Walls and Wishes

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The dominant summer had trumpeted its way in. The heat bore down, but it was nothing unusual to the Arizonan. It signaled the start of the new, and it heralded the coming of the awakening. June and July had crept by, snuck by, while the Arizonan drowsed and dreamed, his attention focused only on the coming August, the heat, and the awakening. He was preparing; the fire was well-kept, the spirit alive. Now, like a racehorse at the gates, he was anxious to break through. He craved the labor of personal striving. He craved running free and wild, breathing the fresh air and running through the field and learning it; he wanted to know the field and the purple flowers and the grass and the rain and above all their Creator. That was all he wanted. And the Creator wanted this too.
It came suddenly, like whirlwind, the heat and the people and the striving and the running. The gates opened, and the Arizonan came careening out. His heart was in the race, his pistons were firing, his intentions were pure, his preparation had been put in, he was ready and running in the race. He was running free. But, there existed another force in the world. This force existed only to balance the existence of the Creator. It was the Destroyer. And the Destroyer, seeing the Arizonan running free, set his tools against him. The Destroyer used his main weapon, the voices of the people. The voices, the hundreds, the multitude, pulled at the Arizonan, like a headwind fighting against a struggling sailboat. And the running of the Arizonan slowed in its pace to a walking.
The walking soon slowed to a tottering, or a meandering. The voices of the multitudes had roared over and drowned out the desire for the race. They made the Arizonan forget his very reason for the race. What was more, the pulling grew so wearisome that the thought of the race was completely replaced by a desire to do anything to stop the pull of the voices. So the meandering ceased, a stationary camp was chosen, and the wall was built. Soaring transcendence was replaced by static confinement. Brick by brick, the wall grew both higher and higher and thicker and thicker. The wall was built around the Arizonan’s heart, enclosing him. His intentions were preservation, and that was justification enough in his eyes. Leaving the wall down was an invitation to run the beautiful race, but it was also an invitation to the voices of the Destroyer. And that was something that could not be tolerated. Better to build the wall then.
But despite the wall, the multitudes of voices still pulled and eroded. There was a defense now, but the foundations of the defense swayed and shook at the continual force of the pull like a weakening shack in the wind, and the rough stone walls around the Arizonan’s heart were torn apart as the mortar was eroded away. All the while, he remained out of the race, and isolated from the Creator.
The Arizonan had believed the lies and falsities of the Destroyer about the rationale of the wall. Originally constructed to keep out the voices of the lies, the wall now allowed the voices to slip through its shield and instead defended against the Truth regarding the race and the Creator. If another Arizonan attacked the lies with that Truth, the towering wall would repel the siege. Now the wall was a bastion; around the Arizonan’s heart it was a fortress. Atop the wall the Arizonan erected a great banner in honor and celebration of his ingenuity and of the wall. The banner grew bigger, taller, and more enticingly confident with each apparent victory over the invading Truth, so that the Arizonan inside the wall would see it. And this was so the Arizonan would be tempted to put his trust in it, the banner of his own pride, rather than in that which he had originally devoted his race to. And the whispering and tugging of the Destroyer’s multitudes would not let him go back. He would think about what he had previously felt, what he had known, what he had hoped for, and he would think about it fondly. He would wish to return. But mysteriously, at the pulling of the hurricane of the voices outside, he would keep building the wall that was his great achievement, working tirelessly for it, while listening to the whispering voices that crept inside. All the while he looked up at the flag, growing prouder and prouder. He would build while listening to the sound of his own voice, which declared the might of the banner, forgetting all about the flowers and the grass and the rain and the Creator. And behind the voices of the multitudes, the Destroyer wanted this too.
The Arizonan occasionally recalled the Creator. He pleaded with Him, begging to know what had happened to him and the glorious race. The Arizonan couldn’t see past the wall he had built to the answers, and so instead he cried out the questions. And the answer would come:
“Here’s what you must do, plain and simple. You’re distracted. Tear down the wall, destroy the banner, and quiet the voices. Then run and be free; come run with me.”
But the Arizonan rejected this Truth, just as he had before. He protested, blaming the Creator and growing bitter while asking the question over and over again.
Soon the Arizonan began to hear only silence. This was not because he listened and no answer came, but because he was protesting with a pride of such a brash volume that it drowned out the answers. Even when he was still, even when he was momentarily quiet, listening (at least in intention) for the Creator, the Arizonan secretly, subconsciously, closed his mind. He knew what he wanted to hear, and would accept nothing else. The banner wove ever proudly, as if to chase off what the truth he had heard before, and refused to hear again. And the Destroyer wanted this too.
For the Arizonan, listening was no longer truly listening, or anything more than hearing. Feeling was no longer feeling. Under stress of the persistent headwind, trust in the Truth of the Creator became a play, a matinee for the flighty and time-short as the wall demanded ever more construction to withstand the powerful pulling. The fields of purple flowers and fresh air and green grass wilted. The rain did come, but not to him. Pride begat isolation, which begat jealousy, next begetting anger, and so sowing the seeds of misery. And the seeds of misery produced a hardy plant, not needing the rains, and a tyrannical plant, poisoning the soil and infesting it with weeds of bitterness. That year when the wall was built, there was a fruitful harvest of those seeds which had been sown. And the Destroyer was pleased.
The Destroyer increased the power of the voices, and they pulled and pulled with more and more violence. The Arizonan built and built to keep from being overwhelmed, trying desperately to stay sheltered from the winds. But the wall grew so tall it started wobbling, and at the bottom the foundation cracked and shook. The Arizonan raced and raced, before finally being able to build no more. Giving up, the Arizonan surrendered to the forces around him and whatever fate awaited him, even if he were Destroyed. Remembering one last time the race he had loved so much, he suddenly knew that the life he had been living, living for the wall, was really no life at all.
But as there is still and always will be Creation, so the Destroyer could never succeed in destroying the Arizonan. As must ultimately happen, Creation came to the rescue of the Arizonan. To him came the silencer of the voices, the thresher of bad plants, and the capturer of fortresses, bastions and flags. It was the Creator, mysteriously quieting the multitudes and uprooting the plants of misery, and eliminating the need for the walls and hurling down the mesmerizing flag that had stood as a monument to pride and the corrupting Destroyer. This salvation came not without serious rebuke and lesson, but it was there. And the Creator did what He was reverently named for: He Created. And He Created what He knew was important, what He knew that the Arizonan and all souls required to survive, that which gives everything else reason. The Creator fashioned, from the rubble of the wall and the compost of the plants and the fibers of the flag, Hope.
And the next June and July crept by, snuck by, and the summer heat trumpeted its passing, while the Arizonan thought. This year he did not drowse or dream, waiting to be awakened. This year was different. The Arizonan sowed the seeds of promise upon the earth. The rains trickled, and the Arizonan cared for the seeds.





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white_pen said...
Dec. 8, 2010 at 8:43 pm
As my first submission, and as a new writer, please comment and help me out with feedback! Thanks!
 
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