Whole Wide World

 

The things that stopped us

were all in our own heads,

insurmountable monuments

to our inability.

It didn’t seem

that we could shake the chains

that they had bound around

our minds.

 

What kind of life was this?

 

It was you,

who first woke up

and stood before the day.

I could see your brow

furrowed in thought.

There was a look in your eyes,

something I had not seen

in a long time;

purpose.

 

It lit your features from within.

You looked simultaneously

both older and younger,

wiser and more virile,

stronger,

yet understanding deeper

the mystery

of our confinement.

 

You stepped forward boldly,

one step further

than either of us had stepped before.

Out into what might have been

wide open space,

but your foot held,

and then you took another.

 

All the barriers that held us back

began to shimmer.

Those high walls

and deep chasms

fading around the edges.

I found myself rising from my rest.

my eyes wide and mind enrapt

as you began to walk,

then stride,

then march with confidence,

clear through those unopposable barriers

that imprisoned us.

 

With tears in my eyes,

I followed.

Meekly. Tenuously.

With trepidation, I took that step

and my mind cried out

to return to the safety

of what we had known.

Great fear

threatened to overtake me.

My body shook

and my breathing came

in ragged gasps.

 

Two steps,

three,

and then a fourth;

through the barriers

that had framed my reality.

 

My tears became mourning;

for it was us who had deceived ourselves.

Then anger;

for it was some nefarious “Other”

whom stood to gain from our deception.

Finally,

as I stepped out on the other side

of our gossamer divide,

I saw you standing there

on a hill

looking out over a new, wide world.

 

It was then

that I understood,

that reality is an arrangement

old as time.

You and I had merely

altered our terms of the deal.

We had bargained with the Universe,

or God, or whoever,

and chosen our own fate.

 

How badly I had wanted to turn back

and return to what I knew

was falsehood and illusion,

only because

my ego and heart

could not bear the idea that

our whole lives were an illusion,

A trick,

A trap.

An ecosystem built and designed

to keep us docile and subservient,

like a zoo for humans.

 

Now, standing on the other side,

I understood those whose fear

was too great

to push against the walls,

and pull against the chains.

It was not for fear that they

would never be free,

but for the fear that they would be.

 

I walked up the hill to you,

The grass between my toes felt alive

and the colors of the hills

and the sky, vibrant

in a way I had never known.

From the hill

I took in mountains,

and rivers,

and plains

and a sky stretching out as far as I could see

in every direction.

 

For the first time in my life,

I felt truly vulnerable,

so small and insignificant

against the vastness of this new, wide world,

but you held me

and I held you in return.

In that moment,

I new

that we were meant for this.

This was truth,

and destiny.

I looked into your eyes

and smiled

and we stepped forward

into a new existence,

a new life.

 

 

HG – 2021

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