Fathomless loss, oh young maiden of the Sun,
Covers your once auburn complexion.
Bone white yet, a glowing reflection
Stirs amid the teary lake that has finally won.
O’ Helen, Ophelia; Athena’s Wisdom falters
At these diverging paths reached. Hold
Out your hands and drink the question
Untold. It’ll serve the bold for no gold.
A soulful debt sold neither to kings nor altars.
You’ll set off towards uncharted waters
’til the olive branches become your halters.
“Have you ever just stared out into the distance? Out there is something unknown but it’s known by the wind. The howls, the cold, the birds, the whispers, the storms, the seeds, the wanderlust. If the unknown calls then surely we should heed it.” These are the words said by a stranger on his way through my village.
These words they resonate in my mind. A man traveling by himself through dangerous lands yet he remains cheerful. I wonder if I could do the same. The stagnant state of this village leaves a pungent taste in my mouth. No news from the outside reaches here and the villagers find solace in the isolation. Do I? Lately the man’s words romance my thirst for something new.
I walk to the edge of town where I met the man. The place is unusual for most travelers. A ravine the village elder calls the entrance to the Burrow of Despair. Tales speak of men losing their minds in the ravine and finding a door hidden beneath thorns. Neither does the door exist or the thorns but the hallucination is much more vivid than reality. One man rescued from the ravine was unable to function at all.
The older villagers say he never escaped the ravine. I never met him nor do I wish to find truth in such a tragedy. Out of mercy or perhaps selfishness they put him to rest. We warned the traveler about these states of altered reality but he pressed on. I wonder how. His footsteps, the only pair on the soil, show a leisurely stroll.
“What was it? If I could ask about his confidence in traveling. Or return the book he dropped right here.” I ramble on.
I traced the cover with my hand. A skillful engraving meets my fingertips and I feel warmth radiating from it. Should I read the book? He may never return. Or I could show it to the elder because all those old people in the Council have strict rules on outside knowledge. No I can’t let them get rid of the book. I place the book back in my pocket and head back to my house.
They say disregard those that are weird and to accept those that are different. When their charade is exposed the journey begins. We’re sailing into a jungle where a bright Sun burns anyone outside. Most will steer away from this land of tribulation and seek refuge in the shade, but I can’t anymore. The Sun burns away the veil. . .
Falling from risen towers through the sky
To the sea. I never imagined I’d see through
The membrane of all I ever believed. A fall
So great all the seraphim, those we lost, cry.
In this sorrowful rain I recollect on the way
I lived. Regrets and joys are the things I pay
To see how fickle life truly is. No, I can’t stay.
This old path casts shadows I’ve grown accustomed to. I’ll fight
My way out trying to see light once more. I must change. . .
I’ve always loved the concept of falling in a metaphysical sense. We live lives like we’re creating miniature towers of Babel which eventually fall and rightfully so. We can blame others for the fall but only our hands did the masonry. A time comes that our hearts will lead us on a better path with our mind keeping us from going too far. The fall teaches us that individual gain doesn’t matter if we hurt others to reach it. But some hurt is unavoidable as we lose things once so dear to us in this life.
From ashes of a tree obsidian walls rise around.
A ghost conjuring tragedy. Don’t make a sound.
The Obsidian Lord feasts on the hysteria and fear.
Like exuberant birds scattered by a gunshot
We’re the prey in this great hunt. For every tear
They still offer us no mercy. Rage so hot
Burning the rope that we hold onto ever so dear
In hopes that we can find water. Caught
Between hurt and hope yet, tomorrow is so near.
From a well we can still replenish what’s been lost
In search of who we are. They don’t understand
What we have on the inside that keeps us going.
No matter the darkness standing right before us we walk
Without fear. Never give them an inch or they’ll talk and talk.
After a long and tiring journey I find myself somewhere between, between where dreams are born and choices are made. The events of my life stand in front of me like an illusion of endless mirrors but I know better. Every choice I wrought to life with my callous, shaking hands remains reminiscent of who I am. My heart beats and I listen to the melody because that’s life. Those steps I follow in stride toward a new tomorrow echo in my ears still.
Although the concept of days ends, I chase after the dawn even now. I rejoice in the willingness to continue. Why do I hold so dearly to hope like it’s instinct? My sense of self remains but there’s something off. The mirror keeps me lost between dawn and dusk. What ifs in life given brilliant illumination in the form of a mirror.
Anger, the sensation of rushing blood and chemicals, tells me I can never be those what ifs the mirror shows. I touch the smooth surface. The lives better and worse feel absent of all heart. Senseless existences could never comprehend existing. What comes of me if I accept these false lives? People should sacrifice some for greater things. I can’t do that even if it’s the right thing because all I understand is what I’ve done. There’s no going back.
I shatter the mirror with my bare fists. The glass digs deep into my knuckles, blood drips from the cuts, and a plume of glass fragments and dust remains. My rejection of possible outcomes only solidifies when I can no longer see the paths. I step on every fragment reflecting a happier me that could never be. Maybe a different me takes the other paths but I never will. Time only allows a single path. There’s a higher consciousness where I can see every option, know everything, and be a better man.
The question remains:
Will I still be me when I reach that point?
What can be seen in this distant reverie? My heart
And hands failing to reach. The reality is so chilling
Like I’ve been dead or I was a corpse from the start.
Dreams given our breath can raise the dead. Only so far
Can this way take us and at a point we must take an oar.
Who would defy the flow, clear these vines, and remain?
I walk my own path. All I’m trying to do is live a life
I can believe in. No side taken even under a knife.
I’ve been broken and lost in the madness but I’ll walk
Forward in solidarity with my friends. We know what’s
At risk. That’s why we stand up even when we’re afraid.
No one can break what’s already been broken long ago.
Among shattered glass I see petals. There’s so much more
Than what has been lost in pursuit of everything we swore.