Life is no longer a journey.
A journey indicates the cliché of boundless and unknown possibilities—skipping down the yellow brick road.
Life has shown itself to be more of an endurance race.
Yes, there are boundless possibilities – but the road is long, it’s not made completely of yellow bricks, you wear through several pairs of shoes (none of which are ruby slippers) and it can get tricky, steep and sticky at points. There are the forks in the road, the bends, the shaky bridges and the deserts where you don’t know which way is which.
But then, there are the other pilgrims.
I am one person, travelling all terrains with heavy baggage. There is loss and wreckage and trouble all over the pilgrim’s path. In Finding Mary I often referred to the volcano within, writing in Chapter 21:
‘Like the aftermath of a massive flood or erupting volcano everything has been tossed and tumbled and has disintegrated. In its wake remains an exhausted, jumbled mind and a deep sense of helplessness and hopelessness’.
I know I do not walk this path of pain alone — that others had (and are) dwelled and struggled, rarely coming out triumphant.
That volcano of life has tossed me up and thrown me down once more – not yet to the dark abyss – but I came crashing down hard.
So, why write this?
For whatever reason Christmas seems to be a time of reflection for everyone – even if it is simply the recognition you have lived another year.
I have met someone who was in my life briefly 50 years ago, a person who may know something very significant about my past but I am afraid to ask. I also cannot comprehend the passing of 50 years, let alone that lifetime of keeping secrets and living in fear.
Journalist David Walsh, who uncovered the Lance Armstrong doping saga, wrote, ‘But my feeling has always been that in life you’re offered a choice between a beautiful lie and an ugly truth and I will always go for the ugly truth.
Can I bear to uncover more of the ugly truth?