Written by Cecily Lam Wednesday, 07 March 2012
Listen. Can you hear it? Of course not. Silence reigns as the glitter of distant stars brighten up the vast reaches of the surroundings. Gaze out. Do you see it? Behold the endless abyss! A symphony of colors merge together into a full and gleaming darkness that stretches beyond the eye can see. You can feel nothing, taste nothing, smell nothing, but you can sense it, yes? The energy that flows around you, light and darkness combined in a stream of pure undiluted power, gentle and strong. Welcome to the Lanes Between, the gateway into the ocean of worlds.
You are here because you chose to depart from the world you spent that last number of years training upon obtaining the official rank of Keyblade Master. Rather than take on your Master's mantle and inherit their honor, responsibility and burden, you chose to set out on your own journey: to traverse the worlds and forge your own place amongst wielders. What will you do, who knows? Where will you go; an even bigger mystery. With armor adorned and Keyblade rider revving up for the journey ahead, the universe is your oyster. But look out towards the horizon; what lies there for you? If you turn around to look back at world whence you came, what do you regret? Welcome back to the second part of this editorial: "Beyond the Mark of Mastery," as we examine the possibilities that may surface with making this choice.
Once again, you left behind everything you had to venture out and find your place in the worlds. The places you'll go, the people you'll meet; it's a brand new experience entirely. But what if your Master had never allowed you to leave the world you've lived at during your apprenticeship? The fear that rings true from being in a new land, alone with no one else by your side after years and years of always having someone there to catch you when you fall, to provide a shoulder to lean on, to cry on. To suddenly be taken away from all that, even by your own accord, is rather terrifying. Lonely, sad, lost, but would you also feel free, ecstatic or ready for adventure? When life gives you a mystical key-shaped weapon that can unlock any lock and grants you the opportunity to travel the worlds, what else can you do but unlock the door to your future? Stare destiny in the face and walk right on through.
However, is it truly worth it? It's hard not to dwell on the past, and even more difficult as you struggle to move on. You can never forget about everyone who made an impact on you throughout the course of your life, and even if you never see them again, even if you'll never forget each other, the void they leave continues to dwell in your heart, one that can never be filled by anyone else or any other thing. That emptiness will linger, and until its acceptance, it'll grow into a desperate inferno of sorrow, a flurry of dancing negativity awaiting release into the world. If only for that reason, wouldn't you be most afraid of being alone?
Struggling towards a place you can call your own is a difficult journey; certainly one that cannot be taken lightly. After years of safety and assurance, getting accustomed to all the temptations the outside worlds has to offer is a greater danger than you can imagine. The darkness that courses unbidden through the Lanes Between, great spears of alluring power beckoning you towards acceptance. And even within familiarity lies the likelihood of jeopardizing everything you are, and everything you have. When time comes to break out of the cocoon you've been hidden away in, what awaits may not be a bright and sunny utopia reigning in truth and justice, but instead the terrifying gaze of a menacing predator waiting for the perfect chance to pluck off your wings.
Will it be possible to satiate the desires and yearning for something greater than what you've known, without truly giving up anything to achieve it? I think so. Anything's possible if you just believe, whether or not you have faith, trust and pixie dust. Each step you take goes both forwards and backwards, towards the future with all of your past experiences, precious memories and cherished individuals supporting you all the way. The bonds connecting you to them will never break apart, and each step will only add a new link to the chain, allowing you to progress. Loose links will become stronger and more durable; they won't break off and fade away.
In the long run, which choice should you choose? The answer to that is always closer than you think: whatever choice you think is right. There is no right or wrong answer, and just as neither light nor darkness reigns true as good or evil, it is up to you to follow through with the decision you've made to make it one of the best ones in your life.
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