Enough, or, Let Them Be

The author of the world put down his pen and said Enough!  I have had enough of this, since it goes on ever in the same way.  Just a little change, the tiniest change, would do some good, it would do a world of good!  So he got out his tool kit and contemplated to himself–though his contemplation was all action and a strange contemplation in truth–in what manner he would alter the world, which means would provide the greatest and profoundest change to the state of things.  Whether remaking the atmospheric composition of the planets spinning and veering off from their respective courses would make the difference, or whether he should recraft instead the ecology of these planets, how the creatures hang together and feed off of one another to keep alive.  Sometimes he set his sights and his hands on something larger, and remodeled not only the planets and stars individually but their collectivities, too, aiming to reshape the solar system with its light bulb in the middle, then the galaxies with their countless bulbs strung together with invisible strings, changing the way light traveled, changing the way the darkness settled, managing to change, when he was ambitious enough, what gravity pulled and did not pull, how sound and electromagnetism and other forces handled and attracted and repelled one another or did not do so.  The history of things he changed, and their prehistory too, he became a veritable time-traveler, and bent the threads of time so that they wound back on one another, or so that they knotted together in super-Gordian’s knots.  With light’s changing so did color change, colors and the lines and planes and bodies these colors colored, so that he ended up with a canvas painted over with all sorts of unseemly surprises in terms of blending and tone, a portrait of a face he could barely recognize, some attempt at a novel face torn from the crowd of celestial faces with novel wishes and novel expressions.  Novel voices, too: the songs they sang and the sayings they uttered, the whisperings they breathed and whispered, came out with new bars and new phrases and themes, listening to them was a whirlwind of bliss and woe at once, and would toss the listener to and fro along the crests and troughs of its traveling.  These minor-chord changes, then, ended up being quite significant and changed a lot: the mountains became indeed more or less mountainous, the waters became more or less watery, the light became more or less illuminating, the shadows more or less piquant.  Considering the whole of things, which this creator could do, and did, the whole of things was, on the whole, different, layered with difference, disguised with difference.

            In other words, not different enough, not wholly different.  If a god could become agitated, or frustrated somehow with a botched effort, so this author became now, and went back to the drawing board afresh, wiping out his other attempts at transfiguring things as so many wrong turns and spells of godly foolishness.  What else could I possibly do, he asked himself, what have I possibly left undone, what could I possibly not have tried yet, in all these ages, all these tiresome, tireless ages, tireless or tiresome depending on your disposition towards the passing of them?  Long and longer, for ageless time, he considered the question, it bothered him but sort of like an elephant is bothered by its fleas, not really bothered but bothered all the same.  Stung all over by the little things he barely noticed, until one stung him good and punctured his divine hide.  Pierced him so painfully, as far as a god can feel pain, that the shockwave of it attuned his heartstrings differently to his project–it gave him a change of heart concerning his enterprise.  What it fashioned, this sting, in him was: a wholly different angle from which to approach this whole momentous business of transforming the world from top to bottom; he decided in his heart, if a god could decide and if a god has a heart, or was moved in his heart if a god could be moved, to take the underneath of things more seriously, this along with its background and quality.  The appeal it had, how or in what way it mattered–its value, in other words.  Suddenly–though this suddenness was something terrifying in its protractedness, in how long it took to erupt–it dawned on him that manipulating, no, truly changing the values things have would be enough, would be more than enough, stupendously more than enough to make a difference, a true and lasting, if not lasting then nevertheless significant, difference in the makeup of the world and its course and presentation, its manner of presentation as well as absence.  Strangely enough, though, the thing he most needed to get underway seemed to be out of his divine hands: the power to change value seemed to belong to another venue, it seemed to play from different instruments from his, and he, in his godly surveillance of all the ins and outs of things, couldn’t figure out exactly why.  For ages more he considered this new trouble in his fashioning another world, a truly transformed world, until another fact dawned on him in its brutal factuality, in its bare suchness: power was not in one pair of hands alone, divine or not, but in all hands, democratically or monstrously distributed across space and time among the smallest as well as the largest or greatest; their combining, their holding hands for a time, and their separating, their fingers parting and their hands ending up waving to their former lovers from the gulfs between them, this coming and going is what is decisive, what makes all the difference, all the difference in the world, and really changes things.  He looked at them all at once, the whole of things oddly stretched out before him with tatters on its edges and holes in its fabric, smiling and shaking his head at once; he smiled at his discovery, but shook his head at his former foolhardiness in believing that it would be one of two beings, not all beings together and each being separately, that made this difference possible, the god or the human, divine existence or human existence.  Frustrated anew, but affirmative of the necessity of frustration needed as an ingredient in the best things, he did what had before seemed impossible for one such as he: he put away his tool-kit, left himself behind as maker, turned his tyrant’s eye away from the world, from all things, let them be, left them alone, to change as they may, as they must, given what they are.

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