October 2, 2011

The City in the Mist


Image by Cyrus Crashtest

They say that on a late autumn or spring day, the city in the mist awaits. It graces the tops of the mountains, kissed by clouds and the angels who guard its gates. Is it real or just a dream cooked up in some old fools head? All who return do so as fools, their eyes speaking of splendor untold. The legend of its towering spires and golden gates drive men mad with lust for adventure; to enter its gates and uncover treasures beyond their wildest dreams. Perhaps more invigorating than the discovery itself is the journey; long and wrought with obstacles. It has broken all who seek it, promising eternal reward in exchange for their very lives. Yet still its call is loud and true; one would need to sever their ears to ignore it. At last I can take it no more…

Northbound, your path awaits
Through the putrid swamp of testing fate
Eastward now, through the scorching dunes
Forward still, towards certain doom.
Through the echoing caverns of nevermore
Demons wait to settle their scores
Cross the perilous river, your journey goes
Down to the hells, from whence it flows

The city waits there, at the end of this road. Its splendor is nothing mere men could know. Perhaps it’s just a dream of a longing fool, tired of this world and all its downfalls. Maybe it’s just a trap meant for the unprepared. Nonetheless, I embark upon this journey knowing the danger, for no matter how it ends, it will be the last journey I ever take.

Back from the hells, you ascend upwards now
Into the heavens, don’t look down
The city can be found on the second cloud
At the seat of the world, it stands watch – tall and proud

The empty promise of reward is what drives me; it’s all I need. I care not whether it exists or not, I tread on just to say I did. Sometimes the reward is in the journey itself, not the destination. To say that you continued onward when others refused because they were too afraid is the biggest reward you could ever ask for. But the reward is useless if the destination means your end. What lesson is there to be taught if you cannot share your success? Perhaps that is why I believe mindless fools; their eyes never lie. They saw the top of the mountain and lived to tell the tale.

Enter ye weary traveler and lay yourself to sleep
Eternity waits just a dream away, a promise I vow to keep
Now ends your suffering, agony, and strife
In the city where daylight shines and drives away the night

I’ve come so far and walked so long. It’s a one-way journey now – I no longer have the luxury of being wrong. I’ve traversed the stinking swamps and scorching dunes, entered the caverns and crossed the river. As I feel my body go weary and insanity seep in I know this is the hell I was promised. The world is a cruel and unforgiving place and we take so much for granted. I look behind me now and remember my past life that seems ages ago as I continue along this path of life lost to the elements. I might have done things differently… I might have stayed, but the only way back now is forward.  There will never truly be a return trip, even if I somehow do make it back to the place I once called home. Things and people change, and I have been lost too long in this place. I must continue forward to heaven, or be lost forever in the hells.

As I emerge from the pit of despair, a stone path appears before me. I step into the daylight and am greeted by the green grass and shade of paradise. I fall to the ground and begin to weep. I’ve made it out alive, changed. I had forgotten the beauty of the world, lost in the darkness of days past. The path zigzags into misty mountains that mark the end of my journey. Nothing else matters now… I have made it through the journey alive, scarred, but stronger. As I drink from a nearby pool I gaze at my reflection. It smiles back in a way I have not seen in years, telling a story of pain and happiness. I believe and know it to be true because the eyes never lie.

The path guides me along to glory I’ve never known. The air is fresh and golden… all breaths I have taken before this were a lie. I forget the pain in my limbs and the cuts and bruises from the journey behind me and continue on, renewed.  Suddenly the sun bursts from the roof of the world, blinding me with warmth. I can feel the angels flutter around me, their wings blowing my hair back and lifting me off the ground.  I peek just long enough to watch as the world I once knew vanishes in a flash of light and my trivial worries of my past life flee from my sight forever.

Enter now and cast off your sins
For now is the time for new life to begin

1 comment:

  1. thats worked out pretty well actually - particualrly for a 'free-write' - it definately fits in with the image, as well as expanding upon it. nicely done.

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