Hope and Despair

Hope and Despair

A Story by ...

My life in a nutshell

I stand on the edge of a canyon called 'Despair'. The ridge I am on is called 'Angst'. Behind me are endless fields of green grass and sunshine. The fields are called 'Hope'.

I look down into the canyon, and I see only darkness. There are others, like myself, who are looking down, wondering... Some have begun climbing down. Some don't even bother, and they leap into the abyss.

As I gaze downwards, a peculiar feeling rises in my soul; It is curiosity. I wonder to myself, 'What is at the bottom of this black pit? Is there even a bottom? Because I cannot see it.'

I look behind me and see my family and friends. They are crying, begging me to step away from the edge. I cannot bear the thought of going back, despite how much pain their crying brings to me. The pit has already enticed me... I must know what is at the bottom...

I fondly remember a time when the fields of hope were full of joy, and laughter. Now the only laughter is coming from the pit, but it is not a laughter of joy or happiness... Should I return to Hope?

No, I have spent to long in those fields. I know them too well. Now I must venture into the unknown. I must solve this mystery called 'Life'.

So, cautiously, I bend down and put my feet over the edge. I turn my body, gripping the edge of the ridge called 'Angst', then begin climbing down into the canyon called 'Despair'. Others see me, and they to begin their descent. Below me, there are some who have already begun.

Some of them look normal, like people you would see anywhere. Others look weary. They have been climbing too long, and it has begun to show...

Their faces are pale and full of blemishes. Their hair is greasy and unkempt, obviously not knowing the luxury of shampoo... Their clothes are torn from jagged rocks and jutting twigs that are scattered along the face of the canyon. I am convinced that if I continue my descent, I will soon look just like them.

But this does not deter me...

I continue my descent, the same question nagging inside my head: 'What is at the bottom?' So I climb down and down, further and further into the darkness. The fields and hope are getting farther and farther away. The crying and wailing of my family is but a whisper now. Still, I must know the answer...

After some, I see that I have traveled a good distance. There is only blackness surrounding me... Blackness, and those who have journeyed with me. Some have grown tired of hanging on, and they simply let go and fall into the abyss. Others continue to hold on, their interest in the canyon still only a mild curiosity. Then there are some who have become afraid, so they begin climbing back up towards the fields of hope.

I am no coward, though. I continue to descend, excited by the idea that I am getting closer and closer to the bottom.

Days pass, and I begin to grow tired. I see now the source of the laughter; Faces like wild animals, hair a mess and bearing deranged expressions. I wonder to myself, 'Do I look like them?' I am almost certain that I do, but I have not seen my reflection for a long time...

I know that they are like me, but they are not my friends. There is no time to make friends as we race to the bottom of of this horrible canyon...

Hope is no longer in sight. Not even the ridge called angst is visible from where I am. My family is just a distant memory, lost somewhere along the way.... Now I am lost in this blackness, alone. Fear fills me, and I wish I could climb back up to the fields of hope, but I have already come to far. It is far too difficult to climb back up now, and I am sure I am almost to the bottom of this canyon.

Others continue to let go, cackling like wild hyenas. I too begin to laugh. Not because I am happy, but because I was such a fool to begin this descent, and now my only choice is to continue downwards.

Darkness is all around me. It is too late to return to hope. To late to go back to those beautiful fields of green. Too late to go back to those loving faces of my friends and family.

I feel like letting go. I want to fall as fast as I can. I want to hurry up and reach the bottom of this cursed pit! But fear fills me, and I am unable to do so. My only option is to continue climbing down.

For days, for weeks, even months, I cannot tell, I continue to climb further and further down. There is no end in sight, and I begin to wonder if there even is a bottom. Perhaps it goes on forever; Perhaps it is an infinite sea of black.

I've come way to far to return, but I am too afraid to let go... I look around desperately, wishing for some kind of escape. I've had too much of this despair! It has given me nothing! It has answered no questions, solved no mysteries! I want out! I NEED out! I need freedom from this terrible prison I've trapped myself in!

Then, in the darkest reaches of the obsidian, I see it! A light! A bright, beautiful light! It has been so long  since I have seen any light, so the sight of even a small fractal of it fills me with joy! It reminds me so much of 'Hope'! Those wonderful, amazing, beautiful fields of green... Maybe it is hope! Maybe this is the escape I've been longing for!

I muster all the energy I have left and move towards it, but the descent has made me weak... I have to struggle, and with each painful movement I think of letting go, but I must persevere! I can't let the blackness of this pit swallow me whole! I can't surrender to this horrible feeling that has sunk it's teeth into my very soul! So I continue, the light getting closer and closer! I am almost there! The light fills me with a familiar feeling... It is hope! Yes! I have finally escaped! And then, I am there!

As I reach the light, I look inside, but what I see is disappointing...

Before me is a small cave in the face of the canyon. It's walls are made of brown, dirt-covered stone, and it's floors are coated in a thick green moss. I search around for the source of the light, then see it; A small, crackling campfire, casting a dim glow on the cave walls. I wonder why it is so quiet, and I realize... I am completely alone.

I walk around the cave for a while, examining it, searching for an answer. What was all the suffering for? This place is nothing like I expected... It is a far cry from the green fields of hope, but it is far better than the black canyon called despair.

So I sit by the warm fire, and for the first time in a long while, a discreet smile finds it's way to my weary face. It is comfortable here, at least. I think I will call this cave 'Contentment'. I can live out the rest of my days here. Alone, and in peace...

© 2011 ...

Author's Note

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I know the exact feeling of losing all hope, although I haven't quite found my cave of contentment. It's a beautiful work.

Posted 9 Years Ago

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Added on November 30, 2011
Last Updated on November 30, 2011
Tags: hope, despair, angst, imagery, metaphors, visual, canyon, rock bottom, wild, insane, contentment, happiness




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