They arrive after a long flight from tyranny, from oppression from the nightmare of endless fear, from hunger, from faith denied, from the bottomless depths of poverty, scarred memories etched in their souls, hoping for an ending as much as wishing for a new beginning. They have been here, a new generation, raised on the stories, versed in the painful history, still residual anger born of love for those who fled, without the pain of experience, who can forget when it is others who now wish only to arrive to the freedom they have known since childhood
The end is coming. That is the inescapable result of a beginning. We don’t like that but we are powerless to do anything about it. We can dread it, but it will do no good. Or we can posit that every ending is followed by a beginning. That may give us temporary comfort. But perhaps we should ask the ultimate question: What was there before the first beginning. Listen for the sound of the Big Bang before you answer.
My grandson has a smile that is as old as time itself, as young as the mind of a four-year-old and in this moment, beaming, I am left to guess which it is, for he won’t say, and so I smile with him and time has no meaning, no beginning, no end.
You so very want there to be no ending but there must be, just as there had to be a beginning and you had no say about that. Endings are hard, they remind you of small deaths, all but one, but each is also a birth of sorts, and like you know, they arise and you have no say about them. These few lines will soon enough draw to an end although that may be one you don’t so much mind. But as you put them away they are the beginning of a thought you never imagined would arise.
There are a group of them who stare at the sky knowing it is coming launched on its course at the beginning of time which has no beginning. Some say it will be soon others are less certain when but all accept without question its inevitability, and wonder what will remain in its aftermath, seas evaporated, continents blotted, it is easy I tell them, there will be a freaking big mess for the roaches to clean up.
Our purpose is to understand and then explain the order of the Universe: the logic of the neat array of stars from our centrally located observation deck, the galaxies as so many fractals seeking to hide their organization. We have no ability to control and lack the mechanisms to make all but the most minute adjustments and then as if to energize a stray electron into a higher energy state. We would like to foretell but we have no essential premise on which to erect our framework just a cornerstone unwilling to settle in place or time. We can only recount what we have learned cautious that we miss only events of lesser importance even if they are prehistory long before they occur. Before the beginning was the beginning.
Musicians have a clock that runs on its own time and all that is constant is the beat, in four second increments. They start, they say, when the music is ready, never before and music is fickle: tonight it wanted to sit off stage and rest an hour, another night it begins precisely as advertised and it ends, always and invariably, after the last note plays itself.