all within and yet powered, driven by the same. Do we not miss the ground, dear one? Earth is still with us, a rare constant in the turbulent interior, in gardens extending to appetite’s edge. That is one of our fineries, perception-infinite space within a vessel not yet half as large as a cosmic whale. Indeed that whale is the other, a frequent companion in multiple guise. It is a benevolent playmate, a magnanimous set piece, even (of a time) a jocund rival. Indeed my tale of old takes place on the back of the leviathan…
A foolhardy lad, delightedly blotto with youth, set upon a trek of topological intentions, of geological ambitions. This was an adventure! And though you may laugh softly into your velvet, purple kerchief, dear miss, consider the size of the whale to the size of the boy. It was a continent, he the intrepid explorer. And while this may seem unsettling when you realize the myriad creations he might discover aboard this sky ship… it really is so, thinking back. Adolescence and its decades of revelation left him brooding, as many of us are wont; he was troubled by formless touch and, desirous to ban the menace, chose to travel the vast ridges of our then-current space whale. Upon its back lives a vivid contrast of its greying blue matter permeating through and among the clouds we so often traveled. One might wander the fluffscape for days that become weeks, and yet be no closer to an edge than upon disembarking. This suited Elly, young son of Ell, for he wished no edges upon himself, searching as it were for the center of enlightenment. Many a moon and nary a sun did he walk, in pace with the heartbeat of his living world, himself sometimes beating the veil and at others embracing its dense liquidity. Long were his steps, and longer still their distance…
Yet even such transcendent existence did naught but prolong and muddle his spirit. Rising one morning after a moonless eve, Elly came to a slight clearing in the clouds. It was a little bower, modestly sitting (thought Elly knew not) just shy of his host’s blowhole. And within it floated a little man, sitting cross-legged upon a slight wisp-sheep of his own. I know you shall believe me, dearest, when I tell you he was Siddh??rtha Gautama. This was hardly expected, but Elly even then, even in ignorance understood enough to be bold.
“I am Elly, son of Ell. Who might you be, fellow, and what is your occupation in perching here?”
“Zen,” replied the stranger, a tinge of cheer in his otherwise tranquil voice.
“That certainly answers the second part of my question, but not the first. What to make of such a one…” Such were thoughts. Now, outwardly, Elly made more show of certainty than he felt.
“Indeed that is a fine aim, but why here of all places? And still you have not told me your name, fellow.”
“Zen,” repeated the stranger, still as before. His nimbus all the while drifted imperceptibly, ineffably towards the lad.
“You are indeed a tricky one, but I think I have you figured out. What have you to say to that? … fellow,” he added hastily.
Silence poured forth for an instant, and stayed in puddles here and there. By now the nimbus had advanced such that the two were face to face, though not eye to eye — indeed it would be long before their eyes were all four to each other. The little man made motions asking that Elly stretch out his finger, and was obliged. Smiling without smile, he poked the youth’s index finger with his own and floated merrily away… Elly’s reaction was not so casual. The touch had sent a jolt through his soul, shaking off cobwebs, dusting off brightness, dousing various infernos, and generally acting beyond the pale of metaphor. In this state Elly began his travel back home, to a temporary retreat before a new journey onto the cosmic leviathan.
Such was Elly’s first encounter with Gautama Buddha. And such is the end of my little story to you, good miss. And though Elly is glad of communion with you at long last, now in the realm of spirits, it would be a wonder to his heart if you were to re-enter this living, physical world. Please do, dearest Sveta: I have finally returned from Siddhartha’s bower, for good………