Saturday, January 30, 2010

King of the White Carpet

King, Crown or Fire?Image by kiekeboe-pepa via Flickr

I awoke to a ceremonial white carpet, rolled out solely for my presence--a fine welcome to a new world of opportunity and responsibility. The media advised my subjects to remain indoors, for the first footfalls on a fresh blanket must be reserved for none other than me, the day's King.

Stately first footfalls on fresh snow mar the surface, roughing the carpet, leaving a record of my accomplishments. For those who wished to follow, my path was evident, step where I step or stop to smell my abandoned thoughts.

Blades of grass, deep into their hibernation, poked up through the carpet, shimmering stalagmites unaware of their fate—the crushing whim of a despot that rules with iron feet.

“Walk upon me,” the carpet pleads. “You grace me with your presence and I will do my best to support you.” With each step there is a millisecond of support, as if the King, by right, can walk on this state of Water, yet the crust failed to hold my weight—not once did it succeed; Water and Earth fail as bedfellows.

"Shall I give you a ride, my King, my braving-these-elements King?" asked the Wind, obviously attune with my dissatisfaction. "With my gracious acceptance," came my reply, and the Wind lifted me on toward my destination. When dropped at the hearth of nourishment, the Wind waved goodbye, “’Til next time you’re King,” it said as it disappeared into the sky.

I warmed my feet and hands with Fire, as he told his lonely morning story. I was the first to sit next to him on a morning when he’d expected to crackle amidst a room bursting at its seams. And sadly, I announced, I must also be on my way, for my day as King was running past nigh.

Returning the way I’d come, I realized that my legacy was already beginning to fade; the carpet-layers never stopped to tell stories when required to work overtime, they judiciously cleaned the slate for others to be born, maintaining the chain of hereditary succession.

It was all I could take, being King for a day, and so I trudged forward, no desire to look at where I’d been, intent to recalibrate where I am going, a destination of feathers where I will fall to sleep, not to wake until it is well-past the coronation of the next morning’s King.