“It starts, as all great love stories do, in the beginning. Our planet, you see, is a small part of a solar system. That solar system is but a small part of a vast galaxy. Yet, that galaxy is but a small part of a very large Universe.
So, how then, do you find significance in the beginning? That’s kind of a trick, because I’m not asking the right question on purpose. The real question is, what does the beginning mean?
You see, darling, many people will tell you that, in the beginning, there was nothing. Not quite right, no. In the beginning, there was nothing again. But then, reality undecayed.
We are all quite sure that things decay. From meat to elements. But, have we ever stopped to consider that it might work the other way? And, even if we did, would we know what it meant?
It seems unlikely, so I will tell you what an old man told me in a dream I had of an unimaginable place. Images are things you see. Imagination lets you create the impossible by making it real. Here, though, in this dream-place, there was nothing real. There was simply the absence of nothing.
The contours of the unthinkable were the edges of existence. I could not even see it with my eyes, only with my mind. And that’s how I know what he said was true, because I could never have pulled something from nothing. I was so small then.
He told me that we were the edges of nowhere. The principle ripple in nothing. That existence was the crest of a wave that crashed into infinity when its time was spent.
‘Why?!’ I asked him, completely taken with this no-place.
‘Because of them,’ he said simply.
On the edges of reality, in the spaces where nothing persists, are beings of the gargantuan nothing, hewn from the void’s void. Their lives are not measured in time, because time is the air they breathe. They never move; they just begin existing elsewhere. A continuity of emptiness.
‘But,’ he said, ‘That doesn’t mean that nothing is all they’re about. Nothing is simply how I can explain them to someone from something.’
He said that they are much like creatures, though we would not perceive them so. But they breathe, my cherie, they exhale possibility.
Their words are the words of the beginning. They speak in waves of creation and dissolution. We are sound. But not noise. No, music. The music of the spheres was something we once understood in an abstract sense, though we never knew its implications.
When their words are passed from one to another, that being experiences each crest, each crash, as we might a sound. They absorb it completely, each of them, a variant of that existence. They are the stuff of time, so nothing passes through them, except the totality of a million crested worlds.
And we are one. To them, we will be dead and gone in a nothingth of existence. So, why then, is this important. Where is the answer to the question of purpose?
I asked the very same question, but I didn’t expect an answer was forthcoming. But… but it was.
He looked at me and smiled.
‘It concerns you, doesn’t it,’ he said to me, warmly, ‘What it all means to you.”
Then he told me. He said, ‘As existence is born, it is imbued with patterns. Laws, you might call them. These laws bring forth an order to existence. Forces shape galaxies and reactions of unbridled creation forge the makings of a Universe.’
‘The Universe whorls with unimaginable vastness and power on a scale you can calculate but can’t comprehend. There is an order to it: a chaos fit to catalogue.’
‘The planets, stars, and galaxies turn under the sway of this unruly order. They are the beat of existence. And you,’ he smiled, pointing through me, ‘Are the melody.’
For an instant, I saw it as they did. A trillion lives born across existence, blossoming into time, blooming into destruction. Yet, each was a note. A note in a song too beautiful for me. For my mind. I fell at his feet and wept.
‘Life,’ he said, ‘Is never meaningless. Living is the loveliest art in creation. Its existence is the bittersweet tone that gives nothing meaning. In the spaces between being, we find true emptiness. And nothing becomes something.’
I looked up at him and into nothing. And I thought of you.
I woke up. I woke up and realized that I’ve been afraid. I’ve been afraid of what being with you might mean. I never stopped to think what it also might be.
I want to make beautiful music with you.
Yours Most Truly, Arthur.”
I folded the letter up and tucked it back in my bag again. I still wasn’t sure what to say. Or what it meant. To him. To me. Or even what it might someday mean.
Desiring something is one thing, but something, once grasped, becomes real. Becomes alive with daunting possibility
What do I say to him now?