Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Monastery

For this monastery there were no visitors.  To anyone walking around it, it seemed to be silent within the premises.  But few would know that it was not because of any oaths taken.   People lived there, but there was no joy to be found.  For the rest of the world it was a mystery.  But to the inhabitants, there were no mysteries about it.

Less a home for the living, this monastery was an ossuary.  It was a house of plague.  And the only sounds within, were of the final breaths taken, of the gasps of pain and horror of death.  The house of monks, alone on the landscape, offered no hope, only a residence, for those who were about to cross over from life to death.  And the knowledge of what lay beyond did not offer hope, yet.

Solace could be found only in death.   The pain and madness of life would end.   Some found this a fair bargain.  Others, of course, did not.   But prayers, oaths, medicines, and desperate bargains with Azrael, could not buy more time on earth.

Nothing can buy more time.   Not money, not hope, not prayers, not luck.   Time is a fiction in the mind, that cannot be measured by anything without context.  But in terms of life spans, we only have this single stretch, and then there is no time, ever again.   So the answer isn't avoiding death.   It is finding life and living it.

“Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.” Napoleon


  1. You do short stories very well, my friend. In so few words you are able to convey so many emotions, images and ideas. I absolutely adore the note of optimism in your closing lines. The Napoleon quote really resonates with me.