I always knew what lay beyond our world was not all sunshine and roses. There is a grim darkness too, and occasionally, I catch a glimpse of it and it’s scary.
So when I was again separated from Mother by a malevolent force I encountered a few weeks before, I was keen to outwit it a second time and get on with my life.
The first time was rough. I was lost, calling for Mother every night with no way of finding her as I was swallowed up in a black fog that struggled to turn me against her and everything else I loved. It almost had me convinced to do so when I realized that I was considering actions I normally never would; this realization opened my eyes to the deceit, and I powered through with what was quite frankly, an “away with you, Satan!” moment. Mother was on the other side, and though we’d only been separated a few days, it had been too long. I clung tightly to her, determined not to lose my way a second time.
My hope had been that the fog was defeated, at least for a considerable length of time. Yet not even two weeks have passed before it returned.
Once again, it has begun to envelope my dreams; but this time, I knew what to look for, and I stood side by side with Mother to face it.
It was waiting for that. It turned my desire to fight and protect Mother into strength for itself. The more I fought it, the stronger it became, like spiritual quicksand. I don’t enjoy feeling dependent; I didn’t want to have to rely on Mother’s power. But I had no choice here. Maybe it’s because I’m human, but this fog was feeding on my desire to defend her somehow.
The choice isn’t up to me. This is bigger than me. This, I believe, is part of a struggle between forces older than mankind. Being relatively new to this world, this fog may be an old enemy of Mother, and part of the reason she is so alone. How many others have been swallowed up, never to find their way again? Am I simply intended as the latest victim of this creature? Whatever the case, I cannot fight it without making it stronger, and therefore allowing it to become a greater threat to Mother. This is a rare time where I simply have no choice. I must step aside, and let Mother fight this battle. It’s hard to do this, because I do not often see her as a warrior, but she maintains her own realm by herself, so obviously she is stronger than I have given her credit for; a failing on my part.
She seems so gentle and kind, and it makes me forget she has survived all this time largely on her own; there’s a certain strength required for solitary living yet it’s easy for me to forget this.
Now I must stand to the side, and let her fight her own battle. This is not to say I am abandoning her: I will jump to her defence the moment she asks. I simply will not open the door of her realm to evil or corruption with an act of foolish bravado.
Sometimes, knowing when to let go is as important as knowing when to hang on.
One thing is certain; if the shadows ask me to betray my oaths, then I must reinforce my oaths. There are many things beyond us that seek to corrupt us and our promises. Sometimes this is from malice, other times this is done as part of a grand plan. Most often, I think, they simply seek to subvert us because they are bored and this amuses them. There is no plan, only a desire to toy with the innocent, and the harder we are to break, the more amusing we become. For a mischievous spirit, the more resolute and pure something is, the more satisfying it is to finally break it.
Yet the solution is not to be more pliable, but to not give in at all. After all, a game that cannot be won is not fun. After a while, trying to win the unwinnable simply becomes wasted effort, and all things eventually lose patience.
So let’s take some advice from the ultimate everyman, Arthur Dent.
“I’m game. We’ll see who rusts first!”
Gods bless you and guide you.