A Stained Glass View of the World

September 27, 2015
By jackchase PLATINUM, Highlands Ranch, Colorado
jackchase PLATINUM, Highlands Ranch, Colorado
27 articles 0 photos 1 comment

After a week of exhausting climbing, the Pupil reached the summit of the great mountain. He crawled to the edge of the monastery, collapsing with a final shudder. He awoke in a dimly lit room, immediately aware of a soft humming. He looked around, and winced at the succeeding headache, which punched him in the temple. The humming turned into a chuckle.


"Not yet." A gentle voice said, "Not strong enough." He moved his head back to where he started, hoping to trick his brain and settle the pain. It did not work, and the rolling drums in his head only got louder. In his peripheral, a man's head bobbed in and out of view, followed by the clinking of glass. The head reappeared, upside down, standing behind the Pupil.


"What is name?" He asked.


"Is this the Order of Mah'k'yap?" The Student replied.


"Yes." The Monk began to rub the Student's temples, a grainy gel on his fingers. The headache slowly receded. The Pupil sat up cautiously, and the Monk handed him a cup of water. He drank the entire cup in a single tip of the cup, and the Monk refilled it. "Why have you come?"


The Student set down the cup and looked at the floor for a while. He then said: "I heard a rhyme once as a youngling, and it has been at the forefront of my mind lately.


There once was a hungry mouse,
He lived in a hole in a palace of a house.
The mansion was owned by the Lord of the Manor;
Everywhere one looked, one saw the sigil of his banner:
A great, ferocious cat, terrible in size.
Teeth like swords, and flames for eyes.

One night, for supper, the Lord set out his dinner,
And the mouse thought of his stomach, becoming ever thinner.
When the crumbs began to fall, and heavily they did tumble,
The little mouse's stomach gave quite the rumble.
He made up in his mind to have a quick bite,
For he, with the Lord, would have a feast tonight.

And so, the young mouse sprung from his hole,
But what he saw gripped and darkened his soul.
For there was the cat, mighty and vicious,
Although on a napkin, dabbing a mouth which said "Delicious!"
And back scurried the mouse to his dwelling,
When he might next eat, there was no telling.

The mouse is no more, his story is ended,
The problem of his hunger was in a way mended.
His mansion was owned by the Lord of the Manor;
Everywhere one looked, one saw the sigil of his banner:

A great, ferocious cat, terrible in size,
Standing tall above those who believe it's lies.


"You see Teacher, I feel I have been playing the part of the mouse, and all of life's burdens have been the cat. When the Lord offers me purity, I run away from it, fearful of things mostly imagined. I seek your council. I don't want to be fearful. I don't want to be jealous, or angry, or spiteful, or cynical, as I fear I have been lately. I only want to be at peace. Help me, Teacher."


The monk thought for a moment, and then opened the wooden panels covering the sole window of the room. Brilliant, multicolored light flooded the room through the stained glass window.


"Life is light. We are window." He tapped the glass, "You feelings are colors. Anger," He pointed to a red piece of glass, "jealousy" Purple, "fear." Yellow. "When you feel all at once, what color?" Before the Pupil could answer, the Teacher said "Black. Darkness, blinding. You lash out, scream in the darkness, feeling alone, feeling helpless. But when you remove all color?" He touched the Student's chest. "White. Meditation, serenity, but also detachment. You must feel all, but none. You must allow the life to pass through you, not red or yellow, but as light passes through window." He tapped the glass once more. "There is time for blindness. There is time for serenity. But we cannot know one while we know the other, and we cannot forget what makes us. You want peace, yes? Embrace your fears, and purge them, every day. Be angry, then resolve. You must forgive yourself. It is okay to feel. It is not okay to forget."


The Pupil left the monastery. At the top of his climb down, he looked up at the sky, and felt the warm embrace of the sun. The light wrapped around him in it's usual way. However, this time, he allowed it to pass through him, to fill his every pore and infuse his every fiber. He felt the light within him, and as it exited him, he turned and burst into tears at what he saw. For behind him, across the valley of trees and stone, a brilliant, massive rainbow was sweeping the sky.

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