The Trilili Bird: Quarreling over Perceptions

Denny JA
Karya Denny JA Kategori Cerpen/Novel
dipublikasikan 06 September 2017
The Trilili Bird: Quarreling over Perceptions

The Trilili Bird: Quarreling over Perceptions

translated by Nate Lukinsky

 

 

One sweltering afternoon

A throng of young people became distressed

Their soul was restless

Waiting for their teacher to counsel them

 

“Please, Teacher, shower us with spiritual guidance

Give us bread for our hearts

Tell us all about the Trilili Bird

Who directs and controls our breath of life”

 

One young man beseeched full of emotion

“Please, Teacher, tell us about the Trilili Bird

Tred tred tred

Give us some bread

Tart tart tart

Bread for our heart!”

 

Their Beloved Teacher stayed silent for a while

It was not that he didn’t want to open their eyes and enlighten them

But the secrets of the soul

Could not so easily be expressed in words

 

The Teacher mumbled in his heart

Oh, my dear miserable children

They are spiritually wounded

But they are only looking for a few words

As some slight gratification

 

They need a vision

It doesn’t matter if it’s just an illusion

 

The crowd sang out again like a choir

“Teacher, please speak

Before our souls split in half

Tred tred tred

Give us some bread

Tri tri tri…

Tell us about the Trilili Bird”

 

Their dear teacher at last began to speak

The limited amount of words that he could muster

“Woe woe woe

Life is full of sorrow

Dee dee dee

The Trilili Bird is your remedy”

 

“However, my sons,” the Teacher instructed them again

“Words can escort you only as far as the brink

To reach the highest peak

That must be your personal pilgrimage”

 

“Life derives from the Trilili Bird

Death at the edge of time also comes from Trilili

Because of this situation

Here is my proclamation”

 

“Live because of Trilili

And die because of Trilili”

 

The large group of young men sang together:

“At the beginning of time was Trilili

And at the end of time, it will still be Trilili

Live because of Trilili

And die because of Trilili”

 

The thirst of the masses had been quenched

The pronouncement of the Teacher was inscribed

Word for word it was printed as a guide

In detail it was recorded in scrolls and books

 

The legend of the Trilili Bird was already venerated and chronicled

The tale was handed down to each new generation

Millions of copies were printed

And distributed to every village throughout the nation

 

Months, years, and centuries elapsed and passed quickly by

A war was raging among the grandchildren

They all shouted out the same refrain

With resounding yells and reverberating screams

 

“Long live Trilili Bird

Oh exalted sacred pheasant”

With the same shouts

And the same heartfelt enthusiasm

 

However, they differed in their perception

Regarding the face of the Trilili Bird

Regarding the wings of the Trilili Bird

Regarding the legs of the Trilili Bird

Regarding the eggs and feces of the Trilili Bird

 

Throngs of young men on the other side shouted

“This is the only correct perception

Don’t permit any deviation”

 

This was rejoined by a mass of young men on this side

“Apostates! This is the authentic perception

If anyone has a different conception

His body will be slain and his blood purified”

 

Their anger became more enraged and inflamed

Battlefields were scorched [1]

The blood of the dead seeped and the number of casualties overflowed [2]

Hatred spread and spewed both upstream and downstream

 

And they all declared

This is for the sake of the truth

This will counter deviant views

This is for the sake of the future

 

Although they were all descended from the same ancestor

Now it was as though they had been severed by a knife

Enmity was rampant

Hostility and anger now ruled their life

 

The Esteemed Teacher looked down from Heaven

He tearfully regretted his words

Because the Trilili Bird

Was merely a fanciful tale

 

The Trilili Bird

Its genesis was only an illusion

Now the bird sat on the throne

Transformed into an idol

 

There was no longer any tolerance

For differences of perception

There was no climate of understanding

Those who bickered or differed were eradicated

 

The Trilili Bird had already snatched the masses

It was already united with their blood

Nobody cared anymore to dispute or cast aspersions

If anyone did it was just an illusion

 

The mantra was continuously recited without blinking

And inculcated so that it was said without even thinking

 

“Live for the Trilili Bird

And die for the Trilili Bird”

 

 

[1] Similar to the hostilities between the various devotees of the Trilili Bird, religious wars have occurred at least 123 times in human history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_war

[2] Similar to the divisive schisms that occur among factions that have different perceptions of the Trilili Bird, religious wars in human history characteristically feature long, drawn-out conflicts that involve horrific bloodshed. A notable example is the Crusades, a series of wars between Muslims and Christians that lasted nearly two centuries (1095-1291 CE); approximately 3 million people were killed in these religious wars. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_war

 

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