bit by bit, then all at once

Patricia Mou

What if finding what is true
Is just dissolving everything
that is untrue
Until all we’re left with is
a vast purified space

And so it goes
We cocoon ourselves
with all types of egoic outfits
Ideas, stories, identities, beliefs
Some our own, most of them others
Each replacing the next
In an insatiable quest around
the gaping black hole
that sits at the core

Candles we light
to ward off the ensuing darkness

Afraid of our nothingness
We grasp for anything
Naked at the bottom of the pit
we seek comfort in company
The blind lead the blind
in group transcendence, at self’s expense
Meaning over absurdity, purchased and borrowed

We substitute one untruth for another
In quicksand, we struggle
Until the burden is too immense to go on
Collapsing inwards
Bit by bit
Then all at once

A jolt pierces through the seams
of our carefully spun tapestry
The blackest despair
Becomes our most honest moment
A thread is unraveled
as Truth peeks in

We awake from the slumber
As it’s still ongoing
Lucid dreaming in reverse
We peer across the vast landscape
and see
for the first time
what’s been in plain sight
Talking heads and hero journeys
Realized, yet alone
We retreat to safety

But the fabric cannot be mended
The bell cannot be unrung
When our clothes stop fitting
We realize the journey
can only be taken alone

Until finally the day comes
We quietly place our clothes by the water
And walk away from the desert mirage
Returning to our world
To be in it
But not of it

Naked yet one
The seam effacing itself
Into a vast purified space

Bit by bit

Then all at once