The writing on the wall

The following short story is based on a dream I had.

I hope you enjoy it.

It was a day like any other, or so it seemed to some. I don’t believe any two days are alike. There is always something new to be discovered if you look hard enough. A young flower may have found the strength to blossom on the morning after a night of heavy rain, whilst another may have succumbed to it and been destroyed.

My point is, that there is always something different. Maybe something has been added, or maybe something has been taken away, but whatever the difference, each day that passes is undeniably different to the one that went before it. Life does not stand still.

I found this day to be a strange one. I was a stranger, in a strange town, in a strange country, amongst a strange people. I wondered if I was seen as strange here. Perhaps strange is a word that best describes our own feelings about something new, rather than being a true account of whatever it is we believe we are describing. A word we associate with fear that we use to describe something that we are afraid of.

On the morning after my first night in this new country I woke at first light and set off to explore it. Many travellers before me have come to explore this country and it is said that many of them are never seen again. It is a magical country, I am told, and contains within its very essence, the very first sparks of love and peace that have existed long before the dawn of time. Here, I am told, you can find happiness and freedom if your heart is pure and your intentions good.

I hadn’t been travelling for long when I came across a tower made of stone. It reminded me of the towers I had discovered in the fairy tales I had read to myself as a child. This one was different though. It climbed high into the sky and had no visible entrance or way of access to the room I could see at the top of it. I called out hoping for assistance but was disappointed when none was offered. The tower was empty and I was alone.

As we are in an age of technology, I decided to take out my phone and call a friend for advice. But I was left disappointed again, for although this time I was given a response, it was not one I wanted to hear. My friend was adamant that I should stay away from the tower at all costs. The tower was a magic one and there was no one alive who could claim to have climbed it.

It was apparently, an impossible task to reach the room at the top of the tower and that it was precisely at this point, at the foot of the tower where I was stood, where the travellers before me had disappeared. I thanked my friend for their advice but I would not be deterred. I was sure of the pureness of my heart and I knew that my intentions were good. I wanted to be happy. I wanted to know peace and freedom.

I took another step towards the tower and decided that I would try to feel for a secret or hidden door. I placed both hands on the tower and in a flash I was transported to the room at the top it. The room had a stone floor, a stone ceiling and stone walls. There was no doorway but it did have a window.

I took a closer look around and noticed that from floor to ceiling there were rows upon rows of ancient writings etched onto the walls. There were many writings that had been written in languages I could recognise but not understand, and there were many that had been written in what I knew must be, as yet undiscovered languages. The writings that were written in my native language talked of peace and love.

I was astounded and the experience was one of enlightenment. I felt those words and their meanings flow through me and merge with my soul. It was almost as if I had ceased to exist and had been reborn. I was now the writing on the wall. But all too soon the reality of my situation descended upon me and my feelings of enlightenment gave way to feelings of fear. There was no doorway in this room, only a window. How was I going to get out?

I placed my hands on the wall as I had done outside of the tower but nothing happened. I panicked and again rang my friend for advice. My friend was sorry for my predicament but did not believe that anyone could help me now that I was actually inside the tower. For it was a magic tower after all and there was no one alive to explain its mysteries. I promptly said my goodbyes and hurled my phone out of the window. I was angry and frustrated.

I paced around the room for hours, reading and re-reading the ancient writings. When I could read no more I went and sat in the middle of the room. I looked towards the window and felt my anger and frustration return. What good was a magic tower full of ancient wisdom if the people of the land could not find and access it? I had managed to enter it and absorb its teachings, but what use was I if I could not escape from the tower?

Immediately after this chain of thought my eyes were drawn to a carving of a rain cloud as the rain fell from it. I could not remember viewing this particular carving and had no idea how I had missed it, but I knew immediately what I had to do now in order to escape from the tower. I had to wait for the rain.

I now understood the magic of the tower and its message to me was clear. I had become exactly like the tower. Over the years, I realised that I had been building my own magic tower in order to protect myself. As the days passed the walls grew higher and higher until one day the only room I had left to be myself in, was the room inside of my head.

In an attempt to protect myself from all that was unfamiliar to me I had walled myself in and separated myself from people and even my own emotions, and all that was visible to anyone looking in my direction was the tower that I had built. So great was this tower that there was no one alive who could climb it. Like the magical tower, I was full of wisdom, but what use was that if I did not share it. I was full of love, but what did that matter if I could not give or receive it?

As I contemplated this it began to rain and instead of trying to shelter from it I went to the window and embraced it. I felt it wash away all that was unnecessary and useless to me now. I closed my eyes in gratitude and when I opened them I found myself back at the foot of the tower where it had all began. And there I stood in the rain, visible, happy and at peace, refreshed and ready to start my life anew; ready to share my wisdom.

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Author: zoepattersonfightingback

Practice what you love with love, working IN the moment and not FOR a moment. The world does not stop for defeat or for victory and neither should you. I have known victory and I am no stranger to defeat. Despite my personal challenges I still wake each day with the intention to practice what I love and this has served me well. I am an England boxing coach and qualified personal trainer, working hard to help others practice what they love.

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