The ladder


The ladder, built by rays of sunlight placed one on the top of the other, emanated kaleidoscopic glares.
It climbed up to the top of a very high ziggurat, filling with its intense brightness the building’s large steps; it rose until the human imagination’s boundary; it reached the gods’ dwelling places.
Huno half-closed her eyes: the intense brightness was dazzling her.
At the foot of the ziggurat, she contemplated, with her heart full of dismay, a celestial vision.
Words would not be enough to describe the ladder’s splendour; its perfect, slightly curved structure; its evanescent but solid steps; its seemingly sharp tip, proof of the ladder’s unimaginable highness.
Huno knew, and understood for what purpose it had been built: to allow gods to mingle with men, in order to supervise them, and, at the same time, to have fun.
When gods climbed down from heaven, they assumed human appearances, and, during a short period, leaded the same life of men.
The ladder was the indispensable toy which allowed them to reach earth, the necessary means by which they amused themselves through deceit and betrayal of men’s trust.
Women thought to make love with their own husbands, but really they submitted to the will of whimsical and bored gods.
At the right time, they gave birth to the children of a sin they did not know to be guilty of.
Huno, on the contrary, was completely aware of what happened every time a god climbed down the ladder.
Wonderful but dangerous, sublime but very deceitful, it was the exact representation of the misleading gods’ power.
Nobody could see it except Huno, half-way between childhood and maturity, saved, who know why, from the rage of gods.
When men’s eyes had been veiled, and men’s ears had been corked; when wisdom and knowledge labouriously hoarded during many centuries had been destroyed; when men had returned to the level of ignorant savages, Huno had realized she was alone.
Gods, frightened by men’s knowledge, wisdom, and intelligence, had sentenced their creatures to an everlasting unableness.
She was the only one saved from ignorance, tha last of an ancient time forever lost.
Huno knew, and understood: she alone had sight of gods’ misdeeds, and of their ladder.
After having tried to saw the ladder by a great number of means, she realized the only way to achieve her purpose.
Manhood, shifted into filth by gods’ envy, had the right to be peaceful.
Huno climbed up the ziggurat, without much effort; then looked at its bottom, and gave a deep sigh.
She had to achieve her purpose, no matter how hard it would be.
She began to climb up the ladder, step after step.
It seemed solid as a rock, warm to the touch, and she could not see its tip.
Huno reached a great highness, so that she could hardly distinguish men, as small as ants.
Her breath was taken away.
While she was falling headlong, dandled by the wind, Huno was satisfied: the ladder was full of zigzag, large cracks.
Her sacrifice had not been in vain.
The ladder that reached heaven collapsed, curling upon itself, crumbled as dried clay.
The ethereal and multicoloured rays of sunlight began to whirl in a strange ballet, like butterflies which turned here and there in the blue sky, like dancing fragments of haevenly glory.
Eventually, with a last flicker, they slowed down their foolish ballet, joining together to form the rainbow.

Leggi anche  Il tempo del dubbio - Capitolo 3

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