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It all began with a thought. A really simple idea. Looking for a way to describe it was far more challenging.

Suppose you found a flower one day and wondered about its beauty and purpose. The visible part seems the most important at first. Without the green, the bloom would not express. Without the bloom the species would not progress. Yet hidden from view are the roots, that provide support for it all. That is sort of like the story I have to tell.

It all began with a journey, from somewhere to there, to a place called here. The journey was on a path of light. A thin thread of energy that glowed in the darkness of eternity. As I followed the thread, it remained straight and narrow. Like a moth drawn to a candle's light, I became entranced by this trail of light, not realizing the potential horror to which it might lead me.

There was no way to measure time. The journey seemed infinite or eternal. The thread seemed to reach out in both directions endlessly. For a moment I wondered, in which direction I was following? Was it to an end or a beginning? Would I even know when I arrived? Why in all of space was there this thread? Perhaps the thread circumscribed a great circle. Were there others unseen or un-seeable? Useless questions and wonder rings perhaps, yet their very existence seemed foreboding.

Eventually I came across a place, a hole of sorts, into which the thread fell. I found myself falling into the blackness of that place. I tried to hold onto the thread without realizing that it was shredding my grip and not stopping my fall. Then I saw it. A great pool into which the thread was headed. From the distance it looked tranquil but as I got closer, it was churning with a great mist rising above the pool, where the thread disappeared. As I approached the edge of the mist, there appeared structures within. It was very difficult to tell what they were however. My destiny now sealed, I could not go back, I was only going in.

As I began entering the mist, I realized there was very little of me remaining. The fall had diminished my former self into just a few fragments loosely held together by sheer force of will. It was difficult to remember my past, the journey, even the questions were blurred beyond recognition. Beneath the surface of the mist, I saw a great city. It was made of light and its brilliance was as bright as a sun. Such metaphors seem normal now to me but then I had very little with which to compare. Looking back, all I could see was the reflection of the light against the misty dome. Each dot of light, perhaps suns their own.

As I neared even closer, I again could see the thread, very faint in the brilliance of the city. I was attached to the thread now. No longer able to separate myself from it, I could not even tell what was me and what was the thread. Below me I could see the movement of beings, traveling within the city scape. There were many beings, creatures made of light. They seemed to be coming and going from/to a building in the city center. The building that was small and run down compared to all the others. My thread was attached to the building and I was headed there to what I did not know. Moments before loosing my sense of self, I saw the beings were moving pieces of light. I wasn't sure what they were doing with their cargo. As I began to wonder, I blacked out.

I awoke and found myself in a brightly lit room full of flashing lights and beams of energy. Everything sparkled and seemed alive. I explored the room but found no doors nor any openings. The walls seemed transparent at first but after more inspection, I realized they were more like a mirror. The room wasn't particularly large but without any sense of size, I could not tell for sure. There appeared to be numerous control panels scattered about. I tried to manipulate the controls without any success. Well, at least from what I could tell, nothing happened. Was this it? The end of my journey. Trapped in some room without a way out. The thread was just a dot on the ceiling. My memories were gone. I wanted to cry but realized I had no way to do so. Surrounded by all the electrics and control panels I was helpless and alone. I found myself looking straight up at the dot, the end of the thread seemingly miles above me. Eons seemed to pass, when a platform began to lift me upwards.

I was excited at first, hoping it would lift me to the thread and I could leave. That hope soon faded as the platform stopped way short of the ceiling. As I wondered, other structures began to rise from the platform. Control panels on many kinds and a great chair. A giant screen formed on a pedestal. I tried to look and see what it was but the angle was wrong and I could not see it from behind the chair. So, I sat down in the chair. Well, maybe not sat. Perhaps got on the chair would be more accurate. As I positioned myself to view the screen, many tentacles rose from under the chair and began to surround me, attaching themselves to what little of me remained. They appeared to have things like suction cups which once attached began to suck me in some places and pump me full of stuff in other places. After a short while, I was transformed into a being like those I observed who were walking, carrying light. The control panels seemed to fit my new self. In some ways, I felt they were a living extension of my self. I could touch the panel and it would light up and other controls would appear.

I am not sure how long I played with the controls or what they did. I wasn't even sure if I should be doing anything but what else was there. I was trapped here and well, it was something to do. What was this place? Who built it? Why? Did it have a purpose? What am I? And Why am I here? As these thoughts moved, so did the screen. It was like a movie. A grand story of beings who once lived? It showed them building the city and fashioning everything out of light. They looked a lot like how I now looked. But I could not tell if there was some plan or purpose. As the movie continued, I saw them begin to fade. It was strange. They became like ghosts, transparent and ethereal. They could no longer carry light. The shack I was in was once a glorious building, if I placed it right. As time went on it began to fade and slowly was falling apart. The city was tended by those beings I saw but none worked on this shack. I realized soon that they were robots of sorts. They were doing the work the builders had started but were unable to do the work on the shack.

I wanted to see more but the movie abruptly stopped. The screen went black for a moment, then a view of the city appeared. The control panels lit up and I began to press the buttons, pull the levers and turn the wheels. It was like I was possessed. I did not seem to have any control over the sequence of manipulations. Mesmerized by the actions, I didn't notice the screen for a while. When I looked at it, I was amazed by the flickering ever changing images. It was like looking at a billion faces superimposed one after the other on some sort of framework. Similar to the beings, yet so very different. Very solid and supple looking, with smooth and delicate features. Haunting eyes that seemed to look at me from the screen, reached into my very essence. It was disturbing and exhilarating at the same time. Perhaps I was being hypnotized. I felt alive and wondered what was happening and why.

Perhaps life times were like this. The stream of faces continued. Ever now and then one face would linger for moments longer than the others. Then suddenly the stream would continue at a maddening rate. The faces all shared some things in common but their shapes, colors, and features varied. I noticed one face that froze on the screen with a dot in the center of its head. It seemed to look deep inside me. I felt warmth, love, sorrow, joy, and many other feelings. After a bit, I began to think, the dot was somehow the thread I had followed. I wanted to be there to touch and know that being.

As I felt myself drawn, the face began to recede becoming smaller and smaller. Soon to be surrounded by hundreds of other faces, then thousands, millions and billions of faces. All so similar and alike. Very different than all the face I had witnessed on the screen earlier, which were all so different. The control panel lit up again but this time, I was in control. Or at least had the ability to control it. I still didn't fully understand how it worked but now I knew I wanted to, nay, needed to find that face, if I was to continue my journey. Very slowly I learned how to manipulate the controls. Sure, I had some problems but trial and error taught me well. I learned how to see the outside reality with the screen and how to move within that reality. As I moved about I began to fall in love with almost every face I saw. They all looked so much alike. Trial and error however, guided me. Some nuance of self shown through every face told their story. Finding just the one in the many seemed so hopeless yet, not impossible, I had nothing else to do, so I continued. I felt myself like a giant ship, traversing the great oceans of life. Searching for an island that held the face from the screen. Was it just me, or did the builders somehow know?

I followed myself at first. Then followed everyone else for a while. Finally I determined that I could not find the face. The face would have to find me somehow. So I set about trying to build a place that would appeal to the face. Not even sure why but it seemed like the right thing to do. The place would be a garden of sorts. It would have wonder and horror. Opportunity for growth and ascendance. The face would have a dot but perhaps hidden by years of dust. Yet, I would know it or so I thought. Little did I realize that this machine I was in would know more than I could ever imagine. It was designed for just one purpose I would later learn. To carry me from one thread to another. Perhaps the same thread that was touched by the light.

One day after so many before, the screen lit up. There was the face again with the dot. I fell in love all over again as though I had forgot. I wanted to be with it, to touch it, to know it. I watched the screen as the face got larger and closer. I wanted to move but felt paralyzed. Love can do that. I wanted to laugh and cry but did not know why. The dot began to look like a hole. I felt a desire to enter it but the tentacles held me in the chair. I began to rip them off. As I did, my form began to change, my sense of self was returning, the movie and its images had been burned into me. I could almost feel the tentacles screaming as I ripped them off. I continued, the control panels scattered around the room were all flashing and lightening bolts were going off over the chair. Determined, I struggled with the last few tentacles as the face filled the entire screen. It continued to grow larger and larger until just the dot remained. The pulsing dot pulled at me. I wanted to go. With a thud, the last tentacle fell and I was sucked into the dot. I tried to see the room but it was fading quickly. I was now falling into a place where darkness was growing. Along the way I picked up some pieces that felt like me. It was you. We were again united in a way that the builders knew was possible but only a human could endure.

I found your great city and the glorious home you shared with the builders. Built of light, the beings in your city were alive and not robots. Your reality was living not a dream of perhaps. I joined you for a walk in your garden. It was so much like the one I had prepared for you. I joined you for a rest to view the vastness of the reality, to sense and feel the wonder of billions of suns shining brightly above. I joined you one day, to continue the journey through the reality of light.

That was so many years ago. Along the way I got lost in your reality but I never forgot the dot and your face. And I know there is a place where I can always go to rest in the light of being in your heart. If I just remember how it felt to be in love with the one that the machine said was right before me. I may sometimes forget and may not always be there. I will however, always love you and will one day again, fall into the dot and be with you in your city of light. Until then, I will wander this world knowing that the journey will be once again when you leave the chair.

Is the thread a circle? Does it have two ends? Is it one of many that comprise the fabric of existence? Questions that perhaps have no purpose. It is after all the journey that matters. The wonder of discovery and the joy of knowing we are not alone.




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