A Lament For Peace

by | JBE, Volume 1

  • Be extremely present.
  • Set inspiring music.
  • Set a positive intention. (“This is what I want to experience.”)
    • This story will immerse me.
    • Even the cruelest of people deserve forgiveness.
    • Love prevails over wrath.
  • To relax, you may try to:
    • Listen to the music beforehand.
    • Meditate or do breathwork.
    • Observe nature.

Dark ominous clouds roamed around the sky. Like vultures circling an evening feast. They screeched and thundered, gloriously awaiting the sound of the trigger.

It was amidst August; a time in which the most violent of storms took place. Downpours rendered road transport immobile, often striking down in rage cables and roofs.

The pavements were empty, but halfway through the road kneeled a man with clothes soaking wet, crying along with the vultures. He was daringly facing the fuming skies, for above him stood a second one with a loaded gun.

Both their hearts were pounding like a blacksmith’s hammer.

“Gosh darn it, Yin! Can’t you tell my hands are trembling? Would you believe it… Even more than yours! And I don’t wanna kill yah. C’mon, give me a reason,” Yang said with the upper hand.

His interlocutor pitied him with prideful melancholy. He reproved, “Yet here we stand, dear Yang. Feeling confined by the inevitable marching of fate. Nobody ever wants to do anything. Nobody questions the beliefs they have been indoctrinated with. Nobody takes responsibility when the Horseman of War breaks loose.”

“Yin,” his persecutor lowered the gun with a sigh, “My heart’s pounding like crazy. You know a gripping language. How to get into one’s mind and all that.”

The gun appeared at the man’s forehead again.

“Even more reason to be careful around you,” said the man. “Can’t let a tick of inattention slip under my belt. Your intuition may shine brightly… But I can’t be fooled by the art of language.”

A vigorous thunder struck nearby. The devil himself is kneeling before my feet, Yang thought.

The music is a lady dancing on a lake – free of judgement and time. Do you notice?

“Look at me,” the victim spread his arms, “How could I possibly reason with a broken heart? It would not patch the gaping hole in there which hungers for love. Like a wolf that has not eaten for months.”

Yin was not afraid to look against the pistol’s barrel. Just above the sights cramped a man. He was undeniably going through hell. His chin was still trembling.

“For God’s sake,” said Yang, “I think I’m too weak to take the shot. But I can’t let yah leave. We know that.”

“Obviously,” uttered the prisoner with a smile. He kept observing the captor’s expressions. Somewhere under a drenched raincoat, Yang fought a losing battle of righting the wrong which had caused the pain.

“You are absolutely free to execute me,” spoke out Yin.

“I’m what?” His persecutor was struck dumb for a second. Quickly he regained thoughts, “That’s some psychological ace reverse-bullshit, huh? I ain’t shortsighted.”

“I pity you,” continued the prisoner, “for being stuck on such a miserable plane of existence. Of all the spouses that life has to offer… You have ever met only one. She carries the name Misery.”

Yang’s heartrate hit the ceiling. His lack of eye contact signaled a weakness. He feared to pull the trigger.

“Look at me, you coward,” screamed the doomed amid a culminating tempest, “before you let the bullet loose!”

But his interlocutor could not bring himself. He had meanwhile broken down in tears. For a moment it seemed the roles of a victim and assailant were switched.

There is always forgiveness in our eyes.

“By the time this hurricane roars its last, I’ll be gone,” said on knees Yin. There was zero tolerance in his voice when he added, “You, conversely, won’t move an inch. You’ll be gasping in anxious reflections for many years. Therefore, who is the real prisoner here? He who has embraced death, or he who struggles to fight its illusion?”

The armed man collapsed into his own hands. His lifelong perception of reality was disintegrating, similar to one’s experience during huge ecstasy, “This makes no sense!”

Peculiarly, the imprisoned did not attempt to escape in the meantime this breakdown had given him. Instead, he was penetrating his adversary with looks. Either outcome was fine by Yin; either sentence would lead to undiscovered, untrodden, unimaginable paths of one’s existence. Life or death, they were both consciousness for him.

But the attacker’s lips could not bear it. Yang let go off after a tremendous exertion, “You’re supposed to hate!”

The man on knees chuckled, “I will not grant you that satisfaction. You cannot induce suffering in me. I forgive you everything. That is the truth.”

“Say that again,” exclaimed Yang, “and I swear I’ll blow your head off. Speak not of truth, devil!”

“Oh, poor Yang. If only you could see my love!” wailed the prisoner without forethought. “Yes, I forgive you entirely. Devoid of exceptions. I forgive you even the least honorable act of all, the sentencing of a defenseless bare man to die! Wisdom shall be spoken on this asphalt road: We are black crows on a white blanket. We are two coherent words read by the reader. Our petty problems are meaningless lines of text.”

It takes exceptional curiosity and selflessness for a human to realize their true nature. And even more for a written word. Yin has succeeded in this quest – he knows he is being constructed by your eyes now. But armed Yang struggled to find balance in his legs. He was trapped in the past. His lungs were deprived of air. The menace of time was enclosing. He was blinking to wash away tears; to maintain a clear view through the gun’s sight. His body was morphing in resistance. He attempted to keep away the nearing epiphany: His life was a lie. Nothing but a string. He never existed. He was a master of pretension. The street, the downpour, the free will, and the fuming skies were as real for him as this moment is for you. He defied to accept his story-like nature.

“I forgive you,” reminded him like a broken clock Yin.

Nobody ever treated Yang with such kindness. Whom he had addressed as the devil was now calling into question his main belief: That wrath must prevail over mercy.

“Well,” spoke the kneeling man, “what do we do?”

A long silence ensued.

The menacing storm had flooded all roads. Streams of water were furiously carrying rubble down the street. Both men’s shoulders quivered in cold. It does not really matter, though, as they are both a plain text brought to a temporary life by your eyes. As soon as you drop them away, Yin and Yang will both descend into the void they have come from. Therein will they find eternal peace. Regardless of their understanding.

The music guides you. Open the door. Let it in.

Yang hesitated to pull the trigger unless he saw the slightest hint of darkness. In his naive illusion, his hope was to find a black hole in that man’s heart. A trace of Yin which he would be willing to kill. No goddamn prey should ever make it that hard for the hunter.

How could Yang murder such innocence?

But how, whispered his dark side, could you not?

Yang’s wide, sweaty chins were trembling.

Then: A shot was fired. Croaks of crows sounded. Both men gawked at the bullet hole in Yin’s chest. Blood was rapidly leaking from it. Forty years of life were gone. In a snap. Just like that.

But wait. Have we not transcended this illusion? Yin was aware of existing in a limited text form. He laughed at his demise.

Yet the shooter shouted in cry and anger, for certainly a bullet would pierce a hole in a man’s heart, “Do yah forgive me now?!”

To his hope’s misfortune, the prisoner stood his ground. He said, “Yes, Yang, even now I forgive you.”

The wretched gunner did not grasp, not even through bounded means of linguistics, the yielding peace in forgiveness. He fought it with agonized hatred… Which was like rubbing salt to the wound. He raged, “How can you? Even now! It’s your end, you ignorant!”

It took a trail of two consecutive bullets to bring Yin on the brink of bleeding out. He was already coughing out blood, his physical vessel aflame. The bullets had pierced many organs. Though his strength was declining, he uttered with a smile, “I still forgive you everything, Yang.”

“No! It can’t be!” his soon-to-be killer fidgeted in anxiety. His breathing became shallow and rapid. The actions he had committed were too excruciating to swallow. Three pulls of the trigger were supposed to bring suffering to the foe, but instead they brought it to their initiator.

Desperate to find amity with his deeds, he sought traces of darkness through the most horrifying manners and mind games. But each time he had found a more grueling scenario, the dying man’s reply stayed the same: He had already forgiven him everything. Yang’s self could not reconcile with this knowledge. He was convinced that wrath would seize the crown of Yin’s love at some point.

“But wait,” he thought. “What if I didn’t kill yah. What if I patched your wounds? And threw yah off to a dark basement? Surely, you wouldn’t forgive me.”

And each time, the same reply came.

“Even then, my dearest friend, I would forgive you.”

The universe is capable of the greatest forgiveness.

Finally, another two shots brought Yin to the asphalt road. His smile was triggering. Crows screeched amid low rainclouds. Little remained of the summer’s daylight.

Somehow, Yin kept alive.

The universe is capable of the greatest sacrifice.

“The rains may soak my body,” he rumbled on with final pieces of courage, “but my eternal love cannot be extinguished. It would always forgive you. And love you, my dearest Yang.”

“Die, already. Spare me of suffering!” begged his oppressor, though with a cracking voice of guilt. He was quickly taking on board that the vulturous mists, the dark ominous clouds, had not come to feast upon his foe. As he was looking at the dancing skies, in a meager commiseration he said, “Don’t you fear what I have taken from yah?”

“What can I lose?” asked dying Yin, chuckling, “We are merely lines of text under the reader’s nose. We are happening in the ever-present moment, which despite our form carries on forever. Someday, we will think of ourselves as humans. The clamor, the fuss, the act will be performed over again. Thank you, Yang, for playing your part in this temporary story.”