- Vol. 03
- Chapter 09
Image by Oscar Keys
LEADING THE BLINDDarkness surrounds her. It is the beginning, the middle and the end of everything. She feels deep underwater, assumes everyone does. Putting one foot in front of the other elicits fear of the biggest magnitude, and so she doesn’t move, held back by an invisible force that clamps shut her eyes, mouth, nose and ears. She is sealed within an impermeable membrane; a sort of troubled tranquility. Someone behind her calls out, ‘Over there! I see something!!’ It cuts through the silence and makes her heart leap, stretches every sensory faculty to its full extent, but to no avail. She salivates out of control. The crowd begin to jostle her. She strains for just a glimmer, but can find nothing. The body of people move as one, now swaying this way, then that, in a burst of tumultuous effort. Someone to her left shouts, ‘I see it too!’ With the utmost certainty. Then from the other side, ‘Yes. Look. It has shape, it has form. This is true.’
LEADING THE BLINDA collective shuffle forms into a wave, and carries her forward within a new state of restlessness, the never ending chatter of a million sets of teeth. More voices boom out, ‘Yes, we can see. We see it too.’ And eventually, above all, the loudest voice, self- possessed with authority, crows, ‘This is the way. Only this.’ A word is found, and rises in chants, before another rush of force sweeps her off her feet. She is carried along, finally set down. Desperately she attempts to regain her foot hold. In secret she harbours doubts. Remains unconvinced by the fervour of the rest. She won’t join in. She anchors herself. When the flow urges her forward again, pouring at speed in the same direction, she summons great courage and remains steadfast. Patiently she waits, even when others bump and thump her in their stampede. For she longs for the return what was before. After a considerable while, and not before she is close to the limits of fortitude, stillness does return. That’s when she removes the blindfold.
She is standing at the edge of a precipice. She casts below, her eyes bulging at the sight of all the people. One great mass suspended in the depths of a void. She spins around. Replaces the blindfold. Walks until her feet don’t allow her to walk any more. Only then does she stop. Although it is dark, she is no longer afraid. And in the stillness she searches for serenity.