A blanket of darkness is wrapped around me. It covers me like a shroud, but somehow it feels like large leaf covering it’s delicate flowers from the storm.
The tunnel is obscure in its architecture but the haunt of gloom hangs heavily. I don’t know how long or deep it is, but I can guess, the end is far. I can feel a lot of negative energy, like something is sick or dying. I can sense something that is restless and agitated. The air cringes away from my skin like the stench of rotting eggs. I have a voice in my heart, and it screams grow.
My feet, uncertain of the terrain, move cautiously at first. The ground is wet in places. I can see no definite path. The stones and pebbles are the teeth of an ill-fitting set of dentures. I fall down and granite scrapes away a part of my skin like an improperly erased drawing. I fall down several times but with each fall, I feel more confident about the place I am in. It is easier to get up each time. The voice gently sings grow.
So I do.
I walk for miles, but I can’t seem to reach the end of this tunnel. My calves ache and chips of rocks pierce the soles of my feet. Sweat trickles down my forehead like water from edges of an overfilled jug. My iron heart grows rusty and the sword of will accepts defeat. Maybe this is my fate. I will spend my entire life in a rancid drain where algae will flourish over my entire existence like a bad rash of measles. I cry, I beg, I plead. But whilst I am hoping for god’s grace to crack open this devil’s hole, each patient moment makes my faith evaporate a little more. Pain is beating on me like a drum and I wish to give up on living. But then, the voice grows inside me, like a slow growl that converts into a loud roar. It rises from the pit of my stomach like warm bitter bile and leaves only one word on my tongue, grow. But I can’t. I am done. I try to swallow the word back but it rebels like an untamed horse.
The voice chants grow,grow,grow.
So I do.
I get up and begin my ascent towards the light. Maybe it is an illusion of the tired mind, but I feel closer to the end. Or the beginning. Soon, I start hearing voices echoing through the tunnel. They tremble like teacups in an earthquake. Sounds, unclear in their tone, but firm in their approach. They tell me I shouldn’t go any further. The murmurs grow louder and say no,no,no.
I probably shouldn’t go ahead. Everyone else is right. It is funny how the human mind is often ready to believe incongruous noises in the dark, just because they are more convenient to believe. The voices rattle constantly like ice cubes in a whisky glass and each one is a distinct criticism of my ascent. I am convinced that I should abandon this stupid idea. We are all meant to live in this hell hole, enveloped in darkness, marching away into oblivion without a cause proved just. I was a fool to believe that I could revolutionize this drudgery. Life is a vicious cycle I shouldn’t break. A path less travelled by? It is the one that makes a difference because it is a mistake.
But this voice in my heart? It doesn’t have ears, it only knows how to speak and be heard. I lock it within the chamber of my heart, but the melodious lullaby knocks at my ribs singing grow,grow,grow. The soft music reverberates in my hollow bones until it is a tone I cannot disregard. All the cells in my body begin to resonate, chanting grow, grow, grow. I feel the sound leave my skin and hit the ceiling. I wonder if the sound alone will split the sky open.The entire tunnel resounds the blood in my heart, as if in a trance, grow.
So I do.
I fiercely scrambled through the darkness, towards the light. I soar, sprouting through the tunnel like a seed, watered by the will of a voice that says, grow.
I reached the radiance soon, bursting out through the tiny crack like a wildflower blooming in fresh, violent sunlight. I rise like the hurricane and dance amidst the clouds at edge of the earth and the sky. I am saturated with colour and seared by the light.This earth, my earth, my playground.
Where they say you cannot, when there is no fodder for your soul. The only thing that locks you in place is the only thing that can set you free.