“Child?” said Earth. She’s caring like that. Doesn’t want her children to suffer.
“Yes,” I replied, not wanting to keep her waiting. I had sought her unconsciously. Not asking my inner turmoil to call out to her, but somehow it did.
“I’m so scared,” I told her. “I don’t know what to do with this. Part of me enjoys its, but most of me is lost and frightened.”
“Passion is the one part of you yet to be awakened.” Earth said. “It doesn’t happen without pain. You have deep wounds to heal.”
“What was unconsciously done, can be consciously undone,” I replied. I had read that, while trying to understand the circle of energy. The energy of passion.
“Yes,” Earth confirmed. “Then change to heal and explore the shadows of your core.”
“It’s very dark there. Like a cold cave. I hear voices – sad, wounded voices – echoing there. It’s not a place I’d like to go.” My voice was just a whisper.
“And that is why, my child, you have to go there. While that cave remains a place of darkness and sadness you cannot embrace your full potential. The full power of passion.” Earth was determined, but not reproachful.
“I will,” I said. Tears clouded my eyes as I turned inward, seeking that cold cave and its captives. That mixed pain and sadness belonging to the echoes of time, the thousands of years with lost balance, the last barrier to truly embracing divine femininity and passion. Those sighing, tearful, lamenting voices. A lifetime of suppression, sacrifice and silent anger that no-one had ever seen. A frozen anger, an anger that turns its victims into empty shells. I stood, silent before them, wondering what to say. They were lining up before me.
Then I noticed a peacock by my side.
“Be proud of who you are,” said the peacock. “Let them see your pride. Shine with that pride.” I was collecting my breath.
“I greet you,” I said. “I see you, I feel you.”
I was about to say I am you, but stopped myself. Instead I said:
“I was you.”
I felt something shifting inside. Strings were snapping. Bonds were breaking the lined women were looking at me curiously.
“I’m Heartache,” said the first woman. And then the other women followed her and murmured their names to me as well.
“Silence, Anger, Submission, Lost, Dependence, Hurt, Broken, Misunderstood, Abused, Lonely…,” and there were more. There were so many. I couldn’t see the end of the line. But the murmur of their voices continued and spread ghostly whispers throughout the cave.
“Enough,” I said. “Enough! These are not your names. Not even a part of who you are. These are only lessons. It is time to heal. Let what was unconsciously done be consciously undone.”
The cave was changing now. The darkness was fading, the walls turned soft and delicately pink. The voices had changed from woeful to surprised and the erupted in gleeful laughter. The figures were no longer still but dancing. It was such a relief. I was panting. All that darkness flowing like a river down my legs, through my feet, out along my roots, to be transformed by Mother Earth herself.
“We’re ready to try again,” I said, more to myself than anyone else.
“I am too,” he said where he stood at the entrance. The women stopped for a moment and them greeted him. Welcomed him. I reached out to him. Locking my eyes on his.
“See what you can do when you believe,” said the peacock next to me, with a feathered display. He waved his tail like a fan. Then he left.
“I’ve missed you so much,” he said. He was so close now.
“And I you,” I replied. He held me. When I opened my eyes, a brilliant light was blinding us. I could no longer see the women, but I heard their anticipation. A huge flower was about to unfold her petals. Slowly, slowly.
Again, it’s time to break
I’m lying down. I can’t feel my heart. The moments that I can it hurts beyond what I’m able to express in words. The silence and my tears reveal me. The energy around me gives way.
The moon is hovering close tonight. The meadow surrounding me is bustling with activity. Impossible to account for many they are, but they are singing gently, like prayers. Words of ancient magic, protection and healing. I’m lying in a bed of sorts, unable to move my limbs, just frozen and numb. The women are gathering herbs and chanting. They’ve arranged themselves into smaller groups and they approach me group by group – lovingly placing the herbs on my chest and caressingly chanting their prayers.
I sigh deeply, my breathing rasping, uneven and shallow. My heart has closed. My flower has closed. Everything is closed. I’m broken inside my own prison. I gaze at the moon hoping to see something new, a tiny little sign, just something …something. An indication that I’m not stupid – that somehow there’s a reason for all this.
Suddenly I realise I haven’t lost my soul this time. I’m still in this hurting shell. Feeling kind of stuck this time, as though I wouldn’t be let out even if I tried to go. Despite my pain it feels decently spacious and I have a sense of belonging. No desire to be somewhere else. My roots are running deep into the forest soil and into the fire of the Earth, burning, as she does. I’ve never been this grounded before. Earth has kept me in her embrace while I was flying. Her fiery passion has kept mine burning under control. It is difficult to be ungrateful – I have gained so much. I’m sad that it stops here. I wanted to discover more. I’m quite convinced there is more. But when it backlashed everything stopped and I closed. What scares me most is that all my fiery energy is gone, my drive and my passion, my happiness and my creativity.
Perhaps I imagined I had finally found myself under this wrapping, but it was yet another painful lesson. I’m really close now. When I break free from this fiery cocoon I’ll be the butterfly. I’ll have to wait for my wings to dry and then – then I will fly.
It’s just, if this wasn’t me either, what is? What’s left?
Fixating on the moon with my tired eyes, I move it in and out of focus until I fall asleep. The women keep busy gathering and singing. Their voices are holding me and my pain.
I’m reading the forest trail.
Only it’s a very different forest
The realities created are much different
From the whispering trees,
But the spirits are here,
The signs are words, colours, numbers,
Eyes and voices.
Our senses are overstimulated.
Our perception waning.
Our impressions ephemeral.
The forest of the whispering trees
Changes slowly, speaks slowly.
Here the words of the spirits
Are squeezed between
Leaving the children at nursery
And crossing the car park.
I’m reading the forest trail
As a storm of information competes for my attention.
I’m running. I don’t remember being so fast. But I feel strong. Strong enough to run forever. The forest surrounds me, shades me, refreshes me, embraces me. I run. My legs are long, slim and strong. My feet are bare. Every step touches the ground and feels the heart of the forest itself. Every footstep is a heartbeat. Every breath is an exchange in which my soul touches the soul of the forest. We are one. I run. She breathes. I breathe her in. She breathes me in. I run.
My hair is the leaves and the grasses. Dancing and ever-changing. Reflecting the seasons as they change. Reflecting the inside as it is evolving and ever-growing. I run. Every footstep is a heartbeat.
With curiosity, greet every new face,
And every known one too.
See what you will find
In that very meeting.
Somehow I thought
That meeting was a physical thing
That I had to achieve
And to some extent perform.
The meeting happens inside.
The other might play a part.
Consciously or unconsciously,
But the meeting happens in me.
Unwrapping the self
I was staring at my reflection in a long mirror. I was huge when I started out. I had no idea there were that many layers. This wrapping was an undefined shade of teal and turquoise. I was pondering the lessons of this one. Perhaps it has something to do with the throat?
To stand up for myself and to say what I want. And love?
Well, everything is always to do with love. Greet it with love, hold it with love. Love. Loving myself.
The paper had a glossy kind of glow in the lamp light. I fingered it reluctantly, hesitantly. Where would I pierce it? What would happen if I did? It felt cold and warm all at the same time. No perfume yet. I could feel my palms sweating, just a little, almost unnoticeably.
But there was more friction as I slipped my hand over the wrapping paper covering my belly and my chest.
I was moving carefully as my arms were wrapped too. Only fingers, face and hair were fully visible. I suppose it must mean something or perhaps not. This wrapping is an illusion of sorts, but the power of visualisation should not be underestimated. Unwrapping, even if it’s an illusion, has just as much power. I took another deep breath, collecting myself.
“Here we go again,” I thought. “Here we go again.”
With my pointing finger I gently pierce the paper below my left breast – and the paper made a little startled noise, as if it had thought me courageous enough. Slowly I ripped out a small strip. I could glimpse another layer below, but not really determine the fabric or its colour. I listened to the ripping sound as I tore another strip, then another and another.
I had to stop and breathe. Tears were spilling down my cheeks. They do that. Tears are part of the clearing out. I let them. It’s not as though I have the power to stop them. My nose runs as well. I’m more annoyed with this. A runny nose is always an inconvenience.
I suppose it’s as much a clearing out as anything else.
As the tears slowed I got back at pulling strips away again. I let them fall to the floor like wrapping paper spaghetti. They were piling up. I was still large. Sometimes I wish there was a way to determine how many layers there are left. Like an x-ray, just scanning me.
Then I would know and I could make a plan. Know how much time there is till…until what? What’s inside the last one? Nothing? Oh, I hope not. I’m hoping for some kind of reward – a real treasure. Why else would I go through this again and again? Why else would I put up with the pain, the agony and the fear?
With every layer the unwrapping gets faster, but hurts more. Again, I’m asking myself why I keep going? How can I still believe every temptation luring me forward?
I’m looking at the next layer. I’m seeing my contours this time, and I look slim; quite small physically.
The cover is a fiery blend of yellow, orange and red.
I feel how it flickers inside. Just awakening. What am I to discover now? There are thrills running down my spine. It feels promising. I will enjoy this. I don’t want to think about the pain. Not yet, it feels too good to resist. But I’m aware it’s going to hurt. I look around for a while and then I see you. This part of the path I will share with you. You are shining, but you scare me too.
I just know I need to walk with you.