essay ponkan

A Parable of Tendency

The story goes like this:

A mountain-island stands rigid over the shores of the infinite sky and sea. The mountain wears a crown and holds a magical sword over its head. This blade, when struck upon the waters (both cloud and ocean alike) the heavens thunder into rain, and the water becomes great cliff-walls of ice. Within the coldness water-dwellers stay trapped, thus fish of all color, shape and size suffocate until they slither into amphibians, to dragons, to mammals. The earth becomes master of all-things for the mountain has made the waters act like him.

Hour and every hour the mountain hammers its sword. The ice melts. It’s how the newly transformed creatures were able to break free from the ice in the first place. It seeks the sea become continent-glaciers yet water seeps out of the ice’s pores finicky and fluid. The blade’s power could not even cover the entire world—the ice is vast, yet it is but a small patch of land compared to the unending horizon. Fish still swim around and beneath, and forests of kelp and jellyfish still roil in the infinite. The mountain knows it will melt, thusly it continues its meager efforts. The sea would return someday, and it will all be undone.

And yet, the mountain thought to itself; the crown looks so dazzling! So marvelous! Ought it not be respected and seen? Be prostrated upon? Why should I relinquish all-things when this head I hold stands? Without this crown and blade all-things would not have come. No story, no emotion, no drama—all-things would be nothing if it were not for me.

And thus the mountain ruled, and the sword firmly stabbed upon the glacier’s ground. Vast forests of colorful and bright kelp became barren taiga, and the vibrant reefs become sullen, dry tundra. The snow-covered crown ruled, and things simply be. Those who found distaste found the cliff-shores, and returned to the sea. Birds became penguins, lizards became turtles, and mammals became dolphins and whales. Those who found the waters they came distasteful, stayed along.

The beasts of the earth became discontent at their hunger, their breath, and their cold. The beasts moved slow, and the need for warmth made them great and unwieldy. To hunt was nigh-impossible, and to graze was sparse and brutish. In rage, the bears came in herds and struck the ice for holes to hunt for fish. And there they hunted, and the grazers came to eat seaweed in the shallow shores.

The next season of spring, when the mountain drove the sword deep into the glaciers once more, the holes and shores became patched up in thick layers of ice, and the beasts would once again dissent and continue with their folkways in winter. The sea is filled with bounty! Cried the beasts. Great shame to that which deprives us from this!

Cracks appeared in the ice, and holes were dug once again. Whenever there were slivers of division within the glacier, they push it deeper until the deep waters appear. The pain of the beasts bled their limbs red for the sharp spikes and edges of the ice, and the ice turned red as the winds made it black. This dance continued for winters on end until the mountain, filled with rage over the ingratitude of beasts to the gift of story, decide to make the territories of the glacier of its essence and its essence alone.

The mountain spewed fire and burning rock, melting all ice and replacing it with hardened earth. And the mountain withered into a great crater, the crown becoming golden slivers of gold trapped in the earth. The new earth was hot, yet once it cooled, the beasts still continued to dig. Beasts have wailed, both buried and burned, as the roiling molten earth flows in the peak’s distaste. In simultaneous discord the storms blew and the ocean crashed over the mountain with its own rage, a rolling thunder persisted in consummate power, drying up what boiling sand has passed and breaking through to the ice and rock.

This dance continues on, though the storms have largely subsided. Both fire and rain still comes and goes, in bursts and in spits, almost unending, to the point some have resigned to the new lakes and some have resigned to the fire. It still burns, and the longing for water persists. The mountain has largely spent, and has become more meticulous in its own eruptions, its once valiant cone and peak now a crater-lake who can still unleash hell when it can, warming up the springs and the lakes in which the new still waters within it have made as consequence of its actions. And the digging and pining for the sea marches on, as the waves slowly rise once again and the icy cliffs begin to perish.

Even he mountain knows it, too shall erode, if not by the sea, but by the wind. To become sand, and dust, and to the sea it shall return. And so it continues, a sword over the plane, and the fire ready to erupt.

The mountain floats across the sea, and it knows the sovereign one is that sea.

Everything returns to the sea.

And all-things are nothing to the sea.