Thursday, 8 January 2015

'And now we welcome the New Year,full of things that have never been'

by Fenella Johnson

And now we welcome the New Year, full of things that have never been” Rainer Maria Rilke

In the beginning there was a formless shape and there was no colour but colour because colour didn't exist and it tasted like caramel except caramel didn't exist so you couldn't describe it.
Taste didn't exist either but you knew. In the shape there was a world and you called it Earth and later you created things to go on Earth, but you hadn't got there yet. You had no names for things but you knew. You were annoyed about the formless shape because it was probably another one of Mother's presents or worse Grandmother's-and nobody can refuse a Grandmother. And creation presents were the worst presents-so much upkeep and more of a test then a present-how reliable are you in looking after creation on a scale of 1-10?

It was the sort of thing you knew you were going to break and then you'd be scolded. Also tea would probably be horrible. Do not seem so surprised reader-breakfast and lunch and tea have always existed. They are one of these things that just- are-like cruel gym teachers and lighting and parents and presents.

In the beginning there was a road in the backbone of the sky, except you didn't know it was a sky. It just was, and you followed the road that was and the sky parted for you like a felt stage curtain or a woman's skirt in the wind (except women didn't exist yet) and you were young. Winter had not settled in the crevice of your brow and Summer had not settled in the soft crease of your hips or Spring smothered your face. The road had widened now as roads do and it led to a small semi-circle of shops. There was a pet shop selling pirates, offering a get one half price deal. Pirates did not exist yet as such but there have always been pirates.
Next to the pet shop was a clothes shop, offering every fabric known to man(satin and silk and velvet and leather and cloth)and more they will never fathom, and next to that was the cafe where you were meeting your mother.

The cafe was decidedly ugly and seemed to posses no charm whatsoever but your mother liked it so it was where you ate on special occasions like birthdays and your wisdom teeth growing in. There was nobody serving and there was no idea of currency, and you helped yourself to a menu,-except there were no words but you understood it. Words did not exist but stories did.

Your mother was sitting stiffly near a table decked in ruby flowers called you over. Your mother and you were not close-she was too distant and now you are at the age where parents make you squirm. Time passes as it does. You finish your food. Your mother speaks except she doesn't speak because speaking does not exist. It has not happened yet, it has not come to be as these things do-it will creep in with the mist like the books did or will grow from the ground suddenly like a jack out of the box like houses did-an exclamation of surprise to feed their vanity is needed. But it has not yet and so your mother's being enters your brain.

"I presume you have seen your present. Your father and I picked it out especially-the man was ever so helpful and told us it was perfect for a first time like you. You’re older and we figured it was the perfect gift!"

You don't have a name. Names have not been created yet and you are Son: someday you will be Father and then Grandfather and so on but that is later. You nod your acceptance and reply that you are of course happy with your presents and can't wait to look at it further. You can. Tea is over and the two of you rise.

She nods goodbye to you-although goodbyes don't exist as we know them now and tells you to be good-although you always have will be and you have a hour to explore your present-time. It always has and we are always chasing it. These things just are.

Then you get to your shape, and your planet the first thing you do is spit on your hands and wipe them on the sides to create the muds and pull the edges up to create the mountains and then you pinch yourself hard, nails digging into flesh, so you cry to create the oceans. Then you pull some of the grass from the floor and plant it, tugging some of it upwards to create forests and plucking it off to create the flat lands.

To the world (you liked the word and it slid from your mouth slick and oily) you added the animals-slithering skinny creatures like snakes and lizards and the birds-two stripes of hair folded over to fly. You added the cold animals and the hot animals and animals that could swim and those who couldn't and the mistakes like the penguins and the platypus which had a name as ridiculous as itself. You coloured the night black with the song of engines.

Then you created the humans-modelled like yourself but uglier and cruder because Vanity exists and had only manifested a few days ago and was eager for influence. And then you added emotions and speech and seasons and all these things humans experience and then you were tired.

The last thing you created were the stars and they were plucked from the moonshine flowers that grew before flowers existed and before growth existed-before existence existed.You arranged them in the sky like pins in a girl's hair. They shone and whispered and sighed to each other.
That's a lie-the last thing you created was the stories. Not that you can create the idea of stories-they have always been-but you created a few of your own and nowadays they call them myths and legends and the rude ones call them lies.

But you know better-you know stories have a flicker of a power, and are as much lies as hills are mountains. You have a name now.

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