Plainsong

By Shayenne

Disclaimer: Paramount owns everything but I doubt they want this.

Rated G

A cleaning-out-the-hard-drive fic. I think everyone's got one - a story that's sat on their hard drive for months. This is a couple of years old, and I've never been happy enough with it to post it. I'm still not, but what the hell. Luckily it's short.

There is an inherent rhythm in all things if you know where to look for it. The turning of the seasons, the rise and fall of empires and alliances, the curl of the waves on the shore, the cycle of birth, death and decay which endlessly repeats itself. The phoenix rises from the ashes. Wherever we go in the universe, in life, we cannot escape these absolutes. They are the constants by which we live, and a way of measuring our own lives.

To think that we are somehow above these patterns implies an arrogance we should not possess.

I sit in the holodeck and ponder these rhythms of life. Endlessly repeating, forever turning, spinning, weaving into a vast thread of infinity twisting through space and stars.

And all that we are, when it comes down to it, are carbon-based life forms. We are bound by the laws of repetition as much as the trade winds that cycle over the plains and seas of Earth. As fixed in our patterns as the brolgas, the cranes of northern Australia, whose stylized ritual mating dance advances and retreats for days before reaching its inevitable conclusion.

The program I am running is a simple one, designed for introspection, the aim to provide a soothing background with which to direct the energies inward. I sit on a red rock butte, facing the rising holographic sun in a simulacrum of a desert ... Arizona... Australia... Africa. Only the vegetation tells me it is Arizona; take away the chollas, the prickly pear, the sparse straggle of the creosote bush and the stunted ancient forms of the juniper with their alligator bark, and this desert could be anywhere. Deserts are the most complete and peaceful places on earth. They are the only place I know where the silence echoes back at me, envelopes me until I expand my consciousness into it, twisting into the small hidden places where others fear to go. More silent than space. Where the air is so dry and hot it shimmers, creating its own illusions and tales of imagination. Where life is both hidden and self contained; small, secretive creatures that hide from the elements, or bold and brash like the coyote that lopes openly across landscapes he has claimed for his own.

Deserts hold secrets. The origins of life on most planets can be found hidden in its deserts. That same harshness that limits life now holds the timeline suspended for the curious to see. And the desert is inhospitable enough that it deters all but the most avid seeker. Few see its beauty. You have to look closely; the tiled pattern of the juniper bark, the dusting of grains of sand over a rock face, the sibilant S shaped curve in the sand made by the vulnerable underbelly of the rattlesnake, A cactus wren finding shelter in the spines of the saguaro.

I am looking closely, looking inward. I sit naked on the red rock butte over looking the plain. Here is where I make all my decisions. Here is where I pledged to link my life to Kathryn's and ease her path. This is where I gave her the kernel of my heart, before she knew she needed it. Here is where I felt I could push her to give me more of herself. Our physical relationship started from a seed planted here in this inhospitable place. And here is where I admitted to myself that the seed had fallen on harsh ground and would wither and die. Here is where my life turns its plaintive cycles.

Once again, here in this place I am re-starting the cycle and offering the seed that is my heart to Kathryn. I know she will accept it, and the endless dance will start over. The wave once again gathers momentum, crests, glorious in its pinnacle, before it crashes and dissipates on the shore, to retreat, gain form once again, and repeat the cycle.

May this pinnacle last longer than those that have gone before.

Feedback? Please. Shayenne

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