Escaping Ignorance, Finding Knowledge

I am blind to my surroundings. I can feel things with me in the darkness. I can’t see them, but I know they’re there.

As I look above me, I see a dim, watery light filtering down from above. It is the only thing I can see in the darkness. I must reach it. Slowly, excruciatingly, I rise. I push myself upward, leaving behind the darkness and the invisible things it conceals.

I begin feel lighter. As I rise, the weight lessens and I gradually move faster. The light waxes brighter, as if an invisible hand is slowly lifting the darkness from my sight. As my world brightens, I begin to see multitudes of creatures all around me. But it is still too dim, and their forms lack definition. I must keep going.

I begin to learn. As my surroundings become clear, the creatures around me come to life. I pause in my ascent to take it all in. I interact with my fellow creatures. They teach me things like how to love, how to express myself, and to stand up for what I believe in.

I grow into something more than what I was; more than that lonely creature in the darkness. But then I look above me. And I see it. Its image distorted as if by a film or a veil. It’s the source of the light that now brightens my new world. The light that caught my eye in the darkness. And as before, I must reach it.

Again I begin to rise away from my family, my friends, the only things I know, and into the unknown. I am reluctant to leave them. I look back, and almost descend back into the eternal twilight to join them again. But the inexorable pull draws me upward, and I must go on.

Then, finally, I break the surface. The weight that once held me under now sloughs off my body in sparkling droplets of water. It is exhilarating to fill my lungs with their first gulp of air. I surge upward, and open my wings.

Everything has a kind of crystal clarity, an almost blinding brightness. The feeling of cool air drying my soaking body is an ecstasy I could never have imagined. I soar toward the light, the source I perceived long ago when I was still in darkness. Now the filmy veil has been lifted, and I am free to finally reach it. But it is lonely in the open air. There are few like me who are brave enough to venture from the safety of the known.

This feeling of freedom is elating. I will never go back.