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The End of Time
The following original work of fiction is drawn from Norse myth and children's stories.
In the land of the North, the world tree Yggdrasill spread its branches across all the land of Midgard. Yggdrasill was attended by three muses, whose names were Urth, Verthandi, and Skuld: in their order, the Past, the Present, and the Future. Theirs was the task of taking water from the spring of life to the mighty ash tree that it be nourished so its branches could spread ever farther as the world grew from the voyages of those who went a-viking.
The one-eyed god Odhinn could see the muses from his giant chair in Asgarth. Each morning, his eye would cast with satisfaction upon their merriment as he prepared his two ravens, whose names were Huggin and Munin, Thought and Memory, for their day's duties. The blackbirds were set to wing with the daily work of traveling the courses of Yggdrasill's branches to all the world that they could return at day's end with stories for their master. Odhinn, upon sending his birds on their way, would go to his sitting chair, and there he would doze.
Huggin and Munin always traveled far, but they faithfully returned well before the sun had finished its arc across the high canopy of the Heavens so they might have time to sit with the muses they loved so much. Urth, Verthandi, and Skuld would hold a large bowl of clear, cool water high in the air. When the ravens had slaked their thirst, the muses would sit down. Munin would land between Urth and Verthandi, the Past and the Present, and Huggin would alight between Verthandi and Skuld, the Present and the Future. As Munin told of his travels, Urth and Verthandi would hold hands and laugh as Memory passed stories from the Past to the Present; as Huggin told of his travels, Verthandi and Skuld would hold hands and laugh as Thought passed stories from the Present to the Future. At dusk, the ravens would depart their dear muses and go to the great hall Glathsehim at Asgarth to awaken Odhinn and retell the tales that made Memory and Thought so sweet to the warrior god.
One day, as Huggin and Munin were flying high across Midgard, Loki, the god of mischief and evil, spotted Munin and found in the fleeting instant glee in the woe that would vex Odhinn's heart if his Memory were gone. Loki threw a spear into the air and slew Munin. Seeing the death of his companion, Huggin wheeled around from the other side of the world and came upon the place in the sky where he had seen Munin pierced through the heart. Loki, spying the second bird, found glee in the woe that would vex Odhinn's heart if his Thought were gone, too. Loki threw a second spear into the air and slew Huggin.
When, by late afternoon, Huggin and Munin had not arrived from their day's adventures, the muses began to worry.
"I shall go to find Munin," Urth said to herself.
"I shall go to find Huggin," Skuld said to herself.
Verthandi stayed behind to care for Yggdrasill, but she could not carry water to the tree by herself, so she sat and waited for the Past and the Future to return to her side.
That evening, in the forest where once giants had ruled but no longer tread, Urth found the body of Munin, and she fell to her knees, weeping inconsolably. She could not even see that beside her was Skuld, who was weeping over the body of Huggin.
Loki saw that his moments of pleasure had caused great pain, and the crying of the muses made him sad. He considered what kindness he could offer that would end the wailing of Urth and Skuld. He decided that he should kill them, and so he did. When they stopped crying, he was not sad anymore.
The days passed for Verthandi, and she grew weak with hopelessness: her friends were gone, Yggdrasill had withered and died, and Odhinn could not be awakened. She finally arose and stepped out into the world, which confused her because she had never been there without her Past and Future to guide her.
Verthandi wandered aimlessly across the shattered earth of Midgard, which had become a tortuous wasteland of the dead branches of Yggdrasill. So heartsick was she that she noticed not that she was being followed by the great wolf Skoll, who was hungry; but he could not make his way through the awful thicket that was everywhere, so he lept high into the air and walked across the sky. When he came to the sun, he stopped, and there, he opened his great jaw and let Sol, which he had hunted all the days of his life, sink into it. When the sun was in his throat, Skoll began to close his mouth.
Heimdallr, the god of dawn and light, watched as the rainbow bridge Bifrost he guarded from Midgard to Asgarth started to vanish in the dying sunlight. Standing before Glathsehim in Asgarth, he put a horn to his golden teeth and sounded the clarion call that the transformation of apocalypse, Ragnarok, was nigh; but the Aesir, the race of gods who could hear the sound of the trumpet, did not, for they could hear nothing over their own voices asking why the world was so strange this night, which was arriving far too early for their liking.
When Skoll had finished his meal of the sun, Midgard fell into the deep shadow of colorless, frightful night; and from the Earth then arose an impenetrably dense, white fog that enshrouded the whole of the world. Verthandi, being unable to see even her arms outstretched before her, sat down amid the dead limbs of Yggdrasill. She felt upon her pale cheek a single snowflake, and then another and another until, before she could blink, the falling snow had made the whole of Midgard even more unseeable than the white fog had.
Verthandi took the snow falling around her and first turned to her left, where beside her she made a snow sculpture of her lost muse, Urth, the Past. She then took more snow into her hands and turned to her right, where beside her she made a snow sculpture of her lost muse, Skuld, the Future. She looked upon her creations and spoke to them: "You are not real, but you are all I have, now." They said nothing to her, and she knew that they agreed, and they would never again leave her.
This falling snow, soft and unrelenting, covered all the trees, then all the land of Midgard. It continued to fall, covering the harbors, then the seas, and finally the mountains. By the time it had ceased, the whole world was a plain of snow stretching from the darkness without end before to the darkness without end beyond, and no sound could be heard from the Worlds below to the Heavens above.
Now under a blanket of snow deeper than the deepest ocean, Verthandi lay back in the belly of Ymir, the slain frost giant from whom the world had first been made, and there she pulled to her sides the soulless bodies of the Past and the Future she had made from the bitter snow. They were not warm, but they were all she had as she exhaled from her chest the last breath within her. In that place, she closed her eyes in the blackness of her tomb, where she went to sleep forever, alone, never again to see Huggin or Munin who were Thought and Memory, never again to hear the laughter of the Past and the Future who had once lived beside her.
The end of time had come.
And a Happy New Year to you, too, Dark Wraith!
*shivers in the endless dark*
I came here and re-read it, O great wordsmith and delineator of climes of cold, and white blindness, and sorrow. Just a great read.
This is going to be a stellar year for you, so shake off those shivers and shakes, and proceed kickin' some ass! (I assume we'll need no name-taking from you!)
To evabuddy else...take this coming year by it's scrawny throat, into your very powerful hands, and squeeze until it concedes to you everything you desire! (or health care for all kids, anyway.) No epitaphs stating, "I sure wish I'd..."
This post edited numerous times for the following reasons: 'cause.
(Xposted at BBB):
"Do you know at this very moment you are surrounded by eternity? And do you know that you can use that eternity if you so desire?" -- Don Juan (Carlos Castaneda)
(Your "Send a Message to the Dark Wraith" link below appears to have been blitzed.)
Well, this story certainly didn't generate a whole lot of comments. I thank you, Phydeaux, trog, and Peter, for letting me know that not everybody left the theatre.
The Dark Wraith should have known better than to start the new year on such a positive note.
Good evening, Dark Wraith.
The tale reminds me of some of the American Indian literature I've read in the past. As trog69 mentioned, it's a good read. A cold and sad ending though. I guess snow is a better end than fire, huh? :) Happy New Year.
First, I didn't get in on the comments of the Osama article. I found it to contain exceptionally excellent thoughts and expressions. I, as an wannabe/wouldabee writer, often find your writing both instuctive and inspiring. I hate to reveal my ignorance and poor memory, but have you written any books?
Now this myth story reminds me of a couple of very meaningful thoughts read long ago.
1) "Of all the words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these - 'it might have been'."
2) "Foolishness dwells in the house of mirth, but wisdom is in the house of mourning."
Bank predicts Ron Paul win, US slump
"Denmark-based Saxo Bank predicts Ron Paul presidency in 2008, saying US economy will plunge into a depression prior to the election."
Hit the link for the rest of the article.
I have finally taken the time to read your fable. I fail to see how this is positive..surely your pulling my leg..not too hard now, I have those three blown discs ya know! ;)
Your a wonderful yarn-spinner DW..did you do these for Starlight when she was younger?
Starlight speaks the language of our ancestors, Dusty.
Peter of Lone Tree, what's she look like...this "Eternity" you were talking about? She sure sounds like fun! (I like 'em big!)
Eternity's bigger than the three of us.
The Dark Wraith knows when he's out of his league.
I have the enviable background of being part Norwegian and part Hispanic. I do love the 'lore' that goes with both of those nationalities.
I am glad you have taught Starlight about her ancestors and their history Dark Wraith. ;) Not enough parents do.
Good morning, Dark Wraith and accomplices.
Eterna Evermore and I have a date set for Friday...I sure hope she's not the fast type. More details as they develop.
Dusty, I'll reserve judgment until I taste one of those Rakfisk burritos I've heard so much about!
good morning dark wraith:
i've just returned from the rez. we used our ancient and traditional ways and stories to step into an action of today. strange though, the white mountain apache don't have a creation story. we figure we're here and that's what should be dealt with. we don't have an end of time myth either. right now the "new age" dweebs in sedona and other places outside the rez are waxing all poetic about how the old mayan long count calendar and the hopi long term calendar are about to coincide and how it's going to be all kinds of "change" and "apocolypse." pretty much sounds to be like the same bullshit that was slung when the christian millenium thing was the slingstone. one of my hopi buddies says they aren't all that worked up about it all. they created that calendar system as a way to understand and try to comprehend things beyond themselves. growing up speaking one of the languages from our southwestern athabascan group is reported to predispose us to understanding things like astrophysics. ok by me. the purpose of the calendar was not to work up stupid white people. most of the folks who use and follow that system understand that the workings and course of the universe will not be effected or altered by the overlays men have applied in their attempts to understands those workings.
the ron paul candidacy is all the goddamned apololypse i can stand for now.
most of the folks who use and follow that system understand that the workings and course of the universe will not be effected or altered by the overlays men have applied in their attempts to understands those workings.
I would like to comment on this subject. As Asst. Public Relations Director of the Astute, Serious, Sonoma Extraterrestrial Synergists, I must protest these oversimplified explanations for the extraordinary events described by both groups mass-time reckoning systems. We believe that the Spectral Emanations surrounding all of the universe, were felt, observed, and charted by these forward looking civilizations, so that at particularly important periods of time, the "overlays" are bound to coincide. Please see my book on the subject, What're You Lookin' Up Here For...The Joke's In Your Hand!
In the case of Republicans, the joke's on the ballot.
Vernon Klinkenborg, aside from having a great name, posted a good essay about time called "New Year's Eve" on N.Y.E in the NYT. Basically, he echoes the thought of many mystics that it is only humans which must draw these delineative time constructs.
No time to mourn for loss of past and future, thought and memory. That can become obsessive. You needn't position yourself betwixt and between anything. Only Now. No whiteout when you know that.
Good evening, Lisa.
A long while back on a thread of some blog I have forgotten, I made an attempt to explain the meaning of the emergent result from the so-called Standard Model that neither time nor space actually "exist" in a necessary, "real" sense.
Although disconcerting at first blush, the consequences are phenomenal in terms of life, consciousness, and immortality.
Unfortunately, the very minimal attempt I made back then to explain the implications got me rather derisive and wholly sarcastic responses from some who think they know the "real" world because that's where they live (as opposed to someone like me, I suppose, who lives in some other place). Whatever.
I do think I shall take the time to write about a cosmos without space and time here at The Dark Wraith Forums, but I shall probably have to cast it in the form of an allegory; the underlying meaning of a story is far easier to hide from most people, especially the kind for whom I am entirely uninterested in telling stories, anyway.
I like this place: my extensive backroom statistics clearly indicate that the overwhelming majority of people who visit here once never come back.
The Dark Wraith thinks that works out best for everybody.
It's okay to be snobby if it's true! I just wish they'd leave a really good smackdown on us, so's we kin piss n moan as only progressives/freethinkers can!
Or turn their computers into terrariums.
The Dark Wraith wouldn't do something like that, of course.
No, I don't see you doing that, even if it does give them some kind of value, rather than the bilge spewers they usually are.
I don't mean to be smug or derisive toward anyone (well, not most good people, per my definition of "good". . .), but it seems so obvious that there are human-imposed limitations on any schema or system.
Every label limits, but they provides us comfortable parameters within which to live. We call the absence of those limitations "supernatural" or metaphysics or chaos, or something else, but certainly something thought lesser.
Chaos and string theory gave us a few more planes and strings to work with, but I don't see how we can encompass the totality without allowing everything including the kitchen sink. Which means first, removing artificial demarcations.
I shall look forward to your allegory.
Good morning, zipperhead.
I lost track of comments on this thread and didn't answer the question you posed about whether or not I had written any books.
Although I am right now trying to find a publisher interested in a compilation of articles I've written here at The Dark Wraith Forums, my previous book-writing was restricted to something I am absolutely certain virtually no one here would be interested in reading: it's a workbook compilation of commercial real estate finance case problems. The stories are dry to anyone not really into that sort of thing; the math, although not calculus by any means, is somewhat tortuous; and getting to the answers for any given case takes at the very minimum a couple of hours, and that's if you know exactly what you're doing and how to go, step by step, through the work-out process.
It's not something I would be promoting here, but the fact that I can and do practice that kind of stuff might give you a bit of insight into why I haven't bothered to write much of anything about the "real estate crisis" and the "mortgage credit crisis." It's just that the issues are a whole lot more complicated than the talking heads, bloggers, and media pundits could even imagine, and their opinions, for the most part, just make me roll my eyes and let out a sigh of despair.
I am sure that, eventually, I will address matters like the real estate housing market and all that, but I cannot just slap down a nice, five-paragraph article about it and have any sense at all that I've really informed people of anything. What I write would have to be long, involved, and boring in some parts; and the things I would say wouldn't make people happy, and they wouldn't offer any solutions.
I sort of like that kind of article, but I have this gut feeling not many other people would.
The Dark Wraith will take on that project one of these days when all the media "experts" on such matters have taken a breather to be media "experts" on something else.
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