Today was a particularly difficult day. I was alone on the trail for nearly 100% of my walking, through a primeval forest with little place to rest on the 26 kilometer trek.

While the walk itself was not challenging, I felt like I was in the “cave of the unknown,” a place I believe I asked to be thrust into.

A dear and close compadre of mine uses “the cave” reference to describe a day, a week, a year…in which he feels as though he is doing all he is asked to do without any source of light. Working in the dark. Day after unlit day. It’s a difficult place to be. One asks every question known to humankind. One wants to run. One wants to hide. But alas, whereto? One can’t see which way is up or out. We’ve all been in the cave. Some of us are in one now.

The questions I asked God, I asked myself. The questions I asked myself, I asked the cave. The questions I asked the cave, I asked the darkness. The questions I asked the darkness, I asked the void…that place that doesn’t even have walls like a cave is supposed to have…just space with no direction. Neither the void nor the darkness, nor the cave, nor my self, nor God, answered back. The questions just hung in the air like mist that I walked through all day.

My questions are not important here. We all have different ones. Suffice it to say, that by the end of 25 kilometers, I was spent. However, I did get to one point in the cave where I blurted out to the forest and anyone within earshot, “I can’t take it anymore!”

I’m not sure I meant my questions, the lack of answers, the time in the cave, the amount of cave days I’ve had over the years. Maybe it meant all of these things. But getting to that one statement, as grace would have it, made me realize that I was not in the cave alone. I was wrestling with the angel. I don’t know which one, but a strong one.

All the while that I’d been asking questions, I think my hands were fisted, ready for battle, ready for a fight, and holding fast to my questions.

Exhausted, I just gave up…getting no good answers from anyone. When I finally said “I can’t take it anymore!”, I stopped, doubled over and wept. I also, in hind sight, opened my fists and dropped the questions. The angel picked them up and off he flew, like a messenger.

I didn’t care about answers. Who could? Who would? I was done, cooked.

The messenger has not returned. But somehow, I have peace about that. Come back? Don’t come back? No matter today, unfisting was perhaps my lesson, my call.

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  • Fran October 24, 2016, 1:41 pm

    Truly beautiful Dave! Thank you so very much for sharing.