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Watching Narcissus

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He does not work.

That was Echo's downfall. Watching nymph in vain try to win the love of Narcissus, I saw her failure in the lack of realizing this mere fact. Blindly she strove the world to win the affection of a man whom would or could not work at loving anyone save himself.

When he did bestow upon her some small interest, it was only for the fact that she repeated shallow thoughts back towards ears that listened solely for the man's own words and ideas.

Perhaps they seemed a perfect match then, Narcissus and his Echo.

If the man ever lifted one finger it was only for himself and for that which would hardly cause a bead of sweat upon any place other than his much admired physique. Hunting through the world was easy, for he killed that which he pursued and put no more strife nor care towards it. Echo did you ever stop to see past the constant working of your mouth? Anything worth your lover's attention always died. Your fate was to be the same. Turning thy focus on lips and not on mind and heart, the truth that Narcissus could not love that which was not of himself never reached you. That would take too much effort: to acknowledge the existence of that which was not Narcissus. Though you could only hurl his own words back at him, at first intriguing the hunter and lover of self, you still disappointed the man with an image which was not his.

He would have to labor to truly see you, poor creature, and so he deemed you not worth the attempt.

And there was your death once more.

He did not work for your love, Echo. He will not work for mine either, but you fell for Narcissus out of the love of his body alone. You became the essence of your name and echoed his downfall: Narcissus loved only the part of himself that he could see.

Poor faded, nymph, you did the same.

When I came cross fair Narcissus, he had already met his doom in his own reflected beauty and been cursed by Olympus for his sin against you. Pity moved my heart, for while he stared at beauty on surface waters, I gazed at a beauty on the surface of flesh and wept for a husk whom contained but a black hollowed, not hallowed, universe of cold space within.

Now I keep watch over him, waiting for a single star to appear in his destructive void but grieve, expecting nothing, for birthing stars is work in itself, too much for lazy Narcissus.

Stare, stare...he gazes into water to see himself. Yet he fails to realize it is he, himself, that has earned his own love. That too would take too much effort, you see, and Narcissus cannot abide that.

To know one's self is a tireless search that even those that do not fear aching of muscle, bleeding fingers and callous of feet do not rush bravely towards. For if one looks into their own soul and sees the truth of that which they are and finds it repulsive or wanting they might be moved enough to change themselves.

Work.

Too much work.

Easier for Atlas to forever hold the celestial sky about his shoulders or for Sisyphus to perpetually roll the boulder of his punishment and Hercules go about his tasks than to change one small and simple vice within the human heart. Sweat on brow shall always be preferable to sweat of soul; so many do not attempt it and seek no reminders of avoidance and ignorance

Many born of flesh and blood, of their mother's own labor, even if she abandon her child once it has finished, often choose to stare into mirrors of glass at their bodies instead of gazing into reflection they can better see when they close their eyes, recount past deeds and contemplate the true desires, dreams and workings of their heart.

Narcissus too forsakes the heart for the face that he can see.

He grows in water now so shallow he cannot drown and save himself from the sin that damned him. Maybe if but the waters were deeper he could find his faults inside them when he went under. Drowning in himself, he could finally understand how he failed not only Echo and I but, most of all, himself. The perfect Divinity of self knowledge, sitting above Olympus and watching pale imitators betray man as man betrays his own kind, knows that this is the first step which will always make the cycle keep repeating like words from Echo's lips: that when souls wound that which they take as another they simply turn a knife upon themselves.

Tis too late now for my Narcissus. I look and he is gone, replaced by flower.

Day passes night and night says its farewell to the coming day, yet the flower remains while my beautiful, selfish and empty man has gone!

I have often left the flower alone to stare at its own beauty. Today, I have plucked it from the water to put it out of its misery and sorrow. For no matter how hard it tries, it cannot truly gaze past the shell of its own beauty and fully see itself.