Embers, Fissures, and the Blue-Blossoming Snake

The embers of this Wednesday morning smolder. Though the sun is shining, that great fire of the sky has failed to ignite upon the bed of Tuesday night’s rain and does little to take the cold from bones or heart. Sometimes it seems there is so little in life that brings us true sunshine, the kind that casts its rays into the dark recesses where we hide away all our unpleasantnesses, fears, and foolish habits, and perhaps as often as we find it, we squander it. In some cases, folly upon folly, we force ourselves to accept lesser realities out of fear or exhaustion even while bolder and more beautiful ones call us to them from mere miles away, their clear and powerful voices screaming reason all the while.

Of course, the lines aren’t always so clearly drawn. Sometimes we’re never quite sure if the Right Choice, that veiled and slippery thing, moving like a blue blossom on the end of an oiled snake, ever evading our grasp as we cry for both its venom and its medicine, is the thing that we have allowed ourselves to accept or the thing that we have told ourselves we can never have. Sometimes the lie looks so much like the truth and the truth so much like a lie.

Over the last few days, mostly spent with family and friends at my mother’s lake house in Oroville, California, I realized that I am happy enough with my current circumstances. I have made changes in life that I feel have brought me closer to the truth, closer to the man I have dreamed of being and prayed that I could be. The gap is closing in so many ways.

“And yet,” as Holmes would say. “And yet.”

My dilemma isn’t so much a mystery to me as it is the knowledge of truths I seem incapable of overlooking, but I’m thankful at least that some solace comes through writing. That is, after all, what I am trying my best to spend my time and effort in doing. The larger problem lies in the fact that there is a nagging instability lurking beneath the surface, something like a fissure that may open when the plates shift and rub together again. And that’s something I have learned they are helpless to avoid doing.

Yet maybe it isn’t the worst curse I could carry. If it keeps me swimming in rainclouds to find the lightning, rearranging my written words to find the secret ruminations they chant to one another, and searching my many tomes for the celestial light that I lost, perhaps there’s enough life left in me to walk forward through the dark. Perhaps even in regret I have found my gratitude.

[This post originally appeared at theflyingmonkeyapparatus.com.]

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