Vanishing Point

The man who isn’t there (…) is on the other side of all differences.

Meister Eckhart


Two men stroll down the road. Last gleams of sunlight intertwine the colors of the scenery: in that fleeting moment before sunset the day is as unreal, and as perfect, as a new beginning. They are both of them lost in thought. The older one, we can assume, contemplates his past. Those forlorn days before deluge, when happy people never looked further than tips of their noses. The younger one observes western skyline in the distance and, every now and then, clumsily trips in his footsteps. He is first to break the silence. He points his finger towards the mountain, scaling between day and night, and the road vanishing in it’s shadow,

“See how the road bends on the horizon, there where the mountain is rising? I don’t know what lies across anymore. I know ever so much less. Thank You,” he shouts towards the sky with hands outstretched in theatrical gesture, “oh, God – because there’s really nothing I want to know anymore!”

The older man says nothing. He even doesn’t spare him a glance. It’s his privilege, a wages earned for youth gone by. Courtesy doesn’t oblige him to answer right away. Only after some time, carelessly, but with deep understanding, he murmurs a comment,

“Don’t mess with God.”

 The young man grins, baring his sharp, a bit irregular, teeth. The smile stretches his features, rendering them peculiarly sharp,

“Oh, yes. Be in peace God. And even You can forget about me, if You like.”

Their stroll continues. Day and night are still wrestling, but with no significant force, and it seems like the day is giving ground with tranquil pleasure. The car thundered down the road. Music was loud, but the driver was only soul noticing the short moment of noise following him. He threw a quick glance towards mountain, stretching across horizon. He saw no one. Before him, the road led towards the city. He hasn’t noticed the back road disappearing into the trees and towards the mountain. He fixed his gaze on the road and let the white line drag him ahead. It was something he had to do, because there is a new day waiting for him. But if he’s not fast enough, it will skip him for someone else, so, deep down in his soul, he must count all the segments of the white line goading him to storm ahead. And tomorrow there’ll be a new day to chase. Run for the light to run from the night, because there is nothing in the night. Perhaps, he’ll storm fast enough and will count all those white lines people sketched in the middles of their much travelled paths. Perhaps, he’ll be too slow and will drop out of the race. No one will pity him and his last departure will be equally fast, equally noisome and equally insignificant, as this moment when he, for a short, minuscule, moment offended the peace of this god forsaken place.

The driver vanished from the scene just as quickly as he had stormed into it. Now, there really is no one left to see. The scenery begins to resemble a face of a man whose age you just cannot determine, at the same time old and young as if it were illuminated by the first sunset at the beginning of time. There’s no one to see this. The road is empty for miles and everything is strange and new. Something began in this loom of the land. Perhaps a new life is born. But if so, it is hidden from view, just like this land that sinks into darkness, this land that embraced it in it’s bosom like a lost child, with no pause and no questions about from whence it comes and where it goes, the way no one accepts other’s children anymore.

Day and night are indistinguishable now. In a brief moment they made peace between heaven and earth. Those who, a few odd years ago that split two millennia, fell for Carlos Castaneda would remember how Mexican Indians call that hour – a crack between worlds, a spirit hour. Two walkers are spirits themselves, this is their time. The only one in which they can still roam the earth. Their road leads into the night, towards the curve of the back road leading somewhere in the bosom of the mountain. Well, perhaps their path in fact leads nowhere. Maybe they are walking down infinite cul-de-sac. But their stroll, as distinct from all other strolls men can take, has no end. And now, as they vanish from our sight, one could say it had no beginning either.

Finally, the darkness embraced the land. The night has fallen.

Branko Malić

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