They will come in ones and twos, drawn to the new phenomenon.

In coffee houses and bars, they will meet and discuss the new phenomenon, attempting to understand.

The new phenomenon subsists, then evolves, and deepens, offering more of itself.

The old phenomenon endures, encamped within its huge mass, secure in its inertia: it can bear the crumbling at its edges, even at its centre, for it is where we all live, and with invisible limitations, limits us.

The new phenomenon persists, revealing itself occasionally, for moments, like the flash of an opening window seen from miles away across the city, or the rippled shadow of a carp on the floor of a cloud-haunted pool, or like a truth slipped down in the lining of one of your longest dreams.

Many who encounter the new phenomenon will not care for it: for them, the old phenomenon is sufficient.

For others, the new phenomenon is too arduous: it is not worth their while pursuing such a meandering course, its laws are too rigorous, they cannot entertain its poverty and its longueurs.

Some, though, remain faithful to the new phenomenon: for these, the new phenomenon spreads and opens further, offering fresh vistas, revealing unseen footage, richer veins.

No one can grasp the new phenomenon, for it is still growing, they only know that it is new, and this excites and troubles them.

The old phenomenon is so old it doesn’t even know it is old, but the new phenomenon arrives to expose the ages of what has passed, and what is passing.

The new phenomenon expands, it hasn’t yet reached its own perimeters: more and more people assemble to watch it mature, alerted by rumours and hearsay, by recommendation or by chance encounters in airports or at parties, at dusty bus-stops among fields of sunflowers, in university canteens, on crowded trains, beside graves.

How can the new phenomenon be denied?

Many cling to the old phenomenon, hoping either that it will somehow outlive the new phenomenon, or that they will die before the old phenomenon crumbles away entirely and vanishes.

The numbers of followers of the old phenomenon begin to diminish, followers of the new phenomenon increase, and the power of the new phenomenon cannot be restrained, for it is in everything new, it is a spring at the heart of us, at the centre of all things.

Groups are formed, where people query and debate the new phenomenon. Cults develop. Advocates struggle over ownership of the new phenomenon, pleading their cases, arguing for their especial interpretation. There are rifts and cliques, clubs, societies: fanatics haunt the early hours, there is no sleep.

The old phenomenon, meanwhile, dwindles. It is still immense, an environment, but is no longer unrivalled: challenged, it has entered the state of contention, and can never be as it was. Heavy and beautiful as ever, worthy of admiration and respect, yet peace has left. Supporters fear for the fate of the old phenomenon, fret over its flaws: some love it even more, but others begin to turn away, doubt rotting their spirits, unsettled by humiliation and envy, considered stale and passé by champions of the new phenomenon.

Battle is sustained.

In family-run cafés, over chessboards, sticks propped against their tables and chairs, nattering, or falling silent, gazing wistfully at April blossoms, the old sense the era of the new phenomenon has arrived.

Complacent at the centre of the old phenomenon, the wealthy and the blinkered everywhere ignore the evidence of the shoots of the new phenomenon, or fail even to be aware of the new presence among them. All their conversation, all their thoughts, all their world is framed and driven by the old phenomenon, hence they are doomed. In the busy markets, the dazzling lounges, in streams of apparently endless gossip, they are oblivious of the end of their world: in truth, they are surrounded by fading.

Once the citadel of the old phenomenon is overthrown, they will talk no more about stocks and shares.

Once the citadel of the old phenomenon is overthrown, their love will no longer be a sinecure, and their words will grow meaningful again.

Once the citadel of the old phenomenon is overthrown, morning will enter each thing, and the heart will be a dawn.

We will work on new flags.

The pride of the old phenomenon will be broken. The future will show disdain for the old temples, the old ideas, the old ways. A great battleship, lying in warm, quiet waters, coral covering the rusting parts. A moving spectacle. Its direction is now the past. Mourning enters the atoms, loss is awe, for the death of the old phenomenon is death for all of its pieces, children and daisies included.

All of this is well documented in the movement of storms.

It is the destiny of the new phenomenon to bring age.

Choose the new phenomenon.


 

Re-post | Originally posted February 2014

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