Part 1: Prologue.
I don’t actually know where to begin with this but bear with me, it might be fragmented and often feel like the timelines aren’t synchronized but nothing is straight forward when it comes to darkness of the soul. I will try to write this as a series but I am writing as freely as possible here, bypassing the filters for now.
If I said I could pinpoint exactly when this starts then I would of course be lying. It gradually builds up but becomes noticeable very quickly if that makes any sense. Beginning to take little pleasure from things on a day to day basis, if you were to ask me to summarize what I mean here I might have said something like ‘there is no point to all of this’. I was born and raised a Catholic and from an early age I was told that this life was to be an endurance of suffering in order to graduate to the blissfulness of everlasting life. At the time I accepted this in its literal form, suffer here for the rewards of heaven. Little did I know this would be probably the most powerful metaphor I will ever know, and in my opinion the most powerful metaphor known to mankind.
I walked away from religion in the form I had been raised around about ten years ago; I guess I felt like I was getting a raw deal. So I gave into temptation and grabbed that apple off the tree and bit down hard. I felt at some point like Adam and Eve then, banished from the garden, naked, vulnerable and afraid. There was however a great release from it, naive and all that I was I looked forward to the delights and freedom of walking my own path. Soon, just like Adam I began to suffer, not overtly but inside. When I say inside I do not refer to what you might traditionally class as ‘inside thoughts’. Not the type of inside if you are at a party and somebody asks you are you having a good time and you grind out a wincing smile but inside you would rather not be there. That type of inside is all very ‘surface’, hiding everyday things so as not to hurt someone’s feelings, many of us do this daily, it is part of the many masks we wear. The ‘inside’ I refer to in this instance is perhaps at a level of profoundness that I cannot explain but those who have walked this path maybe know exactly what I am talking about. This ‘inside’ I speak of reaches into the depth of our very souls, unlike mask it does not come off, it cannot be discarded when you feel like it no longer has any use.
Trying to describe how this felt to those not or not yet on this path proves difficult. I have always been fortunate to be very articulate and never lost for words and even I, the self-proclaimed wordsmith could not put this into a dialogue that followed anything that resembled logic. Those who feel this emptiness say it is very difficult to reach out to others, mainly for fear they won’t understand and may ridicule you. You may often narcissistically feel at times like I was the only person who felt this way. Alas it is not the case. Every now and then a conversation with another would perhaps touch on something profound and for a couple of moments the road wasn’t quite so lonely.
There were others travelling this road, I know that and I knew it then too. Each walker, equally as alone as the other for fear of so many things, exposure, ridicule, vulnerability and naked. Strangely enough I have found that some people find their way to this path from many different directions and I have in the past made multiple assumptions that it was just a particular set of circumstances that led people here.
As I previously mentioned I am proficient at describing things in the visual sense, painting a picture with words. Thomas Fuller wrote ‘the night is darkest before the dawn’. This is how I described this journey or path I was on but no dawn in sight, it was very dark, I could feel dry rocky dirt under my feet, nothing strange there. I was always moving forward but did not know what was coming next. Dark in front and dark behind, don’t look back, even though it is dark there is pain and suffering there, you know this without having to see it. Occasionally a sound bite from the past would echo through the dark. Keep walking, keep walking. In the words of Churchill ‘if you are going through hell… keep going’.
“Best to keep pushing forward now… marl clay and gravel under my boots. My pack is really heavy, I wish I could drop some of stuff in the pack but for some reason I can’t. Looking forward but no dawn appears to be in sight. So much baggage and yet still so dark…”
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