The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.
Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
Once upon a time
Little Kurtz didn’t remember how the sunlight was. He didn’t recall either the color of the green grass. And he almost forgot the smell of the fresh air.
As his life was becoming something more and more monotonous, he decided to live almost totally enclosed into his mossy dirty shell. He only went out just to pick up some bland dry herbs around; and from time to time, when it was raining there, he stuck his head out, just to sip some drops.
A grey life that seemed to condemn him to death by routine.
- No fun here, I can tell you - he used to say
One day, while he was deeply asleep, a tiny sunbeam hit his shell.
He stuck out from the shell his telescopic eyes. He saw a blinding bright glare which came from far far away. He never saw something so intense, before. As he was so used to darkness, his little dark eyes couldn’t identify any shape in the distance. So he decided to stick out the whole head.
The same: nothing.
- My sight is not as good as before - he said
Then, with his lower tentacles, he felt a tiny tiny fresh breeze that came from the same direction. He could even smell some green from that place.
- Hmmm... Fresh and juicy grass, sunlight, breeze… What else do I need? - he thought - I was missing them so much that I almost forgot they really existed before.
So in that very moment, he made a BIG decision:
- It’s time to move out, Kurtz. Now!
And he started to move slowly and heavily, but with a strong determination toward to the place where the light came from. Though he was a bit old, his curiosity was like a child’s. And despite his weak and tender body, his will was strong as a mountain.
He was picking and munching some herbs on the road to charge his little batteries.
As he was getting closer, he could feel better and stronger the air, more intense the glare and more delicious the smell of the fresh grass.
After two days, he found himself in the place. Now he could see perfectly where it all came from. The light, the air and the delicious smell came from a tiny gap into a (not so big) wall. But the funny thing is that he couldn’t see nothing on the both sides of the wall, as nothing else existed around the wall. Only darkness, again.
The only way to see the light was looking through the gap on the wall. So maybe - he thought - the wall wasn’t only a wall, but a window.
He decided to touch its surface with his lower tentacles. It was cold as steel; a flat and polished surface.
He rose his body to take a look through the gap. Now he could see, perfectly, what it was calling him all this time.
A beautiful prairie, full of fresh grass and colorful flowers, majestic trees all around, a pound in the middle and snowy mountains in the background.
- Wow!!! What a lovely landscape!!! Hey, and my sight is not so bad now, isn’t it? I can see it so clearly!
It was true, his sight was even better when he looked through the gap.
- I want to be there. I'm gonna be there.
But the gap in the wall was too tiny for his body, and even if he could pass his body through it, then it was the shell.
- Well, he said. The wall is not so big. I could say even it's very small, compared to others I have climbed before. What if the wall is not only a window, but a gate to reach that place?
So he decided to climb the metallic wall. It appeared to be easy. And in the case the prairie was still visible from the top of the wall, he could finally get there.
He started to glue his viscous body to the flat surface and climbing it slowly, heavily. Once he could put his telescopic eyes over the top, he saw, again, the prairie.
- It's almost done, Kurtz! You just have to come down the wall and you are there. Come on!
But wait, what was it? The wall was a razor blade. Dreadfully sharp. So sharp it hurt just by looking. And the only way to get the prairie was passing his body over the blade.
Snails can do it, you know. But he never did it before, and he was not sure to be able to; he was tired and dry up after the journey.
- I need some water. Maybe it's better if I wait till the next rain... But, wait! What if I die, here, waiting for the rain? Let's do it now!!!
He focused on his respiration, taking a deep breathe through his lung. He started to segregate as much slime as he could. And he started to pass over it.
And that was the beginning of the so painful experience. Every little dot of his body was feeling the razor, almost cutting it, but he was happy to notice he still was in one piece.
Anyway it was only the beginning. As he was going further, the pain was becoming something more and more unbearable. But now it was too late to turn back. And the prairie looked more beautiful than ever.
- I will!!! - he said.
Now he was in the middle of the path. His upper body was in the brighter side, his lower part was in the darker one. And the heavy shell pressing him on the top of his body against the blade.
- God, this is so painful!!! I will die here, split in two. I cannot resist anymore...
The Wall & The Brave
And then, the Voice:
Because the Sun,
is shining stronger, impatient for you,
on the other side of the Wall
Because the air
is blowing, praying for you,
on the other side of the Wall
Resist, my Son!
Because the green grass,
is growing and glowing, longing for you,
on the other side of the Wall
So he made his strongest effort and he passed almost his entire body over the edge, but when he was about to finish, he felt something. A little part of his end was cut off by the blade, and it was left behind in the other side. He fell down dizzy after the pain, and he put together all the slime he could on his bound.
- I'll heal fast - he said - Anyway, nothing really matters now, as I am finally in the prairie. Thanks God.
And this was the beginning of the Big Adventure, for Kurtz.