When the Walls Shut Out the World

Reasons hang there in the silence, heavy and ponderous. We feel the weight of them dragging the sky down to the horizon, pulling that horizon closer until we feel its confines around us. There is no escape from the now and the reasons that hold us here, together in a room where the walls keep us safe, but also make us prisoners of this here and this now. The walls keep us safe from the reasons waiting out there to entangle us in all their reasons why not and why this should ever happen. But the walls keep us here together too, making us turn and blame one another for our isolation and imprisonment.

There was a time when this small room was a sanctuary against a world that did not, could not understand our need for each other. There was a time when we could shut the door on all those reasons waiting to hang us out there, like so many scaffold nooses ready for our necks. This room, back then, looked big enough for a world. We thought our world could survive, thrive and grow inside these walls. Walls that seemed once as distant as that far horizon we can see from the window that looks out across the bay and on to that point where the sea meets the sky.

Even that horizon has narrowed now as our summer of salvation with each other fades into memory. Back in that summer, we could lie here together on the old bed, with the window open and the sounds of life drifting in the breeze that danced our curtains.

Now the autumn where we fell together is fading too, into the mists that come down and take that distant horizon away from us.

Now the cold has crept in, now the world grows damp and dark too quickly. The window is shut, and the curtains close out the rest of that world we once were so keen to escape from.

Now, when we look into each other’s eyes, all we can find is the desire to be gone, a need to be far away from here. Both of us, if we could find the maps, would trace a route back to that summer, back to those earlier days. But now there are too many lost days, shrouded in mist, rain, and regret for us to ever find our way back to those long ago days.

The walls seem so close, and the entangling reasons have grown up over them, like ivy or ensnaring brambles. All waiting for us to step outside, becoming entwined once more in the world that lies outside these walls.

We both know we will have to go outside, go our separate ways. We will both try to find our own ways through those entangling reasons, back to the lives we used to have.

All we need is the courage to step outside, but we lack the will. Back in the summer when everything seemed possible, it seemed as though together we could take on the world, take on all those reasons why not we left hanging. Then these walls would tumble down around us, as we broke free hand in hand.

But now, these walls keep us safe and hold us prisoner, each waiting for the other to break free and escape alone.

Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

3 thoughts on “When the Walls Shut Out the World

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