The Tranquil Abyss
By Binit Koirala
Copyright 2016 Binit Koirala
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
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This is the line, he thought to himself as he stood with one foot grounded on either side of the terminator. Once I cross over, everything I do is nobody’s business but mine. He smiled and waved at everyone on the bright side—his friends and family, people he barely knew and people he didn’t know at all, but were watching him from a distance.
Nobody smiled or waved back. They couldn’t see his face and waving hand, which were already on the dark side as he completed his final step visible to the outside world.
The already pitch black environment seemed to go blacker still as he sauntered on. At the moment he was without feeling; serene as the unmoving dark air around him. And as it became darker for his eyes—he couldn’t even see a trace of the world of light he had just ventured across from—it began to get quieter, until he could only hear his footsteps and heart beat. Then he couldn’t hear them anymore.
He continued his pacing until he couldn’t even feel his feet touching the ground. Then he continued some more. He wasn’t falling, or a least he felt no sensation of falling at any time. He was just moving through the uninterrupted darkness, with no particular aim in sight.
He stopped feeling his body. He did not know if his arms were still at his side, moving with every step. He did not know if his eyes were open or closed. He did not know if he was still breathing or his heart was still beating. He did not really know if he was still walking. But he continued walking, even if he did not know that he was walking, or even understand the very concept of walking anymore.
And then he stopped.
It was not that he chose to stop walking. Choice itself did not exist in his condition anymore. It was just a change that took place without his knowledge or participation. He was walking one moment; the next moment he was not. No part of his being registered the change or the moment that it took place. It happened, entirely by itself and with no prior schedule or sytem indicating that it should take place.
When he stopped, he found himself, not in the darkness, but in a place that felt simultaneously quite familiar and yet extremely alien. In fact, he was not here just now, but he had always been here. No other world, no other time existed; but here and now. In this moment, in this place, he was and would forever be. An eternity of existence condensed into a single moment. Or was it a single moment blown up into an eternity?
It didn’t matter, because he did not question. He only was. Questions were for other people; other people included who he was before the moment took hold. The moment had answers, but he did not seek them. The moment was transparent, but he did not aim to look through it. The moment was honest, but he was not listening to its words.
The moment was serene and unmoving, and so was he.
In the moment, there was no past, present or future. There was no proximity or distance. There was no choice, nor was there any compulsion. Even the boundaries of his existence were blurred. He had no body in the moment, nor did he have a distinct mind. There was no separation of him and the world around him; but there was no union either.
He did not walk, he did not stand, he did not sit, he did not fall. Yet he was moving, flowing. He was blowing like the wind, into a space already occupied by himself. He was not stationary, nor was he going anywhere. He was at every speed, at every time, at every place.
He was the moment.
Until he was the moment no longer. There was no sudden event that ended the moment, no singularity that fettered his state of being. He made no choice to break off from the moment, much like he had made no choice to join into it. Neither was there an external agency that removed him. He was in the moment, the moment was everything, he was the moment, then the moment was no more.
He was again in a sea of dark. He saw nothing, heard nothing, felt nothing. Until he started to feel his legs moving under him. Then his feet stepping on solid ground. He heard his steps, and his beating heart. He felt his chest moving with his heart, then with every breath that he took. He saw a very faint light in the distance and continued his walk towards it.
The light grew. First in size, then in intensity. He still couldn’t see around himself, but he could see shapes moving in the light. His walk persisted in its steady pace as he reached a line separating the dark where he stood from the light ahead. Without stopping to decide, he crossed over.
He was back in the world whence he came. He remembered who he was. He remembered the people that stood in front of him. He remembered the things he had done before he began his journey. He remembered the things he was required to do now.
He wanted no part of it.
He turned back, towards the line he had just crossed. He wanted to be back in the moment he had been, for what seemed like forever. And forever had not been enough. He needed more. He needed to feel what he had just felt, even if what he had just felt had been absolutely nothing.
He took the step.
He was still in the light. The line was gone and the darkness with it. There was no going back. There was no place to go back to.
He sighed and looked at the world that was ahead. He had no choice. He moved on.
Thank you for spending a few minutes of your life reading my words. I sincerely hope you don’t demand a refund on those minutes because I don’t have the authority to return them to you. If you liked what you read, I will try to write something else you’ll like, hopefully a bit longer than this. No promises, though. —Binit
About the Author:
Binit Koirala likes to think he is a person tainted by ideas. Or an idea tainted by people. Make your pick. He usually does not know when to stop, but that is an insignificant speck compared to how often he does not know when to start.
Keep up with the author’s work on Shakespir at:
A man crosses the line between light and dark and reaches a place where things are different. How will it change him?