A Fence Around the Light

John Shirley
Oct 25, 2023

Religious rituals are like a fence around the light.

A seeker arrives at a fence around a beautiful garden, with something shining beyond it, hidden behind a maze of hedges. The very high fence that holds his gaze: it’s of gold wrought in glorious saintly figures. The seeker is enraptured by the fence, and she remains there for years, worshiping it.

At last she listens to an inner voice suggest she climb over the fence. It’s a difficult climb. The fence is slippery, and resistant to climbing. But after numerous tries she makes it at last. The maze takes needs a great many tries to penetrate.

After much searching, she gets to the center of the maze, and there finds a fountain of light…which is what she’s been seeking all along.

The truth protects itself.

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John Shirley

Author of numerous novels, including Demons, City Come A-Walkin’, Stormland and the A Song Called Youth Cyberpunk trilogy. Winner of the Bram Stoker Award.