In a valley of half-light, in the expectant moments before sunlight will spill over the tranquil hills, I walk with my defeated friend. He has been with me since the disappearance of my childhood companion, that imaginary playmate who was so wise, silent, and accepting. But this adult ghost resembles me more closely; in fact he was made in my own image. He is always there in moments of distress, usually arguing the case for distress. We have been circling in a small territory. . . .


I have defined surrender and then surrendered on those terms, withholding an edge, an abscess of pain that still safeguards a hologram of my image, a gene from which my old personality can be reconstructed in a nostalgic moment. I want now to give it all up, even my notion of surrender, so that my leap is unhindered, tied by no fine filaments to the past, flying into a future of miraculous possibilities instead of meager likelihoods. If it is true that fear cannot be resisted, only renounced, then I want to yield the old self built from conflicting fears and let invisibility fill me. I really know nothing about love — perhaps that means I will be easier to teach.


I’ve been frightened by numbers, expectations, and my own anxious fortune-telling again. Is it true that this horror, this chaos, can be redeemed in service, this crap shoot forgiven for an order resonating with the music of the pale unlimited sky? Can I give up my habit of partialness, and see the face of my negative partner in a new light?


I pray for help in taking an original step, out of my known circle, onto the path that flowers with change, the adventure of all that is given.