Bridge People and Balloon People
They departed without fanfare or notice, pulling up stakes and leaving where they had thought they belonged. Sometimes the place they left was a physical location, sometimes it was an emotional quandary or a mental condition. Quietly, in the dead of night, they were gone.
They left without a plan, with no intended destination, feeling stupid and uncertain, convinced they were ignorant and wrong, unsure of an outcome. Yet somehow they moved with uncanny precision, guided instinctively, subconsciously and surely. Until they found themselves at last on a bridge.
Bridges everywhere filled with these wanderers, who sensed that this was their new home, at least for the present. They were transitional beings . . . the bridge people.
Being on the bridge wasn't easy. It required a focus of attention and intention that hadn't been possible before. What really occurred in this experience wasn't exactly clear, but something changed within. It generally hurt a lot and there were tears - until finally something just “let go.”
Their hands would start to relax after years of clenching. The strings which had been held so long would slip through the fingers. And the balloons hovering above would slide out of reach and float up into the sky.
Someone watching from the shore would have been astonished at the great flights of colored spheres being released from the bridges as one by one the balloons drifted away.
But no one was watching from the shore because the people there were always only looking at one thing: their own balloons. With gaze turned upward, they constantly admired and defended what they thought themselves to be - those airy things bouncing on strings just above their heads.
On the shore entire “lives” were lived through and for the balloons, and the worst possible scenario was the thought that any of those fragile things could pop. But where they really were and who they really were - none of this was known to . . . the balloon people.
There were many superficial differences between the bridge people and the balloon people, of course. They were labeled according to sex, country of origin, belief, culture, age, etc. But ultimately they were either:
In the world but not of it
Of the world but not in it