Once upon a time, before cities, and roads, and television and the Internet, before amusement parks and cinemas, fast food restaurants, before radio or even music, before animals or you or me there was Air and there was Earth.
In the beginning there was heaven and there was hell. There was the sky above and the earth below.
But even before all that was…
Under the cover of darkness, the black limousine pulled up to the curb and I got in with my small suitcase. As the car drove off, my eyes slowly getting used to the night, I realized I was not alone. The flare of passing streetlights revealed them both to me: a woman and a man.
“Hello Elaine.” The woman spoke.
A woman in her late 70s was dressed in a conservatively black but yet stylish dress, her straight hair cut to shoulder showing her grey. Her neck revealed a small pearl necklace. From her wrist, a jeweled bracelet hung tightly, like hand cuffs.
The man, still sitting in the shadows, said nothing.
I checked my phone for messages. I suddenly wanted to call someone, home, a loved one?
“You’re phone is blocked. It’s for your own safety.”
The limo raced through the empty streets, a pair of motorcyclists in dark helmets rode tandem closely.
“Do you know who we are?” She spoke again.
“I suppose not.” She said and after a beat, “I suspect you don’t know who you are much less who we are.”
I struggled with my phone as the battery died. Trying to relax, I leaned back into the leather seat. Staring out the window, the shadows now appeared like apparitions.
A sense of urgency suddenly came over me. I wished the car would go faster.
She read my mind.
“Don’t worry. We’re taking you to a safe house.” She said.
There was much to fear and nothing at all. I felt safe. There was so much at stake. I could feel it.
“You need protection.”
Who am I?
“You are very special. You are not at you but a living truth and your truth must be revealed.”
What is the truth?
“You are my dear.”
Why is the truth in danger?
“The truth is always in danger.”
How will it be revealed?
“The truth will be revealed through your flesh. Through your flesh people will be able to see.”
Does the truth hurt?
“Yes dear, the truth does indeed hurt, doesn’t it?”
I pressed my hand to my aching chest, the chronic heartburn I had endured most of my life, the constant catching of breath?
Why does it hurt?
“Because it is more than most people can take. That ache in your chest is more than just personal pain and suffering, it is an immense ocean of love and grief, of life and death, of endings and beginnings, the infinite, the universal crushed down into one being, one organ, one atom, one word – one.”
“You do not have a heart. You have a whole.”
Something huge was imploding in my chest as she spoke, expanding as I tried to breathe in. I felt the black hole begin to consume me from the inside.
Soon we would all just be particles.
Breathe you in
Was this the beginning or the end?
“This is most definitely a beginning. Try to breathe normally. It will only hurt more if you try to hold it in.”
Let go. Let go. Let it all go.
As a child, I found calm in holding my breath under water that I would do it all the time.
“You can’t stop it. Just try to breathe.”
The importance of breath – all I want is to breathe.
Hyperventilating, I pressed down the window. The wind was still. I gasped for air.
Where are we now?
“We are moving.” She said.
We are constantly moving, backwards and forwards.
Outside the limo, the streets all looked the same, like being in a loop, a spinning loop in time.
What will happen when it explodes?
“Then there will be light.”
There were no stars in the sky that night.
Without light there is no reflection.
Taking hold of my hand and leaning into me, she whispered, “The stars can’t shine without you, Elaine”
A tidal wave of love suddenly overwhelmed me, and as I gripped her hand more tightly, love flooded all around us, drowning my face, and my hands as I tried to cover my tears.
The woman pulled the mask from my face, I dropped my hands to my lap.
“Don’t be afraid to show what you are.”
I am everything.
Outside the window the world began to blur out into speed trails.
“We won’t make it to the safe house,” the woman said to the man. He nodded.