The Man and the Figure. Ch 5

The breathless sands shifted uneasily in the self light. I stood grimacing at the figure. No breath rose or fell in my chest, for there was no life nor death to breath for.


See now what you are.

I can't look. I am too ashamed.

Let us teach you how to look.


The figure motioned to the tree on the distant horizon.


Let us walk through the illusion of who you are.


And so we began our stroll...


Is this what you believed to be death?

I didn't believe anything, I thought death was the end.

Neither is death an end, nor life a beginning, they are only two sides of the same coin. Your belief in nothing was still a belief in something. You had no faith in life. You clung to life as though it were escaping your clutches.


As the figure said this, images of how I clung to the past, and ran after the future sprang forth in the sand. Images of desperately trying to get ahead in school, of the teachers and counselors I most hated, of all the loves and hates I had. The images flowed away on the rivers of black sand; and with their disappearance, the fading of the memories slowly passed, like dreams upon waking from a deep sleep. More recent memories came next, more detailed and emotionally vivid than those past, images of my children, my job, my wife, and finally of the needle. The images I could not let flow away stayed, shifting in the sand, growing in strength and number, until they blocked our way forward completely.


So this is what you keep in the depths of your sand.


An image of me and my wife fighting, her throwing a wonderfully ornate pot at me, and me shouting at the top of my lungs. I had to laugh now at the absurdity of the picture. I could feel the figure smile benevolently at my laughter.


Look closer.


Seeing into the depths of the sand, I saw from behind my wife the caricatures of my two children, a boy and a girl, heads in their hands weeping at the sight of such a torrent of anger. It pained me to see them, though I did not remember seeing them so at the time. A twang of ice pushed its way into my heart as I imagined the pain of my children.


How did I not see? How did I not know of their suffering.

You were trapped in the confines of the past, and could not see past the facade of the future. You died at the right time for the right reasons.

How can you say that? How can someone's death be right! Is not life to be treasured?

All of existence is to be treasured, suffering is part of existence. Death is existence. Do not shame yourself with ideas of what is right and wrong. See that there is only what is, and what isn't.

So I was right to kill myself?

Already the honesty of reality pervades you. You were not right or wrong, you just were.

How can it be right to allow my children to be so sad?

It was tragic to be sure, but it would not be so if it were not meant to be so.


The image faded away as the deepness of my children's despair left the sand, and joined once again with the shifting sea of black grains.

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