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Plate IX: "Crystal Visions"



ACT IX: The Fortune Teller (Wheel of Fortune)


- In which the boy confronts the future in running from the past.


Behind a veiled doorway stood a luxurious cushioned room. Incense filled the air with the exotic flavor of desert epics. Candles sent long shadows across ornate tapestries. Pillows lay strewn over oriental rugs. In the center, a beautiful woman with long black hair sheathed in strips of fine silk moved to the playful strings of unseen music. She cast long sinuous arms into the air as if to playfully catch lolling clouds of incense, or perhaps a swiftly fleeting daydream.


Noting the boy's presence in her lair, she motioned him to sit on a large pillow in the corner. There stood a large object obscured with a silken cloth. With a flourish the woman cast away the cloth to real a sky clear crystal ball. Deep within its glimmering recesses, one could see far more than the reflected playing of candle light. The woman began to sing while motioning over the ball:


"Come closer, you lovely boy, I will read your palm or two - would you but step closer to my clear embrace. I hold may futures for men in my gentle caress; I hold kingdoms in the depths of my womb. If you just would step into the light, you might see the secrets in my mirror of history and stories yet to come. I would read your tarot and show you the future follies and victories in store. If you dance a turn or two with me, you will grow up soon enough. You will know that future-perfect lies in past ways, questions arise from answers.


"But likewise, each forward, is itself the creation of the past. The possibility of future validates the existence of history. Foresight is the parent of the past continually being built, a unity of present, forever, everything. A grand tower of folly, built on no foundation and spiraling towards nowhere. In the creases of your hand, at once embryonic and skeletal, there lies when you were not, why you have become, where you are, where you will be, and when you will not be. They all are one and together separate.


"With such knowledge comes gentle oblivion, the peace of unity. For to realize past, present, or future, is to realize forever always has, is, and will be together in the never forever. This is, this will be, this has been: the realization of self as one, and the destruction of self as all. But I see in your palm, that this is a long path for you. You still hold tightly to a love for change, for quest. You must journey still further into night to find yourself."


The boy looked intently into the crystal ball. Mists played about inside, gradually revealing half felt forms. The boy saw himself entering the house of mirrors. He saw the strange characters he had already met and more to come. He saw wonders and horrors mixed in a mighty journey of self. In the last image he saw his future and turned away, for he knew such knowledge was not meant to be known to him. Instead, he traveled further on to find this moment, knowing it had already happened.