Wednesday, December 06, 2006

December 10, 2056

Here lies a coward.
Dreams did he have, but not the courage to pursue them.
And while the world lay before him, he bowed to lesser gods and more.
Here lies a coward, the weakest of them all.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Piper

And now, as the piper put his pipe into its case for the last time, he felt a strange quiet within him. It was an unsettling silence, much like that of an empty stage. A stage, once blood has been spilled on it, ceases to be a pile of lumber. Blessed with the pain of a hundred hearts, the wood takes on a life of its own-- greedily sucking in every drop of truth it can and then bathing all those before it in the honesty it has gathered. Its silence simply belies the peaceful turmoil it so longs for.

With this longing, the piper was no different. All that time spent chasing purity, where all he did was try to learn how it was not to try anymore. All those years struggling to understand how being was not being, and that the absence of thought was indeed the one true knowledge. Having grown used to this labor, it was with no small effort that he ever so carefully put a cloth over his pipe, as if wary that he might gag the instrument, shut the case and worked its locks. He swore he heard a faint cry.

A carpenter-mason by trade, the piper was no stranger to strenuous labor. Large pieces of wood and stone were comfortably cradled in his hairy arms, yet it took all the strength he could muster to lift the small, leather-bound case. He stored it in a cupboard, then walked away, head bowed. It was at that moment that he felt a great fear.

Without his pipe, he would surely succumb to the dirt and grime people so fondly called living. He was certain that some part of him would die the instant he bore witness to the lies that waited not a foot from his door. His fear crippled him. It shackled him. He felt beads of sweat on his forehead as he cowered on the floor of his small hut. He struggled to his feet; a swig of warm, bitter beer steadied him. The piper would not be free lest he held his pipes once again.