searching

The needle swiveled left and right, left and right, left and right.  Each swing was tighter than the last, until the point hovered but never settled and then then the magnetic field would shift and the needle would undulate wildly again.  He wasn’t lost though, not in the geographical sense anyway.  The landmarks he had been triangulating with on his map were still visible so he didn’t need the compass to know where he was.

He wandered the back-roads of the world, exploring the highest sun brightened peaks, and traveling into the unknowns of forgotten shadowed valleys.  He knew where he was and where he was going.  His body was well conditioned.  His supplies were adequate.  From crowded paths to secret trails, there had never been an instant when he hadn’t known exactly where he was.

He was lost all the same.

Searching to find himself.

Searching for meaning, purpose and peace.

Searching for that one thing, that one moment of inspiration.

Searching for the moment when he could calmly and confidently state, “I know who I am.”

He had never truthfully spoken those words.

He was lost…

The trail grew cold as sunset approached.  His legs began to weaken and his pace faltered.  Colors, having stood out sharply for the bulk of his wandering, dulled as his eyesight dimmed.  The scents and tastes of travel, having always popped vibrantly, grew bland and stale.  His back bent under the weight of his burdens.  His wandering came to a halt…

The compass in his hand, essential because at some point he had lost sight of his familiar landmarks, trembled as he attempted to take a reading and regain his bearings.  The needle swiveled left and right, left and right, left and right.  Each swing was tighter than the last, until the point hovered but never settled and then then his exhausted body would shake and the needle would undulate wildly again.

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