The Man Who Lived Forever

The earth was ripe and span through the dark into spring and summer, ice and heat and life and death. And among the canopies and storms lived the men and women of the land.

And they grew young and innocent, then old and bitter. They danced in the sun and dreamt by the moon. They carved fire from stone and art from ochre. They drank from the rivers and wept from their souls. And they lived. And then, as all must with the ways of our world, they died.

And this is what has been and must be and will be. Some died as they dreamed, warm and with love, unaware of the endless dark. Others fell to sleep willingly, welcoming the nothingness. More still died too soon, too suddenly, songs unsung and loves unloved. But still, as certain as the high tide, the night, the winter and the eclipsing moon, no man lived forever.

Apart from one.

Is death a blessing, or a curse, asked the ancients to the young. To live is not defined by nature as laughter, love and joy. To live is not to stand, to dance, to feel and sing. To live, in our world, one must be. Age brings wisdom and knowledge and strength, but great weakness, fragility and pain. The earth, as run by the thud of each heart and the fall of each blossom, dictates the ripening and rot of man. It is not a gift, nor a punishment. As it spins, it is. As we are, we must be.

But not for one.

He wanders still, a thousand times wedded, a thousand times widowed, a thousand times a father and a thousand times grieving. He knows the blush of young brides and the final crease of aged eyes. A thousand times he has beaten his chest in the thundering earth and begged for release. And yet, so he lives. As he must be.

He has been a king and he has been a pauper. He has ruled empires and starved in the deserts. He has served and been served, beaten and been beaten. But wives, friends, countrymen must die as all must, and for him, he must move on, tired to each breath, broken by each pulse, snapped in each memory.

As we long to live, he longs to die. We all have our times in this world, rich with our era and ripe with our language. We have our loves and we have our battles, once fought and once felt eternally our own. Indeed, as the earth spins, we are, defined by our short space to create our lives.

Do not wish to exist as the wandering man. Eternity is the longest of times to become numb to the gift of each kiss, each hand, each joy. We lived, and we loved, and we were. We shall be memories and we shall be remembered, enshrined in the life of those we have healed.

To live forever is to have lost life itself: short, fickle and precious.

As the earth spins on, so shall our lives.

24 year old with an awful lot to say about everything. Opinions entirely my own. Usually. madelaine@madelainehanson.co.uk

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