“Trust no one,” the wise ones said.
Deep-lined faces, milk eyes clouded with all the memories of all the misfortunes of all the ages, they hummed with knowledge of the world’s evils and ills.
“But why?” the innocent ones asked.
Smooth smooth skin, crystal eyes free of such heavy knowing, they saw only beauty — believed in the bright spark glowing in all the souls of all the bodies of all the beings around them.
“Take heed,” the wise ones replied. “Once, we were like you, crystal eyes and silk skin and child hearts untouched by sorrow. But now, but now, but now, but now…” the fragments of harsh lessons learned echoed in that mournful “but now.”
The innocent ones began to look around them with more caution.
The knife-edge teeth of the sharks — who had once been their friends and accomplices in underwater adventures — suddenly inspired fear. The midnight eyes of hawks and gulls — who had once delighted the children with their dramatic displays of flight — now reflected frightened stares.
The highest branches of the oldest trees — once safe refuges of friendship and warmth — revealed the word Danger writ into the grooves of their bark.
The knowing, the knowing, the knowing — it descended upon the children like a milky white shroud, swirling thoughts of evils and ills in once-clear minds, and soon it was they who echoed the mournful tales of the ancient wind and rocks around them:
But now, but now, but now.
Yet, not all the children bowed before the knowing and donned the severe cloud eyes of the wise ones.
No, there were the other ones too, and when the wise ones said Trust no one and the innocent ones asked But why, these last few held up a hand for quiet and called softly, “Wait.”
And some of the innocent ones stopped to listen.
The other ones continued, “Once, we were like you, crystal eyes and silk skin and child hearts untouched by sorrow. Now, our eyes, our backs, our hearts, too, carry all the memories of all the misfortunes of all the ages. Our skin, too, carries knowing in every pore.
Yes, the world will knock you down, cheat you, hurt you, lie to you and disappoint you. You will not be innocent forever; the wise ones speak true…”
And then, milk eyes creased in child heart smiles, and the other ones echoed the joyful melody of the waves and the sky and the mountains around them:
“… But still, but still, but still, but still —
the spark you see in all the souls of all the bodies of all the beings is there.
But still, but still, but still —
Originally published at Rebelle Society.