The Maze of Truth – The Search for Life

This is a story which I wrote last year for my Creative Writing course, after modifying to make it God-centred. It’s long so read if you have the time. – Kong

Five adventurous civilians traversed arduous paths to finally arrive at the Maze of Truth, located on the Falkland islands – winding deep within the isles of the Atlantic Ocean. The maze was a garden chiselled with hedges which leapt for the skies. The soil was moist and miry, siphoning strength from the fine men with every morsel of time. Each of them had different desires, and yet a common goal in the ultimate search for the true meaning of life. Or perhaps they were simply scouring for something to fill a void in their lives. Circles upon circles they went – until they chanced upon a small opening in a golden-lined hedge. That was the key. They entered. They witnessed.

Right before the men lay the clay pedestal which housed the five stars of Life, emblems of the truth. Their eyes lit up. The stars were encased in little engraftments surrounding the rim of the pedestal which held them securely, like oysters protecting their pearls.  This was what they had come for. They longed to know what the stars could do. Their endless search had come to its conclusion. Unanimously, they agreed to approach the stars. The stars were multi-coloured – green, purple, blue, yellow and red. They noticed there were carvings of symbols below each of the stars. A sign was plastered by the side in lucid view. “Choose what will fill your cup and make your life whole. Each coloured star represents an inner desire,” the sign read. The five men began discussing but it was not too long before a clear decision was made. Each wanted a different star. And so it was.

————

Profiles of the five men:

Peter: A forty year-old administrative clerk who had grown bored of his mundane life and work. He wanted more challenges and opportunities. He had always dreamed of being a fire-fighter, one who could save lives; one who could do so much more, make such a larger difference than what he could do as a clerk.

Eric: A hardworking engineer-cum-businessman and director of a large firm. He had been working hard all his life and truly yearned for a break. Perhaps he was not fully cognizant of his ever growing desire to have a chance to rest on his laurels and enjoy the true value of time.

Aaron: A humble farmer who diligently ploughs the fields round the clock. Lately, his farm has been desiccated by the sweltering weather conditions. He has found it so hard to produce food for his family. If only his wish for paradise on earth could come true, where the skies would rain upon the earth to nourish the earthen soils and animals roam free on the lands. But that dream was simply illusory. He had grown to abhor the treacherous weather, his job, his lifestyle, he wanted to break free.

Colin: A banker caught in the rat-race in the dog-eat-dog world. He was faring well in his career development but was never content with what he had. He wanted to rise and rise above others as he advanced up the corporate ladder.

Ethan: A creative architect who had designed several award-winning landmark buildings. However, he was a lonely man for he found himself incapable of constructing love with any other. He could only pander to his own drawings in architectural designs as a form of escapism.

————

 

Peter chose the green star which symbolised lush opportunities to life.

Eric selected purple, the colour of royalty so he could finally rest on his laurels.

Aaron chose the blue star, the colour of the heavens that could nourish his life.

Colin took the path of the yellow star which shimmered like gold in his eyes.

Ethan picked the red star, hoping to imbue his life with a new-found love.

And so it was.

The five men, it seemed, were given what they wanted, but time was fast-forwarded to a snapshot in the future. Did they then truly understand the truth?

Into the Future…

The Green Star – The Grass is Greener on the Other Side

Peter dumped his coat on the floor and slumped himself into the sofa. He was completely washed out. It was a Friday night and he had to tend to so many emergency calls all week long. He never knew his fire-fighting job could be so draining. He once thought he was indefatigable, able to take on any challenge and save the world, make it a better place. But now, now it was all up in the smoke. “Am I really making that much of a difference? Perhaps I need a life-saver too?” Peter wondered.

Jocelyn, Peter’s wife, entered the room with a cup of hot tea. She smiled at him. He managed a smile too, coercing his cheek bones out of the way to let it through. Jocelyn paused. She could detect an unusual level of exhaustion in her husband. As Peter sipped his tea, he closed his eyes as he tried to soak in the warmth of his home. But somehow his connection with “home” had been lost. The gentle and lukewarm steam rising from the tea which was once so soothing only reminded him of the heinous smoke that surrounded him when he battled the fires. Peter’s thoughts were all jumbled up. He had been through so much this week; so much this year in fact. Inadvertently, he allowed images of the burning blazes, the black smog, the falling pillars and the terrified faces of the victims to fill his mind. The shrill screams of the people, the breaking of wood and the wail of the siren seemed to resonate at the back of his head.  Just then, the voice of his seven year-old son filled the room.

“Daddy, you’re back!” Peter’s son exclaimed in excitement. Perhaps his son was the one person who could comfort him in his quagmire, the one person who could inject some simplicity to his life.   To believethat, at the end of the day, he would be able to see what he loved the most always gave Peter strength. Again, Peter attempted to pull a smile. Just as he bent forward to reach for his son to give him a hug, his phone buzzed. Peter’s eyes widened and he sighed. His little son faded into the background. A single tear formed and cascaded down his cheek as he turned away. In his heart, he assented to a silent resignation.

Picking up his gear, Peter headed out for his next mission. His family watched him go, with tears welling up in their eyes. Peter’s tears had dried up amidst his muddled emotions. He was no longer green. He was jaded.

————

Peter missed the warmth he so took for granted back home when he was a simple clerk. He had grown weary of his new job already. He somehow wished he had chosen the purple star, thinking that he could just lay everything down and relax.

The Purple Star – The Royal Deal

Eric was king
Who ruled with an iron fist
Heads would bow down like dominoes
Flags rose like the moring star.

Upon his throne
Gifts were offered
Sumptuous meals, resplendent concubines
There was never a moment’s respite.

Throughout the lands
His name was hailed
Throughout foreign lands
His name was feared and loathed.

Armies would flow in
And as the river meets the dam
His command thwarted the torrents
Trampled the enfeebled fishes.

Everything was under control
Nothing was out of sight
Except for a tiny hole in the dam
Which grew with time.

One day the time came
And the mighty dam collapsed
White flags raised like the evening star
One large head down in remorse.

————

Eric was down in the dumps. He remembered about high risks and returns in his business dealings. “Unlimited liability as a king,” he thought. Perhaps what he needed was some form of paradise, a break from the heavy work. He would have chosen the blue star then.

The Blue Star – Blue Paradise

Rain. Rain fell from the heavens and flooded the fields. Joy rose like the tides in Aaron’s heart. “Finally,” he thought, a smile breaking across his face. His little girl came out to hold his hand. “Daddy, what’s all this water falling from the sky?” she asked, in sheer innocence. “It’s water from the heavens. We’ve been blessed my dear,” Aaron replied. “Indeed,” Aaron thought to himself. He knew he would not have to worry. The harvest would be rich in a matter of days.Their homes could reap and rejoice.

As the days pased, crops blossomed like an oasis sprouting out of nowhere in the dismal desert sands. The first harvest was bountiful. Before long, farm animals could be reared too. Cattle, sheep and poultry could scurry about the lands without a care in the world. The frequent rains always ensured the soils were well nurtured. Life could not be better for Aaron and his family. They ate well and yet did not have to work too hard. Aaron loved looking across the fields as he watched the water streams flow across the ditches, like blood coursing through a healthy body’s vessels, nourishing it, sustaining it.

It was a true paradise, a dream come true. However, was paradise enough for Aaron? Soon, he started musing. He started ruminating. He mulled over the idea of an even bigger dream. His nascent desire to break free had somehow grown in prominence. He wanted to go to the city. He wanted to go to the place where fortunes abound and life was good. Although he was uncertain about his skillsets and employability in the urban society, he clung onto his belief of “planting of the seed”. “It will be the start,” Aaron thought. He was sure that with time, that seed will grow and he will blossom in the land of sky scrapers.

However, to his dismay, all his efforts to adapt to the city came to naught. The cold stares, the flared tempers, the hectic pace – they whittled him down. In the land where the behemoths barred the blue skies,  there was hardly a place for serenity. There was hardly a place for nature and solitude which his farm could offer him. Aaron gave up. He would return to his farm, to his home where he belonged.

Aaron took the long path back. Upon his return, he was flabbergasted by what lay before him. His farmhouse and the fields had been completely innundated by the heavy rains. He had not been there to do anything. All was lost. A slight drizzle lingered on, pattering on his back. He was blue.

————

Aaron was forlorn, despondent. If only he appreciated what he had. But now that all seemed lost, in his heart, he somehow longed to rise above the mindless chaos. He secretly wanted to select the yellow star and become a master of the ways of the rat race of urban society.

 

The Yellow Star – Golden Dreams

Colin climbed the golden ladder
The ladder that went up and up
Spiralled round and round
And went on and on.

A fox in disguise
Scheming, relegating and pillaging
He had always hit the jackpot
Crime was more than a dime.

He loved his new-found luck
Everything was just a trick away
Amassing wealth and opulence
Was like collecting sands from the beach.

Foxes are shrewd
They can get their way many times
But there are other cheaters
The cheetahs that run away the fastest.

Colin had climbed the golden ladder
The ladder that went up and up
Spiralled round and round
And went down and down…

————

Colin had lost all he had in the end. He had no will to climb the golden ladder again. “Maybe what I was missing in my life was love. Should have picked the red star,” Colin pondered.

 

The Red Star – The Mermaid and the Seashell

To Ethan, she was most beautiful princess
The most elegant mermaid
To have roved the seas and shores
Who made all the grains of sand in his heart glow.

To her, he was just an ordinary man
A most banal seashell
One she could pick up on the seabed
Anytime, anywhere – anyhow, anyway.

To him, she meant the world
Where all of his
Hopes and dreams nested
He would build a house for them.

To her, he was a lonesome ornament
One she picked up
And knew she would pass up
For she could choose from the many seashells.

So when the tide went low
She cast the poor seashell
Onto the seashore
And dived back into the deep.

If only he knew
Love was red – anger.

————

Ethan was spurned. Hurt and anger tore at him. He was speechless. Perhaps what he really wanted was the green star, to start anew with fresh opportunities.

__________________________________________

So the five men went round the stars in circles, tryng to find true content in life. Little were they aware of a single tiny white star that stood humbly at the centre of the pedestal, slightly obscured by the bright light emitted by the other stars. The white star, a choice none selected, was the truth of the maze, the end to the mindless and endless search for life. What was the white star?

(How many of you noticed Jesus in the previous picture? If not look carefully. Sometimes in life, the things of this world may cloud the most important one.)

__________________________________________

The White Star – Jesus At the Centre

While the world hungers for
Attention and “greener pastures”
The humble star understands its place
And gives of itself.

While the world hungers for
Power and might
The meek star serves in earnest
Taking pride in the joy of others.

While the world hungers for
An easy life, an easy way out
The diligent star strives on
And smiles at what it has.

While the world hungers for
Riches that never end
The dignified star accepts
And learns to be content.

While the world hungers for
Human affection and torrid romance
The simple star simply loves
And is at peace with himself/herself

Jesus as the centre white star is the one way
Who provides food that lasts
Joy which fills our cup over and over again
And contentment that never runs dry.

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One thought on “The Maze of Truth – The Search for Life

  1. Pingback: All the way to heaven is heaven. | Leaven Of God

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