Cut Quill

Such a World as This

As I sat on the Green, I stared at the steely-blue, mirror-like vastness below me. Stretching far as the seven seas, it beckoned me closer. So many of my fellows had obeyed the call, but I was afraid. I clung to the quivering Green, desperate, longing to be down in that world, yet frightened.

Frightened, perhaps, of loss. But what had I to lose? The Green did nothing for me. I was lonely here, as only one could alight on its tip. I was bereft, both of company and possession. For what could one posses, when grasping with all his might to the only safety to be had. Who could reach out to others with both hands clutching the swaying, unstable stability of life?

I looked up at the sky. It was hidden, partly, by the swaying branches of trees. Through their leaves, a sunny greenness came, losing itself among the shades and shadows of darkness in the undergrowth at the edge.

The twigs below me rattled and twitched. A lizard darted greenly out of the brush, and stopped. At attention, it looked this way and that. It eyed me alertly, and hungrily. Luckily, I was too high for it. The Green would not support him anyway.

Thinking for just a moment, he dashed forward toward and imaginary noise, and came up with a mouthful of beetle. Quickly, the insect completely disappeared.

The lizard stooped to the puddle to drink, after gazing pointedly at me a moment. He slinked back into the bushes, where he dissolved intimately with the general verdance.

Why had I not jumped? Now I knew. I was safe upon my perch. No ravenous, murdering dangers up here. No happiness, either. Not even satisfaction. Not even mediocrity. I was lonely, bored, and timid. Oh! That reptilian gaze! It sends ripples right through me! Yes, I was better off high on the Green.

Suddenly, it began to rain. Millions upon millions of my brothers were plunging headlong into the life below me. From my vantage, I could see each ripple they made. Each splash. Each tiny effect. They were all doing something, while I stood here cowering. Frightened, lest they pull me along with them.

Gradually, gently, the shower became less and less. But somehow, the pull, the beckoning, only grew stronger. It was as if each drop had joined the whole and become stronger than before. The seemed each together to cry out to me ever more plaintively.

But what was I to do? Here I was safe. Her, naught could harm me. Here…here I could do nothing. And that cry, that pleading which reached my ears! But i could not. Never. I would watch them. They could drink and be drunk. They could live and be loved. I was content to watch.

No! I was not content! I wanted that. What, though, could I do? I was frightened: a scared, quivering dewdrop on the blade of grass, wondering what the puddle is like.

And I let go.

A thousand thoughts danced in my mind. A thousand doubts screamed my mistake. But one ray of truth struck my soul, and left its mark. I had the knowledge that I had done right.

Falling, turning — oh, so slowly! — through the free and empty air, I looked about me. The trees took on new forms as I looked at them. What before had been mere trees were now utterly changed. I was new, and the world was new.

The water grew closer, ever closer. And when it could get no closer, it swallowed me. I was part of it, and it was me, and I was the puddle. It felt warm, and gloriously cool. If I had tasted it, it would have been sweet and savory. The present blueness surrounded me, and soon I felt that it had always been.

I drifted down, down, down; ever deeper, and to new levels. And the blue and grey and greenness from the trees grew more and more thrilling.

Looking around, I saw the world: my world. I could do with it what I would, and I would truly live. Still I drifted slowly, effortlessly down. And as I touched the bottom, I became a diamond.