Hope and wonder, how it always starts. What’s along the road this go ’round? Some sorta unforeseen joy or terror? More broken lights? More sublime peace? You never know, you hate to predict, and honestly can’t stand when others do either. All you can really do is look at where you are, an’ what led up to this precarious moment.
Kinda all start the same, even this last adventure. There you are, looking down some vast expanse shrouded in black an’ shadow, occasionally glimpsing rifts and sun through bits of imagination. The beginning is always easy, you feel new and it’s so not gonna wear off this time. Or so you tell yourself, and it works a little. Makes the early slogging a bit more tolerable at any rate. It’s a welcome relief after the drama.
You press on, a bit further down. It’s like walkin’ a ridge in the dark at first, you really have no idea where it’s all going, just that it’s this way and you’re really not gonna turn around. Then it throws a chasm at you- somebody leaves, life becomes more than you can bear and all you really wanna do is go home. But you don’t. You don’t because then you’re going backwards and as shitty as forward looks, there’s light ahead and nothing but repetitious fail behind you. You know better- even if it comes in waves, you know better.
Then you catch up with that light that you’ve been starin’ at for months, and fuck if it isn’t glorious. First thing you do is one of most reckless, out of character acts you can, trying once and for all to get out of the goddamn twilight. Maybe you spend a few weeks shittin’ bricks in your head, but you get over it. Hell of a story at any rate. Wasn’t even your tent.
It’s always hard, staying in that light, even when you know it’s better than ever before. You can always see ‘em, off in the distance, these little spots that will damn everything you’re holding onto. Gettin’ caught in one, it goes dark an’ all you want to light the sky back up are the fires of everything burning to the ground. There’s no refuge from it an’ all you can do is hope it passes before you lose your head. Then it does.
Everybody that trips down one of these adventures has a few of these moments in the light. Or maybe I’m just projecting. But sometimes you find yourself, say on an empty mountain highway hauling ass at a sunset with good company and music so appropriate it’d be ridiculous if you weren’t euphoric, and you can’t help but wonder why life can’t be like this all the time. You share that light with so many people, it’s hard to bow out gracefully.
And like that it’s behind you, some distant sunset that really is over when it’s gone. It’s horrible, and the only thing moving your feet for the longest damn time is the hope of getting to the next one faster. But that’s not enough- you can’t move out here in the dark like that, it’s dangerous and this may, in fact, be bat country. Not that you’ll realize that in time.
Then one a’those strikes of light hits. You don’t really notice at first, but everything glows a bit. Like sitting in a black room and slowly finding the walls, the windows. It’s still not light out, but maybe, just maybe, you passed through the real night. You’ve got the hang of traveling like this.
Eventually it’s close enough to the end that you check out early. You stop worryin’ about the earthly stuff ’cause you’ve had your fill and nobody is gonna stop you from quitting at this point.
You’re all in the middle of being done, ready to pack it in and restart at the top, when this thing steps out of the dark. You thought it was dead or gone or somethin’. Useda be here, standin’ here like this all the time. Then it wandered off like some sorta four year old with ADD. And how you yelled after it, in the most biting farewell you could muster. Maybe it left, but the air of it followed you about, dimming everything, however slightly and subconsciously. But here it is again, atoning for that. We’ve all grown up a little it seems, here at the other end.
And that’s really what it comes down to when the path stops. All you can do is look back. Maybe you needa shake it off, tell yourself to do better next time, maybe you can accept how you did this time. But you can’t tell yourself what the future will be, ’cause you’re standing here, looking down some vast expanse shrouded in black an’ shadow, occasionally glimpsing rifts and sun through bits of imagination.
An’ you keep going, into the unknown.