Footprints of a Cynic

It’s easy to be cynical. It’s easy to hide your heart in that shell of illusion that you’re being realistic about the world and that’s all there is to it. It’s easy to just say to yourself: damn it this is all so futile why am I even trying?

It’s easy because like this, you don’t have to try. You don’t have to labor. You don’t have to risk getting hurt. You don’t have face reality – the glaringly bright, the achingly colorful, the painfully vibrant facets of reality. You don’t have to have faith. You don’t have to hope. You don’t have to love. And make no mistake, these are difficult beyond measure.

You say to yourself then, what do I know? Let me tell you – I know you. Are you really arrogant enough to believe that I have not gone through the same hurts that you have? Have you lost so much as to delude yourself that you are the only one who have lost loves? We all live this life. Just as I can never make light of what you’ve gone through, who are you to belittle my experiences?

You hold others in contempt for living in an ivory tower while you have confined yourself, alone and secure, in a tower of horn. That’s right, you’ve simply climbed down from a tower of ivory and up to a tower of horn. And you must realize this: horn and ivory are but counterparts; it is from them that the lies flow. This then, is the truth. Cynicism is an excuse not to persevere; it’s a reason for sloth – you are lazy. Cynicism is a defensive reaction to the fear of hurt and the fear of loss; it’s a petty unwillingness to be in the arena where the gladiators of the heart strive and fall – you are a coward.

So I stare into the mirror and you stare back; your mask of indifference belying the contempt you are so full of. Then your lips slowly curl into a sneer, but I force it into a smile. Your brows begin to curl up into a frown, but I smoothen it, allowing the warmth of my smile to reach my eyes. Your nostrils start to open in derision, but I take in a breath of delight. How can I not save you from your despair? I love you, don’t you see? How can I not? You’re a part of me.

Climb down from my tower – not into the other one, but on to level ground. I’ll carry your heart in my heart and we’ll dream again, walking along the soft edges that straddle the sand and the sea. We’ll get hurt by shards of seashells and get wet by rogue tides; but we’ll also sink our toes into the sand and let the water strafe in and out, around and about our ankles. That’s journeying. And all the while, we’ll be leaving the horn and ivory behind and saving the starfish along the way. And together, we’ll leave footprints in the sand – just one pair.


4 thoughts on “Footprints of a Cynic

  1. well said. made that mental journey myself quite recently. thank God i walked out of it, not going back to the initial state of naivete, but truly grown with the One who has been there, was there and will always be there.


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About Mel

I dreamt I was a whale.