In my heart and mind, I see suffering. Not just the ubiquitous world and everyone else’s torment and a disconnected me,hiding in the corner. The greatest suffering of all, is when I avoid feeling pain, hurt, trauma, regret, shame, anger — s-e-p-a-r-a-t-I-o-n. I have employed vast armies to shield me from the world. A walled embattled castle that has all the pleasures and pain and armaments that I can control? Really? The walls have ears and speak silently. "Lord what fools these mortals be." (Midsummer's Night Dream, William Shakespeare) What does the mirror on the wall say? You know that piece of glass with the silver lining or is it lying? Oh, I remember now, I put a beautiful shroud around the mirror, and covered it with a beautiful pastoral scene and gilded frame. I still hear the voice peeking through when I walk into the room. It feels like the voice is whispering, piercing the shadows of memory asking me to take another look behind the curtain. All I remember is a scared little man that pulls levers and creates smoke and fire and all manner of bluster. I followed the yellow brick road, looking for the wizard to get me out of here! "Drizzle, drazzel, druzzel, drome, time for this one to come home." (http://www.yelmonline.com/stories/from-the-hills-remembering-tooter-turtle,89626) Or was it the foil I pasted over the glass to distort and avoid that imposter? Or did I forget what I actually look like? "Who was that masked man?" Better put, who is that masked man behind the curtain, behind the flames, and smoke, and all manner of clever arti-faces that are deftly employed to frighten and deflect? "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?" "Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!" "The shadow knows!" What an illusion that I have constructed out of suffering. The Shadow, with cape and dark hat and his face hidden from view. To cloud the minds of men to feign invisibility. "Lord, what fools these mortals be!" (https://www.enotes.com/shakespeare-quotes/lord-what-fools-these-mortals) "Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more; or close up the wall with our English dead... The game's afoot... ...For there is none of you so mean and base, that hath not noble lustre in your eyes. I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips, Straining upon the start. The game's afoot: Follow your spirit, and upon this charge Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!" (King Henry V, Act 3, Scene 1, William Shakespeare) So, I am called to the breach, the gap or rift in my wall. My enemies surround me, and I hear the battle raging with deafening roars. The clash of consciousness with unconsciousness. The fray that I have avoided, because I forgot the 'lustre' in my eyes. I forgot how to 'follow my spirit'. I best mind my foot! Yet, the King keeps calling me. Inspires me to remember my noble lustre that was looking back into me from the mirror. 'The shadow knows' the secret dark places that haunt me. Traumas and dramas of foes of my creation. Wisps of smoke and fire, and angry s-words. (https://www.oldradioworld.com/shows/The_Shadow.php) These specters are sent from the places where dead men tell their tales. Oh Suffering, like a whoreson, who has forgotten his noble parentage. Suffering, that clouds my heart and mind with shrieks and wails and all manner of fearful rage. Strob'd flashes that spell danger and ignominious defeat. Siren songs that lure me to rocky shores, to strand and lead me to my destruction upon desolate island strands. This suffering seeks absolution from its ignoble parentage. To respite in comforting arms and gentle breasts. This is the nexus where grief is met with unyielding Compassion. The specter feels the cool breath blowing across forgotten and frozen embers, awakening it from its torpor. Re-minded of a forgotten heritage. Light and darkness dance like shadow-skeletons projected on the wall. The wall of my penetrated and breached psyche, yields to the king's s-word, where I find succor and drink at the table prepared for me in the company of my enemies. Here I am anointed, and my cup knows no emptiness. Goodness and Mercy call me and follow me into the breach. Oh, merciful King, remove the veil from my eyes with your compassionate gaze and harmonious voice. Your visage do I seek to find in reflection's gaze. Help me to see through the shadows that have beset me, for only shadows are awakened by Light. The death that I seek is not to escape this mortal coil, rather, the death that unites me in the true reflection of your noble Parentage. I am not a bastard, a whoreson, a mistake of birth and of cruel irony. I am my Beloved's and my Beloved is mine”. (Song of Songs 6:3) Here in your bosom, the angry voices fade like smoke from a funerary pyre and sweet incense that joins with heaven's voice. Here in your sacred walls, I find you waiting for my return. The breach has become the gate to your Love. Into the Breach. Suffering is the seed of Compassion.