"What immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry." 1
"I will praise Thee, or I am fearfully and wonderfully made." 2
"God molds history to His purposes, revealing in it the Fearful Symmetry which is His language in conversing with men." 3
The ¡Alarma! Chronicles
The Final Chapter
I remember now another time (another dream?). I walked in a gray void where a stirring wind was breaking against my body. I heard a sad and distressing groan, whereupon I turned and beheld a great creature, crawling as if its energy were spent in the agony of labor. As I gazed upon it and studied it and began to notice the details of its assemblage, I saw constellations and quasars. I saw worlds and kingdoms and I realized with great certainty that the creature was the creation itself. The deeper I looked, the more I saw. I was a witness to the fall of the first man and woman, and the birth, life, and death of Christ. I saw too, the efforts of men, great and small. I witnessed the world at war, the sacking of Troy, the fall of Greece, the dividing of the continents, and much more. And while I could see them all at once, these events did not seem to happen before or after one another. I then turned my attention to the creature's face. In its eyes were great tears and from its mouth a groan for final, complete deliverance from the pain of its labor echoed again and again. The creature was moving slower and slower and in the deep recesses of its eyes (which were cast toward its creator) I saw that it was weary of its own life.
I felt restless, and again, full of questions.
But then, the great void rolled away and before me was a rich green meadow. Upon a distant hill, I beheld Him who is the beginning and the ending, the first and the last. He was beautiful to gaze upon, too beautiful for mere words. I can only say that His beauty had a way of making the beholder feel beautiful. I saw Him in a permanence and substance that made every creature appear ghost-like, and my curiosity was exchanged for longing. My questions became instantly irrelevant. The One who stood upon the hill called me, and I followed Followed?
Out of the dream and back into conscious reality? I cannot say that I truly know the meaning of this word "reality" - still I am left with an overwhelming sense that very soon I will know, because I will know as I am known.
The candlelight by which I write these chronicles burns low and I grow weak. I am old now - wiser? Perhaps. My longing is not to see the continuance of my life in this world - but to dwell forever in the land of the sun where reality is a dream and what we dream becomes real.
I now walk among the depths of my soul. I sigh and this sigh rides the wind and seeks a world of ten thousand years - I cry, and would drown in the tears of my brokenness were it not for my Love who walks upon the sea of my sorrows, I am lifted up - I am saved. But the cost is great and the tree upon which my Love is slain, casts my own shadow.
From my window, I behold the night with its vast starry fields whispering low - and now, like the creature, I am a ghost, drawn by moonlight on the lawn and the voice of my Love, who dances in the misty vale. At His gentle pass I recall walking in fragrant woods - the woods of every vanished spring. I glide out upon the dazzling breathing dream (?), and in God's silent searching flight I have found the strength to live in His glory. The moonlight now sleeps upon a distant frosted hill, and the earth and ocean seem to sleep in one another's arms and dream. I do not fear this haunted keep for I am a participator in the haunting. I push over the hill and find myself walking in the lush green pastures. Here, leaves of sound are shed and fall on my murmuring mind. This is the land of lullabies where the eyes paint pictures, and one may follow pure breezes wherever they blow.
In time, I kneel and dress a holy fane - an altar - built in the midst of a sudden uncanny solitude and quietness; the untrodden region of my heart. I am God's priest kneeling at the bed of my imaginary sanctuary. I sing His praises, not with a single voice, but with the voices of an angel choir. Yes, all the days of my life I have chased shadows, the shapes that haunt thought's wilderness, the shrouded forms that stand outside the grasp of this wanderer, the shapes of things to come, (that will be) the shapes seen through the glass darkly. These are the world's rejected guests. I have left the distant rims of time to this land where the shadows die. My hands have turned shadows into gold (a power which comes not from me, but entirely outside of myself). What has been doubt in me has lost a holy war. All my life I have been inclined to fall upon my knees in supplication and prayer (prayers offered through my vanity), but my inclinations have been the outcome of the wrong kind of fear. I know the fear in beauty, I know the fear of God (the beginning of wisdom), and I know the symmetry of man. It is both wonderful and fearful. Yes, I know these fears, and I know another; it is the sickness unto death cast out by God's perfect love.
These days of fear were my drowsy days in vain. I will not wake to sleep again. Now is the hour when sleep will no longer steal over me, for I am awake forever beyond the myths and fables which eclipse the luster of the only True Light - yet His myth is true. I saw Heaven and Hell unshrouded, their beauty and terror undiluted. I thought of the death of the creature and the passing of its gods and fables. I beheld the new born creation. The child took my hand and led me inside. The dance there never stops; it is the dance of death and in its eternal flame the inhabitants dance cheek to cheek, cold as ice. Yes, in my youth I danced there often, but God revealed a way out - and now I abide in the land of true myth, and the armies of neverland shall not prevail against it.
The child and I stand upon a second hill. I see below me many lakes - endlessly out-spreading their foamy blankets over river beds. Down across the milk-white sands I walk alone and make my way out beyond a sleepy cove. Eventually I stand on the shores of the first lake where the waves mount and tumble high. A gentle voice speaks to me saying "The pool is very deep and cool and nothing here is hard to do, nothing that should trouble you." I find myself knee deep in the holy water and then I plunge, suddenly meeting the melancholy sky where I behold, in the clouds, a singular cross.
And so, in the end, I have counted all that I have gained as nothing. I have come full circle for I am again a child who has at last departed to the Sovereign of his heart. I have pulled back the blue curtains of sky and flown into the gentle arms of my Love. I have shattered the level mirror of the lake - and emerged a swan upon the wing.
The journey is over and only begun. No, it is not a dream - no dream within a dream a dream- no vision - no trance. I am now truly another bright heart in God's embrace - I am the dreamer, awake - forever in the arms of The Beautiful One.
So ends the Alarma Chronicles
1 "The Tyger" - William Blake
2 Psalm 139:14
3 Malcolm Muggeridge