Friday, July 17, 2009

The Man In The High Castle

A man walked onto the roof of a high tower, the highest in the castle which he ruled. Clad in fine vestments, with a golden crown upon his head, he surveyed the fruits of his labours; the tall stone keep, the town around its base, and the lands sprawling out from the snow-covered mountain slopes. Then he jumped.

On the way down, an eagle swooped towards the man, taking up a position by his side.

"Why have you done this thing?" the eagle asked, sounding sincerely curious. "Have you grown weary of life?"

"It is thus," the man said. "Finding no greater purpose to life, my triumphs turned to ash in my belly; all that I was and all that I might become was as nothing compared to the looming certainty of death. Rather than live onwards thus, I leapt."

"But you describe perceptions," the eagle said. "Our perceptions are our own; we may accept them, or we may shape them. I may say, 'I enjoy the taste of raw rabbit,' and dig in voraciously; or I may say, 'I despise the taste of uncooked rabbit', and shun it. Why would you throw your life away for a thing so easily changed?"

"But should my perception of events become a matter of trifling whim, then they are purposeless, and so do I become," the man replied. "How can I live without purpose?"

"Simply," the eagle rebutted; "simply breathe in, breathe out, and repeat! (Additionally, attempt to drink water, eat food, retain cardiopulminary function, and maintain other matters as it becomes necessary.) Just because you see no purpose now does not mean that you never will. Man is a fallible creature; how many times have you erred, how many beliefs have you passionately held that you now reject with a chagrin-filled heart? Should you live, you would have the chance to find some better path. But in death - nonesuch!"

The man considered this. "I am not fully convinced," he said. "But still - I see some merit in your statements, as already, I feel no little regret at my rash action atop the castle tower. Might you pick me up in your great claws and thereby allow me to retain mine life, rather than abruptly impacting the ground, as I believe I will otherwise do - " the man squinted downwards "- shortly?

"Alas," the eagle said, "I am an eagle of sage words, not strong wings. I cannot lift your weight; I should only be carried downwards myself, to be dashed to my death. Perhaps had your revelation come earlier in the fall - " could eagles shrug, it would have. As matters stood, it instead curved away, beginning to slow its own descent.

"Where are you going," the man shouted to the ever-more-distant eagle.

"I do not want to watch," the eagle shouted back, nearly inaudible with distance.

The man looked down.

"This is going to suck," he remarked.

But in fact, he felt nothing at all.

4 comments:

Calvacadeofcats said...

man you and your shruging man man

Calvacadeofcats said...

man this eagle is so nikolasish !!!
it is astounding

Cavalcadeofcats said...

It is pretty nikolasish.

Chris R. said...

Typical Nikolaus. And it has no relation to that book.