The woods rose around me for some time now; I had been accustomed to oppressive shadows that seemed to detain me. The thing about these trees with their creeping branches, they begin to anthropomorphize with visages and limbs. The grooves had turned to features, of eyes, nose, and mouth. And they smile at you. I can tell after so long, you’d start to believe you were one of the trees. And maybe at some point you’d calcify, your flesh would deteriorate, and the vines and branches finally envelop you in a tomb, leaving the faintest marks of a person. But when I looked to my feet, I saw that I was not entangled as I had imagined. For so long, I felt the strongest weight on my feet like great anchors. But I was always free to walk the woods. My perception dispelled, leaving me disorientated and my grasp on my reality began to change. I suppose nothing is gained without pain. I moved for some time scared, anxious, and timid. Shadowed trees turned human back to trees in an endless cycle, reminders of a fated path had I remained still. As I wandered, my path was illuminated with a sudden light. I shied away, thinking it was my destruction. But it was warmth. The will-o-wisp bobbed through the air and I followed it. It had a gravity, and I wanted to believe it was for me and me only. I am shackled to my arrogance and vanity, but I need them to not become rooted in oblivion. I couldn’t stay in the light. There were intervals of absolute darkness again. But it was not an eternity as I had feared. Always the fire returned until eventually I walked with neither expectation that light and darkness would last. The world around me seemed less frightening. I’m on a path somewhere, of which trajectory I don’t fully understand, but there is movement rather than stagnancy. I felt alive for once. I’d like to think that taking the first step was my saving grace.