Cosmic River Picture

This painting is based on a Pagan creation myth, which shall be below. It is chalk pastel on paper, 11' x 9' For sale, if interested comment.

Imagine a time before time was born. Imagine a time when no sun lit the colorless sky. When no moon shone silver on the dark sea. When no bird sang in a forest, no horse ran through long grasses, no bear slept in its cold cave.

Imagine a time when there was no air, no water, and no earth. No life, no birth, no music. In the entire universe, only three things existed. There was a river, in which flowed a swirling mix of possibility. There was space, blank and black and without even a single star.

And there was a girl. The river was the power of movement in the universe. Space was the power of stillness. And the girl was their daughter;

Her name was Luonnotar, child of nature. She lived alone, with no sisters, no friends, and no companions. There was nowhere for her to walk, so she did not walk. Nowhere for her to run, so she did not run. She did nothing but rest on the stillness of space, watching the
river glide into endlessness.

There is no name for what Luonnotar did. You cannot say that she was sleeping. To sleep means to dream, and to dream means to dream about something. But nothing had ever happened in all the endlessness that Luonnotar remembered, and dreams cannot be spun of nothingness. But she was not truly awake. That would mean movement, and talk, and song, and pain. Luonnotar had nothing to say, nothing to sing, because nothing had ever happened to speak or sing about. Luonnotar felt no pain. But she felt no joy either. She simply floated, and watched, and waited.

Then one day—if there can be days where there is no time—something changed.

Something tightened in Luonnotar's chest. It felt as though her heart were bruised and hurting. She lay, floating on space near the endless river, wondering at this sensation. In the eternity of timelessness, she realized—more slowly than you can imagine—that she was feeling something.

She felt desire. She felt emptiness. Into that emptiness flowed a river of yearning, want, longing. What did she desire? Nothing had ever happened in the universe, so Luonnotar could not recognize that she yearned for action. Nothing had ever changed, so she could not
know that she yearned for change.

But, after that moment, as Luonnotar rested in cold space watching the black river flowing around her, she did so differently.

Slowly—more slowly than you can imagine—an idea came to Luonnotar. There had never been an idea in the universe before, so it took a long time to grow. After that immeasurable time, when her idea was full and ready, Luonnotar felt it rise like the first sun of thought.
When it shone bright and strong in her mind, she acted. Luonnotar dived from space into the great river.

It took but a moment. Then she was on the surface of the river. It was endlessly deep, but Luonnotar did not sink. Floating on her back, she looked up at the space from which she had leapt. There was no light there, no brilliant star or radiant moon nor beaming sun. There was only emptiness and perfect stillness.

Luonnotar rested again, drifting through the universe on the waves of the river that flowed beneath space. She traveled vast distances, but it was as though she remained still. For everywhere, everything looked the same.

There was still only a river, space, and a girl.

But no action, however small, is without effect. Everything in the universe is connected. Luonnotar's plunge had changed everything, forever. It took endless time for the change to reveal itself, but finally, something happened.

A duck swam up to Luonnotar. A duck. In the whole empty universe where there had been only one being. How had this come to be, that there were now two?

It happened because Luonnotar moved. When she did, she shifted the axis of the universe. In her yearning for change, the girl had created a new world, a world in which a duck could exist.

Luonnotar lay very still. The tiny duck swam around and around, looking at the floating girl. Then she climbed onto Luonnotar's knee and sat down.

The duck sat there calmly, out of the cold of the great river, upon the warm knee of the girl.

Then something else happened, something so beautiful that Luonnotar could not believe her eyes. The duck laid three little eggs on her knee.

Luonnotar's knee was the only warm, dry spot in the entire universe. It was the only place where the future could hatch.

Luonnotar lay very, very still. She willed herself not to move in even the slightest way. The duck sat on her clutch of eggs, and the eggs grew warmer and warmer. The future, in all its sparkling variety, drew nearer and nearer.

Luonnotar yearned for that future. She yearned so much that the dull pain returned to her heart. But she ignored it. Her skin prickled from the heat, the feathers, and the tiny scratches of the duck's webbed feet. But she ignored that, too. The future was at stake, and she wanted to protect it. So day after day she floated, perfectly still. The duck sat upon the eggs, the eggs sat upon the girl's knee, and the girl floated upon the river of heaven.

Then, suddenly, the duck shifted her position. Her tail feathers tickled Luonnotar's skin. Luonnotar's knee twitched. She did not mean to. It happened beyond her control. And it was not much: just a tiny twitch. But it was enough.

Luonnotar watched in horror as the precious eggs rolled off her knee into the cosmic river.

What had she done? The only task of her entire existence, and she had failed! Had she ruined everything? Luonnotar watched the eggs crash into the waves. She feared they would sink forever out of sight. She feared that the future would be lost in the black river of time.

Instead, the eggs broke open. Marvels poured forth. The yolks joined together, forming a yellow ball, and rose shining into the sky. The whites joined together and
formed the silver moon. The bits of shell sparkled and drifted upwards, until they shone down as the countless stars. In the blankness of space, where Luonnotar had seen nothing but emptiness for so long, light appeared.

It was magic. And Luonnotar, from whose yearning these marvels were born, was transformed. She dived beneath the surface of the heavenly river. Down, down she dived. Something was there. She could feel it calling to her.

There it was! Luonnotar spied a bit of mud in the darkness beneath the river. She grabbed some in her hand and swam to the surface. There she floated on her back, forming the mud into a cone upon her belly. When she placed it carefully on the river's surface, it rose up into a mountain. She dived again, and again, and again. Each time she returned with a handful of mud, she created something new. One time it was an island, another time a forest-swept valley. Furiously, joyously, Luonnotar worked.

She built peninsulas and continents, high peaks and fertile plains. She gouged rivers into the land and scooped out lakes. Overhead, inspired by Luonnotar's creativity, the little stars assembled themselves into signs and designs. The moon learned how to show its changeful face to the new earth. The bright beaming sun learned to rise and set, dividing endless time into days.

As Luonnotar built the land, it burst into bloom. Red flowers trumpeted from vines. Grasses waved softly in the new wind. Great forests rose, and tiny flowers sprang from hard gray rocks.

And then the animals appeared, children of the new earth. Birds filled the forest with song. Horses ran upon the waving grasses. In mountain caves, bears made their cold dens. Monkeys chattered in the huge trees of the jungles. Whales plunged down, deep, deep, into the
chilly ocean waters.

Over great snowy peaks, eagles wheeled and soared. Tired at last, the creator sat down upon a high mountain. Luonnotar looked up at the brilliant sky. She looked around at the green earth. She looked at the dark blue waters sparkling in the new sun.

She looked at all that she had made, and she knew that it was good. ~Author Unknown
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