…‘When Shion Dezel finally vanished behind the dunes, I felt as if the last of my world were walking away from me. Sometimes, it is hard to be alone. The rain fell around me as if it would fall forever. I had no inclination to move at all. My thoughts lay stunned within me, like fish floating to the surface of a lake after a lightning strike. Even if they moved, they were hardly my thoughts anymore. I felt broken.

There was nowhere for me to go, and I was nowhere. It struck me as ironic, but I found myself virtually in a state of classic illumination – space and time had ceased for me, and my own being had ceased: there was just the sound of the falling rain on timber, a gushing and thrumming sound.

For where is there to go when a man comes to the end of himself? One cannot even die, for there is nothing to die. But one cannot live either, for there is nothing to live. Yet, my state was not one of pure illumination, for pure illumination is a condition of infinite peace and hope; whereas my condition was one of infinite exhaustion and despair. I remembered with chaste sorrow the words of the unfortunate younger son of Emperor Moin II, Prince Marinsomar: “The Way is all… The Way is both life and death, and neither life nor death; the Way is without life and without death, the Way is lifeless, and deathless”… I felt that day, in the remote MarIsQuess, a planet away from my home, as if I understood His Highness’s words for the first time; but, in understanding them, could do no more – I could not use them to further the beautiful Way, or to aid my fellow human beings in the construction of the great TanZo, which is the purpose of our lives under pure skies. Although, intellectually, I knew it to be impossible, still, I felt that I had come to the end of the Way itself. I was desolate, and numb.

In this state, I continued to watch the rain falling.

I have no idea how much clock time passed then. It felt like hours. I kept expecting darkness to fall, though I did not care whether it did or no: but the day continued on…

Excerpt from Comb, Volume 8 of Dustless