As I lay in the textured silence of a dream diminished - I wonder whether the defeat is a reflection of a lack in my own abilities, or a plea from the universe to do something different. Then again, when I say the two possibilities out loud; they sound the same.
The amusing part of it all is that this feeling; the doubt, the confusion has visited my spirit once before. Recently in fact. I guess the condition of the human brain is one that thinks phases come and go, with the promise never to return. It seems the tormenting friends we love to bury in our subconscious have become frequent visitors who chose to ignore the subtle hints given by the host; to leave.
The crisis that arises when questioning one’s failure awakens thoughts that reverberate beyond the confines of a simple setback. One enters the mouth of the cave and discovers an entire ecosystem cushioned by darkness. The deeper we go, the colder it becomes. We begin to question everything. Our choices, our instincts, even our perception of the All that claims to be mighty.
The thing about a cave is that at first it appears to be a portal into the shadows unknown. The kind of darkness we only vaguely enter in order to take pictures and retell stories of our ‘wild adventures.’ But when forces beyond our perceived control push us deeper into this abysmal absence of light, we then start to see how much we don’t know about the anatomy of a cave. An unfamiliar environment that necessitates an urgency to return to the light.
When we finally realise that the unacquainted darkness is all around us, we then find a soft corner to cushion our despair. The more time we spend in this corner, the more comfortable it becomes.
As the days pass, the sun subtly greets us through a crack in the wall, but we choose to remain in our dark place. A fertile ground powerful enough to inspire a masterpiece, dangerous enough to feel like home.
One day, the crack that usually belongs to the sun is interrupted by another kind of light. A dimmer, smaller light that shines in concert with other glimmers. The gentle nature of this light amuses us. It is not forceful, it does not impose. We follow the shimmering invitation as it leads us out of the cave and into a sky overflowing with small, alluring lights that dance in harmony with one another.
We take a moment to look back at the dark place we momentarily called home. It seems smaller, less daunting.
Maybe it was a cave or maybe it was simply a crevice.
- Photo taken by mkutaji in Emnothweni, Mpumalanga, 2022