The Hundred-Foot Journey – The Well

I’m not dumb, nor am I empty. I do not consider myself an ignorant person. I actually think a lot about everything – sometimes more than I should –. But I’ve got plenty of time to do it, down in the Well.

When I’m up there I read a lot, I play the piano and I sing and I write. I do a whole lot of different things. I’m not dull. I’m not dumb, nor am I empty.

But lately, I haven’t felt motivated to do anything at all, whether it gives me pleasure or not. Because the Well…you see, the Well goes deeper and deeper. And darker, and colder. And its walls are thick and impossible to climb, and the surface seems unreachable. So here I linger.

Oh, but I do think. I do think and I keep thinking until I cry. Until I get to the point where I just can’t take it anymore. Until I fall asleep in the depths of the Well.

It all began when they took away my home. It had been mine since I can remember, and every corner of it was filled with memories. The windows held my dreams and the doors hid all my secrets. And the marble floor would kiss my naked feet and tell me stories through the mysterious shapes it formed. At night, I used to walk through the house when all was dark and silent. I’d do it every night. But it came to pass that one of those nights was the last one, because nothing’s permanent.

Yes, that was the turning point. When I was thrown into the Well. And it has been a hell of a journey, trying to get out if it. A painful, exhausting, heart-breaking journey. From that night on I’ve been slowly losing everything I once longed to keep. Everything I held dear. From that night on I lost myself in the stillness of remembering what I had. And sometimes I feel scared; I’m terrified that it won’t stop. The world I know today won’t be the same in forty years. It’ll fade away and I’ll be old and weary of life. And there will be no sailing into the west with the Elves for me. For all I am is dust and bones.

And so I fall, deep into the Well.

But I’m not dumb, nor am I empty. I swear to you that there is still light inside me. Time has taught me to endure. And some days I know I’m not from here. My eyes are in the oceans and my hands are in the branches. My smile is in the flowers and my voice is in the breezes. And I will climb the murky walls of the Well.

So you may tear down no matter what dream I have, you may win whatever it is I own, and you may break everything I’m hoping to achieve. Because, in the end, I’ve grown stronger. And even though I’m still collecting the shattered pieces of my soul from the endless bottom of the Well, I can find comfort within myself.

For I have a Mind Palace through which I can see my home rising again beyond the Well. And I still walk through it at night, with nothing but the Moon to enlighten the corridors. The windows look the same and the doors still hide my secrets, and I can still feel the cold marble floor beneath me.

And I’m not dumb, nor am I empty. No. I’m not from here. My hair smells of the wind and is full of constellations, and I move about this world with a healthy disbelief. *

Alice Ruiz

*By Miss Jewel Kilcher, in I’m Not From Here.


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