This is a chapter that is neither a beginning nor an end, it is a middle. As a bit of background, man has come to the world of rusted sands, colonized it, and has since fallen and left. Sera, being a being who is not subject to time is all that remains.
A Middle Chapter of the Story of Stories
In which Sera contemplates while gazing out over the place-of-rusted-sands in a time after the passing of all who could number the days that do pass. She contemplates those who will come in wake of humanity, and what they shall say, and what truth there is in it. She then finds herself troubled by a dream, and questions the stars as to the nature of the dream, and, in ending, explains how she is able to exist as a sane being.
As I lie lost in rapture, I contemplate the coming days.
What days of dust has seen this world, what days of rust have yet to dawn.
There can be nothing here, if there is not anything here, yet I am here and I am one.
Thus the future shall be of the clay of the moulding of my hands.
If though, I choose to stand in watchful silence
And let the cinders incline to what will.
What world will these endings make?
Will I watch the daybreak over eons forgotten?
Shall I see the sun a distant spark, a faint red heart where once a fire?
Shall my memories be but delusions of want?
No, better to have a world fallen than a world unknown.
The ways we have made, no more, but the shapings in the dust still linger
And as that dust does linger, so do we.
Mankind is in all that it does, and remains in all that it has seen.
Such that, when alien hands do cup the soil
and tasteless lips do drink of seas of dreams
and eyes formed in the light of other stars do stand in the age of our own
They shall speak of us, and they shall say,
"though they have passed into histories
they still remain in all that they have saw
for though nothing remains of their being
their being remains in the nothing that is here
for if we trod upon ground such formed
in spires and peaks and twisted planes
we might in joyous belief proclaim this world strange and new,
but our eyes see paths once traveled and turned
For the level ground is ground once trod.
Of God and nature, in all makings and unmakings, ever make
But only those who once would will
Can in makings and unmakings, unmake."
They shall enter our doorways at the beckoning of silence
They shall pick at our flowered pathes
They shall marvel at our flights
and say too:
"They had no need, and yet they did
What god is this that we have found
What greatness is this that we do mourn
What minds are these that painted clouds across the sky?
How wrought with grandeur is a kind
that deign to judge the world unjudged?"
And they shall marvel at all that we may have done
But I, I weep
For I know what these hands have wrought
Every blooded vein, every channeled nerve
Has felt every footstep of those endless passings
These restless dreams I toss in restless nights
Hearken back an ancient dream, a dream embryonic
In which I rose
And in rising fell.
"What dream is this?"
I questioned of the stars
As I waited those who would follow us
Follow through the rills below.
"What dream is this that haunts my every threaded fiber?
What dream is this of redded skies,
Where stars do bloom and in blooming die?
Where violets rail against the storming night
And sullen waters sleep beneath God's eye?
What dream is this of racking pain
and slow course comforts that dwell and pass
as the stars do change but remain as stars.
What dream is this of otherly constellations,
In which I crave a drown'ed moon and drunken sands?
What dream is this, wherein my fingers play in reefing waves
And find them not undifferent?
What dream is this in which I am born
and in which I am die.
What dream is this, in which I rise
and in rising fall?"
And the stars in turn to me:
"What dream is it not?"
As with this world, it swells in emptiness
Not in jungles of craven silence
to trap the ears and dischant the mind
and drive a one into madness with all turning.
It is not such as no thing is a thing of itself,
but rather, it is where a thing itself was once.
And is as hollow as legacy itself.
In being a thing that once was
and not a thing of strangling sorrow,
that may never have been,
I may stare for long an age with unadultered mind,
and never cease to see what once I saw.
For no cathedral is ever silent,
No bare hall is ever empty.
The depths of space are rent with space itself,
and hours of waiting are filled with all the seconds of the minutes.
And such I pass all things without a passing of my own,
and see all things in wonder, despite the wonders I have seen.