Friday, October 14, 2005


How many times have we walked down this same path? Through how many seasons? Over how many years? We're not any older, but everything around us is changing. The trees have grown taller, fuller, and the flower beds have widened. That's good, I think, the world could use more flowers. I sneak a glance at you, and find you tense, pensive. You've something on your mind. And I know exactly what it is.

"I hear you're thinking about bringing the great experiment to an end?"

"I'd ask how you always hear about such things, but I know the answer is perhaps a little obvious. Anyway, yes, you're right - I'm thinking about bringing the whole thing to an end."

"Dare I ask why?"

"Well, the most interesting part of the experiment was just waiting to see where it was going. It seems now, though, that after a full two years, this thing has indeed stopped becoming and has now become - there is no more change to be had. Evolution has ceased. I've seen it through to the end."

"How is it that you end such a thing, anyway? Is there some accepted way of doing it?"

"That I haven't figured out yet. How does one end something that has no purpose and no proper beginning?"

"I suppose you could start with some thank yous - you know, to the people who kept you going."

"Naw, then I'd run the risk of sounding like I was giving a boring Oscar acceptance speech: standing in front of the microphone in fancy dress with sweat beading on my forehead, pulling a little creased piece of paper out of my jacket pocket, holding it in trembling hand, and rambling off a hundred meaningless names. I don't think so. A little overdone don't you think?"

"I guess so. What about writing one last poem?"

"Now that's not a bad idea. Let's see, maybe something like:

What can be said
in finite syllables
that is original?"

"Dude, that's not so good."

"Hey, that's just something off the top of my head - of course I'd finesse it a little."

"I think it needs something more than a little finessing. Couldn't you just write something normal for a change? Maybe just say what you mean, you know?"

"Yeah, okay, I think I see where you're going with this - say what I mean, so as not to leave people confused. Scrap the ambiguity and the indefinite. Leave them with something solid. Leave them with no doubt."


"Okay, so how about this:

There is nothing
more to see here-
this is the end."

In autumn, the green leaves turn the colour of fire - orange, yellow, and red - before falling from the trees. Then the caretakers come, labouring beneath the naked branches, raking dried leaves into great piles, shoving them into bags, and taking them to the landfill. They'll go home, these caretakers, pleased with their day of work. Home, to a hot meal and a loving family. Home, to a fireplace and a good book. Home, to sit down with pen and paper. Home, to let their imaginations run free. These caretakers will go to sleep at night beneath mammoth down-filled duvets, dream, and wake in the morning to do it all over again. There are no ends for the caretakers - only cycles. Beginning after beginning.

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