Each one in their sphere. Of one, but separate. Thoughts in the same mind. Each sphere an idea; each idea a collection. Some better than others. A few terrible, but valuable in their way. Negative spaces, shadows, the inverse.
The tree feeds on both. Or is it fed by both? How to tell the difference?
The others grin. More mature. “Patience.”
He grumbles. The others, on the fringes, vibrate with excitement by his shift in emotion. Their dark spheres grow. Oh no, no-no. Deep breaths, eyes closed, acceptance of all. Careful not to ignore them, they like that best. To be dared. Acknowledgement is paramount, recognize them and continue.
A process that takes days. Or millennia, or moments. What’s the difference, really?
“The tree grows.” One of the council says.
“Always.” Says another.
“The roots reach into the very pits of hell, the branches brush heaven.”
“To see it grow is to see new depths—”
“And new heights.”
“Mmhm, continual balance.”
A new leaf unfolds. A branch grows. Roots spread deeper. The tree is creation. Clouds circle it. In the clouds, the council. New life flourishes, dies, becomes the soil, the tree lives on. And so the process continues.
“To what end?” Tom asked. Attention turned to him. The weight of it borders on painful, but he finds a way to balance the Pressure. Pushed from so many sides at once. Like holding a marble between the tips of two knives. Only perfection will keep the ball held in place.
“So that one does not come. We maintain the balance.”
Tom wanted to understand. He had, once. Long ago. He imagined he might again. A memory.