Often, it’s the look back on how far we’ve come that’ll kill us. The sense of progressing into the light and being in the light and having fellowship with one another, all of that gets replaced by a yawning chasm, reminding us of how empty we think we are. It’s an insufferable frustration to have grown, only to wither and await the next spring. However much we thought we progressed, all of the little encouragements that we whisper to ourselves just to make it past the suffocating nightfalls, it all just turns to ash, as if from a cigarette. In the end, that desire to keep the tip lit, to keep the fire burning, only hurts us and those around us, and it reminds us of all the things about ourselves, private and public, that we fear and despise. There is a feeling emotionally that can only be portrayed by the imagery of placing a vacuum cleaner with the tube extension around someone’s mouth, imagining the air from their lungs being sucked out. The inevitable void, the suffocation of soul, the sound of breathless despair; that is what it feels like to have invested a heart into a cause it shouldn’t have been invested in. When all of our assumptions, figments of our hope’s imagination bear a fruit, or better yet, no fruit, the slump into a chair – as breaths wane shallow in our heart of hearts – becomes our reality. Any dream of a wick still being lit is extinguished as the vacuum of unrealized expectation retrieves each breath until the last, when we ultimately understand our lack of understanding. The sin is in the convincing persuasion of what we want to see as the actuality; the atonement comes through tears of wasted time and effort to create something that amounted to everything but what we yearned after. And so this vacuum continues on for those cursed with artistic tendencies, dangling a piece of believable falsehood until that image expands itself in the vision of the beholder. It is not the lie that has grown, but the proximity of the blindfold that has changed. And into that darkness, we step forward, confidence embodied in us, before we realize that we need to reach our hands back and untie the handkerchief before we truly see.