you must not look back,
you must not pry ahead;
too much focus in either direction
spells certain imprisonment.
a permanent state of exertive suspension,
you are treading laced water.
thick with regret, diluted by doubt;
surviving wholly on indecision,
these interlopers only perish in the present.
so this is where you must live,
and take special note of my instruction now:
the joy of existence is not something to be obtained,
like smoke in your hands
you can see it
but you will never tangibly feel it.
there is no physical indication of life’s company.
you will never hold it, contain it, preserve it,
and you mustn’t try.
for the longer you reach towards it,
the faster it vanishes.
but only from sight,
for the smell
the sense of it lingers,
like dust on your fingers,
the essence remains.
keep these scars as mementos and carry them without burden.
lay your past in a warm grave and use its lessons to build an altar to your future.
for this place between tomb and tomorrow,
this is your sanctuary.