I lay down after a long day, closing my eyes in an attempt to fall asleep, when suddenly a vision begins to roll like a film reel behind my closed lids.
I stand in an dusty, darkened room littered with scattered relics, musty tomes, abandoned tools, and gathering work created by others; all of these lay clustered in a pile that begins to roll and twist at my approach. A heavy odor of decay and long dried inks hangs in the air like a smokey haze, the acrid bitterness flooding my senses and making my eyes water.
Clanking trails of matted debris drag across the stone floor under my bare feet as a wizened face peers from within the hulking burden on its back. The creature’s milky white eyes gaze at me with stony defiance, its lips curling back to reveal sharpened teeth dripping with thick strings of hungry saliva at the sound of my steps. Raspy whispers rustle the air in an unending chant of
Its voice sending shivers of fear and discomfort up my spine, as I realize with horror, that’s my voice.
That is me.
This creature that is grasping, clawing, seeking, reading, devouring, and chanting has been ME on my search to find my path, trying to learn about my beliefs. I have been acting like the garbage troll lady from the movie The Labyrinth, or like Gollum with “His precious”, always hoarding, seeking, clinging and never letting go of what I find or learn.
Only looking for the next acquisition, the next discovery, never treasuring what I have —– only looking for more. And it needs to stop. I need to strip away the unneeded layers of junk, the tangled webs of masks, and leave them for others to pick through like carrion birds, or leave them to rot back into the Earth to be recycled into something new.
Each peeled away mask shatters like a thousand sighs, splintering into grains of sand and dust to be blown away in the winds surrounding me. Each discarded book, or feverishly memorized chart or list slides off my skin like papery wistfulness and melts into puddled offerings in the dust at my feet. Each item I loosened my grip on grows wings and flies into the Sun, bursting into flames as the famed wings glued to Icarus’s back.
I am finally free, peeled raw beneath the effigy of my unneeded toys and baubles, awaiting the next step in my path.
And then I could sleep.