Weary of the desperation, the emptiness and stagnant death surrounding me, I set out into the world in search of life.
“Better I go with you.” you said. “You may get lost, and I can help you.”
But I told you “no”, this journey was mine alone to take.
I ventured to the big city, and I thought, Here I will be important. And I found important city people to be with, and I went to important places, ate important foods, attended important events. And I discovered that the big city streets, after all the important things had come and gone away, were empty, eerily quiet – the important people I thought were my friends were sealed up in their important homes, forgetting all about me. A big city rain began to fall down upon the big city streets, followed by a big city wind, which tore away my clothes, gnawed my flesh. Soon I was naked, afraid, wasting away in an empty alleyway.
Then you came and found me there. You saw me, covered me, and said, “Come with me. I will take you home.”
While heading toward home I decided I was ready again to set out in search of life.
“Better I go with you.” you said. “I can help you find what you’re looking for.”
But I said “no”, for I felt you’d done enough. The journey was mine to take.
I set forth to the great mountains, and I found the highest mountain of them all, called Triumph, and I thought Here I will be worthy. I stepped onto that mountain and began to climb, passing many who climbed more slowly and even more who had given up. But I did not give up; I climbed ever higher, and the further I climbed, the more I realized that the top was so very far away, and I never seemed to get all that much closer. Gazing around, far above the world at the bottom, but still ever so far from the top of the mountain, there was only me. A sharp blizzard whipped across that mountain, and I became cold, lonely. Fear gripped me as I thought I would never get off that mountain, as I was too weak to go further, but too embarrassed to move back down.
Then you came and found me there. You picked me up, carried me back down, saying, “Come with me. I will take you home.” You didn’t even care that I hadn’t reached the top.
On the way home, I began to feel much better and decided I was ready to search again for life.
“Better I go with you.” you said. “I can keep you company along the way.”
But I said “no”, for I felt I needed to prove myself. The journey was mine to take.
So I wandered far off roadways, down into the valleys where I found souls such as mine, having searched and searched and found, and they beckoned, they whispered, they lured me deeper, deeper into shadows, into caves where light was scarce, and voices shouted, “Ecstasy!” and I thought, Here is where I will find life. And the voices brought me down far into the caves until every bit of light was lost from my sight, and there, in the darkest black, everything I ever had and ever knew was taken from me – ripped away savagely by crude, alien hands, probing, invading, raping. And then they were gone, and I was alone. And I thought, Even you cannot find me here.
Then you came, a dazzling light piercing the blackness, and you found me there.
“Come with ….me…..” you said. “I will take you home.”
As we journeyed home, I locked my gaze forward, unwilling or unable? to look at your face, but you would not let me remain reclusive long. “What is wrong?” you asked. And I could not restrain my tears as I said, “I am so ashamed.” You sat silent with me for what felt like hours, and I dare say you cried as well How can you do that?
“Better I take that from you.” you said. “It is too heavy for you to carry.”
And then you waited
for me to give it to you.
“How can I give you my shame?” I asked. “It is so heavy, and you are so pure!”
“Give it to me” you said, kindly. “And I will give you that thing you’ve been searching for.”
I gave you my shame, and you held it in your hands and let it crown your beautiful head. Then you leaned forward, embraced me, and we stood still while we also traveled a thousand years and across a million worlds, all in a moment, and in all those years and worlds, I never felt cold or lonely. I felt you. Life.
“How can I feel like this forever?” I asked.
“Your shame.” you said. “Don’t take it back.”
Original work of Lucas J Draeger