Flashback in the Pan

Dec. 27, 2006

The ferment forms eyes, which turn upon the ferment, in wonder.

I am rising into the atmosphere, looking down upon the earth. Time is accelerating, the earth spinning so fast I can no longer make out its surface. Higher and higher I go into outer space. Momentary flashing irregular pauses reveal successive cycles of decline and rebirth below: ice ages, droughts, floods.
Civilizations are rising and falling, overtaking one another, each building out toward the heavens before falling back to earth to be reclaimed by the soil and buried beneath the crude beginnings of its successor. These strobe-beats are coming so fast now that they resemble an old film. I try to reach back toward the earth, as if to capture it in my grasp; it is only then I realize I have no body.

The sun is dimming, turning red; the earth is cold, inert. All is a flash of blinding, platinum light, searing the eyes, as the dying sun explodes. The light recedes, leaving behind the earth, now a ball of flame trailing the phantom current of the blast. The rate of time’s increase becomes unbearable; I feel it taking me apart, cell by cell, atom by atom. The earth is now a brilliant, orange-red ember glowing in an onyx sea dappled with pin-pricks of starlight. Already it is dimming, fading in concert with my own dissipation: body, sentience, memory, identity, all now indistinguishable as they pass into dust.

The ferment becomes aware, becomes self-aware, seeks to save itself through flight, succumbs and is submerged again in dissolution.
Our lives are futile escape attempts.

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