Brighter than a thousand suns; a narrow beam concentrated on just a handful of faces.

Memories are very vague. Wisps of a notion that all this muted emotion will dissipate. And we will be left with these sounds. Whimpers and wails, the scratching of nails on the blackboard of our very existences. The grinding and gnashing of teeth. Veiled ambivalence. And fear. Some fear of the darkness; others of the unknown. But all afraid of something.

Did I do enough? That becomes the question most asked. Was I aware of the human condition? Did I accept the permission to love and be loved, to help where I could? Would I have done it differently? Am I sorry for it now that I wait here? Maybe I’m just sorry that I am waiting here.

A murmur begins. A rumble deep within the bowels of this forsaken place. I feel a push. I lean back into it. A prod; a poke. Closed fist thrusts and open handed slaps. Groping and trampling. And then an ear-splitting clap of a single hand.

Silence fell as thick as the blackness. And the wails began anew. Louder, more desperate they fill this void. It was followed by a voice.

It reverberated within this congregation; and aggragate mix of love and hate and trust and vindictiveness. But at its sound, finality.

No more pushes. No more shouts and wails. The only sense that came along was suddenly one of hope. And then came the light. Brighter than a thousand suns; a narrow beam concentrated on just a handful of faces. Familiarity did not enter into this sensation. It became a new feeling; a sense that the next moment contained every answer to the questions that perplexed and disheartened. The rays of light fell short of my face, and I felt the rush of bodies toward the beacon. Trampled and beaten down, I felt the darkness descend once more.

The spotlight had shone on our despair for a brief eternity. Then came the grinding and gnashing once more; saving the wails for later.


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