Every once in a while, you meet a guide.
I had met mine two years ago, in a gathering of many like minded people. We were all hooded men, women, and children who attended a convention meant to burn down fear. We had different fears, we were different people, but we were all like minded men, women and children because we decided our fears needed to burn.
Of the many people, a man stood hooded, too. By the end of the ceremony, when everyone shed their fears and ripped down their hoods, I remember standing at the gates when I turned around to say goodbye. I wore a mask, as I always did, and was pleased no one had noticed. I wore a mask of stark nakedness, and many believed I had shed my hood, flung my fears into the fires among the many first.
But as I turned around to leave and say goodbye, I noticed a man far behind me, holding onto his hood, shielding his face and holding onto his bag of fears. He had saved them, and the pain of seeing his fear turn to ashes gleamed in his eyes. I was touched.
As our brothers and sisters left, I said goodbye to the hooded man, but I knew I didn't mean it.
Within half the year that followed, we met many times and in those meetings, I wore different masks of different colours, shapes and sizes, and I felt silly because he still wore his hood. A wry smile, though, always peeped through that fibre, and we both knew the truth in our lies.
We never fought about our hiding from each other, and for some reason, found comfort in our anonymity. He or I, never questioned our lies, and when the truth produced itself, we swallowed it without trying to taste it.
Together, we built a dream.
To realise our dream, came some clouds, some rains, some love, some pain. Some friendship, some heartbreak, some hardship, some mistakes. And together, we began to construct. Sometimes losing authority, sometimes having too much.
Two years later, after falling apart, misunderstanding things that never were understood, forgiving, forgetting, building and rebuilding, failing and falling, we let ourselves go.
Our dream has realised. Its probably not the best vision in the world. Its probably not the best story ever told. But to me, I have my guide and our clouds, rains, hurt and friendship, love and our dream before us.
Today, I watched as our dream, my dream unfolded. I cried in my heart because I couldn't believe I had finally woken up. And when I did, I found my masks gone. It felt light, and I am happier without them. As I turned around, ready to burn my masks and the fear of my face, I smiled at my guide. I realised then, that the pyre stood high, and his hood was long gone.
Thank you for letting me dream, dada.
Thank you, my friends, for giving me my dream.