Have you ever gotten lost?
Not lost like you don’t know where you are, but lost like you forgot what you are doing, that you are supposed to be going somewhere?
Not knowing where you are is easy – you just keep going until you find your way again or turn around and go back where you came from.
Forgetting that you are traveling is terrible – most of the time you don’t know how thoroughly lost you are.
My friend and I walked on together toward the East, each bearing our own spiders. I never became comfortable with my new unwelcome companion, but my traveling partner provided some comfort.
We walked until the forest ended. As the trees began to thin, the path descended down into a valley that led between two sheer cliff faces. The path coming out of the forest was clear and surrounded by green foliage; the path going into the valley was desolate and littered with boulders.
“Are you sure this is the way?” I asked my friend.
“No,” my friend replied, never slowing down, “but it is the path we are on, and I think it is the right way.”
I followed my friend toward the shadowy valley.
As we approached the valley, we saw people on each cliff face. They were yelling at people on the other cliff and throwing large rocks at them.
“People must not go into this valley!” the people on the South side screamed. “This is the valley of death!” They threw rocks at the people on the other side.
“This valley is the only way to the East!” the people on the North side screamed back. “People must get through the valley or they will never get where they are going!” They threw rocks back at the people on the other side.
As we approached, I was almost hit with a rock. I shudder to think of what would have happened if it had hit me.
“What should we do?” I asked my friend.
“We should keep our heads down and not get drawn in to the fight,” my friend replied.
“But the people on the South side are trying to keep people from traveling to the East,” I reasoned. “They have to be stopped! They almost hit me!”
“The people on the North side are also throwing rocks,” my friend said. “They both need to stop, and they are both keeping people from traveling to the East.”
Since my friend was obviously wrong, I picked up the rock that almost hit me and walked to the northern cliff face. Another rock shattered near my head. I screamed an insult and threw my rock at someone on the southern cliff face.
My spider whispered something, but I could not hear it.
“Stop throwing rocks!” I yelled to the southern cliff face. I picked up another rock and threw it. Someone on the other side yelled something back.
I smiled toward my friend, but could not find them. I searched frantically for a few seconds, but a flying rock made me duck for cover. I threw a rock back.
“Come help me!” I called to my friend. The only response was another rock exploding near my face.