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The lonely word.
The lonely heart.
The lonely world.
The lonely art.
The lonely voice.
The lonely face.
The lonely choice.
The lonely race.

You can sometimes think you are walking alone
even when you are in a crowd;
you can sometimes feel you are hearing nothing
even when the world sounds so loud;
you can sometimes see the world distorted;
you can sometimes hear the distant call
of someone who you may not have seen for a long time,
who is nowhere even near you at that exact time-
like the voice of a ghost,
but even though you can’t see that person
you have no doubt as to its origin,
and you will swear on your life
that you heard the person that you heard say what they said
in the way and in the voice that they said it.

The lonely soul just wants a mate.
The lonely journey is always more bareable
when you have got someone to travel it with.
The lonely note just wants to be played
until it becomes a source and a beacon of hope.
The lonely time can be when you are on a break.
The lonely place can be when and where you feel
like you have nowhere to be and nowhere to live.
The lonely mark can be the brightest and the most wonderful
and wise question and answer that can help you to cope.

Sometimes when you feel the most lonely,
you are the most surrounded by friends, energy,
affection, and love;
sometimes when you feel like you need somebody so badly,
you already and always have them with you-
because they are like the stars that are always there
twinkling in the dark heavens above.
Sometimes when you feel like you are being infected by something,
you are actually being cured;
sometimes the most inspiring and breathtaking thing in the world
can make you feel something incredible,
but can also be the loneliest of words.

I am a man of many secrets.
I am someone who has done things, heard things, seen things;
I know things that can’t ever be shown, admitted to, or said.
I am a man unlike anyone you may have met.
I am someone who has memories of places and times that happened,
but didn’t happen- about things and people that I can’t tell anyone,
but which I remember and relive every night
when I dream, when I am laying in bed.

People never say everything.
People have so much to say sometimes they end up saying nothing.
People find it hard to admit an unfiltered truth.
People will do anything to keep a secret
that could change the way people see them-
so much so that they will go to great lengths
to not make their secrets obvious,
and they try to not leave any questions behind them,
nor any sort of clues.

Many of the secrets that we keep are to protect something,
or someone that needs to be surrounded and enclosed,
because if knowledge of it became well-known
there may be ramifications and ripple-effects
that could follow you afterwards everywhere you go.
Everyone carries a secret with them every second of every day;
everyone has to live with a shadow hanging over them
that they only see when they look in the mirror,
and they feel the pressure of keeping their tongue at bay.

Most secrets are not Earth-shattering,
but they are reality and identity fracturing.
Most secrets are a thousand secrets in one,
but they become something you fit in the palm of your hand
when you are on the run.

People say that want to know every detail about something,
but that in itself is a secret,
because secretly, perhaps even to them,
it is the not knowing that keeps something interesting-
the more you know is not always the best.

Honesty may be a policy, but as a way of life complete honesty
can be hurtful, destructive, the worst thing for so many reasons.
It is only when we are told that we were being told what we wanted
do we wish we were still being lied to,
but most of the time we wish that what was said and heard
was the truth- but that is a gift that is like nature,
because nature doesn’t lie-
it is complicated, hard to fanthom at times,
and cannot ever be tamed, but you know where you stand with
and in nature, and it tells you and shows you
so many of its secrets every day of every season.

Secrets are like mysteries,
and a world without mystery
no one would choose to live in.
Secrets are a question and an answer,
and they keep life continuously interesting.

Secrets are what compel everyone to meet,
and to talk to someone they don’t know and have never met.
Secrets are important,
but choosing to not say all that you know
and what is on your mind can sometimes be hard,
even for a man of many hidden secrets.

Standing in a dark forest, on a moon-lit evening-
with no idea of how I got here,
and with no concise answer as to what I was feeling-
I looked into the shadows,
and suddenly I saw the face of someone watching me.
The face got larger and larger as they walked towards me,
and then stood two feet away from me,
staring at me with unseen black eyes,
with a face as white as a ghost-
that if not for the moon, you would never believe or see.
I am Dream,” spoke the man, dressed all in black
and with hair as wild as a thorn bush.
You have many questions, I would guess;
however, for now, you must hush
,”
said “Dream” to me, as he put an ice-cold index finger to my lips.
Truth sometimes comes when you least expect it,
and moments of understanding happen fewer that the times
you will witness a total-eclipse
.”

The man seemed to know me somehow-
it was as if he knew exactly what I was thinking;
as I looked into his eyes I tried to read any emotion that I could
on his face, but he remained nonchalant, still, and unblinking.

I felt like I should be scared,
but, oddly, at no time did I feel uneasy;
my eyes told me, from where I was, that I should be cold,
but my mind and my body didn’t agree.

Ask me a question,” said Dream, “even though I know the one
that is always on the tip of your tongue.
Ask me the question that you have been asking
for so long to be answered ever since you were young
.”

“Who am I?” I whispered, not expecting this man to know what I was asking,
nor why-
the question that I have never been able to answer for myself
without beginning to cry.

Most that ask that question nearly always already know the answer.
Some stop asking when they believe that they have found a real-world
substitution that they prefer
,” replied Dream, as he looked up to the sky,
and then back at me,
and for an instant we two were like two beings of light in darkness
and no longer surrounded by trees.
The name that you were gifted after your birth was not accidental.
Who you believe you are, and what has befallen you throughout your life
is elemental
.”

As I face Dream, I noticed that I too was wearing nothing but black-
but that I was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned in white with a word on my chest:
“What does this word mean?” I asked, pointing to myself- “Is this a test?”

When Dream spoke this time,
I swear that his skin shone whiter that it had before;
as soon as Dream had finished saying that
This is the word that has forever been knocking on your front-door“-
that was the moment that I felt as if he, Dream, was telling me something
that I had never considered before.

“Is this a dream? I don’t recognize this place?”

This is a place that is very important to you, I understand-
somewhere you have never visited after dark before,
but which has always made you imagine what it is like to be in outer-space.
This place is infinite, unending- and yet brief, and simple
,”
Dream explained, as he looked down, as I did, to see below on the ground
the symbol of a snake devouring its own tail.
Do you understand?” Dream asked, “Do you recognize the answer?“-
as I looked into Dream’s face, I saw and I felt something that was
incredible, beautiful, and pure:
I imagined a child being born, growing rapidly older-
as if every year of its life were a second-
until the face that I saw looking back at me was myself, completely stunned.

I have always believed that things happen for a reason,
but I never put much credence into the idea that everything in my life
has been guiding me to a truth that some may call a destiny-
that was for stories of heroes, not for me.
But you are a hero,” Dream proclaimed, to my surprise-
You do have purpose beyond your dreams and your horizon-
the terminus of all, not just the one
.”

“Why have you come to me now? I don’t recall ever dreaming about you before?”

I have been a part of every dream that there has ever been
since time began, as I will be forevermore.
I was there when you first fell in love and dreamed so intensely,
deeply, powerfully, that you awakened your gift of creativity
and inflamed your waking desire to make someone feel special;
I was there when you first looked within yourself,
found who you were, who you were going to call on the world to know you as-
the name that sounds as perfect and fitting, as it does natural
.”

Dream then turned and started to walk away-
to which I soon beckoned: “Dream? Wont you stay?”

And then Dream replied, without looking back over his shoulder:
I see no need to stay and remind you of that which you know
can only be grasped by they who are the beholder
.”

“Thank you!” I called out into the darkness, as the pale-faced
dark-clothed man disappeared so that he could no longer be seen.

Next time you feel the need to rediscover who you are,”
said Dream, as his voice echoed as if from every direction,
you need only to close your eyes, return to this place,
and dream
.”

Inspired by The Sandman by Neil Gaiman

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