Wed, Mar 13, 2002 05:33PM -0600

Fate goes where it will The courses of the stars are fixed by law And what is is, what isn't isn't

Despite my lofty rhetoric and my attempt at being infinitely patient, secretly, I had hoped that something would be settled, that maybe in six months time I would actually, truly have made it Somewhere.

But it's still clumsy legwork up that steep mountainside. Still no ledges on which to rest, however weary I am. As has been noted, it's like one step forward, then two steps back. Except in small, subtle ways, nothing has changed.

The abyss still looms.

But I am learning.

There is a part of me that just wants to lie down, to give up, to stop forever, to let gravity drag me down and cast my body upon the sharp jagged rocks. The part that knows that I am dying with every breath I take, with every aching heartbeat, the part of me that has given up on hopes and wishes, the part of me that thinks that things will never get better, and that they can only get worse. This part has weighed me down for years now, like a millstone around my neck as I try to swim against the raging current of Time.

It is time to cut it loose.

Now, I don't have any idea how one would go about doing this, how one would go about resecting a decaying portion of their soul. Yes, there was a time that I thought this was all I was, this aching, hopeless, dying thing.

I suppose the one valuable thing I have learned is that this is not true. I don't know whether I have grown, or whether I have just unlocked something long imprisoned, but there is now something inside me that accepts life for what it is, both pain and pleasure.

So sometimes it still hurts, still racks me with pain now and again, but I know, I know this kind of thing goes away eventually. I have a track to follow, a map laid out before me, a compass pointing true north, so even if this heavy thing in my heart tries to lead me astray, I still know which direction I ought to be going.

So when my mind is relatively clear, when the aching stops momentarily, I will right my heading and keep my eyes forward. So long as I can keep going, there is hope. Now, that hope might not necessarily be what I want at this moment. Hope is not a grantor of wishes, a maker of miracles. Hope is nothing more than the light at the end of the tunnel. The darkness is not endless. I do not know what is outside this darkness, but I know there is something else.

So right now I know what I want. More importantly, I know what I can have, what I have control over, what I can influence. There is no use worrying over anything else.

I know the miasma of pain might overwhelm me any moment, and I will stumble around like a man struck blind, but in these quiet moments of certainty and confidence, I know who I am. It might not be much, but it will be enough.

e-mail: aswang@earthlink.net

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