I have to share my favorite story here. It has haunted me for years.
To pick a sun. - By a mathematician friend of mine.
He lied to her. . He told her that he was going out, to pick a handful of clouds and sew a cap for her. Actually he was not. He was going to pick a sun.
As if there are many suns. But back then, there were. The days were too dazzling then, and there were no nights. He was unsure of which one to pick. He chose the closest one.
She never suspected it. Once or twice, when he talked about it, she asked him, what the need was. There was no answer, because there was none at all. Why bring a sun so close, and where is the space to keep it? Even he knew there was no need. It is just one of your games, she said to him.
Sometimes in the night, she awoke at the sound of his footsteps pacing the hall. Thinking
and restless, that was him. She never suspected, she was drowsy in love.
Then one dawn, he set out. He had his bag of tools with him. He went up to the tower, that he had built over the years, secretly and in silent devotion. All this time, He had it hidden from her, so that he could give her a surprise, when it was fully done. That day, he thought , he would wait a little longer and make the surprise a bigger one, with a sun under his arms.
He went up to the top floor, and took the kite out. Within moments, the kite was a flag of victory, .ascending in full glory ,while its metal edges shone in the shower of daylight. He started pulling the string, which was superfine and almost invisible.
Then it happened. Making a brilliant swirl, the kite caught the edges of the sun. Then it wrapped itself around it., just as a cunning snake would do. He felt the sun coming closer to him. He was happy, elated, satisfied.
But what he didn’t know was that he would spend an eternity there. Because the moment he caught the sun, he had died. The sun was not coming to him, nor was he approaching it. It was an illusion. Instead he was destined to revolve around the sun , slowly , and for ever. One full year for one round. He didn’t know he had died..
She could not believe he had died. It was impossible. She was angry that he could lie to her so badly. But when she saw him, there ,-- a dead man making his rounds, she cried out loud. She just hoped that he will come to life. She couldn’t pray, they had no gods back then.
She hoped in vain, and she watched him changing shape. Nothing of his dark agile frame remained. He won’t be able to dart like lightning, jump over the backyard fence , and catch her unawares. Never again .Instead he had grown obese, like an orange.
She watched in silence, as she saw his surface getting rough and rocky. She saw floods
ice , and oceans carving out of his once strong torso. She saw ugly and unshapely land masses jutting out of the swelling confusion.
She had stopped loving him, and she could not continue this for a dead man. And when she saw moving jellies, running about in the oceans, dividing themselves and joining each other, in random pairings, she was filled with disgust. Yet a trace of a hope remained. Maybe she would see him alive. Then she would ask him one question that occupied her since he left. What was the need?
As time went by, she saw huge mammoth like creatures roaming the surface of his Lover. She saw insects, fish, and tigers. She was now prepared to leave him for ever. Then something caught her attention.
Out of the dust of the body, she clung to, loved and cherished, and which was now a rotten trash hole, there arose some figures resembling him. They were much shorter than him, but equally graceful. She was shocked to see her own image in the figures that followed. The long flowing hair, the pouting lips, the delicate smooth gestures. She saw them making love, unabashedly, in rain, in caves, in open wide spaces, as if it all belonged to them She looked at herself, a round silvery object, -- a cosmic waste. She felt an attraction towards them, an attraction very different, from what she felt towards her Lover. She felt that she should stay and watch over them. It was a feeling she never had before.
There were Men and Women, once again .
But then, suddenly, a fear of the worst kind gripped her. As she lay in quiet guard, she discovered that some of the Men are not sleeping. She could see them, moving restlessly along the verandah, thinking about the dawn. Some were taking a cold bath, removing the odor of the feverish love-slumber, still hanging loosely over their beds. She knew their intention, and tried to distract them. She made crisscrosses of her own shadows, and tried to instill the magic she once practiced on Him. She hid and reappeared. Sometimes she weaved her unearthly innocence into the face of their lovers, still asleep. Sometimes she succeeded in making them turn to their rooms, the smell of honey-suckle and olives, greeting them to their bed and putting them at ease. They would then go to sleep.
For some, the seduction works. For the unfortunate ones, it doesn’t. Her tricks are a nuisance for them. They have set their faces towards the unknown dark, and are tugging at the rope of future, with grim resolve. They are just waiting for Her to pass away from the horizon. Then, at the crack of dawn, they would pick up their bag, and stealthily move out of their homes. They have a mission. They have the sun to pick.