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Stories

Fire and Darkness Make the World
By: James K. Nelson-Lucas

Fire and Darkness Make the World

In the long ago, Fire lived in the Darkness. He burned with fierce brightness but there was nothing to reflect his light. He was very proud of his light and heat that flowed into his sister, Darkness. But he was angry too; “How can I understand my glory?” he cried to his sister. “I shine so bright but even you cannot see for my life shines on nothing, my heat is too quickly cooled.” He lamented.

“I know you my brother,” The Darkness said. “But I cannot feel you, for there is no part of me to be warmed by your fire.” But the fire was not satisfied. He wanted to be known, understood for his power.

“Embrace me sister.” the Fire begged, “wrap around me, hold me close. So close until you feel the power of my magic, the heat and light of me.”
Darkness closed in on her brother, the Fire. She held him tightly.

“I know you are there brother” she said “I respect your magic” she whispered to him softly. But he was not satisfied.

“Do you see the light? Do your feel the heat?”

“Dear brother. I am Darkness. There is no part of me that can hold the light. No part of me that the heat can touch.”

“Hold me closer” Fire cried, “Embrace me, enfold me, feel me”

Darkness held her brother. Wrapping herself around him. Enveloping Fire with the heavy weight of nothingness. She held him closer and closer.

“Can you feel my strength?” He asked.

“I am Darkness. I cannot feel you” she would reply.

“Hold me closer then. Close enough to appreciate my gifts” Fire said again and again.

Darkness closed in. holding her brother tighter and tighter still so that the weight of her nothing became like a crushing weight making Fire grow smaller and burn hotter and hotter, so hot Darkness feared for her brother.

“You burn too much” she cried to him. “Abandon your pride or it will be the end of you”

“I must know” he shouted back “You do not understand, you are everywhere that I am not. You know your power and I will know mine!”
Darkness was startled by her brother’s anger. She jumped back, releasing her hold on him. His fire was so hot; he had been crushed so small that when darkness moved away, Fire exploded into countless glowing embers. Swirling, flying and burning. Bits of Fire fell everywhere across the Darkness.

“Brother!” She called out. “Do you hear me?”

There was a long pause before the answer came back. Fire spoke back to her in a thousand on a thousand on a thousand voices, echoed from embers scattered throughout her body. “Sister? Darkness? Am I here?” wailed the many voices of Fire. ‘How am I called?”

“You are Fire, you cast yourself into countless parts” she told everywhere at once.

“Yes,” Fire remembered. “light and heat” said the voices of Fire. “Now I am thousands fold. Now do you know me?”

“I know your voice and I know your heart” She answered.

This was not good enough for Fire. Everywhere across the Darkness the seeds of Fire grew hotter, brighter, fiercer.

“No” pleaded Darkness. “Your will destroy yourself”

Fire paid no heed and went on. In time, each small bit of Fire was too fierce to be bridled. Then, one by one, the bits of Fire shattered, as had the whole of fire before. Fire flew apart in so many ways, Darkness could only guess at the number of divisions. Some parts yet burned brightly. Others had forgotten so much that their skins cooled and fell in to following their Radiant Brothers. Only the hearts of the cool ones still kept the power of Fire. Outside, they were so cool that the heat of the Radiant Brothers caused them to sweat, the skies filled with clouds and the seas filled with water.
Darkness called and called out to her brother. But he had now truly forgotten himself; he did not hear or know how to reply. His portions divided too small.

In the seas grew the salmon and the whale and the frog and the abalone and many others On the cool dry skin of the world grew poppies and berries and oak and manzanita, walnut and avocado and enough different things to fill the land with rich colors, smells, flowers and fruits. So enticing was this that Frog climbed out of the sea to investigate. He ate of the fruit and shaded himself under the trees and decided that he liked the dry land. Frog called to others in the sea “Come see the wonders of the land.” and many creatures decided to come live on the land. The birds came out of the water to live in the trees, the rabbit to burrow in the dry earth, the dear to graze on the grasses and bears to prowl the forests. Soon there where creatures living everywhere on the land.

Under the sea, there came a split in the ground. From deep inside, hot bits of living Fire welled up and came into the waters. The waters cooled them nearly all the way through, and they were the People. In every heart dwelt a spark of the living Fire. For a time the People lived in the seas. In the sea the People had no need to hunt, make shelter or do many other things that people need to do in these days, but that is another story. One day the People too followed Frog and the others up onto the land. As the People came on to the dry places Darkness recognized them. She saw the light of her brother Fire shine from the eyes of the People, and she loved them. It was then that Darkness decided to bring sleep and dreams to the world. Out of the place between she her brother Darkness made Dreamtime.

In Dreamtime the People can know the Darkness and hear her voice and learn her stories. Where the People can better see and know the truth of the light of Fire within themselves. In the Dreamtime Darkness speaks that which the People need to know.

“You have the heart of Fire” she would whisper in the Peoples dreams “Fire is my brother and you are too my brothers and sisters and my children too.”

It was from Darkness’ dreams that the People learned who they are and how to live in the world. “All was once Fire and all will be Fire
again” taught the sister of Fire. In this way the People learned that they are of the same stuff as the oak and the rabbit, the whale and the poppies, the rocks and the seas. All that is, had flowed from brother Fire, cooled by sister Darkness and would flow back to fire again.

“Learn the lesson of life well” Darkness told the People. “Fire was too full of pride and that pride took him so far from the right road that he has forgotten who he is”

And this was true for Fire no longer knew his name and every tiny piece of him now had new names. Each of the People knowing his own but not knowing the name of their true selves, Fire. “Remember you are Fire and be both proud and humble” spoke the sister/mother in the dreams of the People. “ Be proud that you are one with all that you see, care for the world as you would care for yourself. But remember to be humble, for it was pride that led Fire from the true path and made him forget his name. Learn the lessons that Fire did not. Remember your true name”

During these days only the Wise People remember the true name for Creation, who see that our path is the same one that is shared by the rest of Creation. When the world was young all the People heard and understood the wise words of Darkness. They knew that she saw the times both before and after the People. That she knew and remembered everything. As she now tells the People of Fire, she will someday tell Fire of the People, and they will both remember all the People and all the Animals and all the Plants and Rocks and all the Waterways that had been Fire and was to be Fire again. As long as Fire and Darkness remember then all that was would still be, in Dreamtime.

Notes:
This Creation myth is based on my understanding of physics and Native-American worldviews. All that we know now, life revolving around moderately heated suns are based on earlier generations of stars. All the heavy elements that make life possible were forged in the fires of long dead suns. Thus a new creation myth based on the bifurcation of energy, matter and sentience: Big bang, fire falls everywhere into the arms of sister Darkness. “ Fire fell out in pieces across sister Darkness. His pride takes him off the right path, the Green Path. Fire is on a Purple Path, and Fire forgets who he is. It falls to the People to rejoin the Green Path, the path of harmony

Author Information:
Name: James K. Nelson-Lucas
Website: http://www.storyteller.net/tellers/jnelson-lucas
All stories are under the copyright of the author. Do not use without written permission.

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