Blesok no. 63, November-December, 2008
Prose


Awakening

Aleksandar Lazov


The warrior admitted… Was it a defeat? No, it was not. A victory? No, it was not. The admitting resulted from the awakening. Being forgotten even by himself, he was incapable of getting strength to take a single breath, a common one, a painful one, the sole purpose of which would be to remind him how disfigured he was. Being thrown away in the canyons of the cursed soulless creatures, he had been waiting for the moment when his was to be smashed by his own honesty.
    The tears dried up, the wounds were emotional signs of existence, the silence was springing out from the soul. But he was forceless. He didn't want to, he didn't have to. He chose his own destruction… Even, he, the warrior himself didn't know where he arrived, where the borders of death were, and where the small path of patches towards darkness was.
    From afar, now and then, he was hearing some words outspoken, some deeds unworthy, a sheer revelation of the stigma, and all of them were hunting to find him somewhere in the mountain ridges. He was running away in the caves of inconsistent fires, he was ceasing even the moment of the thought itself for the very purpose of not being seen, revealed, and consequently desired – by the sacrificial altar. By the pain whose subject he had been to, for millenniums.
    The days passed by, years, eras, and what the warrior was doing was cherishing his thought. It was his thought, pure and lavish one. He neither wanted a day to rise, nor a night to fall down, he didn't want to wait, to expect nor did he want to search and to beg. The only thing he wanted was a thought; a thought that would possess him… the one that would never give him away.
    He recalls that it was a day. It was one of those ordinary days, not a special one for him. He raised his eyes towards the sky; it was a crystal clear sky, just like his soul. He tried to say something, but at the last moment he was prevented from doing so… Out of the steeple heights, right in front of his legs there came a prayer-book, with ornaments he had never seen so far. With a burdened thought and even heavier steps, he settled himself next to the prayer-book, meanwhile being afraid of the light of its cover and the gold key attached there.
    He got immersed in thoughts. Whose might it be? Why was it here? What had its followers been like? What was the nature of the soul that had read psalms and prayers from its content? Its completeness was reflecting an image of existence. But, why was it closed? Was that key the key to it or it was a key to some casket for the opening of which there existed another prayer, or some magic? There were thoughts, questions, wishes; which of these would awaken the warrior?
    He raised his trembling horrid arm and touched the prayer-book with the points of his fingers.
    He couldn't stop asking himself – whether? Why? What was it? What followed? He caught himself thinking the same way as before the existence, at the same time thinking of the armor and the apparel. Would he be able to do it? Would he have the wish to do it? He got afraid. No, he wouldn't. Yes, he would.
    However, that little piece of his, that he, himself, called a soul, started to pray. The warrior's passion was aiming to somewhere. But it was neither aiming to a battle nor to victories and defeats, what it was aiming to was the spring. The warrior had taken a vow to not have wars and crippled ghosts, nor quests and worlds anymore. He had sworn to grant his entire existence. Not to everyone and not everywhere. But, it would be some day, somewhere and to someone. It would appear and present itself alone…
    He again looked at the prayer-book. He didn't want to torture his hermit soul with unknown enigmas. What he wanted was only to begin. There it was; he finally used the word that had a special pedestal in his cupboards: he had loved, he loved and he would love.
    While touching the covers of the prayer-book, he felt some warmth. Whose warmth was it? His or somebody else's; who was the one who wanted not to have it? 'Don't – he said to himself – stop asking yourself; grasp the moment that already looks like eternity.' The edges of the prayer-book were covered in velvety gold, leaving a feeling of refinement. The parchment that was put there in order to make it strong, was one of the most beautiful ones that warrior had ever felt. There were lots of ornaments, seen and unseen, however familiar ones. It was for a pretty long time that the warrior was touching the cover as if he was trying by means of silence and blindness to find the narrated worlds, pains and passions which were on the prayer-book's cover.
    He put the prayer-book on the other palm of his hand, with the most gentle movements and touches ever used by him, and dictated by the little soul of his. He didn't want that anything bad happened to the prayer-book. He was observing it with all senses which he called to help him, although they had also been thrown away on some out-of-the-way road which was dusty and marked with no sign. Was this an awakening or…
    By taking the key, he wanted that the prayer-book told him what it was for, without causing any disturbances. When approaching it in order to see it better, he managed to find something encrypted. He started reading it word by word:
    '-If you know how, you will know why.' What-How? What – Why?
    It was just for a second that the key would have almost slipped of his gullied hand. And if this had happened, the warrior would have never been able to find it again. It was because the warrior was still standing on the edge of the abyss, determined to be taken.
    The cleanest rag of his former precious apparel had been put on the most luminous spot that existed in the cave, and on it the warrior also placed the prayer book, in a silent and gentle manner. He wanted the night to pass by in order to be able find the answer to the key.
    It was at the end of the day when he desired to have the prayer-book opened. To have the mystery continued.
    But, the night didn't bring him any sleep. It did it on purpose. And it was also the warrior who didn't want to spend the night soaking himself into the deep fog. It was in his soul that the skills and secrets were coming, uninvited, and with great joy, shaking off the dust, and some of them the ashes also, intending to use their entire strength and power in order to help the warrior.
    '-If you know how, you will know why.'
    Everyone was happy for having returned to the warrior without even asking him whether to do so. He didn't have anything against. He was immersed in thoughts. Was this the awakening? No, there were no questions to be asked anymore.
    'Yes, my Master, this is the awakening.'
    The sun beams had been already awaken and they were rushing to the hills in order be able to spread out their bright goblin before his Majesty came out. The warrior, exhausted by the awakening, started to touch himself in order to make sure that the pain was gone. However, he caught himself thinking? – 'I haven't made a decision, I do not know the answer; what does the enigma try to imply?' He had no time to spend on anything that belonged to the past and that was subjected to destruction. In this awakening he was being brought on the wings of passion-complete, entire, clean, strong, hungry, nude and innocent one. It wouldn't even let him mention his own name. It was driving him forwards, towards the prayer-book. As if it wanted with all its silence and fulfillment to say to me: 'This is the spring that you have sacrificed so much for.'
    The warrior got up, but this was the first time he did it with ease and eagerness. He was a few moments away from touching again the untouched and the unknown. While getting closer to that, for him still unknown but yet already experienced world, the lips of the warrior started to let out, at exact time, inarticulate sounds that were slowly transforming themselves into lines of a prayer – a prayer that was unknown to the warrior, something that he didn't live with. There were legends floating and spreading in the air, whereas in the eyes of the warrior there were crystals spreading, and showing who the owner of the daylight was.
    He took again the key in his hands, read the engraved text time and time again. However, he was sad. He didn't have an answer to the enigma. It was because he was afraid of treason; afraid of non-existence. The warrior was saying to himself: 'it is much better to be doomed to eternal non-existence, rather than to have another new heretic soul.' While having these thoughts in mind, his lips were continuously repeating the prayer.
    He took the prayer-book, again, in a gentle manner and with all the tenderness that he had in himself at that moment. It was with his sleeve that he wanted to wipe the dew away, assuming that it had been put there to wash the prayer-book's face.
    The sunbeams were refracting in the dew drops, giving the prayer-book a more mystical appearance. Going over the covers, meanwhile paying attention not to cause damage of any kind, the warrior kept on seeking for the answer. Why had he been the chosen one? Hadn't they told him that he had been forgotten?
    The end of the apparel's sleeve slightly touched the key, and the key itself, with a roar of a wounded beast fell down in the mud. The warrior stopped. He lost his breath, started to stagger without having anything to lean on. His hand was still there, on the prayer-book, palsy, shaking. He couldn't do anything. As if it wasn't a part of his body.



He was standing there, silent, petrified, feeling pain that was not strange to him. Pain and punishment. He was begging not to be taken, because he had found himself. He was staring at the key, with broken heart and tearful eyes. It looked as if he wanted to apologize to it.
    The entire image, with its sad appearance, started to break off. The wind calmed, everything died down; there was no sign of life. It seemed as if the had been almost forgotten. Hidden words, vague silhouettes, silence.
    The warrior was totally terrified. Everything he had on him and within himself was an expression of agony, disapproval, fear, uncertainty. And the passion? 'Where are you hiding, Judah, why don't you take your most devoted follower with you now?' However, the warrior knew that it had been there, but it didn't want to grant it to him when he needed it the most.
    The hand that he had almost forgotten was an object of his observation. He was simply observing it – being completely incapable of doing anything. In fact, he had no wish of doing anything at all. He was aware that that was the way things were; A sign and dogma.
    The bloody points of his fingers touched the edges of the prayer-book. How was it possible the pores to know that the prayer-book would open even without a key? Had the centuries told them so? It might have had happened, but the secret was kept by the warrior himself. It was his secret, hidden and taken care of. Kept, not presented to anyone. Yet, prepared and ready.
    The eyes of the warrior were left breathless, inexplicable shine broke through the very first words; the unheard music dinned over the pictures that were lying among the pages of the prayer-book. It was as if the eyes managed to swallow the first page they had looked at, and now and then, they had a wish and strength to pull the warrior in and take him there. He was confused again. What was the thing he should do without hurting the prayer-book? What should he do in order to get to know its content the best? What was the thing he should do to turn back the time and appeared as the first follower of that religion? – He didn't even know what kind of religion it was.
    The prayer-book, with all its brightness and primordial appearance had already shown him that his religion was the most silent, the purest and the most sincere one. The warrior knew what kind of person he was. He was aware that his anxiety was always a reflection of something – a battle to survive or to belong to someone.
    With the deepest respect known to his soul, the warrior swallowed with his eyes even the smallest traces from the past, united with the paths the prayer-book had passed by. He saw an image. No, it wasn't an image. It was a piece of the creation. Many mortals, an altar, a breath-taking baldachin; the faces revealed respect and envy. Anticipation. Were the warrior's eyes witnesses of somebody's birth, resurrection? It was an introduction to something new, resurrection of something old, a quest for the eternal. What he was thinking of were the many religions and legends he had heard of and felt while fighting all over the worlds. But, as all the others, he also had the right to his own interpretation, and faith-of his own.
    The whole image was in a gold framework which had ornaments on its edges, some of them being unknown shields that had belonged to knights who might have been killed or to kingdoms that might have been destroyed. The years were not legible, and the warrior's intention to find out what was the year the prayer-book dated back, was in vain. However, it was visible that it originated from a kingdom that might have been forgotten, because the symbols and the letters were something that the warrior could not understand.
    There appeared the sadness again. What the fear brought him was pain. 'Why?'-he asked himself. The numerous scars were screaming, and those were the reason why the warrior had been incapable of forgetting his own existence. Yes, the truth was that everything in him had something to say to him. However, he kept on reading.
    Each page was a story of its own. There was a picture, framed with precious stones, yet the words were strange to him. The warrior, himself, created a myth about the life of the prayer-book, exclusively by looking at the picture. There were stories about assemblies, sorrows, joyful events, speeches, prayers, desires, opened hands, weak looks, requests, and a lot of believers; in different apparels, telling how the prayer-book was intended for all those who would fall ill. There were mosaics of altars, totems built in sad scenery, sacrifice offerings.
    Who was the one who had created the prayer-book that deeply? Where had the first idea about it derived from? Who was the one who had written it and where had he done it; whose had been the hands that had touched it in order to give it a soul? – The more he was getting familiar with the prayer book the greater was the number of questions that were springing out in his outcast soul. However, their answers were echoing on the walls, and they were breathless when reaching the warrior. There was no explanation.
    But the warrior continued. He wanted essence, a sparkle of existence, a monumental force he had been waiting for, for centuries and millenniums.
    Enchanted by the hugeness of the unspoken, the warrior didn't notice at all that there had the night fell down. However, he didn't feel tired, the sleep was somewhere far, far away, and the warrior kept on absorbing the prayer-book and its ornaments as if he wanted to get into the very soul of it.
    He decided that out of his ragged, but priceless apparels he would make the prayer-book a cradle – the one of its kind and unique. He started to search over the caves in which he shattered himself, looking for some pieces of his own, for the purpose of making the cradle richer, unique, breath-taking. It was little that he found, almost nothing, for the time did not allow him to be in possession of his own. He was also wandering in this afterlife, if it was possible to name this misery of his as life.
    Nevertheless, the warrior decided that cradle would be his awoken corpse that started to look like a soul since the moment he had touched the prayer-book.
    He wanted to become its follower, the one and only, and not to curse it and lose it on the roads and abysses. He started to connect the symbols and the signs that had been written in the prayer-book, and to make prayers and legends. Prayers became his alphabet and his speech, legends became his history. He used each moment to talk to the prayer-book, continuously repeating the prayers, as if there was someone next to him. No, there wasn't, there was no one next to him, but there was someone there within him. There was existence.
    It was with ease that his inflexible fingers started going over the pictures in the prayer-book, taking him there, to the legend that provided him with a vision about the prayer-book. He started to laugh, to create, to have. In the time between two prayers, what he was doing was narrating to the prayer-book parts of his odyssey, the one that took him to the heights of being a nobleman and that very one that managed to take him to the lows being a jester. However, the warrior was proud of his truth and his honesty. Times and times again he looked in the sky in order to thank the winds for granting him the prayer-book. There was no reply. And, he didn't need it. He was alone, possessed by himself-every time and everywhere. The only thing he was doing was giving and granting.
    The prayer-book turned into obsession – passion for more. He was repeating each and every word and picture of it, over and over again. He managed to return its brightness, and give it its existence.
    Yes, the warrior knew that it had been somewhere and at some point in time the prayer-book had had its altar, a believer or believers, that somewhere and at some point in time it existed. Its covers regained their face, its pictures and mosaics became alive again, and the illegible alphabet was something that he had time for.
    What the warrior feared was giving wrong interpretation of this alphabet, something that could again lead to destruction, non-existence. The time was passing by both the warrior and the prayer-book, and there were moments when it gave a glance at them; however it let them remain pure as they were, because the warrior knew that the time had already crowned them…
    Every night the warrior organized a dance, in the honour of the prayer-book, praising its existence. There were tears running down his face full of scars, some of them falling out of joy and passion whereas others falling out of pain that the warrior started to chase it away from him.




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