It seems like it should be simple, to look. Just to look, to shift your eyes inside your head, aiming your gaze.
But then at some point the fear kicks in, an absolute gut-wrenching terror that comes from out of nowhere, no warning, no slow build that rises from your heart and courses through your arteries, following the path of the adrenaline swell. Your eyes come up from the ground and you think that maybe you’ve finally conquered it and you’re almost there and your knees go limp your gut a knotted mass of flesh and blood and bile your brain screaming and pulsing…
As a child, you stared at the sun, directly into the blazing inferno, only for a second but long enough to make out the body beneath the corona. Blue spots for weeks and even now you are haunted by the dreams of a world ablaze, your corneas melting and the beauty of the fire blurring through waxy vision; but that one moment was worth it, because you saw a truth, an underlying foundation of the universe that has left you questioning. In that moment of clarity, wheels turned and tumblers clicked and the key seemed a little closer to your young grasp.
And the wisdom that comes with age carries fear and hesitation with it. Never since have you dared another glance, because that would mean the chance of something bad, something horrible, something with embarassing questions and answers.
What if, at the exact moment of your death, you are granted the truth, the meaning behind life and living and the universe? You are presented with the underlying patterns and their meaning, the tapestry of the mysteries and an instant and utterly distinct understanding of it all. And perhaps this answer is the gift of death, the reward for accepting and letting go, releasing your spirit to whatever comes next.
And what if the answer to the ultimate mystery and death are inexorably intertwined? What if you can have the answers you want, but that’s it, the end, no more for you you been here too long time to go now?
What if looking at her face means the same thing? What if nothing ever seems the same, what if your eyes are burned beyond use, what if beauty loses all meaning? What if hope dies?
And you wish you could travel back in time, become a child again, only for five minutes, long enough to look into her eyes and see the truth.