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Filled to the Brim with Nothingness
Color was the only thing that registered in my mind. In the sky up above a dark blue mixed together with a light yellow. Clouds spotted the horizon, illuminating the scene with a brilliant pink. Beneath the clouds came a glowing orange, which slowly faded into a beautiful shade of crimson – one which I have never seen before.
The sky reflected on the water, stretching out in front of me for as long as I could see. The vast ocean was calm tonight. I could hear the lethargic waves colliding with the walls of rock which stood strong beneath me. I sat at 500 feet up, on the edge of the large rock formation. I sat breathless. Not a word came to my mind. The world had managed to engross me with its unspoken, humble beauty.
I felt as though I was intruding upon the mother Earth’s secret joys. I had no one to share this moment with. I couldn’t ever describe the magnificence Earth had presented me with. This alone was the world telling me to be quiet. This was Earth’s way of telling me a secret, and forcing me to keep it.
I never quite understood what I got out of seeing such a vast expanse of natural, untouched beauty. That very moment had a special place in my heart, but I don’t think I could ever go back. I feared things would be different. It would ruin my image of the world.
In truth, sitting on the edge of that cliff gave me a sense of serenity which I had never before felt. So perhaps it was my happy place. Perhaps in my mind I should have returned there when things began to overwhelm me. But I didn’t go back, not even in my head. I was afraid it would be different. I was scared I’d be disappointed. I was frightened that I wouldn’t feel the same way that I did.
And so, many years after, I forgot it. It was a thing of my past. I had experienced different beauties in life, but they were never quite as satisfying. I always felt slightly empty, but I never dwelled on it. I had forgotten the place which gave me so much hope, which gave me so much will to live on, to search for the wonderful which could leave me speechless.
Other things became more important. Work – that was a life and death matter. No money meant no shelter, no money meant no food. Work gave me money, kept me alive. So that was better than a peaceful memory. Life was better than hope. Hope could wait. I wanted life first.
Times were tough. No one predicted things to change. I worked for hours on end, to the point of exhaustion. I was a machine. I thought no thoughts, I spoke no words, I looked at no one, nothing. All I did was work, plowing through life with a bulldozer.
I worked until I could work no longer. The will was there, the ability wasn’t. I lost everything. I had to be helped. I had to be cared for. People did care. They put me in a place where I was treated. They put me in a home. Nothing interested me. I spent hours on end simply sitting, staring at the wall.
I lost all ability to think. Hope was irrelevant to me. I didn’t see people or objects as beautiful or ugly. Everyone blended in. Nothing was special. All that I saw was whether they would help me or get in my way.
One average morning, my eyes opened to the view of the plain white ceiling. That could crush down on me. I might die. I wasn’t afraid, however. I couldn’t be. I lost that too. Instead I devised a plan to where I could avoid damage to my body. I went through this every morning.
As I walked to the food room, I was stopped. A person wished to talk to me. It was an obstacle. This person could go on for days, blabbering words that made no sense to me. This person could talk until I starve. I pushed the person out of my way.
“Food,” was all I could say.
“I’m going there, too. Just hear me out.”
“Can’t hear you.”
“Yeah you can, just listen.”
The person stopped in their tracks, and attempted to hold me there too. I wouldn’t let them. I needed food.
“I heard you talking in your sleep last night,” the person said. “You were talking about this place you went to once, at the edge of a steep cliff standing over a vast ocean. I think I know what you’re talking about.”
“Food,” was all I could say. But when I got to the food room, the food tasted funny. This wasn’t normal. It was getting in my way. If the food always tastes weird I can’t eat it. I’ll starve.
The person persisted. I did not see them. I did not hear them. They were gone. Yet they continued to stand in front of me.
“I know what you’re talking about. I’ve been there before!” the person said, becoming agitated.
Still I ignored them. They were simply an obstacle, just a distraction. I would keep going, though. I’ve dealt with worse.
The person came to a conclusion which appeared to satisfy them. I didn’t hear what it was, but I didn’t care. They left me, so I persisted with living by stepping outside, to breathe in the new day. The cool morning air filled my lungs. The warmth of the sun’s gentle rays reached my skin, but I hardly registered it. My eyelids slid down slowly over my eyes. The air began to feel slightly humid, as if a sea breeze was mingling with the wind. Slowly, a cool wave washed over me. The warmth of the sun disappeared. The red of my eyelids turned to an empty, mysterious black.
A rush of wind passed over my body, caressing even the small crevices of the wrinkles by my eyes. I felt it in my ears, slowly getting louder until it reached a deafening roar. Not a thought ran through my mind, simply air. My body was paralyzed. I felt a certain peace in the roar of the ferocious winds and with that the roaring stopped. The black coat lifted from my eyes for just a second…
Brilliant colors flashed across the sky. Yellow, dark blue, orange, crimson and a bright pink all blended together, contrasting beautifully in my mind. For that one second I felt the serenity once more. That inner peace which hadn’t been fulfilled since the first time I was there.
The image went as soon as it came. My mind blanked out not a second afterward. I fell gracefully to the ground without a sound. A heavy sleep took over my entire being. My whole body went numb.
I sat 500 feet up, staring down into the depths of the ocean. It was angry that night. The sun sat just atop the horizon, its dying rays peeking out over the curvature of the Earth. The sky, without question, was an image beyond words. It was as though I had been placed inside a beautiful painting. Once again the Earth told me its greatest secrets. The ocean echoed the words of the sky, but the image looking down was murky, muddled because of the waves which so ferociously crashed against the rock upon which I sat.
Cursing myself for forgetting the beauties which Earth could provide me with, I contemplated the decisions I made which led me to where I was. I can’t go back to that hellhole, I thought, remembering the home which I had spent so many worthless years in. Suddenly I felt empty. The great sky was of no help any longer. Mother Nature would have to find someone more worthy of her secrets than me. I wasted her subtle lessons on a life full of emptiness. I forgot her. Perhaps this is why she doesn’t like to share, I thought, everyone just takes her for granted.
My eyes traced the length of the rock beneath me. It stood rough and worn, but sturdy nonetheless. The emptiness within me began to take over. My actions were no longer controlled by my conscious being. I did not fight it. I did not question it. There was no point.
I stood tall above the immense ocean. All thoughts wiped out of my mind. I could no longer judge time. One second I was standing on solid ground, the next I was falling. I felt my body plummeting for what seemed like days. All consciousness disappeared from my mind. I heard a faint splashing noise in the distance. A coat of bright white settled over my mind; my body went limp, sinking into nothingness.