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Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Le Ballon (1870)

At the beginning the World is created without a plan. The globe simply emerges, out of an infinite void that cannot be defined as darkness, and without much stir it dwells like a Great Tome, or an age-old rock, on which mosses run riot. We have no memories of how we arrived on this earth, nor do we know how we gained awareness of the surrounding, how we opened our eyes and got accustomed to a world composed solely of Light and Sands. From time to time we witness men rising from out of the soil with much difficulty, like sprout trying to yank itself up amidst a roaring storm, and thus we deduce how in the self-same fashion we were born. Drawing a cross before our hearts we express gratitude to the Divine Someone, for robbing us of every vestige of our memories, for willing us to forget the pain and the agony experienced through the laborious process of our Genesis.

There are also times when those that are standing beside us moments before suddenly slump to the ground like fallen trees. Their skin crease and wither until the stocky carcasses shrink into a pool of fleshless mess. Knowing our ends will unlikely be something contrary, we murmur a long hymn of bliss- grateful of having still the privilege to roam around the earth with no signs of Death beckoning us, grateful of being yet seized by an corroding numbness, that our noses still itch when detecting the aroma of the soil, burnt submissively under a scorching sun.

So what will happen if one day some of us refuse to follow any longer the Golden Rules? Those who derail spot the differences amongst an arrayed of perfect similarities. That is when Evil emerges, formless and intractable, and instills into our ears words of poison that will no sooner become the incontrovertible Truth. Crime and Lust come after. The barren earth transforms into a riotous playground. We plunge into raucous merrymakings, which last three days and three nights until the collective sweats of our heated skin evaporate into white smoke, and white smoke disperse to thin clouds. The clouds slowly drift towards the moon and the light that illumines our crimsoned faces tiptoe out like our Golden Years sifting irrevocably through our grasps. The continuous gallops of a troop of Winged Horses approach. The Divine Someone is furious.

It is always on the point of demise, or at least, departing that something still remains questionable- that the Devil so intent on putting our lives in peril can turn out to be the Saviour. Why on this vast earth even when our faces change everyday we can still find the Old Familiarity lurking around the corner? Why we always speak one thing, act otherwise, and feelings fail on us insentient beings? But always on the point of leaving someone will still hold the gun and root himself on the ground, reluctant to go. That person will wave until the Black Balloon is no longer in sight, and everything before him is all but an infinite haze.


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