Image: Vancouver, British Columbia Winter Games, 2010
This week we are asked to weave a tale using the Inuit word ‘inuksuk’ as the basis for our tale. In Inuit (and other Artic Circle languages), inuksuk* translates into “something which acts for or performs the function of a person.” Traditionally, for example, inuksuk indicated a point of reference, travel route, or spiritual place.
As he closed his eyes that last time he felt the hand softly enclose on his own.
He was lifted from where he lay and led out of the room.
Down a short passage he looked to his left and saw a room in which his drug addled parents lay about, children in distress, himself a babe in dirty nappy, ignored as was to be his lot in life.
A little further another room, this time a schoolroom. He saw himself in the corner, an object of ridicule, the teacher berating him for his lack of everything.
Round a corner a place he recognised. The prison. His home away from home. How much of his life had been wasted in those places? But strangely he felt a safety in the enclosed walls, the regimented life and the same predictability of life.
All the while as he walked along his hand was held, it was warm and he felt an odd sensation, as if the hand belonged to him, as if he was going somewhere that would be ok.
At no time did he say to himself he should resist. As he pasted the multiple rooms each containing some aspect of his miserable life the words he heard as a young man echoed in his mind. “ This poor bastard hasn’t got a chance in life. From the moment of birth he has been up against it.”
In reflection he now understood what that meant.
He was born with nothing and in life he had achieved nothing. Unless you counted the illegitimate children who littered the landscapes of the places he had frequented.
At the end of his life he had surrendered to the ravages of time. To the effects of over indulgence, which is what one, did to shut out the pain of living.
Now he was being led somewhere and he took a moment to look ahead, to see who it was that was leading him.
The hand that held him was attached to a tall and powerful man, in white, long flowing hair, whose focus was on the immediate.
He thought he called to him but no words came out.
He even tried pulling his hand away but there was no letting go.
Eventually they stopped.
The man holding his hand turned to him smiled and mouthed the word ‘Home’.
When the man let go of his hand he suddenly felt alive, as if his soul had been reinvigorated.
He stepped forward, ahead of him lay what his heart had so long craved……..love.