Sunday, July 19, 2015

Chapter 21 From Seven Stones

Seven Stones will be available in September. Here's a little sampling:

Chapter 21

November 13, 1913 London

Doug awoke in his hotel room, staring up this time not at Evangeline Warren but Ashavan. It hardly made any difference to him, as the void remained with him. He was senseless to the world, detached from it in the way that Evangeline had shown him that it was detached from him. But Ashavan removed a jewel from his coat pocket. It was the same stone he had always had, but it seemed to shine slightly brighter. And in the moment he exposed Doug to it, to a faintly perceptible degree his condition improved. While his conscious mind was still detached from the world, his senses began to make contact with the outside again, recording what was detected even if there was no mind to interpret the information.
Ashavan was attempting to use his senses to bridge the gap, now, speaking softly in his deep resonant voice in order to tease out some kind of response from the seemingly comatose man lying on the bed in front of him.
“You have stared into the darkness, Douglas Slattery, and it has overwhelmed you. You have, as Freidrich Nietzche said, stared into the abyss, and the abyss has stared back into you.”
Doug could sense somewhat that Ashavan was cradling him on his lap as a father might comfort a son who is ill. And like a father, he knew he was helpless to do anything for him other than give encouragement.
“You have experienced the nothingness. But what would happen, Doug, if while gazing into the emptiness we did not lose faith? What if, while traveling in the darkness that it so happened that we were the light we needed? The abyss exists, there is no denying, but so do we. That also is undisputable. We may be tiny, but as Tennyson said, ‘what we are, we are.’ It is perhaps the era we are now living in that has forgotten this. We are the first generation to have left the land and gone to live in cities of man’s creation, and so we have forgotten that we are still a part of all creation. Science has caused us to look at our world as outside observers, we see everything as scientific phenomena, but we have forgotten ‘self’.
He spoke on, in some way hoping the words might bridge the gap between himself and Doug. “I met a man aboard the ship we were on, a wonderfully intelligent physicist, Max Planck. One seldom gets the opportunity to come across a mind like his, even for one as well travelled as I. He told me that science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature, and that is because we are part of the mystery we are trying to solve.”
Ashavan looked down at Doug, hoping for signs of some kind of recognition. “Don’t you see, Doug, in the final analysis, it is up to you. And I. The abyss, the nothingness, it’s an empty stage for us to perform upon, an empty page waiting for you to write your story, a silence awaiting a song. Nothing doesn’t matter. You do, we all do. And it’s up to you, there is nothing that nothing can do to you. It is your choice to come back. You can be part of the nothing if you wish. But it is a choice. It is your story, Doug, you who write it.”
There was no reply to come from Doug’s lips, no hint of recognition in his eyes. So Ashavan was absolutely shocked to feel a hand reach for his, as if it were a blind man’s. Ashavan grabbed it, and felt fingers working in concert to form around his own.
He had brought Doug back from the abyss.

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