The Spiraling Cornucopia of Pale Lavender is a 10-part series of fiction that explores faith and reality. Below is part 5. To read the introduction of the project, click here.
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68Tell me, what color would you say my shirt is?” “Red.” “I really don’t mean to be rude – it truly isn’t my intent – but I must say that your view of things is fascinating. I wish I could see life through your eyes for a singular human day. I bet it would give me quite an appreciation for my own problems.” 69“What color is your shirt? What do you see?” “Even if I told you the word, you wouldn’t understand it. 70Your eyes and, by proximity, your brain, lack the ability to even think about this color.” 71“Tell me what it’s called. I want to hear it.” “You want to hear me say a word that you can’t understand just for the sake of your ears hearing my sing-song voice?” 72“Yes. I want to hear the color that I can’t understand.” 73“But you won’t understand it. It’s meaning is entirely lost on you.” “I want to hear it.” 74“No. I won’t say it because the exercise lacks any true merit. Your simple curiosity is not enough to elevate the purpose into action.” 75“If your people –” “They do not belong to me. They are not mine.” 75v2“If the race of individuals of which you are, lack simple curiosity, what drives you forward? How did you invent this world?” “We invented it through study and hard work. And we did both of those things because we understood that it would be for the greater good of the survival of the species. Our thinking is based upon what you would call merit. Our merit is much deeper and selfless than what you think of it as but the heart of the matter is as close as we can get to understanding one another. We believe that curiosity is for simple-minded creatures that get themselves killed. Curiosity often times leads to death. 76Why did your Pandora open the box?” “She is not mine. Pandora does not belong to me.” 76v2“You see, now you’re understanding. But the story belongs to your race.” “Yes. She opened it up and all the trouble came out.” “Of course, and if she had wanted to destroy the world, this would have been a very wise thing to do. 77She could have done the same thing with a more pure intent and gotten greater results. 78But instead she was controlled by something as simple as curiosity and the unexpected and unwanted happened. 79The unexpected and unwanted do not happen here. We set our lives in a direction and that is the direction they go.” 80I step away from the painting and look at the sad and hopeless and happy cows and I tell the doctor that I want to meet the painter and he says, “Yes. Now you are thinking properly and clearly. What will you ask him?” and I say that I want to ask him what is in the lighthouse.” “Very good. You are learning again. You are learning it all over again. And much better than last time. 81I will reach to the painter for you. And then I feel a vibration pulse through my body and I know, deep inside, that it is the transition of purest thought, being cast through the ship or building or world or wherever I am. 82Everyone receives the same thought at once. As the thought bubble spreads from this central ripple, everyone in every room receives the same gentle request. Painter [I cannot experience his true name] to this area [I cannot experience the name of the room]. There is a human here that wants to inquire about the contents of your creation. The human is inconsequential and the priority is very low. If you are in the middle of something, please finish. This is no rush at all. Thank you for your attention and I look forward to sharing time with you. 83And then the feeling is gone and then the room unzips and a small man steps through the fabric of reality and washes it away behind him. “How do you do that?” I ask but both men ignore me. 84The doctor looks at me with his black eyes and sharp teeth and looks at the painter, who looks like Kurt Cobain, although I can’t remember why Kurt Cobain was important or what he did. 85The doctor says, “You may remove your vanities. There is no purpose for it here,” but the painter says, “I am not yet ready to speak his tongue in my birth form. Although I have been practicing, I still find the practice clunky and unnatural.” 86“Of course. Human, what would you like to ask The Painter?” 87The Painter turns towards me and I see that his right hand is missing along with three fingers on his left hand, retaining only his pinky and thumb. 88“Are the cows hopeless or happy?” 89The Painter approaches the painting and gazes at it. “I think this one is content but this one looks as though he has a stomach ache.” I say, “Do you not know how you painted them?” and he says, 90“I only made them. I do not control them. In this moment they appear to be upset but perhaps they will one day change their outlook.” 91“What is in the lighthouse?” The Painter gets very close to the picture, almost nose to nose, and tries to squint. I say, “The mouse hole is not inviting to humans.” And he says, “Did you try this?” and I say, “Yes,” and then both the painter and the doctor begin to laugh. 92The doctor’s laugh sounds like a bird choking. 93The Painter says, “Let’s go there.” “Inside the painting?” “Well, yes and no. First, it is a painting but as I’m sure the doctor has explained to you, it is not a painting in the same way that you understand paintings to be. 94The word and art and meaning are lost in translation.” 95“Did you paint this?” “Yes.” “Then it is a painting.” 96“Your brain only contains three parts and it is very obvious when you think out loud like that.” 97I have been chastised and I feel humiliated. 98“I painted this but I didn’t use paints and I didn’t use a paintbrush. I created it. I breathed it into existence with my imaginings. I placed it there, not on a canvas, but in time and space. I brought it forward into existence. There was nothing and now there is something and I did that. Do you understand? I did that.” 99“These cows… they are… real?” “Real? Are you real, little human?” “Yes, of course I am. I’m here, aren’t I?” and then both of them start laughing again. 100That choking bird sound makes me uneasy. “Oh, yes. Little Human. You are real. You are here. We can see you with our eyeballs and so you must be standing here with us.” 101I want to leave but I have nowhere to go. “Come, Little Human, let’s go see this painting. You should cover your eyes so you don’t get sick.” 102I lift my palms to my face, blacking out my vision. The Painter blows on the back of my hands but then I realize it is the wind and he says, [SEQ. VII] 1“My breath is the wind here.” 2I smell the ocean and grass and I hear a cow and when I lower my hands I see that we have arrived. 3“We’re in the painting.” “No. We are not inside the painting. This exists on a separate plateau. 4Time, in the chronological sense, moves much slower here. The painting is not a painting at all. It’s more of a slow motion telescope. You can glance through and see what it happening. 5The portal is left open as a kind of art.” 6“You can watch people?” “We could if we so chose but it is used more for appreciation and less for observation.” 6“But what is the merit in that?” “The merit of appreciation? 7All good stems from the thankfulness of a gift. 8You might understand it more of a living photograph. Or live television.” 9I say, “You mean a security camera?” and The Painter smiles and says, “Always feeling suspicious of others. Always seeing the worst in them. 10There are controls on the painting that allow us to navigate through both space and time. I believe The Doctor fancies the lighthouse and what it evokes in his patients and so he leaves it there. But with a few simple sliders we can be looking at a different part of the world, or rather, a different part of this world. 11It is a moment depicted within a frame and, given enough time, that image will change as time progresses. But it will move too slowly for us to watch. It will be years and years – years is your word, not ours – until that cow even lifts his foot for the next step.” 12“Can you make it go backwards?” “Ah, quite astute of you. Yes. Time is the fourth dimension, a dimension which you are below and which I am above. We – myself and others like me – can view all aspects of time as simply as you would twirl a cube.” 13We reach the lighthouse and outside I see a man with no arms sitting in the dirt. He looks at me and asks if I can help him. Asks if I can give him anything. Anything at all. Food or water or money and I tell him that I’m sorry but I don’t have anything. 14The Man smiles at me and then closes his eyes and tries to drift back to sleep. 15The Painter holds open the door of the lighthouse and we step inside to find a wide room made of dark brick. 16I tell The Painter that I did not notice the beggar when I looked at the picture in The Doctor’s office. He says, “Most don’t.” 17In the center of the room there is a table and on the table there is a small lantern and by the lantern there is a piece of paper and an old fashioned quill and some spilled ink and in the ink there are some dead bugs. 18I pick up the paper but can’t read anything on it – the spilled ink has blotted everything out and has dripped onto the floor. My eyes follow the ink down and I see that the legs of the table are very intricate and ornate. 19In the corner of the room is a red curtain. I walk towards the red curtain and pull it back. 20Behind the curtain I see stairs that lead up and stairs that lead down. When I turn around, The Painter is standing right next to me. 21“Which way?” I ask and he says that it depends where I want to go. 22Do I want to see what’s at the top of the lighthouse or do I want to see what’s in the basement? 23I slip past the red curtain, letting it fall behind me, and begin taking steps up the spiraling stairs. 24“How high is it?” and The Painter asks, “How high is what?” and I say, “The top,” and The Painter says, “Why do you wish to know?” and I say, “Just –” and I catch myself but not before the word slips out, “-curious.” 25Yes, I am curious. I want to know how far it is to the top but for what purpose? Why does it matter how many steps stand between the top and myself? Will I not climb them if he tells me that there are too many? I am goal oriented. My goal is to reach the top. The quantifiable number does not matter to the goal. 26My curiosity is a moot point. 27I tell the Painter, “Never mind. I don’t care.” And he says, “Do care. This world is the only one you have. And I say, 28“I don’t believe that. We just came from another world,” and he says, “Yes, but this, now, this moment, is currently your whole world. And 29in this moment you get to choose everything. 30In this moment you could choose to continue walking or you could choose to turn around. 31You could choose to walk to the ocean or find that man outside some food. 32It is all the same. We are all the same. 33Because we were in a very different place, does not mean that we were not connected to this place. 34Because your toes are far from your eyes, it does not mean that the two are disconnected. 35We are all part of one great body, no matter who we are, what we are or where we are. 36That step is part of you.” We reach a door at the top that is made of heavy wood and banded iron. On the door is a gargoyle head with a pierced nose. 37The gargoyle token is not evil. It is simply a crafted rock, carrying no malevolent will itself. The token acts as police tape. 38Caution wanderer. Stay back. This ground is strange and dangerous. 39I lift up my hand to knock but The Painter stops me. “Go inside.” “Just walk in?” “He already knows that we’re here.” 40And that is when I received part of my answer. Who is in the lighthouse? HE. 41I open the door and, although the room is full of windows facing the outside world, everything is dark. 42The Painter says, “You have to do this part alone,” and I turn around to find him standing at the top of the steps. 43“I’m afraid.” And he says, “I know. Everyone is. You are not alone.” 44And then he shuts the door and I’m left in the starlight.
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Part 6 premieres next Monday the 6th. We will have a conversation with Darkness and get eaten by a giant whose name is God.