Wednesday, July 10, 2013

How Far Have You Come?

The Allegory of the Winding Road


Life moves in curves, and currents.  There are corners to be strolled or cut, and obstacles to be leaped or removed.  The path winds down through the years with unyielding certainty -- the certainty is that the bends in this road will never stop.  How far have you come, through the winding pathways of life?  

Personally, I've gotten to a place in my life I never thought I'd be again.  Not ever.  I stumbled through violent switchbacks in recent years, only to come out in a place where I figured the road only lead in one direction, and that I would just have to deal with it.  But I was wrong.  There I was, finding myself rummaging through memories of when things were different, holding dear to my heart a spark of something I imagined I'd never see again.  I thought I would never hold a job again, or have a savings account again, or live in the places I wanted to live.  Mundane things mostly, but when you take them all under consideration, you find out that what you really believe is that there's no chance for you to lead a normal life.  I thought I was banned from a normal life, resigned to standing outside the gates, fingers wrapped around the bars, peering in at others going about their business, taking it all for granted.  And looking in at all the scurrying bodies and blurred faces, continuing on down the road to their own likely destinations, I was reminded of the other things I wouldn't have -- the things that hurt the most.  I thought I'd never love again, or be loved.  I wasn't worthy of anyone's love, sometimes not even my own.  And that I'd never have a family, or live with someone, or buy a house, and have children.  For a long while I thought that was okay, and it was just the cards I'd been dealt.  I would live with my revelations and move on.  

But your circumstances, or the events in your life, or the setbacks you feel so deeply, do not define the course of your happiness.  At any point in time, you can walk around another bend, and suddenly find exactly what you've been looking for.  That doesn't mean you have to wait around for it, trotting silently into the dusk with no direction.  Although unfortunately, most tragedy brings to mind a sense of helplessness, and a feeling that it would be entirely impossible to so much as grasp at the things you once wanted most.  Even tragedy is not as strong as the continuing whims of a road that winds down through time, ready and ever willing to heal, to encourage, to mend hearts and minds, to entwine lives and further goals, and most of all, to plant love in all directions, waiting for you to stumble onto it.