“The only thing worse
than being at the bottom
is being where I am
and looking all the way down.”
When I first read these words, I took them to be a description of someone considering how far they had climbed up and, looking down, seeing how far it was for them to fall back down to the bottom. We all have something to lose, and the worst possibility is losing it all. This is one of the reasons why the expression “they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve” that recurs in the Quran appeals to me. Fear is of something present in the future, grief is of what happened in the past, and the two are connected by the neck of the hourglass that lets one sand particle slip from the future into the past, one second at a time.
Standing in the dark, trying to see the way, hoping the light will be enough, I see a seemingly insurmountable cliff face.
Once I climb up, I can’t resist looking back. All the way down.
No use worrying, though. If I keep a firm hold on the rope of Allah (i.e. the Quran), I have a good reason not to fear or grieve.