Once upon a time, there was a legend of a Kingdom of Lights, where beings had discovered the secret to serenity and a wealth beyond imagination.
It was said the entrance to the kingdom lied at the birth of a rainbow, where the sky met with the earth and the sea.
Many poor souls had lost their minds looking for this hidden kingdom – chasing rainbows, enslaved by their dream, praying for a final light to take them to the place their physical form had failed to fly, sail or walk to.
One could recognize these poor wretches by the permanent fog which had set on their gaze and by the litany they constantly hummed:
I am a slave to the fog
The light rejected me
Suffocated by the smog
Hiding the life I would foresee
It was in my reach, but nothing was as it seems
And the colourful stream flew away with my hopes and dreams
Yet, it was thought that one man whose body was failing, secluded to a tiny house but tended to by a devoted family, had succeeded in Morpheus’ kingdom where everyone else had failed in the physical realm. Thus, it was on the wings of the night, by the grace of his dreams and through the heart of the dark that he was able to access the Kingdom of Lights.
It was her favourite story when she was younger. Something in it reassured her, comforted her, that the adventures she lived in her dreams were indeed, in part, real; that her imagination was so powerful it could create doors where her day-life had failed to. And through the dark and rainy days, she would smile, thinking about the rainbow that would never fail to appear, showing her the way to wealth and serenity.
Strangely enough, she had never paused to think about the first part of the story; to think about the cautionary tale of people mistaking the beauty and evanescence of rainbows for a quest one should pursue on a physical level – mistaking windmills for dragons.
And here she was, flabbergasted by a storm of emotions – tears running down her face and flooding any rational thought she could have, striking in anger at those she loved the most, thunder cracking through her brain, her hands dying to reach for someone, anyone, to hold on to, her skin thriving to feel the sun’s warmth in the midst of those overwhelming sensations. The only thing she wanted was to dull the pain. She wanted to seek comfort under a blanket, in the taste of chocolate, or better yet open her veins and watch her agony escape her body drop by drop.
And here lied her weakness: she was unwilling to learn from the dark. She had been cruising through life. Learning from one’s mistakes was not the price but rather the gift of living, yet she had constantly refused it. Life had a way of making itself heard, though: sending human beings challenges growing bigger, until one day, more than surviving them, they would learn from them.
(photo credit: Christopher See Hoye)