Your emeralds are green, glowing with envy. Your rubies, red, seethe with all your anger. You have diamonds and sapphires too, cutting and cold like your arrogance and pretenses. And those gleaming pearls, your bitterness and self-doubts, strung tightly like a litany of curses.
Through time, you have decorated your armor with many and the brightest of gems, wearing them proudly. You have done so that you may shine and have the right to shun. You have worn them as proof of all your past hurts, traumas, and despairs. They tell of the vengeance coursing through your veins, your heart yelling retribution for all the pain and suffering the world has given you.
Each night, you madly ride through the land on your white horse, glaring at passersby, shaking your fist at the moon. Yet on this night, this particular night, your steed pants in exhaustion. The cadence of your journey grows familiar, and loneliness begins to invade and gnaw at you. Your body then begins to ache under the weight of your rage, your resentment, and your heavy, heavy armor.
Unbearably weary, you decide to stop. You wince at the pain that shoots through your arms, legs, and spine as you get off your stallion. After tying the beast to some craggy tree, you limp your way to the edge of a lake. As heavy as stone, you drop to your knees. Eyes closed, you bend your head back, and the deepest of sighs escape your mouth. A faint breeze begins touching you. You hear the leaves of nearby trees rustle and the rhythmic lapping of the water. You open your eyes.
A multitude of stars is flung across the dark sky. The ominous moon, round and full, paints the lake silver. Calm begins to envelope you. In your stillness, you realize how worn down you have become, your battle with the world having led you nowhere. You become aware that you have adored your own woundedness far too long. It has brought you even more heartache and suffering. Your enemies are but figments of your imagination, tales you concocted to justify your ways; to affirm your hurts and pains. You begin to weep and comprehend the reason behind your solitude.
You cup your hands and try to reach for the lake’s soothing waters, but in doing so, your armor gets in the way. Piece by piece, you dismantle it, flinging its parts around you. Emeralds, rubies, sapphires, diamonds, and pearls are strewn across the shore tainting it with a sparkle. You are now naked as the day you were born.
You knead the flesh of your arms and shoulders, surprised at the novelty and power of your real body, of your true self: vulnerable, humble, human.
As you reach the glistening shore, tears fill your eyes anew. An unbridled feeling surges inside you. It is unfamiliar, yet it stirs you so you welcome it anyway. As you take each step, the cool waters begin to touch your toes, your knees, your belly, your shoulders, neck. You walk on till you are swallowed completely.
A moment passes and you find yourself afloat in the middle of the lake. You savor the million tongues that buoy you. Above, the sky is awash in streaks of deep purple, blue, and orange. Only a handful of stars remain, unblinking.
You marvel at the firmament before you, astonished to witness the birth of a new day. Then, faint signs of the sun emerge; its rays shrouding the world in the gentlest of glows. Softy, you chant: “I forgive you… I forgive myself.”