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Posts Tagged ‘fear’

Where the shadows stretch so long and deep and linger well into the night, that is where I sit in silence waiting for the night owl flight. Upon the misty winter breeze an echo carries wide and far, until it echoes never more muted neath a sky of stars. Life and death like night and day so far apart yet one the same, captured now together held forever more in tight embrace. To close your eyes and drift away and find a peace so few will know, one day to see beyond the veil into that other world will go.

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What remains is what once-was, transformed
By thunder’s memory of ancient storms.
Lightninged limbs detached from trees
That fell to rot on forrest floors
Can never be restored.

New branches do push slowly through
The trunk’s gnarled bark, adorned with dew;
The feeble green afraid to glow
For fear it too will someday go
Down to the ground where it decays,
Where listless hours lament the days.

Will fragile leaves detach with wind
Along with twigs that break, then spin?
Or will they persevere and grow
Like branches that we used to know,
Ones strong enough to bear the weight
Of all that children contemplate?

Future, past, dark then, now bright
Imagination taking flight, but
Hiding now again until
All fear subsides –
I pray it will.

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The child was more terrified than she had ever been before. Though to most she had looked like a little princess – and little more than a diminutive damsel in all-consuming distress – she had proved herself a warrior, stronger than any princess could ever dream of being. She had navigated the darkest forest with its coarse, cold blanket of nightmarish shadows and confronted her own death face to face, before defeating it as she had done before. She had not vanquished her formidable foe alone, but had been equipped with arrows of the love and support of the many who had rallied their thoughts around her in some distant world, whispering words of encouragement into the air that somehow reached her ear, filling her soul with strength and light and life. They had hoped and believed, and she had clung to their far-off words and thoughts with all her might, knowing that she must somehow keep herself alive, if only for the sake of those who had made her the object of their worried wishes and desperate prayers.

Slowly, the child had lifted herself from the dank forest floor, running her hands mournfully over the bruises and scratches that covered her arms, leg and shoulders, clawed and torn by the sharp branches of indistinguishable, sinister trees that lined and spread themselves with malice across the forest path, covering it from her view almost completely, causing her to stumble and crash into the jagged bark of their rough trunks. These were nothing like the beloved tree she had known before the darkness had come, the one that reached skywards into the sunshine, beckoning her to flit her way from branch to glorious branch til she landed like a butterfly on the one from which a dazzling mobile of delicious dreams and sugary words fluttered in the magical breeze. That was the tree of Infinite Childhood. These were trees of Inevitable Death. 

And though she knew that death could not be fought forever and she doubted herself for more than a moment, she came to remember with all her heart that she was truly only a child, and that this was not her time to die. Exhausted and broken, she had searched within the curls of rusty brown leaves and found within them an extra drop of strength each day. Some days she could not drink them in at all, her dry throat struggling to swallow anything that might hope to sustain her. Days and weeks passed before finally she had completed her transformation from vanquished victim to pale, frail princess to the triumphant heroine of her own fantastic fairytale where darkness had been defeated once more. Somewhere, in some far off land, those who had hoped and prayed and wished and believed for her recovery sensed her growing strength and rejoiced for her in their streets.

Now the child stood at the final edge of the forest that had threatened to devour her, and nothing in her compelled her to even think of looking back. She only desired to move out and forward, leaving the darkness behind her. But from where she stood now, there was no discernible path to lead her out. The dark, familiar path she had travelled over the past few months seemed to have dissolved entirely beneath her feet, and stretched endlessly before her now was the absolute desolation of unimaginable nothingness. In moments of prior delirium, she had dreamed that at this point clear paths would reveal themselves, presenting brightly-lit choices by which she would navigate herself either back to the life she knew, or onwards in a better direction. But the distant, dimming horizon held no clues how she might traverse the barrenness spread before her. 

And even though the battle had been won, for Death was now banished into the indeterminate future, the future that spanned between this moment and death had become so absolutely unknown, and this frightened the child more than death’s former certainty. She had reached the edge of the path, but her heart was overcome with the fullest fear of the infinite nothing that seemed to lie before her. A brief moment tempted her to take a few short steps back into the forest, which for all its savage darkness offered some familiarity. Instead, because she could not figure out what else she might do, she slid down onto the edge of the darkening path and wept herself into some sort of confused, distracted sleep. In the gurgling mubble of slumber, she dreamed that when she woke, some path might unexpectedly present itself to her in the morning’s gently filtered light. 
 

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Today I saw a paper boat afloat upon a stream.

The sight of it transported me inside the sweetest dream.

It carried me from where I stood, on muddy banks nearby,

Towards the bright horizon that divided land from sky.

 

The soul inside me lifted from the dark place I had been,

Cool water washed over my mind, and all that I had seen

Was now infused with life and light where turmoil once had reigned,

And at that point I knew my life should never be the same.

 

Where once each thought was plagued with doubt, now certainty had come.

I watched now as the paper boat turned slowly for the sun.

It sailed its course relentlessly, whatever waves may crash,

And I too set a forward course with no more looking back.

 

How can a boat of paper navigate the ocean wide?

How can a fragile child like me find courage not to hide?

A dim and distant silhouette gives me the hope I need

That paper boats can surely float across the wildest seas. 

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Do not fear little bird,
For I shall protect you,
I will mend your broken wing,
So you may fly again.

 
I will fill your heart with love,
So that love you will never hunger for again.
I shall give you strength,
So that you may fight your darkest fears.

 
Be free to fly in the breeze,
Knowing I shall always be near.
A home you will always have,
In my heart for you.

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