Panpipes

Updated: Nov 19

Many years ago, Pan danced. Waltzing over the face of the Earth, round and round, giggling with glee. Hooves kicked, bodies writhed, gods whirled. And Pan danced. And as he danced, he scattered the eponymous pipes as he went. They fell, rice dropping from his pocket, embedded themselves in Earth, columns rising out, fractured rays on a sun.


And so the Pipes remained. Boreas traced Pans steps, gusting song, and the world was filled with music, an oceans crossing marked with the sudden frenzy of choral chorus. Reverberations echoed through space and time, the tremors you feel in your bones as, even now, Bacchus's fingers enmesh themselves, nails biting into the soul.


Milennia passed. In this world of song, the music stayed soft but relations soured. Boreas' biting winds chilled the Pipes' minds, who, with their beauty, had grown vain, and restless. They clamoured at Pan, the harsh, rough staccato of grievances punctuating the song. He ached with longing for the solace of the past. Pan was desperate, and Pan was wise. He saw how to resolve the chill, and remove the selfishness and pride that had embedded itself deep into the core of the Pipes.


"I will give you shelter, and I will give you beauty. I shall craft a coating, the likes of which has never been seen, a coating that changes through the year, a dark green that lightens to yellows and oranges and reds. Yet this coating will be both on you, part of you, and yet not you. It is yourself, yet distinct, an Other that is nonetheless, inextricably intertwined with Self. It will keep you warm, and thaw the ice that has taken root."


So the Pipes came to be covered, beautiful both in sight and sound. They stood, proud in their wrappings, the world a sea of colours, gradients that danced their way around the world. It was said their beauty was comparable to the sun, for just as Apollo's touch brings light, and pulls it to darkness, so it was with the colours, that changed with time, fading and returning into view. And they were warmed, kinder, better for the stirrings of love of this close connection. All was well.


But rivalries cannot long be escaped, and Arachne's fate is telling. One cannot avoid the incitement of envy when one produces something so beautiful, and deep in the oceans, the Sirens spoke of the days where their song was revered throughout realms. In cavernous lairs, they poured their wretchedness, bitterness and envy into schemes to attain their former glory, to return themselves to the apex, the zenith, the singers of Zeus. Agalope, the most cunning siren of them all, devised a plan. She implored the Pipes to a duet, to sing together to Pan, for if one alone is dazzling, what Beauty might twice the voices bring? The Pipes, with their newfound warmth, gracefully accepted, and the Sirens rose themselves out the depths of the Ocean and walked on land, dwarfed by the towering Pipes.


They sang, and the Blue of the sky was a roof to the Pipes columns, and it seemed all the world were a worship for what Being might Be, what life may become, a rhapsodic recognition of the artistry, the divinity, the realisation of Creation. Space melted, pulled inwards, the fabric of Olympus itself straining down from its lofty heights if only to listen better. The apex, the zenith, the apogee of growth, the birth of new levels of the sublime, made the world seem pregnant with opportunity. Pan was beside himself, dancing in a fervour and a fury the likes of which has never been seen in the time of man. Sweat ran down in rivulets, and in a gesture of servility, Agalope moved to brush Pans brow. A curse was placed, a peace shattered, and the music transformed into a wail of piercing howls.


The Pipes coating, their selves fractured, fissions breaking apart the coating into tiny pieces, a snake skin where all had been smooth. The Sirens melted back to the oceans, and all the world was fragments. The music returned, savage in intensity, as the Other escaped Self. Smashed flakes pulled away falling outwards, Pan aghast at the sight before him, the wretches seeing that there was a chance that the Other-Self could be lost forever.


Yet the Pipes did not give up. A wrenching noise, the creaking of wood as fine tendrils pulled out of the formerly smooth cylinders. They broke themselves, cracking into parts, as claws emerged, reaching to grasp back any of the whirling ash that surrounded them. They arched, spread, wrenched, the ordered regiments transformed into an interlocking canopy as each broke themselves to keep touch with the Self. Silence fell, as the world gaped at the abnegation, the crucifixion, the dissolution of the Mother.


The silence still lives, broken only by the voices reduced to a whisper we hear as wind whistles in the trees.

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