25 May 2018

The wooden box

Call it a vision, call it an inspiration but this is how it all began...

It was an ordinary day at work. At around noon I received a call from the reception that someone was there to see me. I found it strange as I wasn’t expecting anyone.

I went to the reception to find a man waiting for me. He looked around 60 years old; he had olive skin, dark hair and green eyes. He was wearing strange, sandy colored clothes that slightly made me think of a Bedouin.

‘You are an Arab,’ he said as he touched his own face. Perhaps he was a modern Bedouin after all?

‘You are here to see me?’

‘Yes,’ he smiled.

‘You know me?’

‘Can we sit down for a moment?’ he asked me with a funny accent.

We sat in the waiting area next to the reception.

‘Are you from Egypt?’ I asked.

‘Perhaps,’ he chuckled, ‘but I do not think we are related.’

‘But still I don’t know who you are and how you know me.’

‘It is not important. I am a friend, a messenger.’

‘A messenger?’

He held a small squared package in his hand.

‘You have a key,’ he said, ‘you open so many doors with that key yet the key is destined for only one door. Only one door! You can open that door but it is very difficult. Instead of doing your best to open that door you avoid it and open several other doors. This and that…’ I was gaping at him trying to understand what he was saying. ‘You are afraid to open that door. You do other things in order to not think about it!’

‘What exactly do you mean?’

‘Think about it!’

I was confused. What was the meaning of this and why did he talk to me as though he knew me? Was I day dreaming? Was he a ghost?

‘My writing?’ I asked.

He smiled. What was the meaning behind that smile?

‘My singing?’ Why was I even asking this man these questions? Did he know I was a writer and a singer? How could he? I did not know this man! Was I going insane?

‘The door! The one thing you’re looking for deep down in your heart.’

‘Love?’ I asked though I felt a bit frightened.

‘You have one key for your door. You can always open all the other doors but you should go and open that one special door.’

He gave me the package and stood up. Wait! This was it? Was he leaving?

‘What is your name?’

‘My name is of no importance. Open your gift and start your journey!’

Before I could say anything else, he greeted me and left.

I looked at the package. What was inside it? What could it possibly be? I listened to it. Nothing. I shook it. Something was moving inside. What if it was a bomb? Or what if it was a body part? Whose body part? Oh, I have such a horrible imagination!

I opened the package.

Not what I had expected: a wooden box. Something was inside it. I wanted to open the box but…how? There was no lid. I turned it on all sides. No lid, no opening, nothing. An animal was carved on one side. It was the shape of a howling wolf. Stars surrounded it. I wondered where the moon was. Why did I wonder that? Perhaps that’s what everyone expects when they see a howling wolf? A moon?

I sighed. Strange day. Strange man. Strange box!

I took the box with me and…well…that is how my journey began.

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