Chapter 1 : By the Light of the Moon
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By the Light of the Moon
What is it to be human? What is it to be mortal? What is it to be man?
The passage of time in a mortalís life is so fleeting, so insignificant and yet it seems an affinity to those who live through it. The minutes tick by, every second wrinkling our skin, stealing our youth and drawing the thread of fate ever closer to the threatening flame that is our death. Us mortals see not the passage of time as it ages and changes us, but we see it as a deadline. Death is the end, birth is the beginning and everywhere in between is just a burden.
But is that life? Is that what it means to be a man? Some people consider the meaning of being a man the same as a personís life value, but you cannot determine a lifeís purpose by a sum of numbers. You cannot calculate a personís worth and then determine whether their life meant something just by the sequence of digits. Some people live for their death, thinking that it is the great climax in their existence. Death is no great climax. Death is the waning of life. It is the beginning of the end, and in every end there is a new beginningÖ and so I suppose you could say that death is the beginning of a new beginning.
And still, that is not what it means to be a man. I suppose that every person will have a different perception of their true meaning, and I would only hope that mine is accurately proportioned to my own life and views, even if they are slightly tainted by the man I am, was and have yet to be. You must understand: I am no ordinary man. I am no ordinary mortal, in fact.
I am a werewolf, pure and simple. There is nothing else I could be, and even though I deny it a lot of the time, nothing else I would rather be. Every disability bears a great strength under its wing and trust that my strength can stand the grunt of my disability.
In my hindered state, I was denied many things. Trust from fellow man was the main one and it still causes me pain today to see others look at me with fear or disgust just because of something that was entirely accidental. But with that denial, I grew stronger. I learnt to ignore the opinions of those who thought they were better than me, those who thought that they were too good for the squalid end that death is.
But man is not his achievementsÖ his sentiment is a reflection of the things he has done in life, but his meaning, the meaning of being a man to him, is what he sees when he opens his eyes. What do you see when you open yours? What do I see?
I see children playing in the dirt, not creating mess; rather just creating. I see the sun at dusk, setting fire to the clouds and making them look like fluffy sheep, fleece ablaze in a sea of blue and stinging tears into my eyes as they fade to dark. I see the mountains in all their vicious splendour and I feel their pull. I feel the want to climb to the highest, craggiest peak and to scream my throat hoarse, then stand and wait to see if it echoes back from the enormous empty skies.
I can hear the saccharine song of the nightingale as he hides in his tree, followed by the guttural scream of the hawk as he beats his wings heavily. I desire the ability to spread my arms and fly far, far away, over mountains and valleys filled with glittering diamond rivers and willows, poplars and olive trees that have been scented silver by the pale light of the moon.
All of this, and so much moreÖ
The thrill of running through an empty field, just running with such wild abandon that you couldnít care less if the world was erupting behind you: you were going far to fast for it to catch up. The ice a woman feels trickling over her heart as she watches her child borne away from her. Undoing her braids and running her fingers through her long, beautiful ivory hair before gouging her face with her fingernails to make the pain go away.
That was what it means to be a human, to be alive. To feel and be felt and love and be loved and to appreciate life. Everything else is always second best, no matter how much us mortals get lost in the hustle that is everyday life, the mundane responsibilities we think need to be done or the world would collapse around our feet.
And sometimes I pity the man who cannot see what he is really worth. The man who canít see past the sequence of numbers or the diplomatic standing of a rival country long enough to realize that he is better than all that. That he is made of pure self and so is the world around him. Because those people donít live as men were meant to live and will never reap the satisfaction they crave. They will walk forever down a path where what they want they cannot see, smell nor even conceive of. A path that is blocked in with ferocious walls and nothing but the brutal stones that would cut their feet to keep them company.
And so I ask you:
What is it to be human? What is it to be mortal? And what is it to be man?
A/N: Er... in case you hadn't cottoned on just yet, this fic is narrated by Remus Lupin. It doesn't really have any plot at all, it's just a whole lot of stuff on his view of what it means to be a man (or, to be politically correct, a human being, although I wasn't really bothering with the whole 'politically correct' thing in the fic - so, any references to 'what it means to be a man' or just men in general, is actually about both men and women alike. Sorry if it's not very clear when you first read it)
So, yea, like I said, it doesn't really have a lot of plot but I would appreciate feedback anyway. If anyone disagrees with a point I made (or tried to make) in the fic then feel free to email me about it. I'll happily discuss my views on what ever it was Remus was blabbering on about in my fic ( :P ). My email is on my bio page, obviously ^_^
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