The Tunnel and Its End


Its frigid cold has left me bare, engulfed by the black through which I stare.
Yet a Light has called me forth, out into life’s sweet comforting air.
Weak and frail I have been broken; left to cling to one last token.
This Light holds me as its coin, and encourages me with all it has spoken.
So, I’m left to carry and strive, to seemingly wander with aimless drive.
But despite feeling only the loss, I am captivated by becoming completely alive.

I can still remember when I first noticed it's shine. The Light that is. It was piercing, gorgeous... I mean, it still is, but that first time I saw it, I was transfixed... like a moth to a flame. Its size! Oh, the size... That's what stands out in my memories the most - it just seemed to forever extend its arms of illuminance, and rip back the darkness around me. It came to me. Spread out toward me.

It's odd, really, because it's just as intoxicating today as it was when I got my first glance of it. But, now, its reach seems to be a bit less. Not because it's limited, I suppose... its arms just appear to be a bit restrained. I don't know. Maybe not. Maybe my eyes were only needing to adjust back then. Maybe the darkness is pushing back, or setting back in. Maybe it's just as thick as it was before I saw its counterpart, and that my memory is mistaken. Regardless, the Light and the darkness are there. That I cannot deny. I just can't help but consider that the Light might be further away now.

It used to be a sign of transcendence, of the greatness out there seeking to bridge some chasm between life and man. I don't know... I guess it still is. Presently, though, it seems as constrained to its end of this forsaken tunnel as I am to mine. The tunnel... I can't tell you how long I've lived down here. This infinite tunnel. The cold, wet cobbled feel beneath my bare feet. The thick and muggy air, which is somehow simultaneously cold and rigid. The rare, but unceasing drops of... water, I hope, landing in a pool of like consistency... always in the distance somehow. An unending labyrinth of turns that I've discovered only by stumbling. No matter where I turn, walk, or try to rest, the ground is just as unforgiving. The inescapable cold and the faint noise of a drop losing, giving up... they're all present.

Before I knew that there was an exit, I was left to only feel my way around. To reach out, only finding more lifeless stone. To feel more confused in my turning. I couldn't see anything. Still, now, I can't really see anything, save for the one bead of Light. My hands are no more visible now than they were before its shine first broke through. I wandered painfully, slipping on the slick unwelcoming ground. Kicking my shins against the sharp of the bricks. Falling. My life was just that, falling like the drops. Though, never finding any of those puddles, mind you. Instead, I found more and more absence.

I couldn't even tell you which way was up. I know that sounds elaborate. But I couldn't - I'm still actually quite confused by that notion. As often as I fell, turned, and let my mind wander into the void, the more I lost all sense of direction. Of normalcy. I would sometimes let my eyes wander into the black, trying to "see" it. This only resulted in more loss. In pressure. My eyes, my brain, even my ears would hurt. How can I trust any of my thoughts here? How do I know that this Light is not somehow another trick of this place?! What perspective am I to work from if I can't come to any knowledge of my own? I have no bearings except my own feelings - and all they are are guides, directing away from things that sting. This infernal tunnel! It's not only captured me, but my hope as well... only to send it in another direction.

The Light. I don't know... maybe I did lose hope. But this Light has seemed find what was lost. Although at times feeling like I'm losing it, or am mad, if given the notions, I can still reason a bit. The darkness of this lifeless tunnel cannot make its own absence. It cannot make the Light - the thing whose main quality is the expulsion of darkness. It cannot make Light anymore than I can make my non-me. Darkness can ruin, sure. I can ruin. But all things are worried about their own preservation in the end. The Light must be of something altogether different. Of what, I cannot yet confirm. What I do know is that these unlit tunnels seek to conceal. To disorient. To confuse. To enslave. The Light, though, has given me a bearing. What's up or down, I still don't always know. What I do know is where I want to be. Where I need to be.

Maybe in the beginning I needed the Light to show me just how close it could be. Or, how close it actually is. And maybe now, I need to know how far away it is... not from me... but from darkness. Maybe instead of sitting with me amidst the darkness, it seeks to draw me out from this place, and into its own halls of brilliance. That is why I've since remained transfixed to it, unceasingly fluttering toward it the moth.