It’s not easy to walk toward authenticity, to pursue that will o’ the wisp
happiness. She’s elusive. You have to come at her from another angle
entirely. You waver for years wondering is she worth it, are you brave
enough. And one day, you get a glimpse of the other side, and you start
walking. Break with false selves and all the pretenses. Strip away the
supports and crutches, raze all the monuments you built to your good
name. You let go the loves you have known, their faces forever in your
soul’s vision. Look deep into the black river of your fear, and plunge in.
Like a stone you sink with your guilt and grief, into bottomless night.
No way to breathe through the pain, nothing to grasp. You fade in and out
of the senseless dark for a lifetime. Maybe you never were alive or
shouldn’t be anymore. Fading, fading, until hands catch at yours and pull
you into sunlight. It’s been so long since the sun kissed you, since you’ve
been held and known. Someone is holding you and calling your name,
singing. You allow yourself to be sheltered, fed, and comforted. Like an
injured bird you are tenderly cared for. Your many wounds begin to heal
and each day you can let in a little more light. One day you feel possibility
playing with your hair, like a breeze from the open window. Someone
stands at the door and calls to you. You smile at him and he comes close.
You are being told how loved you are, how lovely, how much you are
cherished, and what you mean to him. You’re dimly aware of his tears.
He is kneeling before you and you slowly comprehend that you are being
asked to make a home here. To belong. This house is spacious and set on a
hill. The one who saved your life has patient, joy-filled eyes that crinkle as
he laughs. He is gentle, kind, gives you the best rooms in the house, gives
you everything he has. You melt into his love. You are made new.
You think about the people you love across the river and your heart aches.
Months pass, and one day you see two figures coming toward you and it is
your loves. When you look into their eyes you see how they’ve been
marked with the pain of your leaving. You see how they try to understand,
how they’ve forgiven you. Tears come but they embrace you. You
bring them into your new home and feed them and listen to their beloved
voices. They meet this new man and graciously accept him. Your heart is
full, and at last, there she is–happiness– flitting around the table and
shining on every face.