Desert of the mind, he travels with only a half-full pack. No food left, but still, he trekked through the sand into the horizon. Though there was no one waiting for him at the end of his journey, he still moved into the sunlight. Skin melting in the gold rays, like the sweat which poured over his eyes. I kept two steps behind, amazed by the way he held himself so high above the rest. Like a saint who didn’t need protection from the balance of life. This was where I realized I had to stay in the light he gave. In the sand that kept us bound I held on to the last canteen of water, a drop or so left. Not enough to carry us any further. It has been twelve days since we went into the desert to find ourselves, mind over body we traveled till the freshly shaved heads grew thick locks.
“It’s all in the mind, we keep telling ourselves to limit. But we have so much potential,” he told me before setting foot into the desert, taking a swig of liquor and tossing it to the side.
We needed this, to become a part of the world, to starve ourselves of human needs and let nature restore us into the light. That is what I was told, only to pack what I needed. Two small meals of greens and a canteen of water. If I ran out then the true journey would begin. After the second day, I ate through the second meal. Starved enough to forget about rations.
“Boy,” he calls me. “A meal of the mind if fuller than a meal of the body. Our journey begins at sunset… we will drink to the night and welcome the light into our hearts.”
My mind is scattered. I drank with him, but we separated at dawn. Or it felt like dawn, the sun felt much brighter and bigger in the sky. As if it were coming down to consume me. I drank the liquor, but it wasn’t liquor, it was vile and left a stain on my tongue. I checked when I looked at my reflection in the canteen. It was fuming with little white bubbles. I can’t remember what happened last night. I have to find him.
Four days of no food, I can feel my stomach tightening, but he says that’s a good thing. I suppose he’s right, though the pain is killing me. But as a member of his community, I had to do this, I wanted to take away the pain in my mind. One far worse than the one in my belly.
The light has given me a chance, it holds me close like a mother to a child. I have lost my sense of taste and dream of the night. The night oh so sweet, I wish I could see him again and ask why we made this journey. In the beginning I was a lone soul with nothing to call a faith. But the light guided me and took that innocence and gave me the strength to the absence of darkness. I write this to tell the world of my body’s ascent. Where I will go from now, only god will know.