Day One by Mike Jacobson
In the beginning. Of the beginning. From the beginning. Beguine. How to put it, who to put it, created. But how do you know this? And what gender? Or was there a gender? Answers to all your questions will surely be found, but to tell you the truth, there shouldn’t be any need for answers. Surely not.
Beginning of creating, sitting down, standing up, conceiving, making a plan, or maybe not, maybe just starting right out, with only the tiniest glimmer of an idea, and plunging right in.
Heaven and earth, as it is written. By which is surely meant every damn thing, both visible and invisible, physical and spiritual, real and imaginary. So, right from the beginning, it appears very little was left to the imagination. Yet quite obviously EVERYTHING WAS LEFT TO THE IMAGNATION!
Without form, it couldn’t have mattered all that much what was created, since without form there was nothing, at least in one sense, at the very least in one sense. Someone else insisted that the word came first, pointing out how much words matter, how much words ARE MATTER. These words, arbitrarily placed here, may or may not matter. NO MATTER!
Without form and, what is worse, VOID! Like a worthless cancelled check. Or a command to urinate. Void! Totally, exquisitely empty, nada. The opposite of color, of line, of shape. Like a canvas before the painter has begun to paint. (Some painter has I’m sure displayed an empty mounted canvas.) Parenthetically, if heaven and earth were without form and void, why can’t I display an empty canvas?
This was, as you’ll recall, a very long time ago. Many, many, many years ago. A lot of water under the bridge. And speaking of water it appears there was water everywhere, until it was, actively, not passively, divided into the waters above, which were called heaven, and those below, which didn’t yet have a name.
NO names had yet been given, but then we’re getting ahead of ourselves. And remember, it was pitch black back then. Until the word was spoken, shattering the silence, invoking the opposite of pitch black which was pure light in those days. The simple, two-letter word for light in the only language anyone knew back then, back in the beginning, was all it took, or technically speaking almost all it took, for there was another word too, which must be translated, into multiple words in our tongue.
If the word was spoken was there a sound. And if there was, then did the sound precede the light, rather opposite to how it works with lightning and thunder. This useless academic speculation is of infinitely less value than those cabalistic speculations from just a few centuries ago, I believe you would agree. Yes, infinitely less, yet here we are speaking of things that are almost, but not quite infinite, if you get my drift.
Anyway all it took was a word, the act of speaking, to start the whole flaming ball rolling, to start the big bang happening, just a little word, maybe a shout, maybe a whisper, maybe a dry, quiet statement, maybe like reading an academic paper in front of a small group of cognoscenti, or, maybe, maybe like SINGING, maybe the words were set to music, what passed for guitar and drums and bass back then. Sung by a deep bass voice before a choir of angels, who then repeated the same words, in multiple-part harmony, heck, in infinite part harmony, if you get my drift.
With a large orchestral accompaniment! So, in the beginning, while everything was still void, a full orchestra and chorus showed up just to accompany the couple of words, because after all, flying solo is not as much fun, I am sure it would be agreed in both heaven and earth. But only for that one line. At least today only for that one line. That’s all they were hired for. And was there thunderous applause? Right at the same time as the whole damn place lit up like a nuclear explosion?
What we do know is that it was judged, given a grade, without any corrections. What we know is that it was seen and judged, and that it was judged with a single word, which we usually translate as good, though you could also say cool or whatever word you prefer, to indicate approval. Because approval was the key. Without approval, there would have been no more. Nothing, thank you very much. De nada.
This cosmic, gargantuan, infinitely immense and enormous and incredibly meaningful and stupefactionaly significant act was it. For that day, the first, the one we call today, day one. End of story, beginning of story, however you want to look at it, day one, day that’s not all she wrote but it is all she wrote that day, day one, dia uno, day one of many many many more to come.
Mike Jacobson is a former independent film-maker, with films in the Film Makers’ Cooperative catalog. He writes various kinds of prose pieces, including short stories, prose poems and very short plays; some have appeared in Unbroken Journal. Mike is married, with a daughter and three grandchildren.