Grace Labyrinth

“Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
ché la diritta via era smarrita.” —Dante Alighieri 

It was at the moment of awaking at the edge of a dark wood—
after I had climbed a considerably difficult hill. Yet I am 
only twenty-one years of age and doubt this is the halfway point 
of my life; to say I am a Pilgrim such as the Comedy Master 
would surely sound pretentious—I confess 
I am not nearly as intentional 
as any such saintly figures. But what yawned 
before me stood the entrance of a labyrinth, one created
with pious hands, and perhaps with similar duty I entered its gate. 
Nothing to abandon as I walked in, except my track 
of time; I approached the sanctified path in my entirety. My own
Inferno I had already traveled hence; my walking forward simply
a notion of my small effort out of that previous obscurity. Yet I hoped,
daring to bring this evidence of faith, a hope
to hear a voice. And so I entered, in which my journey commenced 
alone, for the path was a single track. At points I noticed 
the presence of others in parts of the labyrinth beyond myself, 
and however close some neared to my own stage,
and as others even crossed my path, each connection 
was diverted; each soul’s journey in the labyrinth 
ultimately different. And so I took the path alone. I envisioned 
an idea of some End or Purpose, but such was ambiguous. Similarly as
the Way
itself was drawn out in clear existence 
but its description remained unseen. One cannot expect The Way 
to unravel itself in a straight line for a perfect 
understanding; this was not a time for evaluation 
or analysis. The experience at hand entailed discovery
through stepping one foot at a time. And so the End of the labyrinth
remained beyond me, and yet I stepped. 
The initial path led my footsteps near the edge of 
the core, and I beheld the vision of my first heart, of one young, 
unaffected by much else but the sweetness of Light. The same manner 
in which I looked up and saw light streaming 
from the sky, glancing off ripples of dyed ribbons. The color 
and contrast dripping through my eyes into my soul 
that it may touch the fingertips of Emanation. I have never 
denied the existence of His presence. But I 
do not always look up. I turned the corner into what I knew as my 
second heart. This section of weaving took me away,
to the outer edges of the labyrinth, and I wondered if I was lost. Ensued
my memories 
of Hell: I could see glowing light from the stain glass windows coloring 
walkways of the labyrinth I was no longer upon. Though I desired 
to tread in the beautiful light, my path had removed me from that glory.
I kept walking, attempting to know the connectedness of this chord, 
knowing there must be a third heart—upon which 
I stepped into before I even realizing its nearness. Now in the 
center of the labyrinth, the compulsion to kneel and linger
became inexorable. Yet my mind still, buzzing from Hell.
Steadiness and Peace placed a hand over my head; finally I began 
to breathe again deeply. Before me I saw a man standing, whose name
was Divine. My heart throbbed in his Aura, so I moved to grasp
his heels, and pleaded him not to leave—
remembering the way my mind was abuzz with Hell. So stark a sensation
from His presence, sweet and Light, the fullness of Emanation 
here in my arms. He allowed me to remain for a time 
before speaking, then told me to rise, for my journey was yet incomplete. 
Encouraging my apprehension: that no matter 
where in the labyrinth my feet lie, I was never disconnected from 
the center, the heart. And that His spirit would continue behind me, 
and at my side, and in my hands. Again, he entreated 
me to rise, to wipe the stains from my face. I set forth 
and traveled back through the labyrinth in its wholeness. When I reached
the gate
to pass through, I looked up to an overcast sky 
with a faded sun. But yet the sun remained—
and so I kept Steadiness and Peace within my ribs
as I left the gate behind. 


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