joseph’s present. I crossed a bridge in the early morning hours of the night. Don’t know how it happened, but knew it did, by my own long gaze, while walking backwards, away from that which I was leaving behind. Hearing the sound of my slow steps with ever-widening gait, I walked, no marched–forward, onward, with one last over the shoulder glance, walking more swiftly now, till reaching the bridges end, when I thought not to look back again.
Full circle I had come, standing tall, glad for the journey; not knowing why; more glad that I was back–to where I truly wanted to be. Turning once more, as if to defy my own instructions, I murmured with odd surprise, “I’m going to miss you”, as the tentacles of that which humans pursue kept pursuing me. I made it. I’m here. I’m not quite sure how or why. But I’m where I most want to be: with my God and my family. I knew I could count on you, Joseph. You were right where I needed you the most, and there when I thought I needed no one.
Without me even asking, you swooped down and lifted this shattered heart, stinging still, as I falteringly moved at God’s instruction. We are one again, after a long, painful journey. What a glorious feeling on this my happiest awakening in the early morning hours of the night. Together we fought the temptations of the desert, overcoming the desire for a better, softer, kinder life. We are that life. We carry that life in our hearts; and our souls will be forever replenished by that which you gave to me and that which I do in your name.
No need to look for false Gods and prophets. The truth stays in the family. Guess you knew I had to cross back over the same bridge God had urged me to travel. You knew I had to confront the evil everyone else follows; to learn it, be with it and let it become me without me becoming it. You took a risk. I could have burned that bridge behind me–and been lost in limbo forever, becoming so accustomed to the way we’re told to live, that I’d fail to find my way back.
It could have consumed me, as I see it do to so many others. But somehow I knew you wouldn’t let that happen, that you wouldn’t let me burn that bridge–and per chance, somebody burned it for me, you knew with equal confidence that I would find another route back home. I recall now God telling me that I would come face to face, engage and walk a while with that which others walk. Now that it’s over, and I’m no longer in the throes of its pull, enthralled by its allure, I guess I can say that you all and me chewed it up and spit it out–our way.
No telling beforehand, though, what I was going to do. It approached without warning, even though God told me it was necessary to work more effectively. I didn’t have to take a step, didn’t have to move. It came to me. It never touched me, but sucked me in like a vacuum does a piece of dust. No hard sell–never is when evil’s playing the joke. My life became likened to a whirlwind of sand and smoke. All sight was lost, except for the endless splints and fractures of mirrors from which each of your faces brightly shined amidst the dark holes of dying dreams.
How I forged through it, stumbling, falling, begging to be free of the false images of reality all the world accepts, only my God and my family now know, and at this or any other future point could care less to reveal.
Who would understand it anyway? Miraculously, I escaped unscathed; a little battered, a little bruised and choking a bit–but I emerged intact, and forever changed, one again with my God and my family.
A metaphorical sky, no, not a metaphorical sky, a real sky, opened up for me in the early morning night on Joseph’s day. I thought my work had ended after nine years in the desert, now I know it has just begun. I’m in the home of the brave now. Thank you for your courage.