The Path

The path
Walking along the canal towpath. Like a huge rockfall it falls away - the past shears off. Nothing ever happened. Nothing.
And on the other side another landslip. The future. Nothing will happen. Nothing ever could.
I suddenly arrive. I arrive here where I am.
I'm a spacewalking astronaut, lifeline cut, no umbilical cord to before or after, floating in a starless, timeless void.
I don't have any history, no name, I haven't done anything. Walking,, eating, drinking thinking, dreaming, sleeping - none of that.
I drag no leaden ball of the past, no slights, hurts, heartbreaks. The slate wiped clean of wrongdoings, boasts, deceits, ill-thought-out misdeeds.
That time, first day at secondary school when I wrote 'John Smith' on my exercise book, when all I had to do was write my name, and all the other boys laughed me back into a curled up fetus. Nope, never happened.
But neither did those, smiles, laughs, kisses, loves, imagined culinary triumphs, successfully told jokes, January mornings gifted with a foretaste of spring. Nope, never happened either.
I've never been anywhere. I've only ever been here.
But that oak tree with the oddly still branch, when everything else is in motion, waltzing arm in arm with the breeze. That has no history either.
No acorn, no sapling, no storm-withstanding young tree, no limb-shedding old tree, no dead tree. Just this tree in front of me.
And the left-to-right water, with right-to-left ripples overlaid with sparkles that hover somewhere that isn't anywhere - isn't a place. The water has no past or future.
And those two moorhens, squabbling, tails double-flared with white, flick, flick, flicking air up into bundles. They never were moorhens - they only - are - moorhens.
We're all in this together - oak, water, moorhens and me - and everything else as well.
We're all in the same boat – in an ark adrift on a wide, wide infinite ocean of time.
Except there is no ocean, time doesn't exist. There is only ark, somehow, miraculously big enough to contain everything there ever could be.
We all made it - this moment. And we're all made of it as well. All one. And yes, I'm including you in this.
My sisters and brothers, together all skewered. All gloriously impaled on this eternal
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