|'Sea Cloud", oil.
by Oriana Kacicek
I got to thinking today that the cause of most of my problems lies in thinking that my life is a “story”. Without realizing it, I have spent most of my days deeply engrossed in “the story of Hamilton Salsich”. In this story, as in most works of fiction, there’s a protagonist – me – who is faced with an antagonist – in this case, the rest of the universe. As in a good story, there’s a plot (me against the universe) that involves a goal the main character (me) has set for himself – being as personally happy as possible. There’s a beginning to this story (my birth), a lot of rising action (all the battles I’ve fought with the innumerable manifestations of my antagonist, the universe), and certainly there will be a climax, although I seem to have already experienced countless numbers of them. And, of course, as with any story, there will be an end – my death. It’s been an exciting story, I guess, full of thrills and spills, but the truth is ...I’m tired of it, and it’s all make-believe anyway. The story of Hamilton Salsich is a complete fiction, because in this universe, there are no stories, at least no separate ones. The universe, as its name implies, is one whole unified story, wherein all the characters and scenes and actions mingle together in seamless unity. In fact, the universe can’t be a story at all, because there are no separate protagonists and antagonists. There’s just one vast creation blending and intermingling and fusing in endless harmonious patterns. As a story, in truth, our universe would be a flat failure: no plot, no rising action, no climax, no end. Rather than a story, a good metaphor for the cosmos would be a sea, one with no shores whatsoever. The entity called “Hamilton” is simply a wave in an endless sea of creation – a sea in which all waves are equally important, a sea which exhibits continual and innumerable harmonies rather than artificial “dramas” and “plots”. When did “I” begin as a wave in this universe? Who could ever tell? When will “I” end? Never – at least not until the sea does. I’ll change, yes, (and death will be one of those changes) just as the waves in the ocean are always changing – but somehow, someway, I’ll always be a part of this astonishing, nonfictional existence which we call the universe.