The first Gate. I remember when it opened – unexpectedly, like waking from a dream. Why do You let me in, I asked. How did I deserve this?
There is nothing one can do to deserve it. There is no step that man can take in the right direction, without guidance. If you draw all possibilities in life on a canvas, all human paths, the right one will be missing, drawn in a color unfamiliar to the human eye.
It can only be judged from the distance of time, where all steps merge into a coherent path. Like a phrase in conversation, like a note in music, a single step is only the Beginning. Two give birth to a direction, Three – to momentum, Four – to a cycle, Five – the first real challenge. Six – a misstep? Seven, rushing to the surface to draw Breath, then, plunging to the depths again. Eight, I dare not remember. Nine, the battle is won.
And Ten. Now gather round. Lay down your swords. Embrace silence. Grow quiet for a moment. It is time to reflect – the turning of the Wheel is endless, it has taken you to its heights – we have all seen them, then it has ground you against the rocks – we all suffered. You are nearing the completion of a cycle, you are gliding further down, riding its cold wind. Strong, confident, master of your craft, lessons learned. Looking back, the path appears easy.
But the wind inevitably leads you to the depth of the canyon, where freezing waterfalls spring from the rock and bathe your wings. Far below, the Great River hisses, twisting and turning, trembling.
Somehow you have found your way back to its source.
Lost again, born anew, you will need to grow up, this time – faster.
You will have to learn again.