15 More Stories from the Oak

Beyond a Wholesome Discipline

Day 337-Beyond a Wholesome Discipline

“Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.”

Take yourself gently by the hand, because life is tough, and it will not treat you with a gentle caress. The wind will not worry about your complexion before it blows long and hard. The earth will not think twice before putting a stone in your way, and often it seems that it does it just to see us stumble and get down on its level so it is no longer lonely. The Sun will not think twice before it shines directly on the crown of your head, burning a hole through the mind straight to that gooey part just beneath the ribcage.

People also will not care for you; some of them will take you by the hand to the edge of a cliff and throw you over, if you let them. They will murder you, they will taunt you, they will enact such gruesome cruelties on you it is difficult to think of a world in which it is possible for one to live.

There once was a man, who was very hard on himself. He thought that he deserved the most uncomfortable of all things to absolve him of his wrong-doings. He would sit in chairs in the most awkward angles imaginable, the blood rushing down to his eyes and clouding his vision, but even then he did not move. He would at a whim stop in a position and stay there for many hours, long after his muscles had cramped and he could not walk or batter an eye. He smelled the cruelest smells, his favorite of course being the smell of death.

He did all these things, and he wore himself to the bone. He wore himself hard, he wore himself thin, and for nothing. He did not shatter his bones for others, nor did he wear the skin off his hands so that his family could eat at night. He inflicted pain because it was the right thing to do, and so it goes. His body grew tired, ever so tired. He had sores all over his body from his various transgressions. Life does not go kindly on such people. The Sun did not go easy, as it does for anybody. Worn down was he, until one day someone came across a skeleton posed in an awkward position, his robes hanging tattered and thin. Here lies the man, they whispered to themselves, that wanted to die. So now he will rest in peace.

There is no worth in pain for no reason. Go easy on yourself, for you only get one self. Be careful, or else you may end up as a skeleton with nothing left, everything ground to dust from the mortar and pestle that is life.

Grind grind grind… and dust to dust we shall be.

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