My imagination is a monastery, and I am its monk

 John Keats

I lay in the sand for an age, not caring that the sun blazed upon me mercilessly.  I was devoid of thought, lost to myself.  The world spun away from me and darkened.  I learned something then, something that had not occurred to me in all my years in the desert.  For the duration of this odyssey, I had not felt fear, nor despair.  The depression that often gripped me in my youth had lifted.  I had faced tremendously trying times, yet not once had I given up hope.  Unconsciously, I had assumed that those days were over, that somehow negative emotions would no longer plague me.  In fact, I had believed that my division had separated me into positive and negative poles, like a magnet.  The beast, Donovan Reza, seemed to contain my darkest aspects, and I had taken for granted that I would never feel bad again.

            Now I learned something.  While I felt no fear, there was a terrible longing in my soul incapacitating me.  Without Mara, I felt I could not move.  I ached within, with all forward motion halting, all motivation evaporating.  Like a compass that had lost its bearings, I had no sense of direction.  As I lay on the burning sand, my thoughts turned upon this feeling. 

            It was familiar.  You know that sense you have, when going out for the day or on a trip, that you’ve forgotten something? That indefinable tickle in the back of your head or your gut that says something is wrong?  Whether it was your wallet or your keys, you know that something is missing, but you cannot place what.  Not until you need it, or when you find it days later.  I have felt that lack, every day of my waking life, save for my time with Mara:  the sense of being incomplete, only on a far more intense and longer lasting level than the one for errant car keys.

            My imagination in the form of a hawk had once cast me out into the wide world and the sword had taken me through time and space.  Now my memory sent me away from this empty desert to a time that may have been just as empty, in its own way.

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