The Journey to Paradise
Or The Hell Hole

It was a quiet day; the sun appeared high in the sky and all around motivations scurried. It was a day for playing and discovering. Like most children I was free to wander and explore. The pastures and meadows were delightful and bursting with wonder. Even the craggy cliffs that looked like looming gargoyles were somehow safe and serene. As I wandered about in my usual manner I came upon what appeared to be a hole, a rip in the gentle valley. I was understandably fascinated by this new thing. All my experience could not explain how the hole could exist.

I gathered a bit of stuff and dropped it into the hole. After what seemed like a very long time, I was sure I heard something. Perhaps it was the stuff reaching the bottom of the hole. I felt compelled to discover where the hole went. It was inconceivable to me that the hole could even exist. That paradox alone was astounding, more perplexing was that the hole might actually lead to some where.

Fascinated and a bit concerned about my own essence, and the basis of my existence now challenged, I devised a plan to explore the phenomena further. I carefully planned my approach and gathered the items I felt necessary to complete my investigation. I looked about me and carefully secured my reality for when I would return. Then very slowly I lowered myself into the opening. It felt rather strange at first. As I let myself sink deeper, I found the feeling quite pleasant and exhilarating. I wondered if I was supposed to allow myself to experience these feelings and wondered if it would affect me in some unknown way. That thought was even more exciting.

Once I was fully into the hole, some very odd things happened. They are quite difficult to describe. I felt as though I had a body. Not that that was particularly odd, I had had a body before. This body actually felt like me. I really enjoyed the experience and began to wonder if this was the way I have always been. Then the blackness came. I had never experienced the blackness before and it was overwhelming. I would have been frightened if I knew such a thing. Fortunately, fear was not something that I had ever experienced and so, I just felt the blackness and like all other experiences, I explored its cause and immersed myself in its effect.

I became lost of sorts in the blackness and when I again began to perceive the light I found myself in this land. It was a lovely place full of life and wonder. Not unlike my reality, yet somehow very different. It would be much later that I would realize how different it really was. I vaguely remembered the hole but saw no evidence of it anywhere. I wasn't even sure about myself, had I always been this way? I examined my body and found it functional and quite complex. Off in the distance I saw structures of some sort and decided to travel toward them.

As I traveled I examined everything I happened upon. Some things were soft and other hard. Some smelled sweet and others noxious. Some things felt good when I held them and other caused pain. Well, I called it pain, because my body dropped them. Perhaps just over sensational. By the time I reached the structures I had acquired quite a bit of knowledge and experience. However I was not prepared in a way to understand what I experienced when I finally reached the structures.

From far away the structures appeared to be monuments of some kind, but as I approached them, they appeared to be more like plants. Now that I standing next to them it was even more astounding. They appeared to be objects of some sort. I examined them closely and could not ascertain what they were or what they were made of. They did seem vaguely familiar in some way but try as I might I could not seem to focus my thoughts about them. I thought about the hole again but even that was becoming faint, like a dream. Perhaps even the dream of another told to me in a story. I left the structures and continued to walk without any particular destination other than discovery. After a while I came across a stream and began to follow it. The stream felt calming and refreshing to me. It talked in a babbling sort of way and seemed quite wise but incomprehensible to me. I enjoyed its company on my way and decided that I would follow it until....

After a while I came across a creature that lived beside the stream. The creature was friendly and kind and I stayed for a while. We had difficulty communicating at first and it seemed as though the creature could understand the babbling stream. After some time I began to understand a few things the creature seemed to be saying and even the stream began to make some sense. It was very exciting and very fascinating. After a while I continued my journey to wherever, bidding the creature good-bye and offering my appreciation for the lessons and understanding. The stream still babbled but occasionally I seemed to understand a thing or two.

The stream began to meander and soon I could not see it in the distance as it became hidden within hills and mountains. I had no where else to go and proceeded to follow it into the hills. After a while I came across another creature. Similar to the one I had previously encountered, this creature was also friendly and very interested in me. I stayed for a while and learned a bit more of how to listen and understand the stream. When I decided to continue this creature offered me a gift of some sort. I initially declined the gift but the creature insisted that I keep it. I wasn't sure what to do with the gift and tied it about my waist so that I would not loose it.

As the stream continued to meander, the hills and valleys grew more distinct. The distance became hazier and the babbling more subdued. I followed it blindly letting it lead me to where it might.

After some time I came across a village of creatures unlike the ones I had previously encountered. These creatures spoke in a language that I seemed to understand. I found them to be friendly and cordial. They invited me to stay awhile and visit with them. They offered me a place to stay and work that I could perform to earn my keep. I graciously accepted the arrangement and began to meet the citizens.

Many of the denizens of the region were blind to most frequencies. This was probably caused by the environment and certainly created no disadvantage. The few who were not blind actually had a much harder time adapting and conforming to the norms generally accepted. So perhaps being blind could be perceived as an advantage. Certainly the Polu knew that very well. One of the Polu lived nearby and the Pomu often would tease and taunt until the Polu closed the door and isolated.

When I first arrived, I wasn't sure why the Pomu tolerated the Polu. Or why the Polu would even choose to live nearby the Pomu. After a while it became quite obvious that both groups needed the other to perform certain tasks. I still am not sure if either group understood their symbiotic relationship, especially considering how the Pomu treated the Polu.

Even though I was included in most of the discussions and affairs of the village, I still felt like an outsider. I wasn't really sure if they understood me or if I really understood them. It seemed as though we communicated well but....

After a while I felt a desire to continue my journey and bid my farewells to the village and its inhabitants. They too offered me a gift and I accepted it graciously. I placed their gift on my head and found the stream at the edge of the village and set out.

The hills and valleys became less distinct and the stream meandered less and less. The distance, although still hazy, seemed more clear and distinct. The babbling seemed much quieter and although I seemed to better understand it, I felt separated and isolated. My companion now seemed more like a dream and wish than real and present. I proceeded along the way and came across another creature. This creature did not seem friendly. It clearly seemed to know me and spoke very slowly and clearly to me. I tried to speak but it put its hand over my mouth and told me to listen. After a while, it stopped speaking and in its hand it held out a pebble and offered it to me. I looked into the creatures' eyes and felt its sorrow and wondered what had caused it. It looked at me and I felt its eyes pierce my body like a sword. I bid the creature farewell and as I did I asked it if it knew where the stream would lead me. With tear filled eyes the creature said paradise.

I looked at the stream and determined to discover what paradise was I proceeded to follow it. After a while the distance began to appear black. No longer hazy, the babbling now silent. I wondered a bit about the destination and tried to imagine paradise. As I entered the darkness a feeling of dťjŗ vu filled my being. And old memories of another world flooded my thoughts. I could no longer see the stream nor hear its babbling, I was not sure of where I was headed, whether forward or backwards or even in circles. After a while I became tired and stopped for a rest.

As I lay down and closed my eyes, I saw a small spark of light. At first I thought it might be just my imagination but it was definitely there and as I turned my head it did not seem to move. With my eyes closed I moved toward the spark. As I approached it grew larger and brighter until it seemed to fill my closed eyes. I opened them only to find the darkness once more. Not sure where I was or where I was headed, I closed my eyes and rushed into the light. It seemed like forever but it was probably just a moment. Then it hit me or I hit it and I was knocked over and lost consciousness.

When I awoke, I looked around me, visions of wonder filled by being. It was a quiet day; the sun appeared high in the sky and all around motivations scurried. It was a day for playing and discovering. The pastures and meadows were delightful and bursting with wonder. Even the craggy cliffs that looked like looming gargoyles were somehow safe and serene. I wondered what this place was called and discovered a hole.


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