Several years ago, I couldn’t decide what to write. But I had been enjoying Jules Verne, and been awed by the New Mexican night sky, and decided to play with something random connecting the two. Declarable Glory is what came out of it. After I finished the Dreaded King Saga (yay!) I decided to indulge in pulling out an old book for an edit, to see what I thought of it. Here are a few quotes (some of them quite long) and sketches from its pages, so that you can indulge along with me. Perhaps I will edit it enough to let it come into your hands soon.
“Before our feet, the metal structure of Kathar’s Dock stretched for some hundred feet, ending abruptly where the many outer loading docks started. Ships were everywhere you turned your gaze. The large cargo ships lolled at their anchors, making the metal docks shudder with the immensity of the metal hull, and the stacked engines resting on the keel weighing each down yet more. Clipper ships rested with elegant patience, to be restocked and sent out cruising again, on whatever mission or pleasure they were called upon, their streamlined sides and advanced rockets making them appear austerely above the general crowd. There were schooners, barques, cutters, frigates, ketchs, brigs, packets, sloops, yachts, and even a few battle ships arrayed in all the splendor of their kind. The necessary hurry and busyness of docking, stocking, fueling, loading, repairing, and every task connected with ship work, however slight, buzzed and fretted everywhere. The scent of oil and grime and every imaginable cargo mixed into an indefinable assault on a newcomer’s nostrils. The hum of busy humanity intermixed with the sound of the ceaseless bells and repairs to create a cacophony which melded into a single mind shaking roar. The warning bell for an outer dock opening rang out in almost ceaseless monotony as ships came and went from the airlocked safety of Kathar’s Dock into the inexplicably wide universe. And it was this that truly caught the attention of those stepping off the transport cars onto the dock.
“Stretching over all the expanse of scurrying workers and looming ships in every state of niceness and ruin spread a vast, clear dome, so fine I have heard those who have not physically bumped against it swear it does not exist. The dome was the only partition between our miniscule selves and the universe stretching away from our comfortable little Milky Way, upon whose outer edge we now stood. The vastness was great enough to send the greatest mind into a wandering idiocy if tried to grasp. But it was not quite the immensity that hit a man stepping away from the warmth of our blue sky into the awe filled realm of the general universe. It was the beauty. The suddenness of the beauty overwhelmed, and drank all speech and thought from we frail bits of Adamic descended dust. Photographs spoke reams about these realms, but the full reality is more than can be absorbed by our minds immediately, however well created; for God speaks of Himself in the silence of the stars. Those who talk of the blackness of the universe have never stood on Kathar’s Dock. Those who name the sight a ‘countless light of stars’ say little of nothing. Those who stand still and silent in awe are the only ones who understand the sight. With Job we place our hands over our mouth, recognizing with a sudden heartbreaking pain of delight how truly small and unworthy we are to speak a single sound in the omnipresent attendance of the God who created all things. We gazed at the unknowable expanse, filled with iridescent gas pillars, super novas whose colors are truly indescribable, brilliant stars of every size and hue, galaxies swirling in graceful immensity, each entirely unique in its own mysterious beauty, and each dropped onto the unexplainable black velvet of space that (for all human knowledge can discover) drifts on into full eternity. We had nothing to say. In silence I stepped beside Gloriana, and Jollity tumbled out to join us. Gloriana took my arm and Jollity stayed very close as I led the way toward Father’s broad shoulders, which I could see standing above the crowd some ways to our left. I too felt the quiet, wholesome fear and welcomed the closeness of my friends. The God who created all this was massively more powerful, beautiful, and awesome than anything my frail, faulty mind could ever grasp. Thank God He loved us.
“A sigh came from my little brother to show I was satisfactory. Or that might have been his finally committing himself to sleep. It was difficult to tell. His tiny hand closed around my finger and held it fast as he fell deeper into the realms of slumber, where children grow and adults lose all their cares for a time. Here was something of such greater worth and beauty than any gas pillar or super nova I might find. And it fit in my arms. I held a child who could laugh and love, a man who could cry and scream. This tiny person lying so contentedly and trustingly in my arms held so immense a reflection of glory to our great, personal Father God it was unfathomable; for it was as deep a well as a soul, and none can plumb that depth but the One who made it.”
“The thought of ascending higher with such odds against us was truly daunting. But our packet was growing weaker, producing less oxygen. It would not last us even back to the beginning of that tunnel, much less to finding a way out where there was none back at that dim hole. Better far to try with everything we had then to simply stop. God did not promise to make life comfortable for His redeemed, heaven knows, and He did not promise death would not take us. But He granted strength, and life, and ingenuity, and then gave love to make the others sweet. And all four were expected to be used to their fullest. We were still in possession of each of the gifts, and I would not stand by and let them lie idle. I gripped a protrusion and began to pull myself up the cliff face, Glory’s face foremost in my mind and the knowledge we must return for her sake pushing me on.”
“I flung open the main hatch and we tumbled onto the deck. I stood still in my tracks, gazing in horrified wonder at the sight before my eyes.
“Watham’s Black Hole loomed just in front of us, drawing closer with every moment of time. The light particles pulled into orbit around the edge of the stellar-mass black hole gave off a brilliantly resonate blue light. I could almost hear the particles screaming in terror and shining the brighter in the knowledge they would soon be swallowed, one by one, into the horrible blackness of the terrific gravity where nothing escaped. Not even light. … My eye fastened on the center of this massive, swirling, density of beautiful helplessness, to what had the power to draw such a weight to itself, and to what would so easily swallow our lives. The round blackness of the hole itself, with the single stream of blue light shooting so far above us it seemed endless from the tightly packed particles at its mouth, gazed back at me dully. It would have been bearable if it had seemed mocking. It would not have been maddening if it had been evil, laughing at our helplessness and delighted with its own power. But it stared back dully. …There would be no pleading for pity from that inanimate thing of power pulling us into itself. This was simply power, massive, almost unfathomable in its density. I stood staring into the mouth of this dense ball of colossal, unrelenting power, pulling us against our wills where it would, and knew no pleading of my own would cause it to release us from its death swallowing tow. A pure power with no chance at escape… it seemed suddenly as though I was staring at death itself. … That we should be so helpless before death, death which claimed every living thing, early or late! I felt I could not bear such a curse any longer without help, and clutched at the railing in horrible desperation. A drop of blood from my cut lip fell on my white knuckle, and I glanced down. There was help. Death itself had been defeated by blood spilt willingly upon a hill outside of Jerusalem, so many ages ago.
“‘Jesus, have mercy on us,’ I whispered, shaking from my skull down to my bony toes.
“‘Aye, but don’t let’s neglect what opportunity our almighty Father has given us, as we beg for that mercy!’ Father called to me. I turned to see…”