April 3, 2011
Holding back the storm building inside, I walk the Lakeshore. Mist curls off the water, weaving through the pines and birch. In a scooped out hollow in the rock I hunker down.
My face is wet with mist and tears.
My Soul wanders away.
Suddenly I’m standing before an intricately carved door of dark wood. I brush its smooth surface and it silently swings open. Hesitantly, I pass through. The hush of an ancient Forest surrounds me. A Centaur watches from the trees. He smiles and walks toward me. I’ve said nothing, yet he hears my amazement, throws back his head and laughs—scales played on a bass fiddle.
“Come Little One,” he says. “I was sent to escort you to The Cavern.”
He helps me onto his back. Didn’t I read somewhere that Centaurs do not allow anyone to ride on their backs?
We are climbing, and though still wrapped in the stillness of the trees, I realize we are on the side of a mountain. He stops before the entrance to a cave. “I will wait for you. Go,” he says.
Inside I find a passage that takes me deeper into the mountain. Torches set in the walls light the way. I take one, hoping it won’t go out. After winding about, the passage opens into a cavern so large I cannot see the top or the other side. The air has the rich, loamy smell of damp earth. I breathe it deeply, exhaling all the tension that has collected in my shoulders. Suddenly I hear a thousand exhales weaving in and out of one another.
“What was that,” I ask out-loud?
A thousand voices repeat, “What was that? What was that? What was that?” My skin prickles.
What is this place? I feel the air nibble upon my skin, gently.
My mind begins to run wildly about the cave while the cavern somehow causes every thought to manifest upon my body. The more fearful and impatient I become, the more the pricks begin to sting and the nibbles become bites.
The ground beneath my feet tilts. As I recover my balance I see another “me” about ten paces away. Her face is a dark thunderhead about to unleash its fury. Hot bile boils in my own stomach. The lightening strikes and I see words leaving her lips. Shooting into the air they coil there, forming a whip of words. With an explosion of energy, the whip cracks, striking her Beloved. Welts rise on my neck, my arms, my back. Again and again my Other Self wields this Whip of Words.
Finally, empty of pain and fury, my Other stops. The whip has become thick and corded. It breaks free and flies into the darkness. In the distance I hear cries of pain; whimpers. I feel them in the welts and cuts on my own body.
My Other has slumped to the floor, covered in the blood of her own violence. Around her head a dark fog is gathering. In it I hear her whispered anguish. She loathes what she does; despises what she is. Each whisper is sharp as a razor. Is there no compassion in me for this woman so filled with the rage of confusion and despair? Do I hate myself so much?
The ground beneath my feet tilts. The cavern walls begin to fade until I am once again suspended in silent darkness.
Clutching my torch, I return to the passageway. Faintly I hear water running, like a stream dancing over rock. My heart floods with joy and I realize that I am feeling the thoughts of the water!
The passage opens into another large cavern through which an underground river is pouring itself out through a crevice into the outside world beyond. There is no other way out of the cavern; only the running river. Suddenly I know—this is the River of Life and I am in the womb of my Mother, the Earth. Understanding breaks upon me like the dawn against the dark. I, too, hold within me a womb from which this River flows—whether I am male or female in my Earth body does not matter. Within me are the Springs of Joy and the River of Life. They are held deep underground, waiting release, waiting to flow out from me into the world.
Excitedly I run into the River. It burns like acid on my skin. Desperately trying to retreat, I lose my footing and plunge headfirst into the current of the River. My blood is Fire. I cannot breathe. I cannot see for my eyes have been burned away. I thrash and flail as I am carried in the current, my flesh falling from my bones. My lungs screaming for air, I instinctively draw breath and the waters fill me.
It tastes sweet. I am filling up with Light. Peace-filled, a bubble of pure Joy begins to ascend from my toes. When it reaches my throat I open my mouth and laugh—and am shot through the crevice and find myself sitting in a pool of sweet water, surrounded by the forest.
The Centaur is waiting on the mossy bank, but I do not want to leave; not yet. I swim in the pool. My skin is new and glowing. My eyes see rainbows of energy filling and surrounding everything around me. Faintly, a chorus of notes harmonizes on the edge of hearing—heard but not heard. The water is sweet—I want to drink the entire pool, to become the water itself. The Earth’s scent—soil and wood, pine and blossom, fruit and heat and snow and fire fill me, and my scalp prickles in delight.
Finally I am ready. I go to the Centaur who sets me on his back. We ride the wind.
We are at the Door. The Centaur bows slightly. “Remember this place. Remember what you have learned,” he says.
I step through the Door.
My Soul is riding a wave of water that breaks upon the rocks where I am huddled, hidden in the mist. Filled with Love and Light she crashes into me. The storm dissolves.