The blindingly bright sun at my back, I stood at the threshold. Like some Raider of emotional Covenants, I paused and listened for sounds of the past revelries, sounds of forgotten treasures growing more valuable every decade, sounds of the last breaths breathed within these walls finally being released to the outside.
When the sounds did not come, I forced my body into a paralysis of expectation. Still, the sounds of history could not be heard. Remembering all the books, all the legends, all the mythic attempts to create epics from fragments, I inhaled slowly the scent of possibility, held it to the count of an imaginary drum, and exhaled forward knowledge into the past.
At first, the rumble could only be felt, not heard. Then came the great roar of stones grating against one another and the microscopic crack of sunlight near the ceiling. Blinking ecstatically, I could barely hold my soul within my skin.
My eyes began to focus around the motes of dust sparkling in that glimmer of light, and my excitement imploded into itself to become a black hole of spiritual contentment.
There it was, and it was real to my mind.
It was the walkway to the inner sanctum, and it was charged with the energy of souls chanting offerings. I started to lift my foot and cross into it. Instead, I softly put down the foot and listened more closely to the words of the chant. Almost grasping an entire phrase here, catching a syllable there, I strained to tie them together and burn them into my memory. Hoping to make it all more real, I stooped to pick up a tiny stone and tossed it a few feet into the hallway of the temple...
... and the Present intervened as the echoes fell from the temple walls. My heart raced, my hand shook a tiny bit, and my feet remained at the edge of the threshold. Ah, but my ears had heard, and they recorded the message to the beat of the falling echoes:
Life is life,
Good is good,
Hold high your arms in gratitude.
That is where the replica was born. That is where the ideas have been toyed with and worn.