He could not move. His legs were stones, petrified and dead, deaf to the call of the living. His body was getting cold, turning away the desires of the flesh. His breathing was scattered like the falling leaves on a dying autumn day. But his eyes were alive and seeing, and full of light and colour. They meant everything to him, the beginning of the road and the end of the journey.

Under the heavy wings of the falling night, he could see the vast nothingness of the purple horizon. Red flames were turning into pinkish shapes while purple shades were trying to withstand the great march of darkness. The clouds seemed to have stopped their hectic dance: tired and unhappy, they had to make way for the uncertainty of the night sky. But he could see much further.

The fight between day and night, light and darkness, known and unknown, reminded him of things that had already happened as well as things that stretched beyond time. He was able to feel the painful pleasure of the first steps he made as a child. He could feel the total body exhaustion after a long day spent beneath the summer sun. He could feel the exciting thrill of whispering words of love to someone you don’t know. He could see the many disappointments, regrets and misgivings of someone blessed with a long life.

There was something else, deeper and stretching far beyond. It was the stories of a thousand men and women, chaotic, dispersed and polyphonic yet combined in a single net of dreams. In an instant he was a student looking into the future with enthusiasm and hope; he was a happy mother who had already given birth; he was a musician who had written a new song about true love; he was a gambler ready to make his move, full of excitement and anticipation; he was an old man enjoying the last sunny afternoons of his life.

And more. He could see things not meant to be seen by human gaze. He could penetrate deep into the wide ocean and swim to the very bottom, beyond reason and human thought, dancing in the rhythm of mysterious sounds no one had ever heard before. He could soar up like a bird reaching for the clouds, dreaming of cold air, light and freedom. He could turn into a stone, wise and sturdy, and stand still for a thousand years, despite cold and heat, rain and sun, wind and moisture.

The first stars appeared in the sky and started casting their silver light upon all. The last purple remnants of the sunset hurried behind their golden master. Shadows and black silhouettes began to crawl towards all things that still had a colour. Darkness was lurking around, preparing to consume all that would stand on its way.

And there he was, standing still, frozen in time, losing grip on reality yet focused and seeing through the tissue of matter. A single blurry picture had left where the great flames of the dying sun once decorated the horizon. Where the lapis lazuli of the sky and the emerald blue of the sea touched and kissed whispering the names of countless lovers, long gone and forgotten. A single blurry picture left of the great album of stories, memories and feelings. And soon this single remnant of the most glorious journey was to be gone, too.

The night took hold of the world. The stars were flickering, happy with the prospect of being the only ones that shine. But the horizon and all that lay beyond was gone.

He could finally move. He closed his eyes and took a step into the unknown.

Image by fineartamerica.com