Clothed in white, I walked a sunlit path until I came to a great ocean. She forced me to taste her waters and I began to drown. She billowed above me. She reached for me, crushing me in her tide. She pushed me down, closing around me. She stole my breath to feed her lust. I looked into her depths and saw others bound there. They beckoned me to join them. She pushed me down further still, bidding me to accept the silence as the others had, but I could not. I looked into their faces. They did not fight to free themselves from their watery grave. They were content to lie there, content to conceal the betrayal of innocence, but not I. I fought to rise above her. I broke free from her embrace. I left her treacherous waves, clothed in shame, and walked the path once more.
I came to a fork. One path was dark and consumed by thorns. The second path was filled with a bright light. I chose the path bathed in light and was lured into darkness. The light blazed, giving birth to a fiery beast. She rose slowly above me. She reached for me, searing my skin with her touch. She pushed me down and a wall of fire encompassed me. She bound me, melting my lips. Her smoky hands clamped around my neck. She stole my breath to feed her malice. I looked into her depths and saw others bound there, their faces twisted with rage. She pushed me down, further still, bidding me to accept my anger as the others had, but I could not. I looked into their faces. They did not fight to free themselves from their fiery grave. They were content to burn there, but not I. I fought to rise above her. I broke free from her embrace. I left her treacherous flames, clothed in anguish, and walked the path once more.
A heavy fog began to rise around me. I wandered until I came to a clearing. There I found a woman sitting on a stool, wet and naked. I approached the woman slowly, moving the damp hair from her face. Her skin was hot and burned my hand. She did not see me. Her gaze was fixed upon the empty canvas before her. In one hand, she held a paint brush and in the other, an empty glass. She wept bitterly. Her tears streamed down her face, collecting in the glass. I watched as she dipped the brush in her tears and began to paint. Stroke after stroke, she slashed at the canvas in fury yet no image emerged. She turned to me and painted lips upon my face. I started to thank her and a web grew in my open mouth. I tore the web away and the woman laughed as it grew back. She turned back to her canvas painting furiously. The more she painted the tighter her web bound me. I fought to free myself as her agony stole my breath. There were no others this time. I was alone. She bid me stay in this waste, but I could not. I rent the web from my face. I fought to rise above her. I emerged from her cocoon of sorrow and faced her. She stood and pointed with her brush to the painting.
The fog parted as I crawled through the canvas. I shed my shame, anger, and grief. I stood. I breathed.
Clothed in desire, grace, and hope, I walked a sunlit path once more.