© 2019 Drew T. Noll

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Expedition into One



Having breached the borders of my known universe, I had no choice… I had to explore beyond the known; I had to expand my dimensional coherence.  Preparing for my trip to the unknown was easy, since when dealing with the unknown we put a lot into faith, and I had faith that the knowledge that I carried with me was ample to deal with the unknown to come. I carried all the truth with me, the water I would need… water… the Torah of life… So I loaded the camel’s back and headed north…

To take on an exploration of this nature, I learned from my father that it is always good to start with what you know, so I headed down the familiar path that I had aptly named in a previous excursion: Rocks in Your Teeth. The trail follows a path that leads under enormous cancer causing towers of buzzing energy and disappears over the edge of the known, into the previously unknown. The trail is always changing and drops down, with loose cobbles that eagerly follow you into the abyss…

From there, the valley turns towards the ancient Phoenician sea port and enters a dark cave, but don’t fear, there is another opening at the opposite end where the light pierces the darkness. This tunnel was once created to support the substantial traffic overhead that follows the King’s Highway, facilitating the salt trade. I was careful not to stray from the path in this area, as this is the gateway to the unknown and there are clawed giants scanning the border for intruders, clawing at the depths of the earth for forgotten treasure…

At the fork in the road, I took the left branch, since it was the harder of the two. In life, as in Torah, the easy path is not always the best. The left path leads up a hill, right under the fat belly of the giant; he was sleeping, thankfully. The path was empty, but it was apparent that at other times it was traveled. The path took me up, up, up and up… Even though my monster truck tried, it couldn’t forge the pass without my help, pushing over the difficult sections. It was grueling, but nothing compared to what lay beyond…

At the top, looking from whence I had come, the last view of my home stood before me. Like a sentinel guarding the pass, with an oak spreading its limbs out to the horizon, centering my vision of what once was. I continued on, dropping down the other side, following the trail as far as I could, but the way disappeared, forcing me to plow into an ancient olive grove for shelter from the thorns and brambles…

Shockingly, I found myself lost amongst beasts with horns. They did not move, as I unwittingly approached them coming around a blind corner and careening out of control into a ravine. The beasts watched me plummet and tumble into thorns and their excrement. They looked on with laughing, knowing eyes. It seemed that I had entered the unknown, but unknown only to me…

I was lost, picking my way north through the thicket. The beasts followed, slowly, ever so slowly, keeping their distance, but laughing all the while. When I finally lost them in the dusty fog that lay behind me, I realized that I was completely alone. The trees loomed above me, dark and foreboding and the light began to play tricks with my internal compass, my inner knowledge that I had relied on so heavily, in faith…

I was lost, but not beaten. The path led in three directions and I picked right. The center path, the path of moderation was the right path. After culling the saplings and wishing under the whispering pines, I emerged onto a view of a remote corner of civilization – like a bad comic with an iconic character… waiting for something momentous. It was a thing of beauty, a grand, wonderful vista of connection and love. From there it was only downhill to the valley, a valley of lush and tropical fruits that had been waiting for my arrival. I rested with my monster by the foot of the olives, drinking thirstily from the camel on my back… ancient, those trees were…

The way was now clear. The trail reached out to me; I could smell victory, but I knew that there was one more hurdle to get through. I needed to find the portal to the mountain, the pass that led to the top, where the bent pine forest laid in wait. I knew where it was, but not how to get there; but then, I saw it. It was a path that led into the woods, dark on either side, but in the center it was wide open and up…

I rode some, and walked too. The path was hot, scorching hot, and all the time up. The top came reluctantly, but it came nevertheless. I was surprised to see that there was a wall of chaos to greet me there. Refuse remained from those that had come before, and it was veined with wasted life and the pursuit of fun–killing time in the bosom of nature’s essence. I was at the top, but it was low…

I found civilization there. A roller coaster had been built, a tool by which to milk the masses. The trees were majestic, but their time was limited; the path was sweet, but bent with pending decay. I made my way to the promontory of my dream and then I cast my thoughts to the sea; breathing deeply from the blossoms that sprouted at the summit, I eventually began my descent to the highway below, returning via civilization. I raced and dodged the misspelled box trucks as they swerved in and out of their deliveries. The town of paradise loomed before me, and I wept upon my return, for there was no way in which to turn. Once again, I was One…

Shabbat Shalom!

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