By Kirk Shellko

It arrived before our time. Indeed, it arrived before our country. It was present before the glorious revolution that brought what freedom we have. It was there before our automobiles, before our buildings with electronic culture and convenience and running water. It came before our gathering into societies and before our language; it was here before our religions and before our ability to discern what “here” is. It was before our race and before the species that arrived before our race was able to understand anything that arrived before we did. It came before our hills and before our mountains and it was here before the flowing water that begets life on the earth. It was here before our planet coalesced into a sphere, before the gasses of our sun gathered into plasma and burned its way into the sable black. It was before our solar system and before anything that arrived which caused our material to press into any thing at all. It was before anything that we can imagine, a kind of priority that we sense, but are unable to grasp. We can only know it in a vague and indirect manner, a something that makes us think of gods that do not exist, of deities that create and of the enigma of a seemingly meaningless universe. It was prior to any affect upon what we call reality that we supposed ourselves to cause. This priority remains with any thing that arrives, comes after its already present “there” into which any thing arrives. It is a priority that allows for a beginning and a nascence. What comes before is necessary for what-is. It is not history, but it is what allows history. It is not material, yet material relies upon it. It is a priority that we sense at all times, yet we are not fully aware that it is present. It informs how things manifest, and yet it does not fully dictate precisely what they are. This priority is not “the past” nor is it time. It is not chronological, but it is active in the past, present and future. Is it the apriori breaking of kind, a sort of prior breaking out onto? It is perhaps the not-yet-not and thus a radical fullness that is prior to the radically empty fullness of everyday, material existence.