On Weakness; On Magnanimity

The clash was like a jumbo jet screaming into the ground, like a cliff that no longer has the will to hold on and comes tumbling down in a rolling rioting rumble ripping the world apart, only somehow it was deeper and darker, more ominous and oppressive, swallowing the universe whole and leaving only trembling behind. It was only a sound, I know, but in that moment I swear existence itself lost its cohesion, reality was torn asunder, shattered, and all had gone to void.
Under a roof, inside a warm and cozy house, thunder is only a pail reflection of its true and terrible self. Crouching in a grove of trees I was lost to the full fury of the storm as the sky ripped apart around me in awe full jovial play, and I shuttered.

With naught but a backpack and a spoonful of wits I walked in and out of rocks and mountains carelessly tossed about in the growing pains of the land. It was noon, I was in the wild, and I was happy. The ridge was my favorite kind for walking, long, narrow and high: a snake’s back weaving over the earth and I its master dancing along its spine. I did not notice the clouds beginning to build or their slow and steady transition into black. I did not pay attention to the storms rising on the horizon, anvils upon which the fiercest of lances are forged. It was only with the first rumbling overhead that I realized I had a problem, and then I ran.

The thunder’s force plucked me like a string, rolled through me and over me, set my innards vibrating, my bones to shake and my veins to shutter in time with the earth. Blaze and Burn! The sky is on fire and the air is sucked away taking with it for an instant my soul. I hide, but there is nowhere to hide. And again that oh so terrible sound, and again that oh so terrible light. But the worst part was not the storm’s rending fury, no, the worst part was the joy in that crackling cackling cacophony, its playfulness, the opposite of wrath, and the laughter of the amorphous will that gave it life. Sitting, staring into the face of oblivion, I stared into a face cracked in crooked smile with eon upon mossy eon behind it and the deaths of a thousand oceans, of a thousand species come and gone as my own will some day go, resting in its eyes. Then, then I truly began to tremble. And still the storm came on and on and all the world could but cower in its wrath.

Suddenly, in the beat of one last blast of lightning, one final clap of thunder, the rain stopped and the birds began to sing. It was as if a command had been given, the world took breath, and we lesser mortals, excused, returned again to our piddling lives and affairs.

On Weakness; On Magnanimity

Chase Ankeny

Hendersonville, United States

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