On My Reasons

Dearest Father,

It has been more than two moons since I left home, and in that time I have requested my inheritance and written you about my love. As one engaged in studies, training and a variety of personal projects, you must know that I have very little time on my hands. Forgive the sparse letters. As I draw farther and farther away from the House, it, I assume, takes longer and longer for my letters to reach you. Please take that into account as you wait patiently for my missives. I will do my utmost to ensure that I write regularly, perhaps on a fortnightly basis.

I have travelled quite a bit since my last letter, accompanied by my incessantly talkative acquaintance, enjoying the scenery of the Outside and making small progress in my quest to find the great Sophia. There is no dearth of people and books claiming to have found the way to her heart and selecting a starting point was a difficult and drawn out task in itself. I have decided to settle, for now, on the teachings of the ancients. In the world you saw fit to create their works are the easiest to obtain, and in one form or another contemporary lovers have been greatly influenced by their ideas. I cannot go into too much detail – I am only just beginning – but rest assured that as progress is made you will be dutifully informed. I hope you would be kind enough to offer a helping hand; I have no doubts that advice from a Father as wise and as old as yourself would place me at her feet in next to no time.

But enough with the small talk, Father. As you know my progress with Sophie is not the topic of this letter. I have been putting this off for a while, but I knew that eventually I would have to tell you, explicitly, why I left the House. I feel it only fair that I elaborate; courtesy demands it, and my conscience expects it.

I hinted at the single biggest reason for leaving in my first letter; it was, and still is, Father, your absence. But absence in and of itself is not enough to drive me away. I have never seen you before, and even in my youth I had no problems with this state of affairs. No. My decision to leave came from your customary absence at a time when I was most lost and most in need of your comfort. Imagine for a moment how I must view you, Father, per what I have been told about you since before my brain could even give meaning to words. You were perfection; my almighty, just, and loving Father. In my mind you were a doting parent, at once firm and gentle, strict and caring, dedicated to providing nothing but the best for his offspring. As a younger man I felt truly washed in your love. This love after all was the centre of the doctrine put forth and spread by the Family, and by extension, the House. It was the reason for everything beautiful, from the greenness of the grass to the freshness of the air. It was the reason for laughter and joy, the reason for brightness and warmth.

As I grew however, I felt this love less and less. It seemed to diminish in intensity and effect with age, dwindling as both my years and my faculties of reason advanced. As I grew the wonderful image of this earth that I had been given fell apart, revealing a world much darker, much bleaker, and this discovery brought with it a pernicious scepticism that began to eat away at my soul, year after year.

I must say that I have remained largely removed from this twisted world around me; my short existence has been one of happiness and joy, garnished with the occasional tragedy but sweetened with healthy servings of good fortune. Perhaps this is why my discovery was so earth-shattering. Like the famous prince in the East whose father sheltered him in hopes he would never know pain and suffering, I was astounded when hit with the harsh reality of the world I live in. I refused to disbelieve, however, waiting patiently for you to reach out from up above and comfort me with your words, enlighten me with your truth. But such a time never came and I was left waiting, my doubts becoming ever more pronounced, my questions growing in number and nuance…

At this juncture, I am sure you have a sad smile on your face. You must know that my description above is but the tip of a very, very familiar iceberg. I am not the first to write about these things, the absence of both you and your love, the doubt, the confusion. Of this I am well aware. In fact, back in the confines of the House I heard many the tale of children led astray by what our teachers called the seductive whisperings of You-Know-Who, falling prey to the growing seeds of doubt and confusion in their minds. I realise, Father, that I have fallen into a similar trap. This seems apparently to be the curse of all your children; while you, our wonderful Father, by virtue of his vast well of knowledge, seems untouchable by such ponderings and wonderings, your infinitely more short-sighted children cannot help but succumb to them. Like the moth that sees countless of his brothers die as they fly into the hot, glowing wire and still follows, I cannot help myself in this regard. I am drawn, irrevocably so, to the Outside, for I must see for myself if the stories I have heard are true. I must confirm if the reason I cannot see you, and can no longer feel you, is not because you are absent from the House, but because I am deficient, blind, in some manner. I am made slightly more confident by the fact that I have seen some from the House embark on journeys like mine and return safely, made stronger and more resolute by their ordeals on the Outside. But these are in the minority, dear Father. The odds, it would appear, are not in my favour.

You must understand now why I am infatuated with Sophie. With these troublesome thoughts and misgivings, with these feelings driving me further into the realm of disbelief, it seems that only the cool salve of her words can bring me back. Only by finding and wooing her can I come to the kind of understanding that countless of my brethren before me seem to have possessed, both those that embarked on my journey and those that did not. As I mentioned in my last letter, perhaps by finding her, Father, I would at last find you, see you. And what better reward than this? What better reward than to finally lay eyes upon you, laying to rest all my questions and running at long last into your arms.

You will be hearing a lot from me, dear Father. I know you have already seen countless variations of the questions, postulations and inquiries I will lay at your feet. As I stated I am not the first to make this journey, and I am certain that I will not be the last. Regardless, the journey is mine to make. I beg that you indulge me; I beg that you support me. But most of all dear Father, if I do not return, I beg that you forgive me.

With a heavy heart,

Your Prodigal Son

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