“A dance. That's what it was. A simple dance. A swirl of fierce orange and red, anger and hate, seething and venom, swaying in the breeze of a dark void, encamped in the valley of stone, trees trembling and crackling underneath, burnt down to their gray ash, weak and frail, ripe for suffering.” The fire whispered in his ears, performing its dance in the reflection of his abysmal blue visual soul, the other near him gazing upon him with eyes of curiosity, her ears open for interpretation of a tale long forgotten, a tale long meant to be forgotten, burned and destroyed with the swirl of fierce orange and red, anger and hate, seething and venom.
“Perfect for fear,” he whispered with finality, his voice enriched with an echo of meaning, of longing for understanding, with a fire behind it. A fire that performed a simple dance. Orange and red it was, as you already know.
Opposite to him, his companion spoke, her rugged, youthful voice carrying through the air, waving and driving into his ears that were ready to be filled with the sound of his tale being told.
“Wow. That’s... deep.” Her magenta eyes were a wide valley in astonishment of his words.
He looked down at the swirling sea of orange and red, which you already know well. He smiled and let out a single low, amused chuckle. “It’s amazing what words can do, isn’t it? Something so simple, so mundane as this,” he waved his arms above the orange and red dancing sea, “can be described to make you believe it represents something on such a deep and meaningful psychological level that it makes your mind spin around the fabric of this idea, of this concept, that this simple little tool of nature means so much more than just its heat.”
“I don’t follow,” his companion spoke.
He looked up at her with that grin. “Tell me, when you look at this,” he pointed to the orange sea again, “what do you see?”
She looked down at the orange sea. It performed its dance in her magenta visual soul, but this was a different dance. This orange and red did not carry the sea’s anger or hate, its seething or venom; none of this, for it was not the same fire in the filly’s visual soul. No, this was not the same. Not in the least. The orange sea showed a comfort to her; a warmth and desire; a burn to her cheeks; a warning to not touch the sea, a sense of logic behind that warning; but overall an empowerment of heat and safety.
“It’s a flame. It makes me feel warm, and safe at the same time, too, because I know animals won’t come to us because of the fire.” Her words carried no question, no room for error, only matter-of-fact. She flicked her rainbow hair out of her eyes with her hooves as she spoke, adding to the impression of her belief of her words to be fact.
He retained his grin. “You are both correct and incorrect. You are correct in the sense that that’s your interpretation of this ‘flame,’ but you are wrong that you stated that in a way that it is and only is simply ‘flame.’ You left no room for a pony, or some other being, to make his or her own opinion. And that, my dear, is why there is such a dull and small variety of opinions on the tiny details of the world. You see, in my eyes, there’s more to this flame than just the heat and safety that you feel. You see, no other pony or being, that I know of, has this opinion. Why? Because when I ask, I leave room for opinion. When you ask a being what a fire is, they’ll tell you it’s a flame, combustion and burning. They don’t give you room for opinion. They don’t ask you what a fire is in your opinion.”
“But a fire’s just a fire.” The young rainbow-maned pony frowned.
“And now you are wrong.”
“I thought you said everypony should have their own opinion?”
“So you are catching on.” He grinned. “Good.”
She looked at him, her visual soul narrowed and directed at him in confusion.
“A fire is simply a fire to you, but what about to me? Tell me, why should I see the same fire that you see?”
“Uh, ‘cause it’s just a fire?”
He sighed. “And I thought you were beginning to catch on. Very well. No, it is not ‘just a fire.’ To an animal, it may be a sign of danger and warning. To us, it may be a sign of heat and comfort. Now, notice how I've said may be?”
“I am leaving room for opinion.”
“Yeah, you said that earlier.”
“ Never mind that, pay attention to the now. Now, to change the subject a bit. What are eyes?”
“What are eyes?” he repeated himself, a face devoid of all emotion with no room to interpret his features.
“Uh, things everypony has to let them see.”
“That is a use of them, yes, but what are they?”
“I don’t understand.”
“Have you ever heard the expression ‘eyes are windows to the soul’?”
“I find that to be very much true!” He leaned forward in his spot opposite of her, his visual soul widening with a small upwards pull at the edge of his lips. “I find that eyes are visual representations of your soul.”
“If that’s true, then why do so many pon--”
“Beings. Use that term. Not ponies. Ponies are not the only creatures in the world.”
She cocked an eyebrow. “Then why do so many beings have the same eye color?”
“Ah! Excellent question, Dash! Excellent indeed.” He leaned back in his spot again, returning to his original grin. “All beings feel emotion, no?”
“Sure, I guess.”
“So, what are colors? What is color?”
“It’s...” She looked down, rubbing her frowning temple in contemplation. “It’s... uh... I don’t know. You can’t really explain color.”
“Oh, but you can! Or I can, with my opinions. Color is simply the visuals of emotions.”
“Each color is a different emotion. Red is hate, orange is anger, purple is jealousy, pink is love, yellow is happiness, white is purity, and green is envy.”
“What about blue?”
“I’ll get to that. Now, back to what I said earlier. Eyes are visual representations of the soul. Now, you asked why so many beings have the same eye color. It is because all beings feel emotion. My eyes are, simply, a dark blue, yes?”
“My eyes represent my soul. Blue is the color of sadness. My eyes, to anypony else, are dark blue. But they are not simply dark blue. My eyes are an abysmal blue visual of a dark soul, a soul riddled with tales that are meant to be forgotten by my mind. My mind forgets the tales, but does not discard them. No, it simply stores it away in my soul. So, because of the sadness stored in my soul, my eyes are blue.”
“But you’re born with blue eyes. You had no stories when you were born.” She was paying vast attention to his words.
“That is true, but my eyes were blue to make ready for the stories to come. Your soul has always been. There was no beginning, and there will be no end. Your soul, simply, is. Now, your eyes are not the sole representations of your soul, oh no. They are the only windows, but not the only representations. Why is my hair orange?”
“I dunno.” She shrugged her cyan shoulders.
“There was too much sadness in my soul to make room for the anger, so it pushed the color up here.” He waved his arms above his slicked back and styled hair. “Why is my skin, my coat, this buttery-yellow?”
“I dunno. Why?”
“There was too much sadness in soul for the happiness I consume daily, so it pushed the color out here.” He waved his arm in a circular motion over his chest.
“Huh, interesting opinion. I understand what you mean completely, but why are you telling me all this? I mean, we came up here for a camping trip, and you told me you had stories to tell from the War.”
“Indeed, I do have stories to tell. But stories are dull.”
“You said words--”
“Words, my dear, not stories.” He grinned. “I have told my story many times before. And, to answer your previous question as to why I’m telling you all this, I am telling you all this because it is much more fascinating to show my story, instead of tell it. Sure, I could simply tell you of the horrors I saw in my youth. Of the wars I fought in. I could tell you how I saw my comrades fall all around me, their liquid soul -- their blood -- soak the dirt and their skins, their coats, and my own. I could tell you of those I murdered. I could tell you of how I lost the hearing in my left ear, I could tell you that I nearly died several times, and I could even tell you of all the medals and respect and apologies and sympathies I received. I could tell you of the twenty years since my return from the War that now no longer wages on. But all of that is dull, simple; a tell, a tale, a fact. Well, I’ll tell you now, fact is a lie. But a lie can be and is a fact, as well, but facts are lies. It’s a paradox. And paradoxes are forever impossible, no?”
“Uh, yes,” she said as more a question than a statement.
“But opinions are true. And truth is opinions. See how that is not a paradox?”
“But opinions can’t always be true. Somepony’s opinion could be that they are fast, but they could actually be as slow as a turtle.”
“Ah, but there’s your mistake. To you, and others, perhaps he may be slow. But to him, he is a blazing bullet train.”
“Okay, not the best example on my part. Somepony’s opinion could be that the world is flat, but the world is round, a sphere.”
“But what does flat mean? Flat could mean many things. Perhaps by flat, that person meant mundane. Perhaps he or she meant small. Do you understand?”
She sighed in annoyance, her visual soul falling upon the dancing sea of orange and red. “It’s impossible to argue with you.”
“All opinion is true. And all that is true is opinion. Now, I’m sure you and me could argue for hours on end about possible loopholes on that, but why exactly do you argue?”
His retained grin widened. “Not arguing? You are catching on. You see, you argue because your opinion is different from mine. Your truth is different from my truth. Now, nothing is true, because all truth is opinion. And all that is opinion is true, but nothing is true, so opinion isn’t true, but only opinion is true.”
“That’s another paradox,” she said distastefully.
“Isn’t life?” he offered, his grin retained. “Everything is opinion. And opinion, my dear, is everything. Your opinion is everything. Your entire world is made up of your opinions. Without opinion, there would be no truth. And without truth, there would be no trust. And without trust, there would be no friendship. And without friendship, there would be no sanity. And without all of this, there would be no individuality. And without individuality, there would be no life.”
“Okay, but why tell me all of this, uncle?” She finally asked, the question waning her mind with its hungry curiosity.
“Now, back to my very first, original statement,” he started, ignoring her. “Look at this fire. After everything I just told you, what do you now see? Do you simply see a campfire with stones placed in a circle around it to keep in the flame? Do you simply see simmering ashes?”
She looked down at the fire, her face of utter contemplation. The sea was now different to her. It now whispered in her ears, danced in her soul, it drove an anger and a hate into her inner deepest reaches, but still that faint warmth and comfort. With that anger, was a friend. And with that friend, an emotion. And with that emotion, a color. With the color, a representation. Representation of what? The representation of her soul. And with her soul? Her eyes. And her eyes? Well, the fire danced in her eyes.
“I see a pool of orange and red, of anger and hate like you called it, but I still feel that warmth, that comfort. And it feels friendly to me, and there’s emotion with that friend. I don’t really know how to explain it.”
He smiled at her. “You understand now. I said earlier that what I see in this ‘flame,’ as you called it, was a tale long forgotten, a tale meant to be forgotten. A tale of orange and red, anger and hate, seething and venom. A stone valley, trembling and crackling trees, burnt down to gray ash, destroyed. You just said you felt anger, yet comfort and a friend, and emotion. Do you know what that is?”
“Yes!” he exclaimed, his eyes beaming with pride, his grin reflecting that. “It is opinion! Now, every being has emotions, has eyes, and eyes are representations of the soul. So, Rainbow Dash, tell me. Why is opinion special?”
“Opinion is special because... because it makes you who you are?”
His smile retained. “No-one has the same soul, Dash, so why should all of us see this fire as just that, a simple mundane fire? And that, my dear, is what makes our opinions special and true. What makes us, as living beings, special and true. The last I saw you, Rainbow Dash, was when you were a young filly. You’re twelve now. The last time I saw you, you had just gotten in trouble in school for speaking your mind to the teacher. Your dad told me ever since then you have been afraid to speak your mind. Well, to that school, speaking your mind means trouble, and that is a fact to them.”
“But facts are lies...” The cogs in her mind turned, putting pieces together to form a beautiful picture of understanding and meaning, of accomplishment and, above all, truth.
“Always speak your mind, Dashie, because your opinions are what make you, you. Yes, it may get you in trouble, but at least you will have the knowledge of knowing that you’re an individual, free from the shackles of facts.”
Rainbow Dash sent her first smile of the night at her uncle. “You know, you really are something, Uncle Logos. Thank you.”
“Anytime, my dear.” He shifted on his spot on his sleeping bag on the ground, laying down and crossing his hooves above head and under his neck, closing his abysmal blue visual soul. “Anytime.” Rainbow Dash soon after did the same on her own sleeping bag, and dreamt that night of a grand future ahead of her, a future of individuality and freedom from facts. She dreamt a future where she spoke her mind fully and truthfully.
The fire, the swirling orange and red sea of anger and hate, of seething and venom, of warmth and comfort, of friendliness and emotion, continued to simmer during their slumber. And, finally, their words lingered in the air; the air that fed the fire. And the fire, the swirling orange sea, continued to dance.