Keys to a Door (previous blog piece)

Keys to a Door: The Story of a Modern Day Monk

By: B. F. Harvey

There was once a man that I knew, who I won’t name, but he was well past any “normal” state of mind. His wife tutored me in math and she and I would speak politics when I was a thirteen year old trying to get out of the work I was assigned to do with her. After a few years of her being retired and her husband finally had enough money to move, they went down to Florida after my seventh-grade year. Almost a year after the move, my mom and I went down to visit.

This was still during my earlier and more inexperienced years as a writer where I found myself struggling to put down anything of substance, and he, Mr. Frost as we will call him, was one of experience and stature. He was once a journalist back in my hometown for the Atlantic City paper, and now received most of his income from writing for a Catholic journal out of Canada. I could tell that Mr. Frost was a religious man and a worldly one at that. He was conservative with his words and fairly harsh with me and my requests for advice on writing, saying that when I used curse words or put in sensual scenes that it hurts the storytelling. Of course, I don’t believe that and neither should you, but he was from a different time. He grew up with the psychedelia of the 1960s, but the conservatism of his parents seeped through and the Catholic schools he attended in Philly seemed to have an influence on him. But like many in this world, when you are told one thing, your first impulse is to prove, in some way, that it is wrong. Throughout Frost’s life, the very question of existence and whether there was a creator plagued his mind. In his earlier years, as he told me one fateful night, he’d traveled the world looking for answers. He’d visited China and India, learning the ways of Buddhism and Hinduism, searching for a way of enlightened sight. Mr. Frost searched the world time and time again, seeking for divinity and understanding amongst the Muslims and Arabs and the countless other cultures of the world, yet he always came back to the world that he knew.

He believed in God and studied him, as well as others, but he stood by the one that he grew up with as a child. Not to say that the idea of all the things he was told as a child being false didn’t haunt him or scare him, but he learned what the true meaning of the word “faith” was in the words, “The Catholic Faith.” He went on to be a journalist, meet his lovely wife, and take care of his three sons, and that question may have taken a rest for some time. But then he quit his jobs and was well past the period of being middle age and was entering what he saw as almost a “drop-dead” period. In his mind though, there was a Heaven. You still would keep on existing since your body and mind were two separate entities, exerting two different forms of energy, as Aristotle and Socrates once believed. This is what he thought until that very same thing came back from his younger years of traveling the world as he began to understand more and more where his life was going.

He lost grip on his sight of the world, consumed by the internal and external forces of karma, believing that when you died you temporarily would stay in some form of an afterlife, one for the kind, the cruel, and the meh. After this though, you would be reincarnated into some sort of form, and in his old age, in the midst of analyzing the world ceaselessly, he came to the same impassible bridge that everyone comes to- how we began, and where we go when it ends. For so long he’d stuck to what he was taught, in the belief of the higher masses of Catholicism, that the words of the Disciples were all to be taken as truth until the simple words of “Because they said so”, popped into his head. The answer he’d been looking for all those years, the one thing needed to break this man’s very sense of knowing, lied in those four common words. As to whether it was his destiny to find this out or not, that’s a question for you to decide upon.

Yet throughout my life, there are many characters that I’ve met and many experiences wherein they’ve said something but I could never really quite understand what it was saying- so I writetounderstand. In this case, though, I’m not quite sure what Frost’s story means. That may be over time the things we are taught are drowned out by the inevitable inexistence of our speech, or that the world will show us the answers that we seek if we just wish for them long enough. Although I do know this: I know that one day we’ll all find our own answers to these questions or we’ll leave it to rest in the hopes that it will all be solved once we close our eyes, and I know that even if there is never an answer to these questions that Frost asked, that maybe they weren’t meant to be discovered in the first place. That it is every human’s destiny not to know the truth, but to find the truth within themselves for that question- that within our own hearts and minds lies the key to the endless number of locked doors. It’s just up to us to find that key from within and to simply turn the right knob on the right door to find our peace and our desperate answers and that within that door, you may finally look within and understand the world as it was meant to be understood for you.

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