The Way
The Escape Artist

This isn’t a story about Ehrich Weiss (1874-1926) (better known professionally as Harry Houdini), the world famous performer of feats of magic and thriller escapes who attributed all his feats of magic to natural, physical effects and explained how many of his tricks were performed (supposedly by often producing “spiritualistic” phenomena himself that he explained in non-mystical, physical terms).

No, this is a story about a boy, who perhaps in his own ranks, has been even more renowned than Houdini for his mastery of the ‘great escape’.  Take a moment to read about the tricks of his deceptions, the times both himself and his problems seemed to vanish into thin air.

Once there was a boy, who learned how to run when he was very little. Sometimes his running only took him as far as the front door, especially the day when he packed his things and told his mother he was running away.  She quietly helped him bundle his things, then told him to; “be careful… stay in touch, and remember… you are making the choice to run, I don’t want you to go, but you are free to choose”.  He didn’t get very far that day, his tears and fears held him at bay, but only for a while, there would be other times to escape, but for now, he had other places closer by to escape to, for he was only six years old you see.

As the little boy grew older, he found that he could escape into his mind whenever he wanted, he learned that he could be anybody he wanted to be in 'there', he could even live in a family where his mother wasn’t crying and his father wasn’t hurting her. In that place his little sister never cried when mommy was upset and daddy was drunk and leaving again… this place was so far way, so deep, deep, deep in his mind, that he ran away there very often, for ‘there’ is where he had learned to escape to be in ‘a better place’.

The boy kept growing and as it turns out, he loved to learn. It went along well with his ‘other life’, that life of silence where he lived mostly in what he envisioned and felt; that life he found difficult to share with others and to express to anyone because it was a land of make believe, a land he was the prince over, that place where he escaped to, that place that he ‘controlled’. Nobody could hurt him there you see, because he made all the rules and built strong walls around him to keep out all those who might hurt him -  for ‘there’ he was secure. So the boy went after every learning endeavor like it was his last, for it involved his mind and ‘there’ he could be alone with his new thoughts, challenges, dreams, and the new feelings that he brought there to intermingle with the ‘other things’ that he hid there: those old and un-dealt with conflicts, fears, tears, and pains that he carried there so very often. Our boy was learning to become a master escape artist, as the story goes, you see.

As the years went by and the troubles grew, the boy learned how to play out the actions in his mind, instead of just pretending to run away he would finally do it this time, he would run… run… and run, until he had escaped the horrors of a beaten mother, a drunken father, a crying sister, and the sting of another beating. Our boy escaped many times, and would be known to escape throughout his teenage and young adult years.  The boy learned how to avoid major conflicts, those true moments that would cause him to feel insecure - that would cause him to run. But when they came, he would escape into the delusion, the numbness, the deception and trickery that he was safe and in control, but the truth was… he wasn't.

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