A Sequel to Locks
Copyright © 2015 by V.J. Goll
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
First Published, 2015
Published by Author
To the one who legacy,
was etched in red upon the wood,
with his life, he engraved,
a pathway for some to find home.
Table of Contents
As I was about to slumber,
his voice came to me,
speaking softly, but louder than a whisper.
When time blinks,
it opens its eyes,
to fall upon a much different stage of life.
Being filled with the echoes of the Traveler’s life,
his words, his moments, and breath,
filling and blowing the flames of this story to life.
Yet, would I tell his story again?
It is my own selfish desire,
to let him rest in the peaceful obscurity of time.
Instead, must I expose him to the fate of all heroes?
Casting him in the never ending cycle between the hero and villain?
Subjecting him to time’s cruel remembrance,
should I chain him to it or set him free?
Yet, time has been cruel to this tale,
losing much of the details of those who lived,
with the Traveler’s likeness being lost,
being with what I tell you,
of this story representing mankind.
Yet, he speaks, and I listen,
dictating his words into my pen,
causing me to write, these whispers of his life.
Our friend, in a story well lived,
shipwrecked at the sea with his companion, the Stranger.
Covered with ten old locks and chains,
these two wandered from the towns,
seeking freedom for their sakes.
From the tent town of Hemstown to the White City,
freedom from the chains remained unfound.
Rescued from the trouble of the White City by the Lessers,
a people deemed inferior to all mankind,
our friends stayed with them a bit.
The Stranger lectured them on seeking a different way of life,
then, from there, our companions went,
finding themselves stumbling upon the wilderness,
the brotherly times between them,
ended when a storm snatched the Stranger away.
From this storm, the Traveler despaired,
reaching to the God who answered,
through both the Son and the Father.
This life, strangely said,
came with the meeting of the Son, who for mankind bled.
Yet, in the darkest of the hour, the Father, also known as God,
came to the Traveler through the form of the Ghost.
They spoke, the locks and chains broke,
through the words spoken,
and wisdom given.
Yet, it was not the Traveler’s time,
to walk the path of the Stranger,
who was called to the heavens.
The Ghost sent the Traveler,
to live among men,
who are known as the Lessers.
Outcast and rejected by most of mankind,
these people once sought acceptance amongst others,
to realize through the Stranger that they have each other,
and to work together to seek a better life.
Called by the voice of heaven, they sought the Traveler,
bringing him from the wilderness, back amongst their own kind.
The Traveler led by fate, to dwell amongst them,
would take his steps in the second part of his story.
His footprints here, are not idly crept,
each of them imprinted with a fine purpose.
So, here the Traveler’s whispers to my ear,
begins his tale, weaving it before our eyes.
What to be seen is seen,
what to be heard is heard,
what to be done is done,
what will come will come,
and, we are called to be the great spectators,
to this story, that I now share between you and me.
Challenged by the Stranger,
the Lessers choose to dwell in the plains and to leave the White City,
trying to make peace with another,
and building a city of unity with one of another.
The beautiful dream that drift before their eyes,
being surrounded by the tall grass,
waving in the wind,
and the grass being carefully shortened around the town.
The sun casted her lazily eye upon this town,
as she crept towards her slumber,
bringing the night.
The people came and went,
bringing in lumber or straw to this place.
Yet, it was hard to build a town,
with so few resources.
The people choosing to linger in the safety of the plains,
with barely any understanding of how to find resources.
Carefully, they built wood huts with roofs of straw,
from the forest and the plains.
This town of bark, would become known as Barkstown,
by the wanderers who pass by it.
Admittedly, if one were to wander by this strange encampment,
seeing these folks, they were a simple kind of people,
dressed in simple clothes, making due what they know.
These kinds of things, I admit, are rather insignificant,
to this story casted to this stage.
Since it tends to change in time,
with each fluent and changing tongue of the storytellers,
with me, even just even hearing the Traveler’s whispers,
the life was lost in time, leaving it to the mind to decide the other details.
Yet, I will preserve what I can in my telling,
flourishing this with my tongue, embellishing the life,
with my breath as I can.
The men sometimes being gone for a whole day,
working and fetching wood.
The water and food was scarce,
with the fields providing the wild wheat to eat.
As the days would pass,
the food that was once found to be good,
grew to become old,
causing the people to grumble.
The Leader of the Lessers,
who once was a mess of man,
calmed with the burdens of organizing everything,
spending many days and nights with the Traveler,
trying to work towards making things better.
Though the Traveler was a young man,
his past and burdens aged him to an older sort.
The Traveler was a springy sort of man,
wearing plain clothes and sandals.
He no longer had the youthfulness in his step,
but walked with a gentle, thoughtful stride.
Yet, these both young men,
struggled to know the answers.
They patiently listened to the people’s complaints,
and worked towards trying to trying to keep the peace.
Yet, when one night a town meeting came to be,
all of them sat around a fire pit,
with its light burning bright into the night.
The Traveler and the Leader,
sat amongst the people,
clearly hearing the grumbling of the days’ labors.
Sitting amongst the crowds, sat a young lad,
who was a man, near the Traveler’s age,
but if you looked upon his face,
he gave an appearance of a young boy.
He sat there, with this look,
the Traveler knew its familiarity.
It was a look to stir a storm,
to cause trouble with a purpose.
The Traveler sat there quietly,
hoping the young lad wouldn’t strive to disturb the peace,
but he did.
“Wouldn’t it just be easier to go to other towns?
Rather than building our own?”
he said, trying to hide a dangerous smile,
tempting to creep upon his lips.
The towns folk quieted around him,
as they looked to the Leader to provide an answer.
“And, what would those towns have?”
asked the Leader, looking at him curiously,
“that we so lack here?”
The Leader held his voice at a steady tempo,
betraying no uncertainty in it.
“Water, food, and other things,”
said the young lad, trying to shrug the attention from him,
“why are we trying so hard to build something,
that already may exist elsewhere?”
The rubbed his forehead hearing these words,
knowing from his wanderings,
what they were trying to build here,
wasn’t out there.
The Leader sighed,
being in a tricky position.
“If you believe that there is something better,”
he said in a weary and tired voice,
“then, by all means seek it,
but I recommend you to think carefully about your thought.”
It was silent,
the people were tired, from all the toll and work.
The young lad looked at the Leader in defiance,
the Traveler felt that shift in the crowd.
He knew, that trouble came,
in her own stealthily way amongst them.
It started with one suggestion, then another,
and it just kept getting worst.
Some people complained about the food,
and others complained on the tasks.
Soon, there was a yelling match amongst the men,
on the best way to cut straw from the fields,
or the best way to handle the wood.
People started picking each other apart,
criticizing one another workmanship,
and other things.
Yet, the Traveler and the Leader did not escape the tension,
with comments and suggestions,
the people spoke.
The Traveler felt as if there was a rope,
being tugged both ways in a confusing struggle,
of power and thoughts of what is right,
flawed plans, bad ideas, thoughts,
all just flooding their way.
The Traveler became worn,
from all the tension and yelling.
He rubbed his temples,
longing for peace.
The Leader seeing his friend troubled,
silenced the assembly with a gentle life of his hand,
and the blunt of his voice.
The meeting ended, with whispers of the strife,
creeping around the encampment,
tarnishing the peaceful life.
From there, the Traveler took a slight walk out the plains,
trusting his feet to walk the right path, finding the right spot.
He sat down amongst the tall grass,
which made a wall around him,
as if protecting him from trouble.
In that moment, he let the silence flood him,
easing his mind, gazing at the clear night sky.
A feeling of loneness flooded him when he saw the stars,
remembering the Father, the Son, and the Stranger,
who all are gone, somewhere in their respective places.
He felt alone, with the world having an emptiness,
their presences left his life in a great dark.
“He was a good man, wasn’t he?”
said the Leader behind the Traveler,
causing the Traveler to twist his body to look at him.
The Leader, too, gazed at the stars above him,
as if being conscious of his friend’s thoughts.
After the Traveler’s moment of surprise,
he found the words to speak.
“He was a good man, indeed,”
said the Traveler quietly,
trying to stifle the pain in his voice,
and attempting to hide his pain with strength.
“I find that great men,
are like great flames.
Their presences being burning passions of fire,
consuming all things around them.
Their words, thoughts, and actions,
consuming the air and attention of all that is around them,
to one day to burn out and pass on their fire,
to another which burden of greatness will pass,
till it finds another in which it can burn brightly,”
said the Leader, still keeping his eyes for a moment on the stars above him.
Then, he looked at the Traveler,
seeing the hurt written his friend’s eyes,
as the Traveler was silent, struggling to find the words to say.
Then, the Leader spoke again,
“that doesn’t mean that he is gone,
his legacy chooses to persist within you if you choose.
Yet, you have to think to yourself,
what would your friend want for you right now,
what feelings of his legacy would he want you to have?”
The Traveler turned away, looking at the night sky,
pondering the Leader’s question.
“He would want me to be loved and to be happy,”
said the Traveler finally,
feeling tired words speak from his mouth,
but, his heart eased its ache a little.
“I think so, too,”
said the Leader looking gently at him,
as the Traveler looked back at him again.
The Traveler gave a soft smile,
and said, “it seems you know a lot of things,
for a man who was once a student of the Stranger.”
The Leader chuckled a rare chuckle,
letting a soft smile creep onto his lips.
“Wisdom has her way of creeping upon us all,”
said the Leader,
“she comes and goes,
letting us flourish and fall,
when she leaves us in our own foolishness,
but don’t doubt yourself too much, my friend.
You know more than you allow yourself to embrace,
you are wise also.
It just takes some time to see that wisdom,
that you have in yourself.”
They laughed softly at this,
and shared a smile between one another.
The Traveler felt better, he felt more at home.
They walked back to the city of the little huts,
as the Traveler pondered how to bring peace to the town.
He knew they were lacking something,
a feeling told him in the deep of his heart,
leaving him wandering what it was.
It was that morning, the Traveler woke,
with his purpose found.
Of course! He was so foolish!
Why was he searching for the answers internally?
When sometimes they are greater than just mere words?
Some answers live, having a life to them!
With this thought,
it was when he knew he had to leave the town,
packing up his things with earnest.
He could not wait to tell the leader,
of his plan to find a way to end the strife.
With this thought, his step took with life,
letting him walk as a young man again.
The sunlight brightened,
herself on the landscape,
as if she was adding a dab of lightness,
here and there, casting a shadow,
all around her to showcase the beauty.
The land was fresh with the dew on the grass,
and the sleepy town just started to wake to the new day.
From there, he slipped from his hut,
which was on the far corner of the town.
The Leader of the Lessers was already awake,
wandering the town, taking note of the things to be done,
organizing the day, trying to smooth over the town,
as it struggled to rise to its feet.
“Friend!” shouted the Traveler at him,
drawing a look of surprise from the Leader,
who motioned him over,
inviting him to speak with him.
The two friends walking side by side,
as the Traveler started to tell his idea,
with excitement in his voice.
The Leader just listened and nodded,
weighing his friend’s words carefully.
Then, when the Traveler finished,
“where you feel led to go,
follow that road.
It is not for me to keep you here,
if you believe that your travels,
will bring good things back to us.
Then, that is enough for me to give it my blessing.”
The Traveler nodded, smiling,
knowing his friend wanted good just as much as he did.
he said simply.
The Leader chuckled,
“I am going to miss you though,
helping me on all things.
So, be quick and come back!”
The Traveler had already started walking,
putting his hand into the air showing he heard the Leader.
Leaving his friend smiling,
who was happy to see the Traveler stepping into life.
The Traveler wasted no time,
gathering all of his things,
a sack full of food and water.
He carried little, knowing things will be provided.
Yet, when he looked at his arms,
seeing the remnants of the scars of the chains, he once bore.
He remembered the life that was,
knowing that all have chains and locks,
binding them through sin,
but the freedom came through the love of the Son.
See, ever since the Ghost spoke to him,
his eyes changed on how he viewed the world.
He could still see those old rusty chains and locks on everyone,
but choosing to look on them with love,
he tried to see their person or their hearts instead.
Yet, it weighed into him,
he could see how some of the rusty chains and locks,
weighed and dirtied others more than needed.
He tried not to think about it,
for it was not for him to judge.
With a sigh, he picked up his sack,
tying the rope so it rested its weight on his shoulder,
but settled down close to his hip.
He walked from his hut,
into the plains looking across it.
He knew there was something calling him to be out there,
he could feel it.
The young boy, who heard the Spirit’s voice,
tugged the sleeve of the Traveler’s pants,
causing the Traveler to notice him.
“So, are you leaving us again?”
he said, looking sad.
“Just for a bit,”
said the Traveler, bending down,
and placing his hand gently on the boy’s head.
His hand conveying an affection,
easing the feeling in the boy’s eyes.
The boy nodded,
rubbing his eyes a little.
“I will be waiting for you to come back,”
he said, looking at the Traveler with love,
“so, you better come back, okay?”
The Traveler chuckled at the young boy,
the boy’s words letting a lightness in his heart.
he said to the boy, gently,
glancing up as he stood up,
to see the young lad looking at them both,
with almost a look of hatred written on his face.
With his farewell said,
he started to take his steps.
He knew the White City,
laid out there somewhere in the distance,
feeling it in his heart to walk towards it.
He resisted his feeling,
remembering the hatred exposed,
within that triangular city walls.
In that moment, he remembered the city of tents,
Hemstown, which he certainly hoped did not blow over in the desert,
she was an unsteady town, but the first city he ever met.
Taking his feet, he prodded onward towards the desert,
letting himself walk through the tall grass.
As he passed through the plains,
he saw a dark snake slithering ahead of him,
almost beside him.
Causing him to stop in his tracks,
he watched it warily,
having a strong, nagging feeling,
it was a sinister one.
It disturbed him in the core of his spirit,
but he brushed it off watching the snake vanish into the grass.
To ease the walking and the troubling feeling,
the Traveler started to sing:
“I was standing on the corner of the crossroads,
between a place known as then and there.
Watching the people walking towards the world,
so confident, yet, when they looked back at me,
they looked so scared.
That is when I knew that path wasn’t meant for me,
yet, I didn’t have the courage to go to where I needed to be.
It was dark and cold,
raining upon me,
when the old man came to me,
the one we all know as the Ghost,
and he said to me:
‘listen child, I know you have to go for awhile,
but don’t let all these hard things sink into your heart.
Oh, carry on, oh, carry on,
be strong, through your rights and your wrongs,
because soon, it will all be gone,
and you will have taken another step down this road,
the one leading you home.
This path ahead of you,
troubles will come,
good times will sweep in.
Yet, carry on through,
that long road you have to know,
and just carry on, carry on,
be strong through your rights and your wrongs,
because soon this all will be gone,
and you will have taken another step down this road,
the one leading you home.’
I said to him,
‘lord, I don’t know which way to go,
and I am just a child.
There are so many paths,
and I don’t understand many things.’
He said to me,
Just have faith,
sometimes, it takes a seed to grow a tree,
just some drops of water to nourish the leaves.’
That is when it occurred me,
all I needed to walk the path ahead was faith,
and on faith, I took the steps, without being able to see,
knowing all paths lead the same way.”
He carried on, feeling the ground beneath his feet starting to shift,
the changing of texture, the vegetation receding,
as the dark soil turned to the color of sand.
It was eve, when he managed to reach the outskirts of the desert,
feeling the heat drying the ground.
“You will never find the solution,”
a voice hissed, causing the Traveler to be unnerved,
looking around him, seeking its source,
seeing nothing in the desert around him.
He shrugged off this moment as doubt,
considering himself tired from the day’s travel,
and he settled down into this place.
Laying out a blanket under him,
letting his eyes rest upon the sky,
the heaviness weighing into his body,
let him slip into a sleep,
under the late sun’s watchful eye.
The shifting sands, walking upon the dunes of the desert,
the Traveler felt he was close to his destination.
He smiled faintly to himself,
where he noticed the sands leveling out to flat ground.
He knew he was near the city of tents, Hemstown,
which came into his sight under the mid-morn sun,
being sighted it behind a dune.
It was a smaller city than he remembered it,
yet, it still had a good portion of tents,
surrounding him with their patchwork of colors.
It felt odd seeing the red, green, and purple,
which seemed to the Traveler to have an idle silliness to the town.
He looked for the padded people that he remembered,
who wore their overly stuffed clothes,
sometimes, with a consistency of color,
other times with a strange assortment of dress.
Yet, he passed people who wore flowing robes,
not seeing a single padded person in sight.
He bothered him deeply,
causing him to look more for those people,
but the town lacked them.
He realized they were gone.
Finally, giving into asking,
he asked one of the people in robes,
where the towns folks could be found.
The man, he asked, was a grey cloaked man,
his face hidden by his hood,
that could not hide his boisterous laugh.
said the Grey Man,
“we are the towns folk,
is there someone you are looking for amongst us?”
Hearing this, caused the Traveler to turn red,
he realized he misjudged.
he stammered for a bit,
before bravely drawing himself to ask,
“I was wondering if I could find some history about the town.”
The Grey man just nodded,
his flowing cloak and hood folding at each nod.
he said to the Traveler in a pensive thought,
“that question would be good for the oldest towns folk,
who lies in the tent covered by green, red, and yellow,
we call him the Old Fellow.”
The Traveler thanked him,
before wandering amongst the tents,
looking for the tent of those colors.
It didn’t take much to spot it,
being in the middle of the circle of tents,
with a careful step, he approached it,
and inquired if he could come in.
“Come!” said an old voice,
which the Traveler assumed was the Old Fellow,
the Traveler stepped in to see a man, sitting in the center.
I would say this particular man,
though time dressed him in the finery of old age,
his eyes twinkled with the spark of one who was young,
as the Traveler took a seat on the ground in front of him.
The Old Fellow wore a robe, a long one, of the brightest green,
sitting firmly on the floor covered by an ornament rug.
“So, tell me, young one,”
he said, smiling broadly at the Traveler,
being a relaxed type,
“what is it here that you seek?”
The Traveler tried not to fidget,
as he took a breath, find his voice.
“I was wondering if I could ask you about Hemstown,”
“I am wondering how the town manages to thrive,
through the changes and struggles of time.”
The Old Fellow Chuckled.
“Here in Hemstown,”
said the Old Fellow,
“one can come and go as he wishes,
admittedly, this town changes by the rules,
of the majority that inhabit it.
Yet, we like this, being changing folks,
wanderers in this great world,
not knowing where we will settle or uproot,
we change with the flow.
The Traveler looked at him surprised,
he never expected Hemstown to seem philosophical sound,
he pondered this, letting this thought sink into his mind.
“Yet, if I may,”
he said respectively,
“how is order maintained in this town??”
“Ah, order flickers between the good and bad,”
said the Old Fellow,
“it is an old mob, Hemstown is,
where a man chooses to let be his passion,
can overwhelm into the majority.”
He pondered this, wanting to ask more,
but he felt that old familiar tug in his heart,
as if someone was pulling his shirt to guide him on a different road.
“this most certainly is a short conversation,
which I am sorry that it is the only gift that I can offer.
I feel that I should go,
being a wanderer,
there are other roads.”
The Old Fellow just laughed,
smiling and crossing his arms.
“If this short conversation is a gift,
it is a good gift, indeed.
Well, if you have to go,”
The Old Fellow said, warmly,
“who am I prevent a fellow wanderer from leaving?”
With this, the Traveler gave a polite smile, a thanks, and a farewell,
he slipped from the tent carefully,
before letting himself frown at the feeling he had.
Letting his feet find the ground,
with no direction to be found,
that his mind could know.
“It wouldn’t be wise,”
said the Grey Man, sneaking close to him,
“to build a town around such flimsy, shifts of thought.”
The Traveler frowned at him.
“why is that so?”
trying to see the face of the cloaked man,
feeling as if he met him somewhere before now.
“Ah,” said the Grey Man,
“you see a town set on a stability,
yes, it must be open to change,
but the savage nature of mankind,
it needs the pillars of rules to reign it in.
If left unrestrained, I tell you the truth,
it will lead to worst things than what you already know.”
“How do you know what I know?”
asked the Traveler frowning,
turning to look at him,
to realized that the Grey Man was gone,
vanishing as he came.
The answers at Hemstown,
bothered the Traveler.
He knew that those answers,
were too unstable for Barkstown.
He acquired a hooded cloak,
before letting his feet walk him away from Hemstown,
he walked with his thoughts sinking him into a daze.
Feeling his feet sinking into the sand,
with every step,
the Traveler felt that the answer was out of reach.
It slipped further and further from him,
into an unreachable depth of the thought.
He felt it again, that pull towards the White City,
causing him to kick the sand into the air.
He said into the space around him,
“turn me out into the streets like a beggar,
for choosing to seek the truth, for making things better.
To live in truth, no one, I know,
know what really means.
I know the moment that I speak,
that they will always judge me,
seeing what they see,
eyes looking upon sin,
never with the love that should dwell within.
The hearts that love the very pierced hands and gore,
of the burden that the Son bore,
are the hearts that despise,
the same love, he looked upon us with his eyes,
upon our brokenness and horrible wounds.
An image of a perfect love,
but when we try to reflect it,
we neglect it, this lesson of the Son.
When a man lies in need,
they say, ‘God has him,
let him reflect on the written works,
and save himself.’
Not realizing that they are the children of the most high,
that God dwells with them and reaches through them.
With their own words,
their praises speak empty and dead things to fill the air.
Tell me, what is the worth of a human life?
When God teaches love and hope,
why is it we lead so many to despair?
Is it really worth chaining a man and causing his suffering, ignoring his cares?
Why do we still chase the image of perfection?
When the Son died for us to realize love?
Why not understand one another and help break the chains?
It is a shame, this is what I say about the people of my faith.
Why is it, oh, God, that you send me to these people to torment me so?”
Later, the Traveler settled into the plains,
being sore from his long walk.
The night had darken across the land,
leaving very little light around the Traveler.
He lit a small fire,
letting the flames rise,
as he sat down, resting his sore body.
He closed his eyes against the bright flames,
burning in front of him.
He dwelled on that feeling in his heart,
that seemed to pull him towards the White City.
All of this made him uneasy,
as he tried to still his heart.
The memories of the trouble,
how the fickle crowd in a moment,
turned against him and the Stranger.
How easily bad actions were done,
Why should he walk among such people?
“They hate you,”
said that voice with a hiss.
The Traveler recognized it,
as the same one as before.
It was hard not to ignore this voice,
because it was right that he did not find the solution,
seemly being a voice of the light.
said the Traveler feeling tired,
still not raising his head,
with his eyes closed.
He could see the red glow of the fire beneath the skin covering his eyes.
letting himself sink further and further into his struggle.
“They will not welcome you,”
hissed that voice again,
“they hate you.
They will condemn you,
and just hurt you.
You aren’t one of them,
and they will never accept you.”
“That is not for you to decide,”
said the Traveler opening his eyes at the vanishing of the red glow,
to see the flames in the fire snuffed,
a figure seemed to be in the thick smoke,
illuminated sparingly under the starlight.
said the figure of smoke,
allowing his voice to linger on that sound,
as if mocking the Traveler.
It moved around him,
as the Traveler held still,
feeling cold as the smoke brushed him.
This figure of the blackest smoke,
oddly enough, reminded the Traveler of a certain figure,
of the White City known as the White Priest.
Its tall and looming height over him,
as if it was using it to try to threaten him,
yet, the Traveler felt oddly more at peace against this.
Then, as it came, it went,
drifting away with the gentle blow of the wind,
The darkness lingered around the Traveler,
as he settled into an unsettling sleep.
The morning when he woke,
he was sore and tired.
He yawned drawing in a morning air breath,
the smell of the morning seemed to refresh.
Yet, his hands trembled,
as he put on the cloak,
fear had become his friend.
Each step towards the White City,
was filled with nervousness and dread.
It was a slow walk,
but he arrived at the eve,
pulling the cloak over to cover his face.
He knew when the grass,
became shorter and shorter,
the vegetation became trampled,
and mushed into the brown, ugly ground,
the pathway of death, leading to where the White City is found.
The Guard of the White City approached him,
there wasn’t a shout of cheerfulness from him,
in the same way as the past.
The empty landscape around the city,
lacked the people that once lacked the shelter,
that once sought from it.
The Traveler pulled down his hood further to hide his face,
being afraid, knowing bad things that could happen.
The Guard dropped his stick on the ground,
making the Traveler uneasy.
said the Guard gently,
recognizing the figure before him,
“if I am allowed,
may I speak freely?”
The Traveler nodded,
feeling wary and ready to run.
He kept his voice in check,
afraid that it might cause further trouble.
“I am sorry,”
said the Guard to the Traveler,
catching the Traveler by surprised.
The Guard removed his hood from his face,
showing the hurt and pain in his eyes.
“I am so sorry,”
“I am sorry how we treated you and your friend, it was wrong.
I apologize for myself and my people.”
The Traveler felt himself relax a bit.
He remembered what the Stranger said to him so long ago,
and he spoke,
“You didn’t know what your actions meant,
and did what you knew, not knowing the difference,
so I accept your apology.”
The words felt awkward on his lips,
as the Guard gave him a weak smile, nodding.
“I can honestly say this about you both,”
said the Guard to him,
“out of the people we have seen,
rarely, we have encountered people with humility,
with love, and as righteous in the heart as you and your friend.
Can you tell me what happened to him?”
This question struck the Traveler hard in the heart,
he looked away trying to hide his pain.
“He went away to the kingdom,”
he said quietly,
feeling the pain finding its way into his voice.
The Guard nodded, gently touching the Traveler on his arm,
“I am sorry for your lost,”
he said gently.
The Traveler removed his hood,
looking at the Guard, eye to eye,
realizing for the first time,
that they saw each other as human,
flawed, but perfected in love.
he said letting the silence linger between them,
this moment becoming written in his heart.
said the Guard,
“let me lead you to the city,
let me welcome you here properly, friend.”
The Traveler gave a weak smile and nodded,
following the Guard,
who left his dreadful rod of violence,
in the dirt which the wind brushed dirt over it,
burying its dreadful existence slightly into the ground.
The White City still had her ever so white, tall walls,
and thin flimsy wooden doors greeting her guests.
The Traveler glanced to the left and right of this triangular city,
to see the words faith and love still written on the walls,
remembering how empty it was when he walked there.
Now, people seemed to fill the streets,
a different life finding the city.
The Guard, yet, did not lead him towards the walls,
as he thought he would,
but on a path directing towards the center of the city,
passing the neatly packed two story white stone houses.
There was a temple, built with the same white stones,
her pillars greeting our friends,
as they walked under her towering shadow.
It was a simple place, having a place of worship with benches,
rising and being like staircase up her walls,
being filled with scholars or people wishing to talk of faith.
The light came from large windows carved in her walls,
with the light fall on the center of the temple,
where there was an altar.
Being left by the Guard,
the Traveler walked amongst of the benches,
seeking a seat when a familiar voice said to him.
“Tell me, why are you here?”
said the tall man dressed in white robes,
the Traveler knew as the White Priest.
His face carried a look of arrogance,
and unspeakable contempt for the Traveler’s presence,
in which the Traveler internally winced,
looking at this priest sitting amongst the benches.
Remembering, his lesson from the Stranger of thinking the best of people,
he said, hoping his words would lead to peace,
“I just come to ask questions about how help people,
develop their own cities and town seeking what is good.”
Somewhat, he hoped that something good,
may come from the White Priest’s mouth.
“You can trust God and read the word,”
sneered the White Priest at him,
throwing the book in front of him.
The Traveler remembered his nasty character well,
understanding how the Stranger once faced the reality of this character,
and not even flinched in this presence,
with the quiet fire of anger burning within him.
said a booming voice from behind them,
causing the Traveler and the White Priest to turn,
to see another priest dressed in white.
He was a much shorter man, smaller than the White Priest,
standing with a firmness and a wisdom,
that seemed to remind the Traveler of an old friend.
There was a pause as the priest looked the White Priest,
in the eye with an unwavering conviction.
“You should know this young man,
wouldn’t be asking questions if he didn’t need help,”
said the priest admonishing his counterpart,
“are we not men?
Why is it for you to decide what is of God?
Why is it for you to decide that your wisdom and path are appropriate?
I tell you the truth,
you bring people to the life,
causing to them to believe,
but when they become one of the saved,
you take another notch on your belt,
and leave them to suffer till they need your help again for your own sake.
Is it not our purpose as priests to attempt to do what we can?
To help others and push them to grow further,
rather than taking our words and pride cutting them down?
Are we not men doomed to die and fade?
What kind of legacy would you like to leave here,
one of planting seeds among the rocks or among the rich soil?
This is your choice.”
The White Priest’s expression didn’t change,
he looked at the other priest with empty, almost soulless eyes.
“I will leave this to you, wise one,”
he said, with a slight sneer.
He packed his books from his bench,
as if their presence to him has become unbearable,
leaving them amongst each other.
“It is unfortunate,”
said the priest, who we will call the Wise Priest,
“that the church has to be filled with people like him.
There are predators in the sheepskin,
who walked amongst the sheep picking the best ones.
These sheep are the ones that make them look the best,
fruits of these predators’ labors,
but the moment they threaten their power.
They become useless to these priests,
who are in essence building a house upon the sand.
A good priest will run his hands through the foundation,
and go to the roots of all things.
He will seek to understand the experiences and heart of a man,
but the bad ones seek otherwise.
They will seek what only happens to their benefit,
so, beware of such people.”
The Traveler looked at him in surprised,
never expecting such commentary to come from the one in white.
“Why can’t you cast such characters such as the White Priest,
knowing they harm others and are hurting the goals?”
asked the Traveler to the Wise Priest.
“Tell me, young one,”
said the Wise Priest,
“who built these walls, man or God?”
said the Traveler,
frowning as he tried to understand his point.
“So, young man,
wouldn’t you say that these walls,
shouldn’t they be filled with such people?”
said the White Priest,
“these walls made by mankind,
will always find themselves filled with mankind’s things.
So when you go to a church, of course,
you are going to find people.
Yet, the real trick is finding God in the church,
no one can exactly tell you where he is.
Some will say,
‘he is here,
in this kind of thinking.’
Others will say,
‘no, he is there.’
It is the ever enigmatic question,
that lies in the church,
I must say.
This church here,
is built with the many bricks of thoughts,
but, oh, she is very unstable,
doomed to fall by man,
but to rise through her ashes in the Son.
What is wrong will crumble and die,
and what is right will live,
it is the everlasting proof of the life.
God persists despite of man,
not because of man.”
The Wise Priest took a seat amongst the benches,
as the Traveler followed suit and weighed his words.
“So what is the purpose of building all of this, seeking God,
when here you may find what is mainly of mankind?”
asked the Traveler to him.
“Because mankind is savage, a beast,”
said the Wise Priest, letting his words linger a bit,
“without God’s direction, mankind would be evil,
committing the worst of things.
Mankind needs laws, needs authority,
it needs accountability to do right,
because without it, it means nothing.”
“I have another question,”
said the Traveler understanding his point,
“if I may ask it.”
The Wise Priest nodded,
looking at him with an attentiveness,
convey by a perfect stillness,
his hands being clasped together,
as if the Traveler’s thoughts were bound to escape between his fingers.
“What would it take to end the savageness of mankind?”
asked the Traveler, wondering if this answer could help his quest.
“Rules,” said the White Priest,
“it takes rules to overcome this part of mankind.”
“Which is why the laws were written,”
said the Traveler drawing a nod from the priest,
“but how do one go about enforcing order?”
“Sometimes, the best and good people,
which I am inclined to think you are,”
said the Wise Priest,
“they don’t like dirtying their hands on this world,
having to enforce order and rein in mankind’s savageness.
I believe sincerely,
it takes a person who is willing to dirty their hands,
by being exposed to the brokenness to make things right,
these are the people that should go about enforcing order.
Because laws can be written,
but it takes a good man to have them enforced rightly.”
The Traveler nodded,
thinking over his words.
“Yet, this is just one thing,”
said the Traveler,
“what would it take for a community to do what is right?”
The Wise Priest sighed,
letting this question rest in his mind.
“For that, I don’t know,”
he said to the Traveler,
“a group of people is too complex to give an answer,
for I can only give an answer for one person, but not many.
The rules apply to the community,
but, for the community to apply the rules,
I cannot say what would drive this,
outside of love and fear.”
“Ah, but it is worth thinking about though,”
responded the Traveler, pondering this,
“if I find such answer expounding on your answer,
I will be sure to relay it to you.”
“I would like that,”
said the Wise Priest, smiling,
“if I may ask,
since it is late,
would you pleasure us by joining us for supper and staying the night?”
Though, hearing this made the Traveler uneasy,
he agreed to stay,
feeling it was reasonable to do so.
From there, they went to a house,
where there was a long, old table,
with benches instead of chairs,
filled with all kinds of people.
Sometimes, when one looks at a table of people in faith,
you have the passionate, the kind, the rational, the doubtful,
the counseling, the leader, the follower, the self-serving, the rigid,
the wounding, the easy going, the wise, and the fool.
If one would remove those differences,
it is funny to think that mankind despite all the differences,
seeks and does some of the same things,
for all must eat and drink to live.
Though the people and the conversation at this moment,
was not important,
some did ask the Traveler of his travels,
taking great interest in the establishment of Barkstown,
and discerning where it is.
What struck the Traveler the most in a realization,
despite having all the food and fine drinks,
there seemed to be something missing.
One could have everything,
yet, having all those things seem meaningless.
He pondered on this feeling,
as he forced a smile among this group,
and dwelled on this thought.
He knew the spirit was trying to tell him something,
But for some odd reason, he could not hear what it was.
From there, he went to a stranger’s house,
led to a room to rest for the night on a bed.
He knew in his heart there was something else,
still there was something missing.
He was overjoyed about the White City,
but traveling all this distance seemed to amount to nothing.
It felt empty,
everything around him,
with his purpose wandering from Barkstown.
Everything felt meaningless,
the Traveler wrestled with despair,
trying to fill his lungs with the air,
to blow all his thoughts away with his breath.
Not even the stars would show at this night,
with the dark clouds covering them,
causing a thick fog of darkness to surround him.
The Traveler laid against the bed,
resting his head, trying to find peace.
His hands lost their touch,
the air lost its taste in his mouth,
and his eyes lost their light.
Not even his ears could hear,
a thick fog enter his mind fogging his thoughts.
It was silent, a troubling silence,
then, it came, the darkness wrestled with him,
twisting and turning him, with a terrifying force.
Yet, the Traveler remained steady, as he was turning about,
he knew deep in him, that there was something lingering in this.
The darkness tossed him rather roughly onto the ground,
causing his elbows to scrape and his pants to tear at the knee length.
He opened his eyes to be surrounded by darkness,
knowing it was him.
“Tell me, Mocker,”
he said, with a steadiness unknown to him,
“why is it that you must torment?
When you are already losing this fight?
Why do you resist what is inevitable?”
He finally knew the name of the voice,
that hissed at him all this time.
It was the one who was defiant of God,
bent on destruction of everything good,
despising the good purpose that is brought.
The Mocker let out an evil, dire hiss,
the Traveler could hear screaming in his ears,
of the following into sin, despair filled the air.
This coldness caused the Traveler a sickening feeling,
crawling up his skin,
the very presence of this evil, corrupted and contaminated all around him.
The Traveler felt his body be repulsed by it,
this existence seeping through his skin,
with its evil touch and crawling through him.
Yet, he just stood firm,
looking at the one who was trying to harm him.
“To be honest,”
said the Traveler to him,
with that same odd firmness,
“it is meaningless.”
This creature, bent on destruction,
lost its heart to evil.
Not even words would form from his mouth,
being lost in evil intent.
It just laughed, mocking everything around him.
It acted over all things like a tyrant,
arrogant and unrepentant.
In its own madness,
it strived to cause as much harm and destruction as possible.
The Traveler realized that he was looking at a version of death.
He felt the creature start to torment him more,
feeling a strong fog in his mind become thicker.
Yet, the Traveler closed his eyes and listened to his heart,
he listened to his heartbeat knowing that the very blood that lies in it,
is the blood that the Craftsmaker once made,
God’s hands himself formed him.
he said on faith, his voice being faint,
speaking with the knowledge knowing they are heard,
“be with me.”
He heard a crack,
opening his eyes, to feel the darkness removing from him, his being,
to see the Son, who stomped on a snake’s head,
the Son’s figure being hidden in the light.
The darkness still surrounded him,
but the light from the Son made its presence weaker.
Then, he drifted back into a sleep,
hearing the Son’s words in his ear,
“always look up, never look down,
when you need an answer to seek,
look to where in your heart,
it is to be found.”
The Traveler woke,
with not a single wound or marking on him,
almost as if the Mocker had mocked his wounds,
yet, his body felt the pain from the dream.
It was an everlasting reminder of what happened,
and the Traveler drifted to sleep,
with the Son’s words lingering on his mind.
After that long night,
with his travels weighing heavily into his heart and body,
the Traveler decided to rest in the plains,
in the solitude of thought,
leaving the White City.
As he walked from the city,
he noticed some vegetation started to rise from the barren ground,
little shoots of grass rising, bringing a much needed life to the landscape.
He stayed there,
watching the tall grass blow in the wind,
pondering what the Son meant.
The day seemed to become lost in his thoughts,
with the morn passing to eve,
as the night flooded the sky,
with its slow creep.
The Traveler laid himself,
against the plains grass,
hearing the crickets chirp,
feeling lost in the night.
All the ideas, he found,
they seemed to scattered like the stars,
shining brightly individually, but none of them,
would stand out in the night of his mind.
His indecisive wandering of his mind,
caused him to close to his eyes.
“What would the Stranger choose?”
he wondered, letting these thoughts flow into the darkness,
and feeling the empty reality of his mind.
He was never like the Stranger,
who was wise, ever so wise.
“Friend, what would you have done?”
he wondered letting himself drift into dark.
Then, a voice stirred his mind to listen,
he was sitting on the grass,
as if he was caught in a vision.
“Friend, why do you keep searching for the living among the dead?”
asked that familiar voice,
causing the Traveler to open his eyes,
to see his old friend, the Stranger,
who stood before him,
dressed the same white shirt and slacks,
that he wore with him during their travels.
Though, when they met, he was much older in his years,
the Stranger seemed much younger to him.
“Why are you here?”
asked the Traveler, trying to reign in his shock,
“I thought you were home.”
His heart felt the split between joy and pain,
as his eyes watered seeing his friend.
“Tell me, friend,”
said the Stranger,
“what is home?”
“The place where God dwells,”
said the Traveler, reigning in his feelings,
stifling them so he could speak to his friend.
“Yet, what is God?
What is God’s nature?”
asked the Stranger.
“His nature is love,”
said the Traveler quietly.
“Then, I suppose,”
said the Stranger sitting down,
in front of his friend,
“cannot love also dwell here?
Can home be here, friend?”
The Traveler nodded,
feeling his throat tightening,
being unable to say anything.
“So, let me ask you again,
why do you keep seeking the living among the dead?”
asked the Stranger gently,
sitting beside his old friend.
The Traveler felt ashamed,
he knew he was holding onto the memories of the Stranger.
“Because I love you, brother,”
he said trying to reign in his pain again.
“And, I love you,”
said the Stranger gently to him,
“but, this is not good for you,
to think that I am gone.
You should know because I love you,
that I am always with you.
Though, you cannot always see me,
because there will be plenty of time for us to speak in eternity.”
“Then, can I see you again here?”
asked the Traveler,
looking at his friend,
“can you walk with me here?”
He sorely missed his friend,
missed their conversations and times.
“Tell me, young one,”
said the Stranger,
his voice ever being so wise,
“what would I want you for you as a friend?”
“You would think well for me,”
said the Traveler,
the Stranger and him both shared a smile,
remembering an old conversation between them both.
“So,” said the Stranger,
“as your friend,
would I want to imprison you to remembrance and grief,
or set you free to embrace life?
Why would I want to cage a free bird entrapping it on a path of despair?
When I much rather what I have given you,
be a lifting hand to set you free to soar in the skies?
As a friend, it is enough for me, if you strive to live and to be loved,
it is not good for you to linger on things of imprisonment,
when you should be free.”
The Traveler sighed,
it was a sigh of defeat,
knowing his friend was right.
“So, you won’t come to me,
because you want me to embrace life and be happy, no?”
he said with a weak smile,
hurting that his friend was right.
The Stranger nodded,
this was when the Traveler understood.
Some presences in life come and go,
not to cause mankind to suffer,
but, to free him of his own chains,
to let him live and know all things.
Plants grow from the ashes of what was once lived,
life thrives from what once existed.
That stillness in spirit that he once felt,
vanished from the Traveler in the morning,
under the orange skies of the morning sun.
He knew at that moment,
what the Son meant by looking up,
casting his around him,
looking for the sign.
And, there was it in the distance,
where the woods was,
stood a towering oak tree in the woods.
So he walked towards this spot,
letting his feet travel from the tall grass of the plains,
to the crunch of the woods.
The forest was ever so dense,
with the green moss growing on the trees.
He knew near that oak,
the Son would be.
He found him sitting at the base of the tree,
following suit, he sat beside him,
this humble presence that some see as a king.
The Son, the one who bore the weight of sin,
dying upon the tree,
to rise again in three days.
Though, I wish I could tell you,
but his features I am forbidden to repeat,
yet, you will know him by the wounds on his hands and feet.
This son, he was a simple sort of person,
dressing simply as he does,
clothed in the clothing of mankind,
but a son of God.
The Traveler sat down near the Son, and sighed.
His breath flooded his uncertainty,
filling into the air,
as he tried to gather his thoughts.
There was so much,
that his mind wanted to ask.
he said to the Son,
“there are so many thoughts and ways to go,
I cannot discern which road,
how do I discern which way is right?”
“Ah,” said the Son,
looking at him with a warm smile,
one that comforted the Traveler’s uncertainty,
bringing peace to his mind,
“I believe at times you are looking too closely at what is in front of you,
the stones that set a path, they will always be with you.
Instead, you need something else that lies in faith, friend,
a thing that is not an easy possession to have.”
“I have faith that you and the Father exist,
that you hear me and are with me,”
said the Traveler frowning at him, confused,
“what else is it that I lack?”
“The dream, a purpose,”
said the Son, looking at him.
The Traveler frowned at him,
I guess, you could say it was true,
that the Traveler tended to dream the darkest of all nights,
haunted by the Mocker and troubles.
He sighed, rubbing his forehead,
all the encounters with the Mocker had made him weary.
He knew then, that he forgotten how to dream,
that the dreams in the light were just slipping from his fingertips,
and the cup before him tasted of despair.
“Then, tell me, Lord”
said the Traveler,
“what is it that I should dream?”
“One of love,”
said the Son, gently to him,
“you can make the laws,
but without love, they are meaningless.
You can travel many distances,
but without love, it is meaningless.
You can find the perfect answer,
but without love, it is meaningless.
If you are not seeking to do good,
and trying to find where good is found,
then, it is, too, all meaningless.
So, if you try to structure a house,
with a foundation of laws and rigidity,
it will build a strong house,
but surely that house will collapse on itself.
Is it not the discerning hands of the builder,
that rises such buildings in the first place?
The flaws of mankind cannot bear the burdens of the laws and rigidity,
which will cause this house of strong pillars to fall.
Those cracks in the foundation,
will never heal.
Yet, if you take a house built on love,
built on the laws leading to love,
and constructively thought to bring order and peace.
Then, those cracks in the foundations can heal,
and be made new again.
With love, all things can be overcome.”
“Yet, what is love?”
asked the Traveler frowning at him,
“how does one go about to bringing love?”
“It is not about a solid answer,
which you seek,”
said the Son, looking at him with love,
“it is about the journey,
love is a journey.
What may be the answer today,
may not be the answer for tomorrow.
Love is kind, compassionate, thoughtful, and firm,
it does not enjoy the company of evil,
despising all things that do not bring good.
It thinks for the best,
weighing all of this in its heart,
seeking justice and what is right,
this being love’s cause.”
“So, the town,”
said the Traveler understanding,
“all it is lacking is the dream.”
The Son nodded,
with a smile of joy at the Traveler’s understanding.
“So, if I may ask,”
said the Traveler looking at the Son in wonder,
“how does one teach people to dream?”
said the Son,
“and if they do not wish to,
let them seek other things,
but be wary of having such people who bring strife in your presence.
Yet, you have to remember,
all people are like children.
Know the difference between those who can receive instruction,
and be aware of those who are firm in their own thinking.
Do not be a tyrant, always seeking to be right,
but think of what is good for people.
What you may not resolve today in people’s minds,
it will be resolved tomorrow,
learn to have an eternal patience,
laying down the stepping stones for what is right.”
“It seems like you are speaking of a long time,”
said the Traveler,
“for good and changes to happen,
for the realization of the dream.”
“I tell you the truth,”
said the Son,
“it took over a thousand of years,
for the dream of redemption that came from me to be realized,
so do not despair when things do not go right today,
for it may take time for them to be right tomorrow.”
The Traveler laughed,
“that is a really long time.”
They were silent for a moment,
as they sat next to each other.
A troubling thought entered the Traveler’s mind,
he drew in a breath to ask the Son.
“Yet, not all that exist among mankind is in this dream, Lord,”
said the Traveler looking at him,
“why is it that what is evil persists more than what is good?”
“Just like a flower that blooms in the spring,
and dies in the change of the season,
so is the thought and goals of men,
which is all doom to fade,”
said the Son to the Traveler,
“at the end, those things will not matter,
for evil will have its day, but good will have its eternity.
So do not fret when evil gets its way for today,
for tomorrow, good will overcome.”
“I guess having faith in you and the Father,”
said the Traveler looking at the Son,
“is also have faith that love and good will overcome,
to have hope because good, love and hope,
clothed itself into flesh through you,
and made itself known,
so you are hope.”
The Son just smiled,
a humble one,
offering no answer at this moment,
but an acknowledgment of the Traveler’s words,
as they paused with the Traveler weighing his words.
“Ah,” said the Son, finally,
“it looks like our time together,
must come to an end.”
However, these words did not sit well,
with the Traveler.
“Why is it that I am still alive?”
said the Traveler to the Son,
feeling loneness and despair in his heart at the leaving of his friend,
“why is it that you must come and go as you please?
Why is it that I cannot follow you to where you are?”
The Son looked at him, sadly.
“You do not believe in yourself,”
he said to the Traveler.
His words struck the Traveler,
causing his reeling emotions to stop,
as the Son paused.
“Just like the Stranger had faith in you to do right,
to figure things on your own,”
said the Son,
“I don’t always help when you need it,
not to make you feel weak,
but to make you realize how strong and powerful,
you truly are.
My presence, the Father’s presence,
they can be overwhelming,
so we try to take a step back,
to let you be in love and live,
to be yourself.
You have a larger presence than you expect,
yet, be careful with what kind of presence you choose,
are you going to be one of the tyrants?
Are you going to cause people to suffer for your rightness,
or, are you going to be a presence of love and constructiveness?
Are you going to inspire growth and encourage others to surpass you?
When you choose your words, are you choosing to make yourself better
or are you choosing what is for the good of my kingdom?
Thoughtfulness, patience, passion for what is right,
they always mediate each other to a calmness.
Will you be the storm or will you be the calm?
Will you bring strife or will you bring peace?
These are the questions that one should ask,
because if you dream in love,
you are not dreaming an idle dream,
it is a divisive dream bringing a change into everything.
This is the freedom that I want you to have,
to be your own.”
The Traveler looked away from him,
“what am I?
I am just a human being,
full of faults and inadequacies.
I am imperfect,
and I can’t even help those I love,
I am nothing like you.”
“Yet, you are like me,”
said the Son, gently,
causing the Traveler to look at him,
“because you love.”
The Traveler was silent.
The Son sighed,
knowing the words were seeping into the Traveler.
“You asked me why you are still here,”
said the Son,
“do you wish to still know that answer?”
The Traveler nodded,
still being unable to speak.
“For you to know what love is,”
said the Son simply,
“you live to know just this.
Love is not just something you receive,
it will be something that you will give.
There is someone, a man like a child,
who needs this love.
No one ever thought to teach him,
telling him to just hold his silence,
without showing him the way.
If you are seeking a purpose,
this is one.
Be giving as you are ever receiving,
and follow your heart in the light,
for where love is, I am,
if you want to find me again,
my presence lingers in love’s shadows.
If these words are not enough,
this is another way to think about it,
if I am the roots of this great tree,
the teachings and the words are the trunk,
then, all that come from my teaching and words are the branches.
Though, the branches may stick out and grow in different ways,
if you trace those branches of the tree back to the trunk,
and from the trunk to the roots,
you should realize that all branches that grow in me,
they are from me, and because they are from me,
I am with them.
So, where these branches are,
The Traveler nodded,
understanding his words.
“Thank you for showing me how to find you,”
said the Traveler, feeling a little better.
The Son smiled, warmly.
“So, until we see each other again?”
asked the Son.
The Traveler nodded.
“We will see each other again,”
he said to the Son,
and they both went their separate ways.
The Traveler saw Barkstown in the distance,
with it being near midday.
There seemed to be some commotion,
and town seemed more crowded than when he left.
He saw the cloth of Hemstown fluttering in the wind,
as it laid across the lines.
He saw the people of the White City,
talking and helping other people,
with their familiar way of dress,
telling him that they came.
He stopped being almost there,
just staring into the distance,
remembering the Son’s words,
to have faith in people,
to find the right answers on their own.
“So, here you are,”
said the young man with a sneer,
causing the Traveler to notice the young man,
“you go on some journey,
to seek some answers to help us all.
Yet, you stand here, acting wiser than us and just as arrogant,
did you find the answers, oh, wise man?
Did you find the answers that decide things between us?”
“You seem just frustrated,”
said the Traveler to the young man,
finally understanding his heart,
“I think that you speak like this,
because you think no one will listen.
I am listening,
what is it that you truly want to say to me?”
The young man shifted uncomfortably, caught off guard,
diverting his eyes from the Traveler.
he said, his voice losing its tone,
“I meant what I said.”
“That might be how you feel at the moment,”
said the Traveler, gently to him,
“but let me know if you want to change your mind,
because you can if you want.”
The young man said nothing,
as the Traveler continued on his way.
The town changed,
since his departure,
as if it started to mend together and breathe,
a life that was both spontaneous and almost perfect.
The Leader saw him,
walking amongst the bark huts,
and joined him in his stroll,
listening to all the Traveler had to say.
“I take it that you found the dream,”
he said to the Leader, finally,
after finishing his story,
feeling an inadequacy that he did not help.
The Leader chuckled,
looking at him,
with his eyes filled with joy.
“I believe you are wrong,
because it is we that found the dream.
If it wasn’t for your travels,
these people wouldn’t have come.
If it wasn’t for you searching for the answers,
the people here wouldn’t have tried to work together.
All they wanted was for you to come home,
and your example helped the town set itself straight.
That to me, I would say,
you have done enough,
your actions gave life to the dream.”
The Traveler smiled,
“Then, I am glad,”
he said softly,
taking all of this into account,
“I was worried that I might have not been helpful.”
said the Leader,
“sometimes, it is not what you do that matters,
but why you do what you do,
the heart can outweigh the actions.”
The Traveler looked at him oddly,
knowing those words have been spoken by another.
He said to this,
“your words weigh true.”
They said their momentary farewells and departed ways,
and the Traveler noticed that the dream,
changed the way he acted with the towns folk.
He spent time hearing from all who came to him,
then, retreated to the plains to gain some peace,
after a long day of talking.
It was a sentimental moment,
as he sat among the tall grass,
watching the sun pulling down the curtain of the night,
in the clear sky.
“What is like seeing him?”
asked the young man,
his voice curious, losing all the troubling tone,
it used to bring, causing the Traveler to look at him,
realizing that the young man had taken a seat beside him.
The Traveler paused,
weighing an answer carefully,
realizing the young man was asking him about God.
“It is like,”
he said, letting emotion seeping into his words,
“the joy of being found and loved,
then, when he goes,
that life that is with him,
just goes missing, leaving an overwhelming sadness,
but I know, that just because he goes,
it is not the end.
I will see him again.”
The young man sat beside him.
There seemed to be gentleness between them,
as the young man lingered on the Traveler’s words.
“I always wondered,”
said the young man struggling to find words,
“because I never had a father.
I always wondered what it felt like to have one,
which I guess I always act the way I do,
because I just want someone to talk to me.
I just want someone to discipline me,
to tell me to be better, but no one ever does.”
The Traveler smiled gently,
looking back at the skies.
“I never really had a father either,”
he said gently, letting a pause linger,
“but, we do have each other.”
He looked back at the young man,
to see the a look of love in his eyes.
the young man said looking away to hide his emotions,
They both sat there looking out into the red shadow of the evening sun,
with the gentle wind blowing, brushing the tall grass in the wind.
This is where the Traveler’s whispers end,
leaving me this story of his life,
for I know, that he truly found home.
I am honestly and pleasantly surprised that this story happened. It was unexpected. Like I said in my previous note in my other book “Locks,” this story does not strive to be a religious authority. I prefer it to be thought provoking about faith. When I do tell these stories, I do hear and see them. It is a difficult thing as an author when you have a character that takes a life on its own. I feel as a writer that I have honored the Traveler immensely in his life by letting him live it. With this said, I follow a rule to step back and not inject my own preferences into the characters. I let the stories flow as they are. It is an interesting way of writing. As for me, I am just a random person who reflects on things and writes this way in faith. My appreciation reaches towards sources and names that I won’t disclose in this note. I am grateful for the help and learning that I have gained on this path. So, with this said, I am grateful for you reading “Divisions” and may peace be with you in your wanderings.
Other Books by the Author