Saturday July 22, 2017
I found myself in an extensive dark labyrinth of cement walls. The only light was a hazy whitish color that occasionally flickered in the corridors. There was a thick mist that made it impossible to see the ground on which I walked. I heard a child’s laugh in the distance and followed the voice. The laugh took me down several passageways. A young child’s shadow appeared in front of me, followed by an adult shadow….and I couldn’t describe what happened to the child. The images are seared on my eyelids, I cannot get rid of them. I watched as the shadow of the child walked again and grew larger with each step. Now, it seemed to be an adult with a bottle in its hand. A little girl appeared in front of me. She seemed so real. Her hair was jet black and her skin pale. I noticed right away her green eyes and how they pierced me to the bone. Her body was covered in bruises and blood. I watched as a trail of blood ran down her nose and dripped off the end. She gasped suddenly in a quiet subdued way and lifted her little finger to her lips, indicating I was to be quiet. I saw the shadow drag her away, and as I watched her eyes looked at me as if they had given up on life. There was no fight, only quiet deadness. And tears fell and fell and fell from my eyes. I couldn’t stop, my whole body shook. I knew who she was, but she was just a phantom of the past…a past that I wished had never happened. Remembering the image of her eyes sealed within my mind, I wondered. Where were the police, the family, the community? Where had they gone? Why did they never say a word? The people who were supposed to love her, where were they? My body shook with the anger and deep sadness. She was just a child! And, I began to think about the many, many children who remain nameless, faceless, never loved by anyone at all to their dying breath. They died not knowing any human could ever love them. And, I thought about the illusions we create. Our beliefs that create a caring entity or a just life but are unwilling to observe the times when that belief collapses around our fragile mind. And we defend it and, at the expense of the child, force our belief on the collapsing reality. The child’s death and suffering is never recognized, because we are never willing to break our illusions. And yet, we depend on these illusions to get us through another day with hope, with a sense of purpose. Why would I want to destroy that? I don’t want to destroy it, but I cannot in my own reality support such an illusion…at least, not in the way it is often portrayed. To me, life is random within a set algorithm or equation. An overarching entity does not care, because if it exists, its drive is to create and move on. I cannot explain everything, but this is so far what I observe. I understand that life, as it is, is not fair or just, but that humanity can create a world that is fair and just, in their own small spheres at least, but it will be far from perfect. Anyway, the other thought that I had, was how, when a child is drowning in the trauma of shattered illusions, if no hand ever reaches down to help them, their humanity dies. And the child, wallowing in the sea of suffering around them, grows ever more feral. If the child is not rescued in time, they become an adult that is truly feral, truly wild. There is no understanding of community or reciprocity, for they received none. Can it be undone? It depends on how old they were, before it crept in. Children have been found completely feral, ones that never were able to adjust into society, because they missed the crucial markers of development. But, in the case of maltreatment, if there is at least some love in a sea of suffering, their humanity will not completely die. I know, for me, I’m not afraid of the darkness, I’m willing to search for the diamonds hiding in the dark. This makes me vulnerable, but I would rather find the diamond and cherish it, than not find the diamond and live my life without ever understanding how beautiful a diamond can be, when it is found in the dark. My existence is to walk my own path, and find and understand things that many are not willing to find and discover. I am not afraid to walk alone, if I walk to understand and to cherish. I walk to find the diamonds in the dark.