The Branch

I guess we all wake from our dreams sooner or later.

To some, the awakening results in the understanding that they just are not equipped to make others truly happy in life. They cannot forgo what drives their mind to work, to awaken, in the sake of some semblance of selflessness when that mind drives them to selfishness. To those imprisoned few, it seems obvious that others cannot see the branch they have whittled away for those others can only focus on the twig still being held onto. Forget the branch dropped in selflessness, it is unseen and unacknowledged, for that twig seems to hold much more weight in the eyes of those who need not carry it.

In that way, others cannot see the changes made within such a mind, where they want to be selfless but perhaps not in the way others need them to be. It is difficult for those who so desperately clung to the branch to let go of the twig, for that branch was everything to them – their survival, their selves, the only thing never allowed to see the light of day now awoken and as strong as ever. The others cannot see you chipping away at that branch, slowly ridding the mind of the weight of it all. They can only see the empty soul they wish you had, rather than the great reduction of weight you have worked so hard to offer. The Wolf but wags his tail at the sight of such masters, proud of the whittling away he has done. The Master removes such pride in the reminding that there is so much more wood to go.

But then you awake. You awake to the fact that perhaps the reason the others no longer see the effort is because they don’t care to. There is no love, no understanding, just a cold hearted reality that says “you shall conform or be cast away”. They don’t see you as the laborer working to cast away the branch, they see you as the labor. They are tired, they are angry, and they could care less about what blisters your hands employ in such work, they only care about having it in the time and manner they see fit.

True enough, their vision is fair, the sweat the brow has spent yesterday does not mean it anything but dry today. They, the “loved” ones, are there with you, becoming wet with the perspiration you offer as your go about your work. They share the blisters, blisters not theirs to have, yet they share them nonetheless. They simply tire of the work, care little for the results of the labor, just as they begin to care little for the laborer.

Such is the effort, symbolic removal of rings,
The ties that hold us true, the ties that bind,
For out of such action the Beast proudly sings,
“It was all in the mind, all in the mind.”

There comes a time when the laborer decides to bear the burden on his own. No, it is not fair for those loved ones to share in the passion of such work that the mind dare fight, and it is not fair for the laborer to bear the brunt of effort not just of the job at hand, but also of curing those who share in the work. At some point, the man must rise above himself, alone and of good will, to better himself through suffering and the anguish of effort. He must turn what he recognizes as in need of repair into repair, not just recognition. At some point he must simply walk away from the crew to aspire to such greatness.

He is therefore resigned, he feels, needing to lose that which he cherishes the most not to hurt them, but to save them. He is nothing in their eyes, part of the Creation of his mind, yet created nonetheless. He simply is not good enough to be in their employ in any aspect of work, for he has not succeeded even in the crafting of the twig he now holds. Perhaps he needs to walk and not return until the twig is left floating in some deep and angry river, gone forever. Perhaps, at this point, the removal of both the twig and the branch is pointless as it is in his world, for they have but left him in the Angry River a while ago. He is irrelevant to their cause, and as so is irrelevant in his own for his cause was so closely tied to theirs. He simply must not walk in a path made for 5, he must find the path made for none.

So there he sits, alone but holding his twig. The realization that the calls for him were not made in need for him at all sets in like a stone on the soul. He sees the world clearly as the Lone Wolf of yesterday stirs within, he is not needed, not wanted, not seen as a way to love but an impediment to it. They will not disagree, they will not argue such a point left true, and if they did he would hear none of it. No, those who demanded the work will just forget he existed, and as the cold wind sets in they will not dare think of his plight. They will bask in their warmth, in the glow of the fire, thankful that the chill will not dare touch them this night. They will smile, they will laugh, they will love without one careless thought of he who tried but failed. If they hear of his demise they will but believe it was his own fault, for he could not whittle fast enough to be one of them. He did not conform fast enough, he did not see his work as necessary enough, he did not but see the burden of life pulling the sled in the honor of those riding in it. It is true enough that the riders cannot fathom the mind of the Dog, cannot see that he just wants to arrive and considers each step as his destination. He cannot be here and there at the same time, he must be here first, either with those who care enough to go along for the ride or without them, but he will be here all the same.

The questions remains as such forks in the road, which direction should be taken. Either way he will walk, but the path either narrows for none or widens for all. Perhaps the choice should not be made by others, those who see the walk as way too strenuous for their own legs to bear. Perhaps it is time to say “I shall go on without you, just wait for soon there will be another sled for you to ride.” Such a sled must surely be much more comfortable than the one he can provide, one that means you need not walk at all. Such happiness is what is deserved, what is desired by him of those who were so worth the effort in the first place.

Perhaps in the lonely walk he must endure such suffering so that he may find his self. Perhaps it is too late for the others he holds on to with so much love in his heart but so little understanding in his mind. Perhaps he will find such love in the self, such love that others can share but that he need not cling to. Perhaps such a treat will be found in the loss of the branch he once clung to so proudly and in its place lies the knowledge that it need not be there at all. Perhaps his riders will enjoy his company for his company, not the company they thought he should offer, company that he could not provide at that moment. Perhaps they will not require a ride at all, but just ask him to sit in his own way in front of the fire to share in its warmth not on their terms, but just in the way things are.

To such an end one can only dream…as the stirrings of slumber’s end wreaks havoc on such memory.


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