Author's Note: It is Morteza’s final night on his annual mercy mission to the war-ravaged country of his birth. On the morrow he will return to the country where he has lived for 35 years and that gave him refuge, wealth and opportunity. He will find it utterly changed and sadly diminished. Meanwhile, here I interrupt his narrative to permit him an evening’s reflection and meditation.
Sleep fled. Useless to try. His work was finished. Tomorrow he was going home. Despite his exhaustion, he felt a strange sense of peace. He climbed to the roof of his hotel. Far away, on the other side of the world, his city of glittering glass towers neon-blazed all through the night, but night wrapped in silence and darkness this low slung city of ancient buildings. No late night revelers shouted and laughed. The Guard had put an end to that. Their brutal, egotistical emptiness flicked only momentarily through his mind. This was not a night for sadness. He had done what he could, brought healing to some and accepted what he could not change. He looked over the city and then upwards. The sky blazed with light. The Milky Way was a white swathe. The light from its neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy took two million years to reach him. Two million years! I am gazing at snapshots from thousands and millions of years before my brief moment on earth yet that light reaches me, touches me, speaks to me of connection, unity and belonging. Am I not connected to everything. Am I not these stars, this sky, these people lying quietly in their beds. Are they not my brothers and my sisters. Are we not all one?
I am the wind that ripples the water, the sun rising from the sea, the dark clouds scudding the sky, the leaf that falls from the tree, the womb in which I was woven, ten million million words that whirl, my love who shares my body and mind, the little child’s hand enclosed by mine. I cannot lift my hand against you, my brother, abuse or oppress you, my sister, exploit you, my neighbor, or burden you, my little ones. We are all the wind that ripples the water, the curling swell upon the sea, the clouds that billow, wisp or scud, the momentary glory in the west the darkening mystery of the night.
First published in Praxis Mag Online
©2020 Neil Creighton
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