Call me Roxie. I am the rock that can see. It seems I am unlike other rocks. I am the only one who can speak. But it almost appears to me that, when I speak, I speak on behalf of all the rocks in the world and not just for myself.
I have been around a long time. How long? My memory fails me. My earliest recall is of the time when I was still being formed. I used to be more spread-out in those days. Actually, I was spread across a whole galaxy, if I remember right. I was all gas. I was gas and I was space and I had space. I was one with the whole Universe. There was no separation. But then, as often happens, the team broke. We forgot one another.
Everyone went their own way. This was perhaps the time when time itself was being created.
Gradually, I coalesced, one atom at a time. I cooled down and became harder. Everything around me began to chill and began to separate from me. All the fluidity disappeared and I acquired a form. Thrown about a few million times, I finally settled into becoming a part of this little planet you call earth. I was put under a lot of heat and pressure to become what I am today. I was pounded by acid rain and molten magma, searing winds and tones of weight. My molecules were all re-arranged. The silica had to be just right, the Aluminum Oxide crystals and gold and carbon had to be organized into new lattices.
I remember all this only in retrospect, now that I have grown an eye and a tongue. At that time, it was all dark. Of course, I must have felt it subliminally and the memory was imprinted on my atoms. At that time, I had to learn to keep it all in. Anyway, this story is how I came to remember all that happened to me and how I acquired sight and speech.
It just so happened that I came to live in a rocky terrain near an obscure civilization. I lived there for ages. Until, one night they rolled me to cover a cave. They had taken a person and wrapped him in a shroud. He was a very nice man but he did not speak. You see, he was quite dead at that time. But inside, like me, he was alive. Only I knew that. I stood guard over him for the next few days. And he changed right before my eye.
His cells began to glow with an inner radiance. And I saw (as clear as the day I was born) his body turning into gas—just the reverse of how I was created. And then he became space. Space that accepted all, which gave in to all form, space that to me means no obstruction. Then, the space began to glow and turned into light. And I remembered how I was formed. Then, I heard a big bang, like a gunshot, only a million times louder. And we were back to the time when there was no time.
Anyhow, even before he could materialize into light, even when he was dead as a rock, to me, he was beautiful. In the darkness, he glowed like phosphorus. He taught me a lot in those few days. Until then, I had looked down upon everything else. All living beings were subject to death. They came, they saw, they died. I was the only one truly living, or so I thought, in my dim awareness. He showed me that I could be more alive and vibrant. And he showed me how one should die fully.
He was full of feeling. Even I could sense that although I could not feel what he felt. But I knew it was something different. Even my insentient quanta can feel bliss. And the reason I know what bliss is that it is the same sense I had when the Universe was being created. When the big shot was fired.
He was infectious. He healed me to the very bone, or should I say, to the very stone. The veins in my structure pulsated with light. The spine of my framework throbbed with a new sensation. I could almost say that I acquired a heart that day. Only that my heart grew in the deep nescience of matter.
I learnt his secret. The secret was to be open unconditionally. To give of oneself without reserve. In that openness, everything flowed smoothly. Without bias or favor. He did not choose who was good enough for him. Even someone like me, who was nowhere close to him in spirit, he touched. And he touched without desire. Wanting nothing, accepting every blessed thing that was in his presence. With no desire to change. No desire at all.
He filled me with a strange tenderness. I wanted to comfort too, to soothe, to heal. But I did not know how. So he gave me an eye and a tongue that I could record his radiance for all eternity. He gave these gifts to me without my asking, without so much as a thought. And I understood. Quietly. I understood the unity that holds all of us together. My body of stone had become a huge heart that began to beat incessantly in the darkness. As a living witness. A presence.
I am a rock. I don’t do feelings or emotions. I only know matter. But I also know unconditional space when I see it. And this man was all space. I lay at his feet for a long while. How long? I do not know. For the first time, I had lost the sense of time. Time was resolved that instant. We became friends. I thought initially that he was special, the chosen one. Then I realized, we are one body.
Then, the time came, and I knew he was ready. For the first time in my life, I rolled. Of my own accord. With muscles of fossil and sediment. Without intention. I knew I was ready to move. I was not sad. For he lived in me, as me. As my own heart.
He too was innocent as a rock. Pure and open. All my rigidity, my frozen form in time and space, dissolved. I let go. And it was over for me. Henceforth, whatever would happen to me, would be fine. Nothing could ever go wrong. There was no such thing as a wrong. I noticed a slight crack in my middle. I was beginning to fall apart.
Since then, I have been murmuring his mantra constantly. A mantra that I first heard when the heard the big gunshot. Each cell, each quantum of me vibrates with one frequency now.
And he was gone. He no longer needed my protection. The caterpillar had become the butterfly. Each cell in his body exploded. Wave after wave of energy throbbed in that cave. An experiment to turn matter into light once again had been conducted. Did he succeed? I do not know and it does not matter.
I was borne as a wave in a vast sea of electromagnetic and gravitational force fields, a photon in the unbearable white sea being carried higher and higher to a new state of matter, of light. The waves grew beyond sight and space and time were my horizon. All space and all time. And it coalesced into a globe of light, a crystalline heart that was the center of the Universe. And I could no longer see. I could only feel. With nerves that grew into the sea of inconscience. I passed out, the very first time for a rock in the history of the cosmos. When I came to, I was back at the opening of the dark cave. Nothing was going to be the same again.
He rose without a word. Without promise. And disappeared. Since then, I have still not regained a sense of time. I am drunk as a stone, or stoned, if you will. I have lost memory of everything that has happened hence for there is nothing left to remember. I have been moved about a lot, it seems. I have been handled and sculpted, pounded and pulverized. I have spread across the earth as soil, as dust. It no longer matters, since it is all one anyway.
I may be the dust that floats in space, the mote that gets in your eye, the silica that sparkles in the soil of your garden. I could be flowing in your veins, breathed inside your lungs, working inside your brain. I could be a flash of thought, a feeling, a sensation or an abstraction beyond memory.
For all you know, I could be you.