Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Singular Line

It began as a line.
No, it began as a point from which the line proceeded.
No, it began as a stick from which the point was made and thus from which the line proceeded.
No, actually, it began with a thought. But it was not much of a thought, it was more of a simple action, the action of plucking up a stick and poking it into the ground. This created the point from which proceeded the line.

He drew the line in the earth with the simplest of thought, and the singular purpose that it would be straight. This was simple enough in that there was nothing about to interfere with this purpose, neither building nor home, track nor road, neither tree nor bush, person nor any place of name. A desert without bump nor lizard, hill nor snake, it being flat in all directions. An endless horizon. On he drew, without regard for time or treasure. On he drew in the noonday heat and the cool of night, always under an endless sky.

All lines have a beginning, that being a point in time and space, but must it have a purpose? Must it have an end? Some lines separate sides as a purpose; left from right, this from that, us from them. If this line ever had that as a purpose drawing up sides was the first casualty of its linear life. This line had come to care less about this or that! And on he drew his singular line...

Now as I have said all lines have a point of origin in time and space, and thus travel from somewhere to somewhere, but this line was not traveling to anywhere, at least in particular, and as a matter of fact could have cared less, nor even considered it. Thus, some cosmic destination was the second purposeful casualty in its linear life, if it ever existed at all.

The line was now well beyond the horizon, and the horizon grew further away, although it was never further away than it always had been. And on he drew. His feet were tired and his wrist was sore, his suit had become quite sweaty and he had developed a kink in his back, but he hardly noticed any of this. On he drew.

Lines are funny things when they travel great distances without great purpose, they begin to forget their beginnings. It fades from memory. And thus it was with this line. Thus the third casualty of this line's linear life; its beginnings.

And on it went. The longer he drew the line across the face of the earth, the less he or the line knew or cared about its own length. Its distance faded until nothing was of any concern but the point at which the stick touched the earth. The ever presence of the present. But wasn't that always the case?

He withdrew the stick from the face of the earth and the line, then and there, died as a living active thing. It had never defined anything, nor cared to.  Its own future never even considered. Its own past, faded from memory. Its present, now withdrawn.

As he uncrinked  his back, he stood up straight and turned to look back along the line's length, and for the first time in days was flush with a singular thought, and even a sense of pride: "Damned if that isn't one straight line!"