Monday, April 14, 2014

That Immortal Song

I heard them in the darkness, in the other night all species of consciousness know.

They were intense in a way I've never felt before, not with any human I'll tell you. Imagine you're standing before a massive waterfall crashing onto rocks. That constant blast of wind and spray is deafening and wetting and insistent, at first. Stay there for several minutes, and it starts to become the new normal. Stay there long enough to become bored of all that energy and rage and volume. Lose yourself in your own head, since outside the body is just so much natural violence. Get up. Now, when you walk away from the falls, and the silence of your body's expectations comes upon you—that's what it is to hear them in the darkness. It's this false ringing in everything your body expects to be there. Your skin feels it. Your ears tug to capture it. Your joints ache with the change in pressure. Your mind struggles with the fading of stimulation. It's a hollow reality shaping all of the supposed substance. That's what it sounds like. Overwhelming reminders.

You feel their pull, their song. It reaches into the parts of you that are old and remember inhumanly the universal languages of animal life. It wakens them, stirs them, seduces them into reminding you what you've missed. It reminds you you are an evolved being who carries within the remnants of forgotten rhythms. It then teaches you how to move and listen and, if you're one of the few, dance.

I hear them call out to me when I'm trying to learn the new spells. Other people say that the call is for them distracting, and the spells being produced aren't as effective as the ones cultivated after the discovery period. I'm not sure about all that, but I can say that sometimes I just put down the pen and listen to the song. The schools are divided on this. Nobody who has advanced far in the Arts wants to do them violence. None of us even has an idea how we'd go about harming something that isn't real anyway. But we're divided about whether the song they sing is meant for us or just, like the laughter of woodpeckers or throbbing of cicada or tired moaning of bullfrogs, part of being a vocal species.

You probably don't know what I mean, if you're reading this and not out there with us. Don't be scared shitless, please. I know all of this is hard to accept, especially if you've grown up in a world where money ruled elections and magic was computer animation. But listen to me slowly. Whatever they are, however they mean it, the song is not something we're worried about. A waterfall is a beautiful, natural form of intimidation. It is supposed to make you feel awe if you have no idea how any of it works; it is guaranteed to make you feel wonder once you know about gravity, mass, and time. Worry doesn't really have a place in the Arts.

They are somehow connected with magic, though. That's undeniable. The connection is not entirely clear, but one of the more compelling theories is that they live within the field through which the Arts shape the real. No idea how that's possible, but then all of this is speculation building upon hopes and guesses. We're just looking to the practical results to tell us something about how they sing. The sensitives who've already lost concentration tell us it's not painful, not even really all that frustrating. It's more like, and this is the oddball part of this, more like a pleasantly dreadful block. I envy the sensitives who've learned how to practice letting go to the magic; I suspect it's only that kind of training allowing them to do nothing but listen to the song, letting go of their spells and the cultivation in the meanwhile.

I know envy is not a real virtue anymore, and it's not what I really mean. I mean that the longer I sit and listen to the song, the more I come to doubt the entire endeavor of recording, preparing, and cultivating the spells of the Arts. There is something universal in the song, and if the world is changing one more time, creating and destroying entire forms of life—and if they have something to do with this change, any something—then being able to indifferently listen to the song of silence in the darkness calling out for change is the last skill a human needs to have.

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