Friday, 29 March 2013

Alienated humans

Lighting storm
Dark clouds hovered on the horizon where the sky touched the sea.

My bay windows looking over the cliffs, showed a looming storm, and the purple sky over the hills behind my yard were sad and unpromising.

The atmosphere was oppressive, sometimes this place of beauty in the world I choose to live seems to find happiness in wrapping itself into obscure promises of dismal feelings.

I sat on the wing sofa and lit the lamp on the table, ready to read a strange book, professedly written by a man named Francesco Colonna, not clear if he was a Venetian, or a Roman citizen, and subject to a hard debate about the reason this mysterious man wrote a book with the name of Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, (the
closest translation would be "Poliphilos strife of Love for Poli in a Dream") which tried to pass as a love story but is so gory that it was doubted that was the real reason. So much so that the first complete English translation appeared in 1999, five hundred years after the original text was printed.

I barely reached the state of open the hard cover of the book when fast steps, almost running, were heard in my mind. I closed the book and "entered" the hall that led towards the main Archive and I found Elf just a few paces from me, shaking a little book, in utmost excitation, approaching me as fast as he could.

"There", he said, "just wait and listen to this wonderful book about the Sibyl of Delphi who talks about you humans with an exceptional accuracy, this was brought to me by Fle from a mind Archive not mentioned."

"Now, wait Elf", I started, but I only started. Elf interrupted me and told me to shut up and listen.

Then he started to recite from memory the following, while he used the little book as a baton conducing a big orchestra.

From the shadows came the opaque voice of the sibyl:

"Watch around you, humans!"

"You are only small vessels that sail in the foggy sea of reality.
Some of you are decorated with colored lights, banners and pennants,
others with only position lights, and others yet, with no signals
at all. Sometimes you come so close one of another that you think
you can send messages to the other vessels.

"You send signals from your deck. Poor, sad, frenetic signals sent
 from your deepest loneliness. There!, there are answers! Oh, finally
you have communicated!... But have you?

"Close, you were so close! but you cannot board that other vessel, ever!

Never will 'know' who dwell in that deck!

"Why are you so alienated?"
"What is the reason of this harsh exclusion?"
"How would it be to share other people feelings and beliefs?"
"How learn what 'red' means, really means, in their minds?"

And, moreover:

"Why you cannot do anything to change it?"

"Have you asked those questions?"

"Of course not!"

"You are satisfied with the consolation of 'friendship', 'understanding', 'companionship' and the poor parody of that you call 'love': hugs, kisses, and being close to another being... but never close enough!"

"Grieve, humans!..."   "You suffer, and you do not know, not are concerned WHY!"

"And so  will be until the time of the end of the spell is reached."

Elf made a small silence and solemnly, almost pompously, turned around and got lost in the archive.

I was taken aback so deeply, it took me some minutes to recover.

Was this a real story or this darned imp was just pulling my leg?

I will never know until the time of the end of the spell is reached!!

I feel like bellowing: Himmeldonnerwetter!

I am still waiting for another conjunction of dark weather to read the Hypnerotomachia, I feel it is not for reading in a cheerful atmosphere! My only hope is Elf let me do it!

We are listening to Jean Micault, in piano, playing Chopin's Waltz Opus 64.
The Sibyl is a picture by Francesco Ubertini circa 1525

© 2013 Od Liam.


  1. This story touches my heart. At the same time it's thought-provoking. The setting itself shows signs of sadness. How about reading Hypnerotomachia on a sunny day? This is a lame suggestion cos the story can't be "felt" in a different atmosphere other than a gloomy day.

    This time Elf puts me in deep thought. I feel I could relate to this story. Sad, isn't it? But if that's the reality, Elf has the right to say "until the time of the end of the spell is reached."

    Thank you for sharing a good-read, Od. :)

  2. I was deeply influence by this little tale, I am not sure if Elf got it from Fle as he claims, but I always was disturbed by the impossibility to share the real soul of people. I had to accept the imperfect way words explain our feelings to others. It makes us the most lonesome species on the Universe.

    The Hypnerotomachia is a dark book, it must be read with certain wariness.

    Yes, Elf has the right to say anything but I distrust his ways, you never know when is he joking!

    Thank you, BB, for your patience and kindness to follow these rantings! :))

  3. I love reading the things you write, thought provoking but so true, everything just makes sense.

    Thanks for sharing and also to Elf.

    Have a wonderful and safe Easter.

    1. Thank you, Michelle!

      You are excessively kind with me, it is a wonderful feeling to know you like my writings!

      Elf is grateful, too! He thinks, he is the one that helps me in my tales!

      Happy Easter!

  4. Whatever ELF the great says , Sad or happy ,
    I always love to hear his interesting story ;)

    1. Thank you, Auntie!

      You won the appreciation of Elf! He is strutting in the archive of my mind saying that if he does not work, my effort would be in vain!

      We are grateful, both of us!!!