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The Fool and the Harlequin

Where Stars are Forged into Swords

By C. Rommial ButlerPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 2 min read
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Ego is the Fool.

He makes a plan, always based on an ideal.

His big bold heart loves too much, gives too much, dies…

…too much, even in the act of living forever.

He wanders, he searches, he seeks, he finds, he lives, he dies, he becomes infinite people with infinite minds.

Each failure on the path to success is a virtue, but he is exhausted from the work.

He comes upon a cave. Just outside he discovers a forge, steel. Inside, a reflecting pool. He spends many tired nights staring into the still water, dreaming his idealistic dreams. He uses available material to build a mold in the shape of a sword.

Suffering the pangs of consciousness tempers the steel within, an eidolon of the steel without. At first, he stokes the fire only for warmth, but eventually he melts the steel, pours it from the crucible, into the mold.

The fire burns high, higher, highest—until it burns the Heavens and leaves smoldering stars in its wake.

He shapes the sword within the raging flame.

Perhaps it is not steel. He cannot say for sure, but he thinks it may be the stuff of stars, the heart of some dead god. But steel, he figures, is just as good a word as any.

Once the fire burns down to the lightning-quick rainbow-dance of shimmering coals, the steel is ready for the hammer’s blow. The Fool, working feverishly, blow after blow, fashions a sword of his will.

The hilt burns one palm as the handle of the hammer blisters the other. The sword is straight, the edges sharpened to hair-splitting perfection.

He plunges the red-hot sword into the reflecting pool. It hisses steam, and he watches with satisfaction: these dreams, these vaunted ideals which have chronically failed him, disappear into the ether.

He dies from the effort, but the sword remains, slips from his hand as he falls, clatters to the rocky earth.

Aeons pass in the cave where hammer and anvil met fire and steel. The corpse of the Fool putrefies, but Death is a transformation, a prelude to resurrection.

The Fool is reborn a Harlequin.

Masked, adorned with plumes of Truth.

She returns from the Beyond.

She knows The Way.

Beneath her mask, a sly smile.

She commandeers the sword, and ever so elegantly dances from the cave, embracing the ecstatic sunrise.

A New Dawn

I cannot say whither she goes,

For before us, a strong wind blows,

Mystery waiting to unfold,

A story forever untold.

More esoteric meanderings from C. Rommial Butler:

surreal poetryinspirational
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About the Creator

C. Rommial Butler

C. Rommial Butler is a writer, musician and philosopher from Indianapolis, IN. His works can be found online through multiple streaming services and booksellers.

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Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (4)

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  • Rachel Deeming4 months ago

    This read like mythology. I read the comments between you and Veronica and have a greater understanding of the context but without that, it's a great creation story. I love the idea of the harlequin from what I know from British representations but this has given me new perspective.

  • Veronica Coldiron12 months ago

    I loved this. I don't know why, but I caught myself thinking about Brokkr and Eitri trying to meet Loki's challenge. There's something almost prophetic about the cyclicity of the fool's efforts; laboring toward an ideal until something break, dies. What's left or comes next is less committed, also broken in its way. This is a great piece!!

  • Rob Angeliabout a year ago

    The initiating force, making the progression from 0 to 1 possible. Very good poetic expression of the arcanum.

  • I loved the journey of the Fool. It was tragic but so worth it when he was reborn a Harlequin. Very inspirational!

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