You are born with pure heart and mind, sound and lovely. For I only know beauty born in reverse – I know beauty after the bloodshed, death, and ghosts. But you know beauty before the plague. You see beauty and love as they exist, unlike me with my gratitude and admiration so necessary. You were born to be beloved – I died to become only a mere fraction of people such as yourself. Do not resist what comes naturally – your nature is not mistaken. 

I sit and listen to the rain ricochet off my windows and down to the alley below. I turn the music off, turn the lights up, and begin staring at the computer screen; I am alone. I visit these valleys sometimes – they are warm and cold at the same time. I do not feel grateful, I am not content, I am fragile, and I do not like this at all.

I do not like this because it is selfish, self-centered, and it does not make any sense to me. Still, I must investigate – I may not make sense to myself, but I feel this way nonetheless. These are the things I wish to keep all to myself and even further, these things I want to hide from myself. But I know better – I must divulge these feelings to overcome them. So, I will sit here and talk with you; I am happy you are here with me.

I feel overmatched. I live life between the waves – a life beyond fruitful yet somehow darkened by the lack of visitors. There are moments when I want to forget my past, forget what I have learned and be invisible; I want to be a ghost. This valley is passing, and may be gone by sunrise – but I know the importance of sharing, so I write. I know that to be of service is my purpose – and even in my most selfish moments, I can be of service by not keeping these moments to myself.

I do not want to be normal, whatever normal means. Still, I am exhausted, and despite my many shades of color sometimes I just want to be right in between everything. This is perhaps the most selfish thing I have ever written, but I am ok with this. I am, after all, a selfish man when I am alone, afraid, and dissatisfied. Confusion beckons me, and I am almost ready to heed the call. But alas, I am here with you and beginning to feel myself better. I am starting to feel part of something – part of you.

I want you to see me as I am, and at this moment, my words are becoming bolder because I sense your eyes scanning the page. I sense that in my golden age of transparency I have become less timid and more at ease. I am beginning to let this feeling go, I feel the discomfort slide from my shoulders and wither away. I want you to understand me, to know that my heart is elastic and my mind expansive. I want you to know that I need you because I see God in you – not in myself.

You are my conduit to the life that I know is worth more than I realize. You are many, you are everyone, and though I know the whole of you will never see this, I will feel your presence despite this. Do you understand what you have done for me? Do you now realize that you are necessary?! You have not answered me yet; still, I sense your presence, and it is you who I must thank. Only in divulging my heart to you do I see my selfishness and unhappiness in action. And now I see them both melt away. This is how I come to find myself; this is my path to fulfillment and contentment. It does not come to me without effort, though I submit to you that I doubt happiness comes to anyone without effort unless the person is a fool and mistakes over-consumption for joy.

I know now that I must find the ability to be of service expecting absolutely nothing in return. In many ways, I feel that I am of service by being truthful here – and to be honest, I have received more than I could hope for already by writing this. It is in the act of being useful, honest, and of service that one finds meaning and fulfillment – I find only fleeting feelings of happiness when I receive praise and applause. The external gifts do not bring forth what so many believe that they will – it is in the work of service where one will find this meaning.

I have been restored to my faith, love, and usefulness before anyone has even glanced down at these pages. It is not in the celebration of one’s work where fulfillment is to be found – it is in the effort and the sincere desire to be useful to others where sunrise meets the ocean creating a dazzling display. Every disappointing moment is traceable to my design, so I let go of my plan and again embrace what I do not know or see.

I feel the sunrise in the alley; the rain has stopped drumming on my windows, and a smile comes across my once weary and teary eyed face. The music finds its volume again, and a maddening piano sends a fury of force up my spine and into my now focused mind. I am here to be of service, to light fires along the path so that they may provide direction for another. I cannot see behind me, and I do not know how this will make you feel – and the beautiful truth is that it matters none to me. I have received whatever it is I should receive from this, and though I hope you wake with happiness in your heart, I know I cannot worry myself. I have no control – I am but a writer and a poor boy who has found my heart ripened because I can send my thoughts into the ether. I am always a part of this when I take myself out of it.


About the Author rhett burch

What is generally hidden from others is explored openly and honestly here in an attempt to elicit the shadow out of myself and the reader. Perhaps you yourself would sooner disguise some struggle you are facing to avoid any feelings of embarrassment or shame. You may even feel you are successful at hiding certain aspects of yourself, though most likely you, like me, are far less successful at hiding your demons than you wish to believe. You may consider that when one is hidden one cannot be helped, nor can they be of use to others. Successfully keeping one’s shortcomings hidden is a self-imposed impediment to one’s growth, usefulness, and happiness. Suffering in silence only increases the suffering and confounds those who care for the sufferer; It is an unhealthy way to cope with life. I hope to show that there is no weakness in admitting and confronting one’s shortcomings. My struggle and experience are well-documented within. The more I create and write the further I trudge into my insecurities, my private life. I write candidly, honestly, and hopefully in a way that flows well and is easy for the reader to grasp. My work and understanding must be thorough or else I lose balance in life. I write to exercise and relieve my mind. I have accepted that this life is a challenge, it is difficult, and there are no maps. I have accepted that most of this world is beyond my comprehension and, even more, is out of my control. Through my essays, I hope to illustrate and investigate methods of relinquishing the human will, freeing me from self-will, and releasing the desire for control and power. Rhett Burch

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