“Life has no victims.”
“Forgiveness requires a sense that bad behaviour is a sign of suffering rather than malice.”
― Alain de Botton
We are all lost. It is impossible for us – the children of despair and love and life not to be lost. This then, is the Lost Road. If we find the right words or actions or being, maybe one day we too might come to the great green castle and find Oz hiding behind his curtain, working his controls to give us the things we think will break us free.
The Tin Man wanted, and got, a heart which he happily placed inside his chest. A false heart, beautiful to see, but it didn’t change the Tin Man into anything but what he already is, a hollow man who thinks a heart will break him into another world. But fake hearts don’t do that. Nor does false courage, or a fake brain inside a head of straw.
Lost. Maybe we are as lost as Dorothy and her friends. Maybe not.
The truth is, we have no one as powerful, or as fake, whom we might turn to in order to find that which we are seeking. As long as we seek our hopes and desire from a fake world of witches who melt a the touch of water, monkeys who learned how to fly, and even that dropping a house upon an ‘evil’ witch will somehow make us saviors in our world, we are lying to ourselves and to others.
Lost, however written, never stands up to the finality of being human. We can count on that fact to always remain real. So, what are we searching for in this maze of a world?
Truth? Love? Wealth? A warm body to keep the world at bay and to remind us we are human? We are loved. We are both fiction and non-fiction and sometimes it is dreadfully hard to know one from the other. So ask yourself this if you dare:
What are you searching for in this maze of a world? A fake heart? Courage? A brain? To go to the magical land of Oz where we will overcome all obstacles to becoming great?
Where is your journey headed? Maybe we can walk together for a little while, remind each other whether we need a fake heart, false courage, or a beautiful tin heart beating quietly into the night.
“Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
He knew it well, having lived his ‘After’ life as a Dream Taker. Men came to his village when he was ten, tested all the children. He was the only one taken from his family, his world, to a cold place on the far side of the planet. Later, he learned the building was once a slaughter-house, but it made no difference. Nothing made much difference anymore.
No happiness dwelt there, nor any sign of care and kindness. He lived hardship and pain, lived where fragile bodies broke. His body stood against the torment, but he knew it would not last forever. Someday, some time soon, he would break, too.
Each day, he struggled to remember the broken fragments of his life ‘Before,’ as if somebody had taken a sponge and wiped away parts of his memory. There was nothing left. It was too late for him. If they remembered him at all, they would draw away in fear. If they didn’t, it would be as if he’d never existed.
Maybe he hadn’t existed ‘Before’ they took him away, ‘Before’ they changed him into something so unlike himself he could never go back. Each day, he tortured himself, no longer knowing why.
His alarm buzzed and he rose, gathering his midnight dream-coat and heading to the Commander’s office.
The Neighbors, Part 1
There are those among us who live false lives. Nasty men. Vicious women. Forgotten children. You will never see them. They pretend normalcy; friends and neighbors and co-workers. Inside they are monsters.
Am I one? Some things are best discovered on your own.
They moved in in late July, one rusty truck filled with rickety furniture, broken plastic toys and a mangy dog tied to the tailgate. I watched for an hour, until the truck was unloaded, before heading out to welcome them to the neighborhood.
James, Jane and little Janice. Could smell them half my yard away.
I introduced myself without offering to shake hands. Who knew what I’d come back with that I hadn’t had before.
“You come a long ways?”
“Nice place, Phoenix. So I’ve been told.”
He shrugged, bored already.
Janice ran over tugging the dog behind her. I stepped back just enough to keep her from grabbing my slacks.
“Do you have a dog?”
“No. I don’t.”
“Did you used to have one?”
I shook my head. “Don’t like dogs.”
Her face fell. The dog snuffed the grass, lift his leg.
Least he was on their yard. I’d need a fence, I decided. And soon.
“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”
― Norman Cousins
“The chains that keep you bound to the past are not the actions of another person. They are your own anger, stubbornness, lack of compassion, jealousy and blaming others for your choices. It is not other people that keep you trapped; it is the entitled role of victim that you enjoy wearing. There is a familiarness to pain that you enjoy because you get a payoff from it. When you figure out what that payoff is then you will finally be on the road to freedom.”
― Shannon L. Alder
“There are many who don’t wish to sleep for fear of nightmares. Sadly, there are many who don’t wish to wake for the same fear.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich,
The Midnight Hour, Part 8
He wanted to apologize but he couldn’t. Should, but wouldn’t. The Prosecution never apologize to the Defense, not in small town politics and not in a small town playing large in the city. The Defense spent too much time tucked inside a bottle, but that wasn’t his problem so no reason to low-blow his client. Bad form in such a small-large town.
Besides, he was going to win; it was a given. Open and shut. The boy killed his friend and the girl tried to take the blame. He’d never understood why girls fell all over the bad boys when nice boys, like him, never got a second look. The victim had been a good boy. Here was his chance to strike one for the good boys.
He looked over the files one more time, not that he didn’t have all the details memorized. Boys argue about girl. One boy pushed the other down a hill and second boy dies. First boy think he will get the girl, but gets arrested instead.
Open and shut.
The defense would claim accident, but this judge was tough on stupidity, which was what this trial was really about. Kids. Lust and pride and hormones, but mostly stupid. Stupid kids. Stupid girl for bring the fight to a head.
And now it was his job to rebalance the scales. Justice with a capital J.
Case prepared, notes ready; excited for another chance to dominate the courtroom. Changing the trial venue was his blessing in disguise because this case would bring him to the attention of the larger firms in the city. After this, goodbye tiny town, hello big time in the big city.
Far in the distance, the whine of a siren startled the night. A briefcase sat by the door.
To see Parts 1-7, click here.