The box.

Death came knocking a little too close.

What is it about death, that the mere mention of its name causes a deep consideration? It makes one stop just a moment longer. Requires reflection of ourselves and those around us. Our relationships are perused. Attention is paid.

It did just that for me, when I heard it. Its haunted knock. Seems feeble, but anything but. The thud of its finality, just a little too close. It is so very final.

When we die, we are placed in a box.

Funny, I am beginning to see the truth is this; we are in a box long before we die.

I remember as a child playing with cardboard boxes. These boxes could be anything and everything. With some tape and a knife, the boundaries were limitless. A spaceships for the worlds youngest astronaut. Top secret forts for the sneakiest spy. Breathtaking castle for the belle of the kingdom. The imagination was the only ceiling. But then it stops. It just stops. One day the imagination stops, we go into the box, that once had so many endless possibilities and we never come back out.

Oh sure, we like to vociferate that others put us in our boxes, circumstances keep us caged, limits keep us limited, but really, it is our own doing. We are the ones that allow the windows to be barred, the deadbolts to be installed. We allow it. They say what not to do, where not to go, what not to wear, how not to think and we listen. Tell us where to go, how to learn, what should make us happy and we let them. We accept it. We willingly embrace what they hand us and we affix them to our box or to the reasons why we must remain.

And we remain. We sit inside, discontented, miserable and depressed. We stop creating, imaging and living and we go in, shut the door and never come out. We scroll through pictures of others in their boxes, watch them as they pretend not to be in one. Maybe we lean out of the windows, wish, day dream, fantasize, hope, but that is all. We do not dare open the door, we do not dare wander out.

Perhaps, there are moments when we get close. Dare to break free. Events, such as death or a pandemic, cause a spark. Passion is resuscitated in our soul, but it soon fans out. It fans out, we blow it out, or watch as we allow others to snuff it out.

We have questions, so many questions.

We have doubts, fears, insecurities. A circular heyday of uncertainty runs rampant, destroying. So we cry, eat, shop, drink, spend, gossip, sleep, don’t sleep, anything to pacify the insistent, intense hole.

Refusing to exit.

Get me out of this box. Let me not wake up and it be too late to run away.

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