I watched God cry again today.
I see her every time I meditate along the path of my journey. I want to reach out to her, to console her – but I never do. How could I? She is everything I am not. She is great where I am small. Her very presence radiates majesty, wisdom, and kindness. But there is a sadness in her, too, as large as everything else about her, and I am too insignificant to reach it.
I was in the desert the first time she came to me. That time she had her back to me, staring at the Mountain, and I thought it was what made her so sad. That confused me because I think she dwells there. I’ve been moving towards it all this time so I know the sight of the Mountain standing in the distance well now. It’s the largest thing in the world, with a spire of white light shooting from it into the endless sky that can be seen no matter how bright the sun shines or how dark the night becomes. I think it’s beautiful. How can anyone look at that place and feel unhappy?
I started to believe that maybe she was lonely. She leaves me visions each time we part and I’ve seen other Gods in them; beings like her. They became divided, though, and rose up against one another in anger. The only result was death. Where once there were many, now there is only one. She is the last of her kind. So I think it’s the loneliness that makes her grieve, but I’m still not sure.
Because sometimes she looks at me with those same sad eyes.
Her visions have shown me other things, aside from what was. There is also what is and what has yet to come. I’ve seen myself standing at the base of the Mountain, steps away from my destiny. I’ve seen myself walking through the places I’ve already been; places her people used to tread, where my footsteps echo in the wake of giants.
I see the desert and its sands under my feet. I see the broken columns rising up in the air with bridges of bring red cloth arcing between them.
I see myself racing down a hillside accompanied by friendly flying creatures. We speed together through massive ruins, down and down into the blackness.
I see myself sneaking around deep below the earth, hunted. The weapons the Gods made still roam here, searching the desolate silence with one baleful eye.
I see myself floating freely through air suffused with magic. A tower stands in the center of the room, a refuge before the storm.
The storm I’m in the middle of now, the snow covering me and everything around me; the end of the world bleached bone white. The wind is terrible up this high. It howls through the passes, pushing me back the way I came, trying to make me turn back. I’m too close to stop now. I even had to find my way around more monsters rumbling through the sky, seeking cloth to tear and threads to cut short. But I’m almost there. I walk through one more pass, wind tugging insistently at my robes, to make my final ascent.
All of Heaven and Earth erupts to stop me.
This is a storm. A maelstrom at the end of all things. The wind lifts me from my feet and slams me down into the snow. I tumble end over end, disoriented. Somehow I find my feet and struggle upward. The snow is so blinding I almost can’t see the spire. Lightning crashes all around me, deafening me to everything but my own thoughts. A God is waiting for me past this one last test. All I have to do is put one foot in front of the other. One foot in front of the other. Don’t stop. Almost there.
Then the storm ends, as if it was never there, and all I can see ahead is the light. I just need to walk a little further. I’m so cold through. I’ve never been this cold before, didn’t know it was possible. I feel frozen to the core. The light’s there, though, just ahead. But now it’s not growing any closer.
Oh. Why am I on my knees? I don’t remember losing my footing. I need to get up. I have to, but I’m so tired now. ‘The mountaintop is right there,’ I think to myself. Then I fall, my head hits the snow, and I don’t think anything anymore.
Then suddenly there’s warmth. So much that I feel as if I’m glowing. I feel myself surge upward. I cannot be contained, cannot be held back. Every place I’ve ever been feels like it’s inside me, and I’m every place in the world. I no longer glide or float in the air; I soar. I dance among the clouds, higher and higher. I’m filled to the brim with life. I’m bursting at the seams. It feels like light, like love, like happiness, like hope. It’s every joyous emotion wrapped into one.
I don’t feel it slipping away until it’s too late. The warmth starts to subside. And then I finally understand: I haven’t made it. I’m not going to make it. No one ever does. The God was sad for me all along.
No. No. No, no, no. This isn’t right. I’m so close, closer than I’ve ever been. This isn’t how my story ends. It can’t be. I have crossed the boundaries and slipped the shackles that bind me. My heart will never be still again. Why have I come this far just to fail? I fight as the cold, numb whiteness sweeps in to take me again. I want to cry, to rage, to scream, but the feelings are melting away. The whiteness eats at the margins of my thoughts, erasing everything. It all starts to turn to silence.
I don’t remember when I crossed into the desert. Yet here I sit in the burning sun, waiting for–I don’t know. Something tickles in the back of my memory, some connection I can almost make sense of. Then it’s gone, floating away like a whisper. Like a grain of sand. It doesn’t matter now. I stand and start to walk again.
The Mountain awaits.