An extended metaphor describing the loss of innocence that individuals experience in life.
| I used to wonder if I was blind to the light. Now I realize that it is the light that has blinded me. There was a time when I thought that my eyes saw the world for what it was, that my sight was flawless, taking in every detail of my surroundings. Somewhere along the way I reluctantly realized that my eyes, everyoneâs eyes, had a limited peripheral vision that allowed them to see with clarity only what they focused on. I also hesitantly acknowledged that our eyes had a limited perception and could only see in environments that they were adjusted to. Finally, I grudgingly admitted to myself that I had spent my entire life focused on and adjusted to a single environment. I spent the majority of my existence thriving in the sun, my eyes taking in the light, losing sight of everything else.~0~
I can see them clearly now. The shadows that dwell in the light of day, mocking the ignorant fools who are oblivious to the darkness, whose eyes can perceive only light. As I heard their hateful cries for the first time, I came to realize that they were mocking me. That I was one of those fools. I quickly discarded the thought, resolving to resist the constant pull, the curious attraction of the shrouded sirens. For the longest time I attempted to ignore the shadows and their suspicious gravitation. My reasoning to do so was beyond my own understanding. The subconscious, instinctual fear of the unknown and the terror that is the incomprehensible compelled me to distance myself from the truth. And yet, I found that the fruits of my efforts were shrivelled and malnourished by the very darkness that I was seeking to avoid; I could not dodge the creeping shadows which seemed to increasingly obstruct my path at every turn.~1~
I came to recognize a simple fact, an uncompromising law which governed our substantial universe: when a light is shone, a shadow is cast. Denying this cause and effect would not rob the darkness of itâs presence, itâs place in the universe. Delusion of a single sided coin was the mindset of a fool, for no such coin existed. Light and shadow shared a symbiotic relationship in which one could not exist without the other. The sooner I acknowledged this undeniable truth, the sooner I would rid myself of these irrational fears. So for the first time, I strived to see more than what my blind eyes would allow. I craved the full spectrum of perception that so gracefully evaded humanity. But as hard as I looked, as much as I squinted, my vision could not penetrate the taunting shadows. It was then that I started to walk closer to the dark void that my eyes could just barely perceive. And once I stepped into the darkness, the questions began forming in my innocent mind.~2~
Was it possible to see everything? Or was the full range of sight that I desired merely a tantalizing dream? Must we truly enter the darkness in order to see, in order for our eyes to adjust to the pitch blackness? If I were to enter the dark abyss in my obsession with seeing, with knowing, would my eyes shut out the light? Would I be trapped in that dark realm forever? Would I be synchronizing my eyes with one world, only to lose sight of the one I knew? Was suffering the price of knowledge, and was ignorance the price of contentment? Even now, as I wade into the darkness, my head submerging, I marvel at the breadth of the unknown world that my blissfully blind eyes have disregarded for so long.~3~
But I can see them now. As I break through the surface and my eyes adjust, I can just make out the tortured souls living in the depths. I squint and will myself to see with more clarity with every passing second, and my eyes meet theirs. They have eyes like mine...no, not quite like mine. Their eyes have the characteristics that mine have begun to take on recently, but they are much more profound. They have eyes full of sorrow, of grief, of loneliness, of regret. They have eyes that have evolved in the environment of their conception, eyes that have adapted to the darkness from the first seconds of their existence, eyes that saw the other half of the full spectrum of perception that I had so craved.~4~
As I see them with more and more clarity, I notice that they are thrashing, struggling to escape the depths and get to the surface. To where I am. And I hesitate, knowing that if I were to dive down deep enough into the abyss to reach out my hand to them, I would be trapped, just like them. And then a single thought rushes through my mind, shocking my nerves and revitalizing my sense of self preservation. I donât want to see the world through those eyes. My head emerges from the surface, my eyes now craving the light. And so shamefully, I wade my way back towards it. I step out of the shadows and bask in it, my eyes taking in the sun once again.~5~