Your Spirit

Once, in the bowels of the earth, there was a man. He didn’t know how he got to be there, but he didn’t like it, so he decided to climb. He was so deep down that there was no where else to go but up. One fine day he got up to the top, climbed out, and saw the sun for the first time. It hurt his eyes, but nevertheless it was beautiful, and so heavenly warm, after all those years of worming through the cold earth.
He wandered about, cursed at and reviled by those who saw him, until he found a woman who could see through the dirt coating his skin. She cleaned him, and fed him. He did not know why, he just knew that it was glorious. He was freed from the earth at last, utterly, and he wondered if he should continue his journey upward, but he did not know how.
How can I fly, he asked her. You can not fly, she said, only your spirit can fly.
What is my spirit, he asked.
It is the one thing in you which never changes, she said. Only you can know what your spirit is. Every man, every woman has something which never changes. That is your spirit.
How will I know it when I see it, he asked.
You can not see it, she said. It is not like a piece of earth, or a drop of water. It is like a flame, but it is not a flame. You are a fool, but nevertheless you may find it.
He didn’t understand any of this, but he went on to seek his spirit. He traveled across the earth, and he trafficked with many peoples. Every time he met them, he sought out a woman, and asked her, where is my spirit. Some said, your spirit is a flower. Some said, your spirit is a bird. Some said, your spirit is in the stars. There was even one who said, there is no spirit.
After many years he met the first woman again.
I am a fool, he said. I haven’t found my spirit.
Yes, she said, you are a fool. Now lie down and rest. She laid a hand on his brow and said, close your eyes, and stop looking, only then will you find your spirit.
With her hand on his brow, the whole world changed.
My spirit is in you, he said. I feel it. And your spirit is in me.
Now you understand, she said. You are not such a fool after all.
It was then that their spirits flew, together.

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