Tuesday 11 August 2020

The Traveller's Secret

I often think about the countless paths and choices that are faced by the people I love, both near and far.  The twists and turns, the nuances and hidden groves. The pain, the joy.  One can never entirely plan a journey, after all.  Life, unexpected, is always occurring.  Overturning our neatly ordered plans. Sometimes I imagine a young hand turning pages of a great book.  A tome of myth and secret skies.  A compendium of magic and hope and fairy-tales.  But even the gift of foresight is no guarantee that things will run smoothly.  Sometimes I remember the future, but even the gifted can remember it wrong.  However, there are secrets hidden on every page of the Book of Life.  Even in our mistakes.  
   I know it to be true.
   I've seen some incredible things on my journey.  Sometimes my life feels agonizingly long, but no less beautiful for its endurance.  Eventually the young hand turning those pages in the book of life begins to age.  They doubt the tall tales that once held them spellbound and delighted with the magnificent possibilities of an enchanted world.  Sometimes the song of those pages begins to darken.  The melody is mingled with fear and the brutal experiences of this fallen realm.  I've seen angels plummet through midnight skies, striking the earth like gutted stars. And yet the reader of these pages still wants so desperately to believe in kind, gentle magic.  Oh, sweet ones.  The magic is real.  Kasi promises you that.  There are very dark forces at work here.  Wraith-cults and deviant sorcerers.  That much is true.  But the eternal light is also present here.  This truly is an enchanted world.  I've experienced things that should be impossible, but they happened nonetheless.  Bottled messages of love lost at sea for a thousand years, before finally alighting on the shores of the intended.  Kisses folded in rose-petals, somehow crossing the chasms between worlds.  As a smile, an inspiration, a hidden muse.  I've even watched as lost souls attempt to find their way home again, bravely facing their sins and their guilt.  Truly willing to earn a place in the eternal radiance once more.  I've witnessed transformations and resurrections.
   Miracles, by any name.
   There is a mortal adage of which many emissaries of the threshold are fond, myself included.  Wherever you go, there you are.  It might seem trite at first but there's great wisdom in it, I believe.  Of course, the magic of new places, sights and sounds is never to be underestimated. The influx of new energies, new people and new experiences.  These things are the materials of our most formative moments.  Often the simplest way to learn is to just experience something new, and to recognise value in a different context.  But, despite all these incredible wonders that await every traveller, we are still always ourselves.  We carry our faith with us, and our scars.  And our love.  Memories, symbols and trinkets of home.  Those things that remind us of a nurturing relationship, a comforting shoulder, an unexpected tenderness.
   Then, in later life, if faith is kept and kindness treasured, the old hand turning those pages becomes a page turned by a younger hand.  This is not simply death, or succession.  This is so much more than mistaking skin for parchment.  This is the mystery of incantare; the magic and hope dreamt of by every reader's heart.  Breathing life into All Signs, through connection.  Creation and dreaming are not passive things, after all.  The legend of a quickening spirit is the truth of a spirit quickened.  Indeed, we are made in the likeness of our Father.  Fashioned in the image of eternity.  We can honour because we were honoured.  Through the book, the hand, and the song.

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