The Real Question

I have been the good trooper, the soldier standing at attention.  Now, I am granted permission to let down my guard, to take off my hat, to be at ease. I can speak frankly, "without concern for consequence” because these words are meant for private ears and shall be kept off record. Still, I know I speak to my superior and feel the need to maintain a level of decorum. What I say may well have repercussions I cannot fathom and this keeps a part of me on alert.

The oddity of it strikes me. I do not have confession to make, no dirt to reveal, and no secrets to tell. Yet there is a clear implication that something needs to be said. The silence weighs on me and I long to be back on duty and bound by clear expectations that dictate exactly what to do. I feel something begin to churn inside, rising up from the depths, and then it hits me: The real question is: can I trust my heart to life? Can I speak my heart, no matter how silly or insane, no matter how grand or glorious, and trust life to hold it precious?

I feel myself in a tailspin, like the time I lost control of my car in the snow, spinning around wildly, while sliding toward the granite mountain wall at the exit in Lebanon, New Hampshire. I recall the way everything slowed down. I felt crystal clear and calm despite the immense, impenetrable wall that stood its ground. I somehow managed to turn the wheel away from the spin, to pump the brake, to angle the car toward a bank of snow and use it to cushion the blow against the rock. I feel that same clarity now as I realize it is a matter of life itself.

The question becomes, can I trust my Self, my life, to life? A smile breaks out across my face. It dawns on me: this is exactly what I have been preaching, what I've been encouraging others to do: to trust in the life force, in the will of life to thrive, to get through any hardship, to go on despite the the forces of darkness and oppression. This is what I must address while I have the chance; while I have this audience with my superior. I square my face, look into the eyes that watch over me, and I begin to speak.

© Nick LeForce
All Rights Reserved

Imagery provides a powerful prompt for writing. This story moment started as a "daily intent" but quickly evolved into a scene of a soldier called before his superior to report "off the record" about something. Even as I wrote it, I sensed the "superior" could be God or some higher being to which the soldier (read "I") could "confess." I love the ending, which leaves the actual words spoken up for grabs, because it becomes another prompt. What does the soldier say?

If you were granted an audience with your "superior," what would you say? What would you say is key to trusting life?

If you could ask one question of God,
what question would you ask?

Please share your thoughts and comments below.