A Crooked Vision
"I have always been certain of my father's love."
"And I of the love of my father," he says "yet he does things to grieve me."
"My father does those things too." I say and smile "I know that all these things here are toys he left to make me happy, but I am not happy. He asks me all the time why am I not happy, and I ask him: Why can't I make my own toys, father?
"And what does he say?"
"He says that he loves me and that he wants me back. He says that if I were to glace back, he would run towards me, hug me and kiss me. And then he would make a feast and the halls of Eä would be halls of merriment."
"So why don't you?"
"Because I am certain in his love. Whatever I do he will not stop loving me, because I am his son, and even after a thousand years he would hug me and kiss me if I were to glace back."
"Do you have to squander everything before that?"
"In the end, when I glance back, and I am naked and beaten and hurt he will throw upon me a beautiful raiment of stars, and everyone looking for me will overlook me mistaking me for the night sky."
"That's a nice fancy."
"Shut up. It's not a fancy. It will happen. He promised me that."
"He didn't. You're lying."
"My friend, I am not lying." I lean to kiss his forehead and get my lips wet from the water. My friend blurs, then stills. "You will see, in the end, I will be..."
"In the middle of a purely vain enterprise, are we?" a voice behind me says.
My friend smiles at me, and then I send him away with my hand, and wash my face with water which held him like sunshine. With my eyes closed I smile and say: "And your reasons to be here are selfless?"
"Just don't blow your nose in the water."
"Too late for that. I also took a piss in it."
My brother laughs and sprinkles me with water that held my friend and that held sunshine, and which in his hand doesn't hold anything. He then kneels on the grass in his blue robe and behind him, in the same shade of blue, are his blue skys, cold and wreathed with laughter as a head of a victor.
"So, what did you think of the festival yesterday?"
"It was nice." I say.
"And what did you think of the artist?"
"He is vain, but likeable."
"And of his work?"
"Did you get a chance to talk to him?"
"Would you like to? I told him to stop by today. Shame we don't have a real night here. It would be something to see them in the dark."
"Yes, they would be beautiful."
Light as that in the dead black space where cold stars dwell - it would be like something living was put among the stars and it wouldn't fall behind them in majesty.
"I didn't want to say anything yesterday, but you seemed like you wanted to talk to him."
"I'll talk to him today."
"Try to make friends with him." he says "I think that would be sweet."
"I don't think he likes me very much."
"Take a chance."
Their light left the man who wore them in such a dark that at first I didn't notice him.
"He must have plucked them out of the sky" I thought and turned my eyes to the Star-Kindler expecting to see her wrathful because this one impoverished her skys. But she too was in awe and joy, in her sky-patch gown, a moment ago brilliant and pleasing to my eyes, but now blackened as charcoal. She said: "I bid you, bring them here so I can bless them." And they came to her, carried on the head of this man as lights on a ship that was all darkness and that sailed on seas that were all darkness under the sky that was the same darkness.
"All-father," she called on the one that is all mercy, the protector of thieves and murderers and liars "don't let any foul hand touch them. Don't let them suffer the touch of the wicked. Anything that is foul and reaches for them in desire, burn."
He wore them on his forehead at first but in time it seemed he grew jealous of our privilege and so he held them in his hands even though his hands then vanished in their brilliance.
I see now his face and it is proud and grim. He doesn't notice me so I too must be in darkness. No, he keeps his head down in adoration of his work. Now he raises his head and smiles as the King of Arda says praise.
The Judge raises from his seat and says: "The fate of Arda – earth, sea and sky – is locked within them."
The artist is then asked: "From what are they made of?" Aulë, the Smith, names many substances. But the artist shakes his head.
"The best blacksmiths don't keep their art secret." scolds Aulë, but smiling "It's not only the greatness of the work that makes light, but even more so that it is recognized as a thing of the world and not of oneself. The greater the work, the more it belongs to the world."
The artist bows before the Smith, but reveals nothing all the same.
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