Thursday, May 23, 2013

That One Night


I do recall, on one particular night, a profound experience. The clock read 1:00am, and the shadow on the wall exhibited a silhouette of an ambiguous outline. If someone looked at it, they might imagine that it was a cake upon a platter, with its slender base with the plate on top for the sweet creation; or maybe it was some sort of architecture from a science fiction idea. But in reality, it was the outline of my arm grasping my book. The lamp created this shadow. I sat in bed, reading.
            The late night is always conducive to reading. Hours of the day are so busy, so exhausting. Only when the sheets are drawn and the body rests can the mind concentrate. Of course, anyone can concentrate in mundane tasks: but what good is this subject of thought? In a way, I guess this death brings the antidote to cure insecurity to those who claim any sense of certainty. 
            The title of my book did not matter: titles are misleading. But know, reader, that my book was a splendid work of fiction - the kind of fiction that leaves you feeling the repercussions and aftereffects of its implications. I read the pages with immediacy. I yearned to get inside of the mind of the author. What stunning and penetrating things are they going to say in the next sentence? With this question, I glanced at the pages, as if a Buddhist sage was in the room saying, “Be mindful of the words.” 
            I know you want to know this profound passage that I speak of; it would seem helpful. But, I tell you, the content is not as important as the way it moved me. We all know people close to us who have passed on into the state of nothingness and decay. Yes, the content of such a life is valuable, but the true achievement of the transitioned life is the self-examination they have instilled in others. Such accomplishments could take the form of a pointed finger, a sculpture, a lecture, or even a single sentence. These things that promote self-examination are not physical movement; they are purely mental. Oftentimes, they come to us in the form of questions: Why do I believe that? What are other ways of accounting for this? What does this say about the world we live in?
These are the sorts of questions that arose in my reading. As I sat, contemplating the implications of that profound passage, my mind moved from a sense of complacency to one of uncertainty. This is what the book did for me, that one night. I must admit that this position of uncertainty is the citadel of humanity. Wars are never fought because people do not know anything; they are instigated by those who are certain.
The fan whizzed, causing my curtains to billow in the artificial breeze. My blankets sat folded at the foot of the bed, expired from their chilling duties. My arm felt not a bit of fatigue; it firmly held the book as I sat and read. My eyes met that bold, daring sentence. The questions ensued…

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