I am a tourist in this life.
Expectations of enlightenment,
education and entertainment,
spur me forward with excited anticipation.
Feed me discovery in ordered exhibits,
carefully construed facades of control,
garner me with a sense of security:
I am an eager explorer, readily engaged.

By the time wariness enter my consciousness,
I am too far in, committed to the direction,
unable to turn back – the folly of my naiveté
taking hold.  I feel the panic set in – forge ahead –
now driven by fear, not wonder – I see a light.
Relief! Temporarily. All is not as it seems.
Security is not solid. Boundaries are blurred.
I have ventured too deep into this maze of horror.

Injustice and lawlessness surround me –
relentless battery, unbridled savagery,
mummified memories claw at my soul.
I am not willing to die this way-
my screams powerless against a
raging reality, willing my demise.
Is there no sympathy to be had?
The nightmare continues.

I am a student of life,
reluctantly enrolled in a program
that I should have already mastered,
seeking enlightenment in the tucked
away crevices of existence,
crowding in with other lost souls –
expectant, dubious, involuntary –
arrogance and superiority my walls.

I sit amongst the delinquents.
Cynicism blocks flowery attempts
to win me over, nor am I swayed
by blatant appeals to primitive appetites.
I have grown callous, and calculated
hardened by my journey – and when
the lesson comes, delivered in an
unfamiliar tongue – I deflect.

But wait. Despite my hard-heartedness –
hard-headedness – truth seeps
into the corners of my mind and
with coinciding dismay and delight
I realize the folly of my ignorance:
In the struggle between survival
and striving, so much has been overlooked.
I am finding my way out of the maze.


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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.