The eighth day of third month of the fifteenth year PD (Post Downfall)
It happened so fast that even as I look back now, going through each day slowly, I can’t recall how it all unfolded. There were rumors and threats then a shift; a simple crack in the most basic part of the world’s structure. The crack didn’t show in the papers, you didn’t see it on the news, and people didn’t know to talk about it; it developed regardless of the complete lack of attention. This subtle split grew, opened its mouth wide, branching out, filling up with hatred, speculation, fear, pride and our endless desire to prove something.
Once the gaping maw caused instability everything changed. The bombing was frightening enough, not just us but everywhere; pockmarking this world with unbearable scars. It was only by some miracle we did not destroy the earth in an instant. Like the crack no one saw, we tip toed around and fought dirty; fought using small bombs, sickness and subterfuge. No one wanted the blame for the end of the world but there were other ways to fight. Then, the very thing we had built to tie us together, to tie lands, countries, worlds together was destroyed.
I can still recall the heft and weight of the small device I carried for so long. We thought we were so connected. You, you so young and new won’t understand now what I mean if I call it by name, call all of them by name, but understand we were convinced they were vital. You could write and send it to someone in an instant; they could read it within seconds if they wanted. Yet, I remember how that grew too; and how, inside of all that noise, we learned to ignore each other better than we had before. It was as if we were all talking at once. Everyone stopped listening.
Afterward, the silence was strange and unfamiliar.
Some of us, quietly, had prepared for this day. We met up, counted what we had, found others, younger and stronger, and then we left. You had to leave in the night and take only what you had ready. For years we traveled, nomadic and struggling. More joined us taking shelter with our group. We became close, a cobbled together family. Every loss was felt.
This is when we began to remember how to listen.
No one was here. This land was waiting for us to live off her. She still breathed, miraculously untouched by all that had occurred. Our farms grow and give us food. Our wells spill forth fresh water. Our horses thrive. We spread out. Here and in the surrounding mountains. Never so far we cannot find each other. The land is beautiful and this place protects us. I am in awe of all I did not know before, of how much I missed for it was here all along. I have grown used to not only the silence of us, but also the music of the wind and the sea. It has become easy to delight in simple instruments, for a few of us saved what we had and brought that talent too. I have remembered how to listen.
We have remembered how to listen.
No one has come for us yet, we watch for ships but the horizon is blue and quiet. We rebuild with those we have. I write this down now so you can understand, so we can tell our story and try to learn. Many have come before me and told the same tale. I dare say they told it better. I will continue to write, to record all I can.
But you must not forget how to listen.