There is this rock standing in the way, and I look all around and see all other ways are blocked. I come to think about it as the end of the road, of which I barely started the first few steps. What do I do now? Should I turn around and go back for there might be something wrong with my coming this way in the first place? Should I try to climb the rock and get past? But this might be very dangerous, and it could lead to the end of the way, anyway. What should I do? I’ve been asking myself too many questions about whether this is really what I want for your life and if I can do without this path if I ever decide to turn back and let go this dream of mine.
Men came by me along the way, young men and old men, foolish and wise. Some took their chances and climbed and some turned back and were not seen anymore. What might happen to the men who tried to climb? Are they still alive? Have they reached their destination? Should I just follow them? None of them ever came back the same way or cowered half the way up and came back down, but maybe, they were all killed or captured on the other side of the rock. I can’t see anything; behind this great rock, I am blind. What about the men who returned, have they ever regretted returning as they did turn their backs on their dreams? Are they happy now?
It’s crazy how they look when they pass me by; they are all covered with the dirt of all colors, amounts, and kinds. They are usually wet and full of mud you think sometimes they are not real and that they are actually made of clay. What kind of sun along the way hardened their skins so much that they don’t mind the scorching sun and torrential rains anymore? What is so heroic about exposing myself, not hiding and protecting it in the shadow of the mountain, exactly as I am doing now? I have never been wet and to my knowledge and experience, I have never been dehydrated either. I am real, flesh and blood; why are they neglecting me? Why do they keep looking the other way every time I wave and shout to them as if I were a ghost? Can they not see me?
Beyond this rock, there is the world I have never seen, but what if all stories about that land are not true; what if all of it is just a dream? No one showed me anything, and no one has ever seen anything to come back to tell me how it looks. What if it turns out to be disappointing? What would I do then, after having spent all my life searching for the dream world of mine if it turns out to be the dream of everyone else? What if they never realize I am not like them; I have always been special. Maybe, that’s why I am still standing here and have not come any closer. I am not destined to be blended with these people. Planning their day-to-day chores coming this way just in a dream; I can and should make this dream mine. No one else should share my dream; that’s why I keep calling it mine.
The other day, I saw my wife, my parents, my two kids cross to the other side and at one point I thought I should go along and forget all the questions in my mind; just go a falling leave blasted by the wind. No guarantees not to fall, but many promises I could always land on my feet unharmed. I never took the chance when I was young; today I am an old man filled with regret. I have figured that out long after my time was gone. The passengers, either way, were traveling in space and time; they were always on the move, but I locked myself in a cocoon refusing to spread my wings out and fly. Flying has always been too dangerous to be in control; there is the sneaky wind, the dense clouds, the naggy passengers, the lost navigational charts of the mind. How could I ever make it out alive? As for now, I am alive, I think. If by all means life just means to breathe in and breathe out every time with a deeper sigh. I think I am alive. How alive do you say you are?
The life of others I have been watching all these years; all I had to do was to move in any direction and arrive at any land and call it mine. This crossroad in the middle of nowhere will never be mine. I have already seen life itself come by, yet I have never held on to it so hard that it would never evade me like water between my fingers, all was but spent, but no one can tell which is the best moment, the first or the last. Which moment will define me? Like the world, any moment I can capture and call mine. I don’t know I am rolling out my sleeves; I have pressed them for a long time too hard. All I can tell, and I don’t know how, my feet are on their way, my head held up high towards the sun, I am climbing at last, for the first time.
June 6, 2016