They say our values are the only way out. They are the heavy obols in our pockets. Payment. Maybe our ride across the river will be smooth. Maybe our ride will descend into jungles and leave us among cannibals.
Either way, we don’t go across without them.
A lot of us? We’re still mining. Piecing together what we can.
When we first put shovels into the ground, we unearthed easy answers: family, love, honesty. A dime a dozen, these minerals. Values that make up the world.
Deeper, we uncover rarer metals: music, sex, novelty. A find, for sure. Valuable if we refine them. We keep these claims secret.
Then the gems: discovery, creativity, endurance. Bright lights. Dark caves. We reveal them slowly. Minutes at a time. Afraid their brilliance might blind us (and the world).
Before we make it across. Before we make it to the other side.