Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stairs Leading to Nowhere

I was flipping through one of my composition books and came across an old writing prompt that said “Stairs leading to nowhere…” My first story was about a crumbling staircase in a graveyard that used to be a part of a building that’s function was long forgotten.
Today when I looked at the prompt it brought up things in my mind that were completely different from what I had come up with the last time I looked at it.
The first things that popped into my head were the unfinished “Adoration of the Magi” painting by Leonardo Di Vinci, and the stone steps in our old backyard in Bella Vista, and how Arkansas is a place that will lead a local to nowhere and an outsider to certain ruin…
Then there was something else a lot more profound than the others. Drugs and alcohol are “stairs leading to nowhere” in a symbolic sort of way.
Everyone can look at history and see what those things do to people, that it leads to absolutely nowhere, or like the “Adoration of the Magi” they lead to a shear drop that could kill you.
Anyone can see it, yet generation after generation continue to choose not to look beyond the step directly beneath them, and when they run out of stairs they may not even realize that their falling until they hit the ground.
Then what? What do most people do if they survive hitting the ground? Turn around and start looking for a staircase that will actually lead them somewhere? Some do, most don’t.
Sad to say a large number of them get right back on that same old staircase, thinking that this time they won’t climb so high this time, and they’ll avoid falling. A number of them do succeed to a degree while others take the big tumble all over again. All these people continue to use the stairs, never seeing that they will never bring them anywhere.
They just stay stuck in place, never moving on as human beings, never progressing, they are content to remain stationary, content in their nothingness and insignificance, until they become another step on the stairs leading to nowhere.

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