by Miroslav Mika Antic
translated by tricpe
1. There is a wiseman. As I am saying this, he is cowering in a great desert, south to these mountains. He cowers for I don’t know how long in the sand, and he never lifts his view. But he sees everything. He’s drawing something incomprehensible with his fingernail, and keeps saying scared: “I already created this, too... I already created this, too.” If you ask him for an eagle, he does not spread to heights, rather digs one out from the dirt with his finger, as if it was a root. “That,” says he, “is an eagle that all other eagles come from.” Later you can ask for an aligator or an ant. He digs them out from the dirt too, like a fruit kernel.. He can do anything, because his creation is different from ours. It was him that I learned this, which I’m telling you as a secret now.
2. “Sir,” I say, “there are people who kiss and love each other much. If there is love, why proove it?” He just remains silent with his head bowed down, and murmels for a long time. And only at noon, when the Sun hangs from the sky as a sword, he speaks with a voice which is white as a wrinkled paper. “A great trouble”, he says, “will come out of it. People that does not stop singing is miserable, poor and hungry.”
3. “Sir,” I say, “I saw a man who jumps over amazing heights. How does he do that, he’s not stronger than others, he doesn’t run faster than the others, nor is he more artful, nor more cunning?” “That man,” the wiseman says, “runs-up as if he’s going to jump over the clouds. Therefore, he doesn’t notice that which is under his feet. Man should jump over the clouds. Man should have only the greatest wish, and all other will be fulfilled.”
4. „Sir,“ I say, „a friend of mine dug up a stone from the garden. He presented it to a sculptor to make a sculpture out of it. It was an ordinary stone, but if you turn it towards the light, the whole world reflected in it. And the sculptor rejected it.” Wiseman says: “He had to reject it, because he did not find it by himself.”
5. “Sir,” I ask, “how come my head, that fills spaces can be put in a cap?” “Caught, accidentally in the same line of years on this old planet,” he replies, “we continue each other, like the branch continues a branch, and yet it lives it’s life turned towards other end of the world, towards it’s own storms and sights. That’s why your head is an eggsyolk of a still undiscovered Sun. That’s why it can be put in a shell, for now.”
6. “Sir,” I say, “I have an incredible strength. I can command ships, because I conquered them. I can build skyscrapers, because I conquered concrete and steel. I can dig mountains and change the face of continents. But, when I take small pebbles in my hand, no matter how hard I squeaze it, I’m never able to break it. How come?” “Great minds,” he says, “were in the beginning ignorant, just as the river was a spring, or a typhoon – silence. History’s greatest bastards were harmless little chubs. The Himalaya was steam. Something hard and round, like the statues of Babylon, was in it’s volcanic origin shapeless and soft. That’s why the pebbles is, actually, one great mountain, peeled of nudity of it’s beautiful and incredibly dense heart.” He digs in the sand, uses finger to pull out an embryo of Kilimanjaro; I put a regular crystal grain on my back, but the weight bears me down.
7. “Sir,” I say to him, “I saw a painter who goes through the canvas like through the light. He paints water and swims. How come? He paints the Alps and climbs. He paints distance and gets lost.” Wiseman says nothing. In the dusk, I see him becoming one with the greyness, fades away and disappears. I leave with my thoughts, when I notice something strange: there are no footsteps behind me, as if I never walked this road. As if I only wished for it in my dreams. And – made up.