I’m like the bird who didn’t fly south enough for the Winter. In my confusion, I cling to an object of familiarity, hoping that sooner or later I will realize my miscalculation and either continue my journey to the safety of warmer climates or return north to meet a bitter demise from the coming elements.
Until the clouds of confusion clear and make way for clearer, more concise thoughts, I am stuck in limbo…..
The birds object to cling to is a pier beam, holding onto memories of catching bread crumbs and swooping into warm waters for fish.
My object to cling to is this journal that holds memories love, togetherness and of breaking bread to pacify sins against the father and being held under cold water when I defied or questioned the one that was supposedly chosen.
Today, as I write, I am resentful toward the chosen one.
Other days…I miss the comfort of his teachings and the sense of love and belonging that the compound flourished with.
My mother was enamored with him. She joined his sect many years ago and was among the first to recruit members.
She believed his testimonies of being led to the promised land by one who was touched by heavenly hands.
She followed him and did whatever was asked to further his quest for omnipotence.
Including, offering up her only son to him for his desires.
By no means was she the only one who gave an offering.
To belong and earn an opportunity at eternal peace, it was common practice and encouraged among the believers.
She was the only one who tried to take back her offering, though.
And for that, she had to face punishment from the chosen one.
I was told, as a child, that she was banished from the sect, and was sent on a journey to purity, only to return when her thinking was cleansed.
I found out the week before I left, 12 years later, that she was silenced and dealt with permanently.
She was never returning.
In fear for my life and sanity, I fled south.
But not truly alone.
You’re not really alone when you are constantly looking over your shoulder.
Just like the bird clinging to the pier, I always have one eye on the lookout.
I sit here on the beach, cold breeze flowing through my un brushed hair, a slight chill in the air, watching the bird huddle around the pier beam.
He looks content in his aloneness. Cautious but content. If it wasn’t for the occasional shift of its wings I wouldn’t have even noticed him.
As I watch, I am reminded of when I was content.
In the first few years after I was offered to him…I was content. I was the only one….I felt loved….needed.
As more and younger offerings came in, I became less important.
At first, my rebellion was seen as a sign of devotion and the love returned.
Along with my comfort.
Before long, he needed fresh devotion. My rebellion turned into escapes from the compound, where I heard what surrounding communities thought of the sect.
I was always brought back.
Sometimes it was isolation training.
Other times it was purification submersion.
As I got older and more defiant, the outsider influence that I gained on my escapes influenced my need for permanent exile.
Will I ever be south enough.
I try to spread my wings and embrace what I call the outside world, but there is great fear in embracing the unknown.
I enter buildings of faith and search and listen….
But there are so many buildings and so many searching…
Where am I to be found.
The farther south I fly, I find I am a mere shadow of who I was.
The shadow of who I was, stretches and pulls north toward the familiarity of childhood influence.
For now, I stay in limbo.
Just like the bird on the pier.
One eye on what could be for me
And one eye
On what could be coming for me.
I asked my wife (foreverpaused) to pick a photo and I would write a story around it.
What you just read is what I came up with from the photo she picked for me.