Libraries are simply forests given purpose. Just as we give purpose to the universe.
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October 13th

For those who may one day find my journal, clutched safely in my bag once my bones are one with vines. I would let you know that mine was not a disease of self-affliction, but one of humanity. My sickness that of every human that has ever walked this wild and forbidden place, I had wanted to know the very reasons for the universe, so as foolishly as any man might stumble- I found the Library.

I believed in those times that no story could tell of the edges of the world, that not even gods eyes shone on it. But when I cleaned off my desk at the end of a semester, a card made of old, yellowed fiber fell from the stack of papers. The writing on it was ancient and seemed written in a dead language from a man possessed, but I had shown it to my closest friends. Together we split the atom of sanity and were burned in its light.

Standing in that place, I asked for answers. I asked for the death of my mind when all was disproven and I received it from a creature that made belief itself irrational. A book, bound in damaged leather, tied with cord. The one which, as of now, is locked in a metal chest in my cabin's closet. I fear this book falling into the hands of anyone else- those who have read it have all gone on to places where maps are the same at any angle. And as I fear- I may now have been ensnared as they were.

The book was written in English, yet no man could have written it. I spent days feverishly reading it. The darkness and light burned me away until I was a part of it; crushed into singularity with the universe. It spoke of primordial gods, created from the chaos of the universe. How they'd crashed into the natural earth to form the entity that would create mankind. A convoluted machanika of progress and decay. While the deep cool earth slept and gathered the knowledge lost by mankind. It spoke to me of the trees and sun. Of revelry in verdant praise. Of light and power. Of a quiet love from afar for mankind.

It spoke of the universe and the universe beyond and beyond that- the hinterland had captured me, captured me and pulled me in and here I now stand and I’m unable to find a way back to the point I started. So, I find my knowledge of the world is now smoke.

October 14th

When one is to get lost in a forest or find themselves free from direction the advice would be to wait and let someone find you before you wander even farther. Not only do I believe that is now pointless, I feel as if I can’t- that waiting will cause the world to pull out from under me and I may fall into a formless abyss. I have chosen to walk the path, chance the universe and roll its dice with footsteps. Considering I have been entrapped by the same gods that have already gotten the others, I think there is little use in thrashing- save to make the venom take me faster.

October 15th

As a child, I once wandered the area around my home. Looking in awe as the world changed with time and I changed along with it. Leaves turned, the air grew cold and still, as I grew taller than did the surrounding trees. I'd often wonder if mankind formed as the earth cooled from its initial form of hellfire and hydrogen gas, were we made by gods- or as the forest told me- did we rise from dirt and moss, eyes made of fresh spring water and souls made of wood and branches that longed to stretch to the sky.

Vines grow and overtake, things fall to ruin as do we as humans. Some ruin from disease, some from poison, some are cut down before their fingertips can touch the sky and know the air. In a way, these trees- near immortal shrines to nothing have surpassed us in every way. They have more meaning than we do, a quiet purpose, and seem to radiate emotions that have no names- then again, names are things made by man in an attempt to understand the worlds they lock themselves into.

October 16th

I keep believing it was supposed to have snowed last night, I remember in my cabin hearing from the rangers station about a snowstorm coming from the North, coming down from Washington with a fury and that's why I had entered the forest, to gather pine knot for the fire.

Though I only have a bottle of water there has been no complaint from my body, no hunger, I didn’t notice at first- I’ve never been one for indulgence, but this seems almost unnatural. I have no real desire to think on it, I choose to simply take this divine energy and keep walking.

October 17th

As a young man of 14, I had become an untamed monstrous thing, quick of wit and sinister in design. My father's drunkenness had come to be a disease that would surely end him, and he infected me with his anger by brutal contact. The childish dreams of the forest had abandoned me then, or maybe I had just stopped hearing its call. I was after all a boy in the dangerous 70s when war was all we feared which I believe also poisoned me. Perhaps, the forest was a mark of my innocent adolescence, something to be discarded.

The Vietnam War took many things from all of us back then. For some it took parents, for some it took more. Some fathers came back from the war marbled and wrong. They tried to fill themselves with alcohol in desperation to remember the person they used to be.

Unlike many gods, those of war do not care what they take as a means to their ends. Some of their blessed come back with a thirst for fermented grain and eventually turn to a ravenous hunger for lead. The gods of war do not care for those youths they leave in their wake.

October 18th

I believe I am right, I believe I have walked East. The forest has gone from Autumn to Winter and I feel almost renewed, as if the ancient, nameless gods of this forest have given me a strength.

I watch the sun begin to set and I find my place in a warm bed of pine and hemlock branches. Sometimes walking today I have forgotten about my search for civilization, did I have a purpose in my cabin with my books and candles, with my writing and diaries? I feel as if I am almost deliberate, almost artificial.

I begin to wonder if this forest is beginning to try and take me, to make me into a tree to grow into the sky I once dreamed of, to bask in the sun and sleep in the cold. Would that be so terrible? Would that be the end of me or the reward for having braved the trials of life?

Did the ancient Greeks understand the words spoken to them by the gods? Could they hear the gods words in the crashing of the waves on the sandy shore, the crackle of a fire and the clap of thunder? What power they may have had to hear their words, what would the gods say now?

The wind blows through the trees as dark falls and I think I can hear them; the gods are whispering to me in words so ancient that humans cannot speak them- words humans have lost the meaning of. An inexplicable far off fear sets into me as I look up at those nameless monuments… Is it the ancient gods of dirt and root walking around me? What do they wish to communicate?

October 19th

Mist had rolled in during the night, overtaking everything in a mind-warping sea of fog. Against my better judgment I tried to walk onward but fell and rolled down a slope, bending myself like a nail on the side of a tree that grew resiliently on this treacherous slope.

I have laid here, in the bottom as I tried to recover myself and it is now noon. This is I believe 7 days I have been in these wilds and against all humanity I have survived. The gods of the primordial earth have taken a liking to me and perhaps I have done something they liked, perhaps this is the afterlife or the way to it. I wonder then how I might have died, perhaps frozen on that first night- sure I had been alive on the first day. Though this would normally terrify any man, I am comforted.

I have looked to these trails and darkness and found happiness, contentment, wonder, emotions man has no name for nor explanation.

October 20th

As a young man, I strode through the bleak existence of manhood. Living as humans do in a world with no sun, shivering under the coldness of that confinement and wishing for even my life to end. Between homes, I went, having no family meant nothing to hold me down.

Through the muddy paths of chemical obsession and sleeping under rainy skies, I became tempered against the harshest of the world. Having no love made me immune to the knife of a rogue, the hunger of loneliness. I had been stripped to nothing and concrete.

It was one night, when the sirens had closed in on me, and I was fleeing certain imprisonment that I came upon a cliff and a solitary trail. I fled here, climbing higher and higher, escaping the fog of combustion engines and the chemicals that held my brain.

I found a cave in this cliff, it was once a line of which to move goods by rail before the interstates and highways became commonplace and I sheltered here as a storm came down. My pursuers gave up when I couldn't be found and here I came down with a sickness unlike any other.

In sickness, I lay against the wall of the cave. My mind spinning until it came to rest and I saw sun, I felt warm earth beneath my body and as the sun dappled down from the boughs of trees, I achieved a sort of awareness brought on in the escape from my self-inflicted disease.

Half mad, half dead, I crawled out of the cave. I was desperate to see something I did not understand. I crawled on rocky soil and tore my body to pieces to reach the top of the cliff, and when I did the sky opened up, and I was stripped from my body by what I saw. A great flash of light and the heavens spiraled out before me in the night, limitless and bright. I became man again- more then man- under the Earth and Sky. The chemical addiction was torn out of me like a parasite, and I was filled with stars and planets. Made whole again by the universe.

After this, I found myself with new clarity and purpose- though I hadn't known any before, I was certain that the path forward was before me, and so I took it.

October 21st

The path is now gone, lost to vine and root and shroom and rot. I have simply trekked the strange trails that seem to jump out at me from between the trees. I am now lost in an ancient valley that shows no sign of ever having known human life. It is pure and untouched in the way that you can look up and be confused for lack of a sky beyond the boughs. It is dark here, but I am ever hopeful. I have found plenty to drink to the will of the ancient gods that watch me.

Hope is a strange thing in this forest. One would be where I am and curl up and give up. But I have chosen to look up, into the sun. I have chosen to look to the path ahead and see something more awaiting. To walk this path is to leave the past behind.

To keep walking the path of life, one must learn to leave memories in the pages before them, to leave pain in those pages. Do not carry those pages with you in your heart where they shade your heart from the sun above. You can go back and read, learn from the pages of your past, but never carry them in your hands. Leave your hands free to write a better path ahead. Sometimes, when you live in a world with no light as I have, you have to climb and break the fog to see the sky again.

October 22nd

This valley seems to stretch on forever in a great maw that appears to be open to anything that might fall in. I have tried to find my way back out of it, but the walls have come in on me, the top of the gorge I have tumbled into seems fenced with trees.

As the sun rose to its high peak, I have found what I believe is the end of this veritable ravine. But it has come to a cave that I am loath to enter no matter what the gods may say to me. I will sit for the rest of the day and rest, hopefully the trees will speak to me an answer.

At noon, I decided to make a descension into the roots and unknown, into a grave, into freedom, into hell or into heaven. As much as I loathe to lose the sky, this is the only way forward. Like life, sometimes the only way forward is through the deep.

I have descended into the mouth of a god and found myself among its truest meaning. The darkness has served to strip me of my humanity and create a soul out of me, a ghost of what I once was, a ghost of light, trees, dirt and moss, a black figure, a shadow, a truth in the midst of the lie of reality. I have become Dante, chosen to plunge into the deepest bowels of the earth, my flashlight- my dearest Virgil to take me to hell and back out again, learned of man's purpose and its inherent disease given to it as soon as it first looked to the sun.

Mankind is an entity unique in itself. Born with the ability to sense and feel, to receive answers from the universe and to perceive with their mind. But through a quirk in culture are brought up to reject this ability as useless, as heresy, as evil. As a child, I heard the storms speak to me in ancient languages too old to understand, I heard those forgotten names but know them now, I know them as if they were a part of me, a part of all existence.

All children of man can hear these gods before they are forced to discard them in favor of bread and wine or whatever mankind chooses to use as the tool to shut down the beauty of man. But some still cannot resist that call, they come back. The forest calls them, maybe the lightning streaking across the sky, maybe the roots of mankind itself and that primal glory but something calls them back. They desire nothing more than to bury themselves in the dirt and be reborn again as a child to hear them clearly again, the true voices of the universe.

I am standing at what I am certain of is the end of everything. All that awaits me is a single chamber with a bottomless well and I cannot go back. I have tried to sleep but it seems all in avoidance of the inevitable fact that I have arrived at my end.

I can only record my thoughts here before I make my descent into space and stars. Before I take the last steps of this journey and begin a new one. I have considered trying to turn back, but seeing as I have wandered for so long in this cave, there is no choice.

This is my final letter in this book of memory, I will tuck it into my coat and take my silent goodbye with me into hell. I will dine with demons, god knows I deserve it from all that I've done with this life. I'm sorry, Isabelle, I'm sorry Richard, I'm sorry most to you my precious Analise. We wanted to know what man should never know, wanted answers to questions we shouldn't have been able to even ask.

The University will know me as William Hensley, the professor of literature and scholar of ancient gods, but I will go down into hell as just a man who made countless mistakes and misjudgments. I only ask the gods who whispered to me long ago give me some sort of mercy.

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