A Soul Can Cry

By: Thanh Dinh

When you die, your visionless soul escapes from your inanimate frame. It wanders about, searching for a home, for warmth and protection. The soul endlessly craves acceptance, but it is forced to endure a journey that is not visible by man. No one can see it. They can only sense the stirring of disoriented emotions and the distinct feeling of moist air as it brushes past. In truth, the soul is like a newly born child, careless and oblivious to its surroundings. From the moment it witnesses life, questions are raised and frankly, answers are compressed into a diminutive strand that will never see light. Who am I? What is the purpose of my existence?

I, for one, emerged from a pile of clich├ęs. I was distinct in nature and complex in aspiration. I chased the extraordinary, but sadly, the heavenly father's rubric restricted freedom after death. Freedom merely existed, its subtleties were always apprehended by the soul. But why, I ask, must the soul suffer when its owners are the ones to blame? Why should it stomach pain when it already embodied agony?

Until proof of the contrary, I had no connection to man. The structure of man only acted as a shelter. When the shelter was destroyed, I departed and cowered in a refuge area, lost and alone. Until God's arrangement was complete, I evaded reality and ran away from the life I never controlled. The life that was influenced solely from an outside force, whose intentions confused me. I surrendered to my owner's heart and foolishly obeyed with a speck of knowledge. Black was yellow, red was green, and dark was light. I could not determine the evil nature of my beholder. The greed in his eyes and the vileness that dripped from his heart was mistaken for the contrary. It was cherished for the goodness that it resented and appreciated for something that was shameful to boast.

Far off in the distance and beyond the radiant landscape that Mother Nature had bestowed, I lie in isolation. Unaware of my future, I prayed for a new beginning. I begged for a redesigned beholder, one who harbored a heart of gold. To my disappointment, I was taken on yet another journey. This time, my future was arranged and the exploration raised complications greater than the precedent.

When God sent his army to capture me, I lost faith in life. The grungy and adhesive creatures were aggressive and had no sense of humanity. Were these creatures what you call angels? If so, why did their malicious exteriors suggest a similar interior? Where were the wings and the harps? Confusion raced through my mind and in a moment of despair, the impossible presented itself. A soul could cry. It could weep, beg for forgiveness, and scuffle in disbelief. I could feel and I could resent like no other. God was my enemy and loneliness was my only friend.

When my desolate state entered God's chambers, a sense of melancholy hung thick in the air. Where am I? Is this heaven? My surroundings were damp and the backdrop forced a mental recollection of my previous residence; an image that remained strong. When the creatures forced me to my knees, God slowly surfaced. His eyes were those of white sockets, with pupils so tiny he looked like Satan instead. Trembling on my words, I retold the events of my life, the contents of my true intentions, and the enormity of my innocence. With an unforgiving eye, he discounted my plea. Even the sight of an injured spirit and a gut-wrenching cry of the soul did not convince him of my innocence. As the bitter words escaped his mouth, I could hear the chanting of the angry spirits, whose moans became stronger as God's voice intensified. In a callous tone, he shouted to his slaves and sent me to an isolated dungeon filled with nauseating gasses and disease-ridden inmates.

As time passed, knowledge was collected and I ultimately became familiar with the torture that embedded thick into my skin. Although the pain was intolerable, I finally understood the distinctness between dark and light. Black is now dark, yellow is now light, and God? He never truly existed.