"Saul... It's okay. It's okay, everything's in place. We'll be reborn... Again. Together."
Ellen nodded, begging him to understand; such was her peace and calm that he believed her, and smiled. And the world turned white, and ended. Again.
Saul splashes around in it, overjoyed, soaked and in love. In the falling darkness, under a cold sun and a toxic cloud full of rain, on a hard black beach, the world comes back to life. Their love burned too hot to end that way. It burns too hot to end at all. For 2,000 years and for 2,000 more they will be reborn, and burn, together. She is the Fifth. He will find her again.
Every catastrophe is opportunity. Sounds glib, but anything true sounds glib unless you have the patience to read the whole story from start to finish. Every prophecy is a lie, if you have the misfortune of living here with the rest of us instead of watching from the wings. But to break free from all that received wisdom, to remember for just one second that you have choices, to remember that it's okay to just leave the watch where it is, that's a gift. It's an apocalypse, but that's just everything changing. It's meant to hurt.
When the world ends, when they take away the black stone, and the white, and you're left looking at the blank space where they were, what's left is a moment -- its duration past measurement by science, its qualities inaccessible by memory, once it's passed -- to spend in the Opera House, between five stars, in Elysium. That is a moment, terrifying and exhilarating, wonderful and terrible, in which you are struck by the lightning of singularity, enelysion. At the end of the line, for a moment you are completely free. To paint the sky, to go where you want to go, to be who you want to be. You are given the option to turn into something else, and step across into the shape of what comes next:
"I never lost faith in the end of the story. I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade."