The Black Wall

This was a vivid dream as real as any waking moment he had ever experienced.  He walked alone a field so dark there was no form, and with each step a fear that there would be nothing which would hold him steady until the next foot fell. In the darkness he wondered, and there in the space within space he found himself questioning everything.

Off in the distance something shined like a star contrasting brightly against the emptiness.  He approached warily, unsure not only of what it was but also unsure of the safety of the journey to it.  In this darkness there was no security, only insecurity, and in this walk toward the light there was no guarantee that his feet would fall on steady ground.  He couldn’t even see his feet, or the rest of him, let alone the ground that lie ahead.  He just knew he couldn’t sit still, that he needed to move forward toward the star lit against the abyss.  He wanted – he needed – to get to that spot where the light would show him all there was to see.

Slowly, almost painfully, he neared the light.  He could now make out the form of a wall.  It was a dark, black brick wall highlighted by a brilliant white mortar which reflected the light brightly.  He could not see the source of the light, or the size of the wall but as he looked away the light only make the blackness surrounding him darker and more ominous.  Somehow the wall itself made him feel both lonely and loved, as if somehow now he had found a purpose in the loneliness he had always felt and the hope that soon it would all end.   So he pressed onward, painfully afraid of each step while joyfully hopeful in the journey.

The brightly-lit wall appeared to move toward him as he got closer as if it somehow sensed the fear he had in each step.  It seemed to want to end his suffering although he thought it couldn’t possibly relate to such emotion.  The wall could be nothing other than a wall, it had no ability to know him or his condition.  It was just there, lit, tall, strong and unable to feel.

Soon he had to stop walking as the light began to hurt his eyes.  It seemed to be harder to see in such bright, beautiful light than it was in the darkness.  He had become so accustomed to the darkness that the light actually hurt him.  He looked away, searching for comfort in the darkness while still desperately wanting to see the light.  It was a slow, painful process, but soon he could look into the light without reaction.  Then he could see a message written boldly in white scrawled across the wall.  It wasn’t long from then that the message was clear.

“You may not live to see the end of this.”

He stood, frozen. The fear created within a lifetime came flooding to his face as his eyes began to let go a torrent of pent-up suffering. He dropped to his knees and sobbed. Yes, the end was near, and there was no certainty that he would live to see it.

As he sobbed uncontrollably he noticed through his blurred eyes the field in which he had walked.  There were such beautiful flowers that extended as far as the eyes could see.  Yes, he could see!  Butterflies fluttered around him, some landing on his shoulders, others on his arms, still others on his head.  They seemed to caress his soul, telling him “it will be all right, you are loved.”  He looked out across the horizon not believing he had never seen any of this.  The darkness wasn’t the only truth, there had always been this field, these flowers, the butterflies and the beauty that reached as far as the eyes could see.  He had simply closed his eyes to it all, and when the smallest crack in his own blindness presented itself he found a light that lit the world.  The journey hadn’t been a simple walk at all; it was his eyes being opened to the truth.


He turned to the wall that had given him hope and had inspired him toward his present moment. The light that had once lit it now lit everywhere.  As he wiped his eyes and stood he read the message scrawled on it one final time.  It had changed, and with a sigh and a swallow he read what it now said aloud.

“This is the end of it.”

He half-cried half-laughed at the revelation as a lone butterfly landed on his chest right where he now felt his heart beat loudly.  He looked at her as she him and both seemed to know.


photo by: felixtsao