Looking around, I saw that I was in totally unfamiliar surroundings, and alone. Where was I, and more mysteriously, why didn’t I know? I couldn’t remember coming here. In fact, I realized for the first time, I couldn’t even remember where I came from. Why did I have no memory of this place, or for that matter, of any other?

Earth

I looked down at soft white sand between my toes. I looked up at the ocean, and at the waves washing lazily against the shoreline. Behind me were low, sandy cliffs, decorated with patches of long grass. Tall trees further back from the beach swayed gently in the warm breeze.

Who brought me here, and why couldn’t I remember? If someone else were around, I thought, I could ask questions and maybe get my bearings. I decided I would scale the highest rock I could see and look around for others like me.

It was an easy climb. I felt strong and full of energy, and in no time at all I was atop the rock and taking in the view. It was an amazing view…but it only served to form more questions in my already perplexed mind. Somehow I had arrived on a small island, with nothing else in sight but endless sky and blue rolling ocean.

Scanning the island I detected movement on the farthest beach. Was I seeing other people like me, or just birds? I had to find out. Hopping over rocks and kicking up sand my steps quickened as I became more anxious to understand my situation. On a high grassy peak in the middle of the island a fresh thought halted my progress for a moment. A strange sensation washed over my body when it occurred to me that I didn’t even know who I was. I could not name myself. I had no recollection of my origin or of my life: I was a stranger to myself.

Oregon Coast

I slid and jumped down the slopes towards the beach, and running through a group of trees I almost crashed into someone standing motionless on the sand. I stopped, and greeted him, breathing heavily. I noticed that he had feet, just like mine, and hands, and hair.

“Hello” I said again, receiving only a shrug and a grunt in return. His eyes remained fixed on the ocean, or the horizon. Questions came from my mouth in a stream:

“Where are we? Who am I? Who are you? How did we get here? What is this place..?”

I stopped to allow a reply, and waited for what seemed a long time, until the man’s eyes finally turned my way.

“Don’t know, don’t care”, he mumbled.

I stared incredulously at his face and at his demeanor.

“You don’t care?” I demanded.

“Well” he said rolling his head slowly away from me. “Who can know?”

He wasn’t requiring an answer: he’d clearly decided that he couldn’t-or wouldn’t-answer me.

I turned and ran over to another man, laying on his side, holding a hand full of something close to his face, examining whatever was there with fascination.

I rehearsed the questions I’d given the first man:

“Where are we? Who am I? Who are you? How did we get here? What is this place?”

The man continued his examination, grunting in a “What did you say?” sort of a way. Standing closer, and directly in front of him now, I repeated the questions. I waited for a response, though I began to wonder if it would ever come. It did.

“Well…” started the man, his face wrinkling in the sun in order to focus to a greater extent on the contents of his hand. He paused his verbal emanation, as though he wished to take an eternity to complete it.

“Well, you know, we’ve all been here for, ooh…for ever really”

He let sand run through his fingers, then picked up more, and began to stare at it in rapt concentration.

“We’re made of sand, you know” he continued. “And there’s no doubt….it’s obvious…it’s indisputable…that you, and I, young man, are the very offspring…of the stuff you’re standing on.”

With my mouth agape in astonishment at this statement, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He seemed to be serious. He meant what he’d just told me, yet it seemed to me there were no real answers in what he’d said.

11928322-blue-ocean-wave

Spinning around, I spotted another, sitting facing the sea, cross legged, his palms together in front of him. Perhaps I could get some information from him.

“Where are we? Who am I? Who are you? How did we get here? What is this place?”

For a moment my hopes were raised when he turned his face towards me, but as I looked into his eyes, it was as though this man were somehow vacant-as though I were looking at a shell of a man. I was almost surprised when his lips moved, and he spoke:

“My friend… we are not here. I am not here, and you are not here. What you think you can see is just an illusion”.

I stood back, shocked at what I heard. For a moment, I asked myself if what he’d said could be true. I looked him up and down. I looked down at myself-my feet, my hands. I felt my arms and the grains of sand on my hands. I listened to my breath and felt a beating in my chest. I felt the breeze blowing on my neck. No, I could not accept what this person had told me.

From the corner of my eye I saw movement, and I turned just in time to see someone striding vigorously past me, panting heavily, his eyes fixed on the horizon.

“Excuse me” I called, running after him, and in a raised voice repeated my entreaty:

“Excuse me-where are we? Who am I? Who are you? How did we get here? What is this place?”

The man didn’t hesitate or even turn his head, but instead waved me away dismissively. I tried to keep up with him, and this time I shouted from behind him,

“Where are we? Who am I? Who are you? How did we get here? What is this place?”

“Can’t stop” he barked. Too busy! Too busy to even think about it!”

I stopped in his tracks, watching as he marched rapidly away, clearly determined not to allow me to engage him in conversation.

Feeling a sense of exacerbation building inside me, I decided to attempt to try speaking to one more of these people on the beach. As I scanned the scene, I noticed a man staring at me, standing with his hands clasped behind his back. I moved towards him, and seeing a slight smile break out on his face and his eyes meeting mine, I felt a little hopeful that this time I was in luck: this time I may get some answers.

Politely, he greeted me as I approached, and asked me how I was today.

“Oh, very well sir” I said, “…but I’m very confused, and I was wandering if you could answer some questions for me?”

“Ask on”, said the man in a winsome and relaxed way, seeming to be genuinely willing to consider what I had to say. Once again I expressed myself:

“Where are we? Who am I? Who are you? How did we get here? What is this place?”

The man nodded and smiled as though he was all prepared to put all my concerns to rest. However, I was not prepared for his take on the situation.

“There are some who say we can’t know the truth of any of these things. There are some who tell us with their expert knowledge and education that we are the offspring of the island we stand upon. Others insist we aren’t really here-we only imagine that we are. And still others tell me they’re too busy to even think about it.”

“But what about you-what do you say?” I said impatiently. “Who’s right, and who’s wrong?”

He smiled a wider smile, and turning his head to one side, said,

“My friend, there is no answer to any of your questions. No-one is wrong, and no-one is right: it really is a matter of opinion! We all must come to our own conclusions. And whatever is true for you, is true-for you!”

Copyright © Nick Fisher October 2016

PLEASE KNOW, dear reader who may not realize, that I have a very definite and clear understanding of where I am, who I am, who you are, how I got here, and what this place is, as you’ll see if you sample some of my other writing in this blog. In particular, please search my posts on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you and God bless you with the light of Truth.

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