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Regretting the Summer Palaces

We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.

~ T. S. Eliot, "Journey of the Magi"
I've gone too far to turn back. My world was a complex system of social, religious, and family rules. I started tinkering with it, asking questions, thinking that the final result would be a refined and polished version of the original. But I pulled out one loose brick, and then another, and a wall came down, and there was dry rot everywhere and before I knew it the whole building had fallen about my ears. I'm standing in the ruins, a big sky overhead, the world around me large enough for a human soul. But a little part of me is grieving the loss of something that wasn't all bad. People with good intentions built it. They wanted safety, comfort, tidiness, like in a Thomas Kinkade painting. I wanted all that, too, for a while.

Comments

Abigail said…
But now you've left the gray bus and stand on the sharp, vivid grass of the Real, soaking up the pain of the blades as they slice your feet because its such a wonderfully honest sensation. And you know that with each step out of the Grey into the Real, your feet will toughen up soon enough so you can enjoy the Real without it overwhelming.

I need to reread Lewis' The Great Divorce.

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