The choices that rule fates and make history are only ever two:
Give in- by accepting that you are defeated and weak.
Deny it- by refuting the wounds and standing as you bleed.
When the hour is dark and the soul weeps, these are the choices one will stand between.
Clear as the two paths present, the decision remains a difficult and frightening one to approach. It is the weight of the decision that frightens. It is that the course of a life changes at the resolution made and uncertainty looms. Or, it is that certainty is what is looming and it is terrible to ruminate.
One shies from making either choice, and tries to quietly remain suspended between the two. But Time will not be kind and accommodate the one who would hover. Time will push for a choice, and a choice will be made. Which choice? Is there a right choice? Is there a wrong choice? Many a mind turn these three questions over, and over again.
A child, a woman, a man—each knows, each can feel from his or her very marrow, which choice is the right one. Each knows, always knows. It is peculiar, that this knowledge guarantees nothing in the final choosing. But then, the choices are both hard, hard to come to, equally difficult to own.
To Give In- would be to know you chose not to muster strength to stand.
To Deny It- would mean battles unnumbered and respite not foreseeable.
These are the choices that all will stand before; as time will bring forth. When you find time has delivered you before these two choices, remember: Remember faith, remember courage, remember truth, and remember YOU. Who they believe you are. Who you think you are. Who you want to be. Who, above all others, YOU wish to please. Remember. You own your choice. You, alone. Remember.
And only by choice, can fates be ruled.
Which then, will yours be ruled by?
Monster, oh Monster, why do you weep? You have no heart and you have soul. What little human could cause you grief? You are terror; you are cunning, sly, and cruel, what little human could cause you woe? You are nasty, you are fierce, you are strength overwhelming and oh so devastating— what little human could reduce you to broken whimpers? Speak Monster. Tell the world.
“I am cruel, crueler than the death that is black and slow. I am a Monster, and this is as it should be. I am a Monster and I am terrible, as I should be. Yet awful and dreadful as I am, I cannot match the cruelty of one weak human. The human, not even at his cruelest, has brought me to my knees and cracked me to my core. I am a monster, and the human— human. Yet at parting, I lay shattered, and the human stands whole, with lips curved upward. Even as I weep, I wonder; when the World was new, and Names were handed out, might there not have been some error?”
Others can pass through boundary; veil; and beyond; with gliding, shiftless ease. Humans, with the burn of all that is human, with all that is humanity, cannot merit, nor oblige the same.
There is a Veil that obscures that which is not for the Human to know and understand. There are Laws that govern what the Human is allowed; there are Laws that bar what the Human is not allowed.
Since archaic eras gone, the Human has sought for the Boundary; that he smear the bylaw with his spittle; and deface, yea rescind, what is intrinsic element of Self. Thus by these acts of degradation, the Human imagines to penetrate Beyond—not content simply to peer beyond the Veil and gorge his eyes on sights not intended for his ilk—the Human desires to walk, to touch foot to grounds not his.
Since the archaic eras, the defiant Human has suffered for his unbridled conceit and perverted yen. Leniency is not for the irreverent Human. The questing for realms beyond the Human’s decreed spectrum has oft ended with the Human’s complete annihilation. This should give pause. And conceivably, induce the seeking Human to reflect upon the fates of those that sought before.
Undeniably, the Veil’s placement peculiarities correlate with the welfare of the Human. The Laws administer protection and act as safeguard to the Human and Soul. The implication herald by these components is nothing trifling. Yet the seeking Human would flout the solemnity of the matter as if it were otherwise. The vastness that is all of existence is a shrouded force— of mysterious and secretive design. Nevertheless, certain degrees of those mysteries and secrets are within the permissible reach of the Human. And indeed, the gamut of that reach extends far— with ample grounds for the Human to graze upon. Lamentably, the Human is exceedingly prone to discontent; which in turn, enhances the capacity for a derisive demeanor. And all too soon, the Human would turn eyes to farther planes—beyond the Boundary—beyond the Veil.
Put to question, the Human would bring forth any host of reasons for the derision that propels self towards gasping, gratuitous lust—thereupon the seeking of that which should not be sought. Favoring claim of circumstance as right-of-way— wherefore— the Human would snivel of broken hearts and ruined loves; whimper of loss and suffering; howl of incessant pain and torment; weep of dreams crushed and crumbled; feverishly burble of devotion to the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom—wherever it might be found. Be there one or one thousand like reasons— it is of no avail. These are the struggles of Humanity. Beyond the Boundary, Humanity holds no sway.
Acceptance is ever far from the Human’s heart. Ergo, the Human would strive for more— strive to become more.
Thus it befalls: the Human would draw deep upon his Humanity, and so-armed, approach the Boundary with intent to dominate. With all the might of Self and Soul, the Human would renounce the bylaw; further still, with the potency of all his Humanity he would smite the eminent Boundary. Verily, in wake of the combined surge of Humanity, Self, and Soul— the Boundary would give and the Human would find way to the Veil.
But, there would be an interval. Indeed, the moments would elapse before the Human would
advance upon the triumph of his actions.
All at once, the Human’s posturing would quell; there— before the destruction of his own wrought— he would halt. For an ephemeral moment, the Human would be incapacitated by reflection. Fleetingly, the enormity of transgression would weigh over mind and heart—spheres of Self and Soul.
Only—evanescent moments bear weight too slim for the Human’s restitution. The heft of such measures would abate not, the inveiglement of unlawful want.
Hence, unperturbed once more, the Human would resume stride— in pursuit of desire forbidden. Woe—woe betide the Human then.
Beyond a Boundary that debars no more, long and sure would the Human’s strides fall. In the fullness of time, the imperative Veil would appear in the Human’s sight. Immersed with the phenomenon before him, the Human’s movement would slow to a pace reverent. The words to depict what his vision held he would not find. And he would not know why. Liquid would fall from the eye of the beholder; he would not know why. The liquid would be quick to dry. The Human would realize what he was in proximity of.
It follows that realization would incite the Human to further lengths. Inebriated by desire’s nearness, the Human’s gait would cede all poise and evenness; frenetic haste would emanate from the Human’s ambiance. Haste. Haste to the Veil would be the sole reverberation within the Human. Perverse want would eclipse all else.
And blazing—blazing bright with humanity, the Human would take his final steps. Before the Veil he would come to stand. With gaze raking— staining— reaching—peering across the Veil, the Human would forget his breath. Darting, grasping, greedy eyes— would fixate on the glimmers, the half- reflection of just beyond. And with the observing of the indescribable, with the holding of the impalpable, the Human would be animated with singular knowing, with transcendent awareness; exceeding far, the customary realms allotted to Humankind. Still. The Human would not know satiation.
At this juncture, the Human would take three moments: A moment to look back beyond his shoulder; a moment to gloat at the might of his Self; a moment to marshal his composure for a regal step into beyond. Then—
O Human. Therein lies your demise.
Attired so fully in Humanity, imagining freedom to step Yonder? Nay—how gravely misjudged. To every Human does comes a warning:
“ O ye that would be Human! Humanity can hold no rite of passage into Beyond. Ye shall not burn away the Veil with proof of Self, with proof of humanity. Seekers—ye that seek are doomed to fail, are doomed to perish. Ye cannot forget the flesh. Ye cannot forget the bone. Ye cannot
forget the blood. Ye cannot disrobe from your human and humanity. Believe ye are other, believe ye are more, believe ye are extraordinary—believe all that ye might. Beliefs are not in accordance with truths. Ye are only Human. Strive, sin, or curse; ye are never Other.”
Yes, I know the Path of Darkness. I know the Unlit Road. With turnoffs few and far apart; indeed, further still as the road goes on. Without the kiss of Springtime’s rebirth, without the shine of the burning Sun, there is only the death of Autumn and the freeze that Winter brings. The Decline and the Cold. Listen. Only the death of autumn and the freeze that winter brings.
Guide you there? Teach you the way? You were sent to me? “Reflection of the Eternal Night?”
Yes, I answered to that brand. Once. With a winsome smile and words of praise, the Laughing Man himself marked me so. Others have been marked, others have been shaped; I am not the only One. There were Monsters made before me, there were other Monsters made with me. The dearest, the most precious, the very rarest—those Monsters were shaped with wings. I was so shaped. Yet I am no Winged Monster. By my hands, by my strength, I tore the wings from my back.
He laughed when I chose to be flightless. When he bent and placed a gentle hand upon my crown, he touched his eyes to mine, I saw the rage and something else.
‘Go’, he said. ‘Go, if you think you can. Reflection of the Eternal Night, you discard my gifts and meet me with the gaze of Warriors. I wonder, did you borrow those defiant eyes from your fathers, long-dead in battle?’ He laughed again, and I heard the pleasure and something else.
‘Marvelous child, you may certainly leave this road; certainly if you so choose it. Only, I worry for you. I worry that you may regret that choice. The thrill of the Unlit Road, the challenge, the truth; you will find it nowhere else. Will you seek out lighter roads? I worry you see. Perhaps you thought you would become other without the gifts I gave? An entity of Light and Softness? Oh, of course you did not think so, no, such simplistic assumptions would be beneath you.’ The smile unleashed was the loveliest yet; reaching beyond his eyes, and the hand became gentler still.
‘You do know, all you were given, all that you cast aside, were means. Means to achieve greater margins. You are only less now, not other. The Unlit Road your nimble feet took to so earnestly, you will look to the Night, and you will be always reminded. But of course you knew this all.' 'Wise child that you are', he cooed, with a smile more superb than the last.
Yes, even now, I know the Unlit Road, even as I do not Run along it, I know it. I will never escort another to that Way. We few who reclaimed our freedom, we who turned from promised greatness—we will not be beckoned to that Road evermore.
We are children of the Laughing Man, we are the Grounded Monsters; we tore the wings from our backs and crushed them to powder-fine.
We chose to be grounded. We know why.
I’ve given you my soul’s verve and vitality. I’ve given you the gold of my youth. I’ve given you every dream that was mine to foster and cherish. And every ambition I dared to harbor close. I gave you tears and I gave you heart’s blood. I’ve given you everything that ever elevated me. Only you. It is always only you. I ask respite, you deny my voice. So destroy me now, continue as you are: the end is one and the same. My soul is desensitized and its cry has petered out. It doesn’t yearn for more. But it aches. Mostly there is great bleakness and emptiness—a near void. But some days, some nights, I’m aware of a dull, distant aching. I think you’d better let me go now. Let me free and I might find meaning and reason. Let me be and I might find life and purpose. Can’t you? Please?
We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
There it is. I know that smell. It penetrates my stupor. It curdles my innards and stings my eyes. I know what follows that stench. And the embodiment swears to steal my wit, my will, my strength. It jeers and speaks; with the glib of snakes and rancid oil.
Doubt— I name you and I know you. Doubt, I will not turn to the people; your ploys in that regard are in vain. Doubt, I will not lie to myself—I cannot, so, your poison will not trickle in and feeble me there. Where you might have once slipped in unnoticed, cannot now be breached by the likes of you. And all other channels lead to nothing; the veins have disintegrated. Nothing is left to quicken. No paths are open for you. But Doubt, riddle me this— who do you suppose is the sorrier? You or I?
When the tears that spill from you are cold, not hot, find me, for we are brethren; and our sorrow one and the same. Come to me, I will be waiting on the Final Peak— the deep night guides to the eyes that will see. The climb up will not be too precipitous. No, not for you. And I will be there to welcome you, to a seat at the edge. Together, we will gaze at the perfect ink below. The Final Peak: home to those whose hearts forgot the beat; whose flesh forgot the longing; whose minds forgot the hunger—the wonder.
What does one do when he is unable to grieve in the manner that is most human?
What does one do when he can never ask for what he needs?
What does one do when the private war takes greater toll than usual?
What does one do when the sights all take on monotone gray?
What does one do when the passing days all taste of ash that is cold?
What does one do when the mind and body has been considering Death as a suitor not undesirable?
What does one do when desire is dead?
Your child has words for you. Finally, you will know the mind of the one you both feared and revered. Immediately your mind rejects my words, “Fear?” you think, “Revere?” you scorn, “Certainly not!” you righteously declare. But mother, dear mother, think upon my words with your mind unbiased, and you will see they are unflawed. Mother, there is no need to lie to your mind here. Here, I record no calumny; deceive yourself not on that account. I have given this matter much of my life thought, and finally, at long last, I know the words that I must give you.
For carrying me the decreed nine months, I thank you Mother. You have my gratitude for allowing me to borrow your womb for that time. And for aiding my release into the world, that too, I thank you for. It must have been a pain that you could have very well done without. I thank you for bearing through the trouble and inconvenience of my first years of life. I thank you for all the care you ever once bestowed— before thought became conscious and memory held.
But Mother, what of after—after thought became conscious and memory held?
Mother, dearest, dearest Mother—
You failed me. And you failed me. And you failed me again.
Much of my thoughts are spent in pensive consideration. Will you fail me too, on that day, on the one true day that brings all matters to absolute closing—will you fail me then too? I fear that you will Mother. I fear that you will. Be sure, I will look for your grace on that day. I doubt, yet I will look. Will you, my mother, let me find it?
You are tired now, you are aged—I see that and my eyes lower in accordance. I harbor no resentment be sure. I will paint no pictures with ashes from the past. I will lay down no truths that will unmake you.
I will not paint you from the viewpoint of my eyes. Never, never fear of that.
Thank you for nothing. Thank you for everything.
Peace Mother, that is, I wish you blessed, restful peace.
My words to you, Mother— know them for truth please.