Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Ends and Means

For a long time, I've hunted the Questing Beast. We never quite know the Beast when we start the hunt, and I doubt will never know its true nature. Some abandon the hunt when no meat is forthcoming for hunger as their motive: with food, they find comfort beyond the hunt. Some, like me, struggle for years with the hunt on borrowed means. Most people end the hunt with success that so often seems accidental. Some people find the Questing Beast in their first words! Others have to wait for a first true love, a first child, a first novel with their name on the cover, or even the scattered remains of a foe cleaved with an unlikely weapon that just feels right. In those words, loves, children, works, and victories we find a place, not often comfortable, but we find a place for our memory that fits.

I'm too much unlike you. I can speak, and be heard, but not understood. I can love true, to me but not to others. I can write a canto to everyone I know, but I feel I've written nothing. There are those like me who have maps detailing our hunts, stories oft repeated that seem to have meaning, and scars that many assume as signs of success. We are the veterans of the hunt; we pretend to guide, but we only have our meandering experience to show for our lifetime of labor. Truth be told, I despise many of you. You can abandon the hunt for a few days, a few years, or on your lunch break, only to take it up again after a quick jaunt in the field of questions I call home. As soon as you're finished slumming with the madman, the Questing beast waits on a silver platter. The more I hunt, the further I seem from the prize. There's no happy accident or gifted silver platter ahead of me, there is only the borrowed means to a questionable end justified by madness.

The more I hunt, the more I crave. I crave you. I need your success. I need you to validate me beyond the voices in my head that never relent. Please tell me you need me sometimes in return, no matter how useless I am. Your words can even be a lie, so long as I can believe it for a little while. Help me stretch moments together so I don't abandon the hunt for Hell in hope of peace at the tip of my own weapons. You mean that much to me. You are the Questing Beast.

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