Monday, December 6, 2010

In His Dreams He Built The First Ladder

In his dreams, the original creator believed that putrefaction was the beginning of all life. That before there was any living thing there was rot; decomposition before there was composition; that death preceded life and made it possible.

All of his life, for as long as he could remember, he had been blessed with visions.

The first creation of the first god he created was a compost pile that covered the entire earth. From the great compost pile grew the Tree of Life, and from the seeds that fell from the Tree of Life there arose from the earth --fertilized by putrefaction-- all manner of other plant life. And from the larvae and maggots and other blind, squirming things that were born in the putrefaction there grew flies and frogs and other creeping things, as well as, eventually, flying things that would perch in the branches of the Tree of Life and eat of its seeds and fruits.

On rare occasions the head of a raven that nested in the Tree of Life would turn snow white, and from that point on any common brush or shrub on which the white-headed raven alighted would bloom with flowers as red as the blood that would one day flow in great rivers throughout the world.

The original creator believed that the souls of evil men were reborn in flies, that flies were incubators and propogators of evil. These flies were the ultimate cause of the rivers of blood that would overrun their banks and flood the planet, and each time the floods receded a new age of putrefaction would commence and lay the foundation for another cycle of life.

He knew chaos, and believed in chaos, and saw in it both a source of wonder and the origins of order and all beauty, all ugliness, all good and evil. In his dreams he built the first ladder, which allowed him to escape the worlds he created. He recognized that the end was swallowed up by the beginning, the beginning swallowed up by the end. He was androgynous. He was lonely. He was no one. He was a dreamer and a dream, a dream born in the first clouds.

He saw everything, including the first moonlit night, the death of millions of planets and stars. God was born in him, and died in him --again and again, over millennia-- and with each new birth He was a new god, wiser yet more cynical, with a new host of tricks up his sleeve.

But he --he in whom God was born-- was still lonely. In time he got lost in creation; it had gotten too vast, too teeming. He missed the first world, even as the putrefaction seemed to be once again rising around his feet.

He lived in a basement apartment, worked in a copy shop, and kept a large glass tank swarming with hide beetles. He carried plastic sacks in his pockets and would collect road kill --squirrels and rabbits, mostly-- that he would bring home for his beetles to scour right down to the bones.

When he turned sixty he sat down one afternoon and willed himself to stop dreaming, and when the dreaming ceased he was carried straightaway back to the clouds, where his soul became snow and fell all night, steadily and unnoticed, over the North Sea.


  1. Snow, rain, tears of joy. You have more than visions, you have a glorious gift and you are teeming with chaos of pure genius and love.