Where is the home of sadness? It lies within me. I have tried to evict it, turned off the electricity, denied it sustenance and yet it refuses to leave. I have forced the sun to shine, blasting light at the yellowed shade and the soiled green curtains. They seem a weak barrier, yet only a wan and sickly haze is allowed in.
I walk around this enigma, this hole that sucks the warmth from my world. It intrudes on the pleasant green and blue of my surroundings. It is a stain. A wound. Death. I have looked in the door and seen the room. It is filled with dry and dusty furnishings. It whispers for me to leave the sun. To rest.
I hear my son playing on the hill, his voice dreamlike. Startled, I let go of the door. My feet have crossed the threshold. I step back, crushing brittle grass and feel the tug of sighing hands urging me to enter. I force another step, my shadow stretching long before me as if tangled in the threadbare rug. I step and step, and step again, ragged breathing loud in my ears. I step until I feel the threads that bind me to that place tear and part. I step until the sounds of forest life begin to chase the chill from my frame. I step until the cabin is a mote in my view, a tiny black hole tugging at the edges of the world around it.
I step until the curve of the hill hides the weeping dark and trees spring up at the corners of my vision. I continue backing slowly into their protective ranks until they stand like an army between me and my despair.
Then finally I stop.
Light rests gently on my shoulders and my son’s laughter rustles with the grass around me.
I will not cross that hill again. I fear that one day that dry and dusty place will seem a refuge.
I turn slowly to greet my son as tears roll down my face. They glitter like diamonds as they slide through the dust onto the green and fragrant grass.
Sometimes I feel that I stand on a bridge between two worlds. The knotted ropes that bind the slats are frayed, reduced to a mere pittance of turnings. From the top of the towers dotting each land angry voices call the people to war. They rise from the valleys to slash at the moorings that provide safe passage over the void. We who walk the bridge speak of peace, but they cannot hear our words. Each combatant sees the other as a weight that unfairly drags them down, when in truth each is a hand, whose opposing pull prevents both worlds from plunging into the abyss of dissolution.