Delivered to one of my more natural psychological states (buoyantly floating under the indigo expanse), I found myself again in the graces of the Goddesses. My vision of the world around me rolled with the gentle waves that cradled the nondescript vessel that held my body. Countless sparkling guides wove myths into my hair as I witnessed their life paths as stardust strewn across Nuit’s naked canvas. I was far from alone in my reflective solitude.
My diamond-rope hair jingled as I sat erect. Salty floral notes stuck to my face from Nuit’s warm sighs. The bubble in which I traveled was clear though still enchanted. The distant shore, on the other hand, was dressed in a tenacious haze. I heard the music faintly on the breeze, more of a distortion to my ears than pleasant vibes. Two circular objects overlapped in the Western sky: a ghostly Ferris Wheel and the “Nightly Sun.” Free-swinging carts moved mechanically, stopping and starting independently of the riders’ Wills. The bottom half of the Wheel seemed to disappear into the haze around it. In front of this apparition hung “the Sun” of the Night. Rarely seen, it is a circular image, an optical illusion, comprised of two disjointed, curved lines of precise, searing blue that cut through the sky like unapologetic lasers. There is no center or substance between these lines; it is an image created solely from the outline. These two images, of the Ferris Wheel spectre and the blue-beamed illusory Night Sun, co-localized within the haze of which I was no part, close to the shore to which I was not venturing. I watched the machine Wheel move slowly through the Sun’s absent core for several moments before turning back to my preferred view of the sky: a beautiful wash of indigo and violet dusted with shimmering Dakinis.
We had been traveling. Currently, we resided in a transitory nest within the city. The faces of my companions were fluid in space-time. They changed; I changed.
An average day it was certainly not. Something stirred in the skies. We all knew it intuitively and instinctively though we talked not about The Unseen.
The decision to go to the Ocean at The End of the World was unanimous. I do not remember how we traveled, but it had wheels. We arrived as the skies spun and changed colors.
A storm is brewing, someone seemed to say.
There were, at least, five of us, and, at most, ten of us. Either (/any) way, the numbers were split evenly so each person had a “counterpart” of the same gender. Mine was blonde and taller and less skilled than I was. She seemed to pop into existence as my feet hit the sand. Her hologram wavered with the clouds in the sky. Spirals formed on the horizon, indications of merging points and vertexes. The edges of The World became dark. All five (ten) of us panned outward to observe the land from a bird’s-eye (or space-eye) view. The Pattern: Shadows coming from all angles with a perfect circle of Light that was quickly diminishing. And who should happen to be in the center of that Circle of Light but the five (ten) of us.
We drew our Eyes back into ourselves and each assumed our stations. I sat, lotus-style, at the Water’s Edge. My counterpart was fastened onto me with a silver string around her waist. She sat in my lap, over my crossed legs, facing the watery horizon. It was my charge and my responsibility to keep her safe, to stabilize her form through the journey. I instructed her to close her eyes, to breathe as normally as possible. “You must stay with me; pull the c(h)ord tight. If you ever feel you are losing yourself, locate the c(h)ord and my body. Re-orient with me as quickly as possible.”
As the shadows closed-in, the others instructed their counterparts in the same manner. I felt the indigo rise to my eyes and brow as the skies darkened rapidly. I closed my physical eyes as my Third Eye burned bright violet in the Dark. The circle became a pinhole and then…
Nothing at all.
We were traveling (or not?), her/I and the Others. I felt her temptation to open her eyes, and I strongly transmitted “Don’t.” The blackness swarmed in and through what may have been our bodies. There were noises that may have been drums or shrieks, harps or hail, bells or singing, sonication or pressurization. There were sensations of gossamer webs, crackling embers, soft glow, a school of fish, amniotic fluid, riptides, needles, gravel, fine silk and wind tunnels. A kaleidoscope of taste-color crashed upon our faces and re-arranged our flesh. I kept the center, held it as a meditation of a grain of sand in a sandstorm. She remained still with me and followed where my mind willed her.
And with no warning whatsoever, the World returned. We were sitting on the Beach at The Edge. Ten dissolved to five, and the silver c(h)ords returned to our spinal columns as the violet gave way to indigo and, eventually, the flesh of our brows. The sky was bright blue with puffs of gleeful white clouds. Waves kissed our feet as we rose in synchrony. We returned to our vehicle and sped off.
We rode on the wind
returned our bodies to the sands.
Kisses and The Pleiades:
all Seven Sisters gathered,
(they reside in the same house as I)
and I felt their silver strings
(my [subtle] body played as an instrument)
(push) pull me
to a nexus:
Where dualities meet
(one black, one white: together in one space)
at the Wyrd.
The sky called to me, as it often does. So I answered, walking out into the open wheat fields with my shiny balloon-ball (“baballoon”). I could fly just as easily without it; I had been trained years ago. Sometimes I still like to take it with me just in case I hit some wild currents. The baballoon helps with steering and stabilizing, responding to currents with increased mass or increased central gravity that keeps me locked into it as the baballoon acts as a small vehicle. Today felt like the kind of day for wild rides.
My dark-haired, younger sister, a ghost of Alice Liddell, came out to greet me. Her orange-green, malachite-in-gold-dirt, iridescent baballoon contrasted my electric blue-pink, sunset-to-twilight baballoon. The winds picked up, and the wheat rolled like a golden ocean. There were no words between us, just smiles and nods as we mounted our baballoons and then shot off into the horizon.
We traveled our well-beaten path in the sky, over the wheat fields, beyond the neighboring towns, to the quarry and across the miles of woodlands. We hardly ventured much farther than the woodlands on the average baballoon ride. The thicket beyond, the jagged rocks, the old mountains, and the ancient ruins that all lay before the wild and turbulent Passion Ocean were all a bit daunting. We never saw that Ocean, only heard stories, old-wives tales about sailors that never returned, creatures that lived in the deep and voices released from the breaking waves that rode on the wind. Part of our caution was also due to the amount of daylight we had for traveling. Neither of us wanted to be stuck by that Ocean as the black of Night cloaked all. Who knows what happens there at Night. I do not dare tempt an angry Poseidon or his army of Tritones.
Today we moved swiftly. We reached the edge of the woodlands with plenty of daylight to spare. We lollygagged at the edge, bouncing in the sky apprehensively at the decision we knew we’d make. Without much exchanges or arguments we agreed to venture onward while the day was still young, far younger than we have ever seen it at this edge. Quickly we bolted forward, our baballoons like knives slicing through the sky. We passed the thicket of thorns and the jagged rocks in nearly a blink of an eye. Traveling so fast, it almost seemed like the journey had a purpose. Dodging the mountains proved to be an easier task than imagined. Traveling over the ruins, we could barely make sense of the desecrated clay walls and stone columns embedded in the sand. We arrived at the Ocean much sooner than we had originally anticipated. The sun was making its journey to the horizon again, but it still was rather high in the sky; we had several hours still to explore the Ocean.
We floated high above in the gray-blue sky, where the waves could not reach us. Seagulls and other sea birds flew about not too far from us; they talked amongst themselves while eyeing our presence. The waves were angry alright, twisting, crashing tubes and towers of dark green-gray angst. The white foam was the touch of beauty to this violent scene; they made beautiful patterns in the dark breaks. I found myself and my sister slowly lowering to get a closer look at the patterns. Were they words or messages? Were they fractal designs or images of the Ocean’s inhabitants? Why it was so important that we should know, I couldn’t tell you. Within only a few minutes we were at the top of the towering waves, the water licking our feet and splashing up to our knees. Our baballoons were almost buoys at the tops of the waves. And somehow, we slid down even further to greet more of the Ocean. Before long we realized that we were about to be “in it,” as the waves started dancing around us. They were no longer a friendly coax inward, but now a hungry push downward.
“We need to surf this,” I called to my sister. “It’s the only way we’ll be safe. We must ride the waves.”
I repositioned myself on my baballoon, and my sister mimicked me. “Ready?” The baballoon almost knew what to do. We sped down the waves almost effortlessly, which almost seemed to make it all the more terrifying. I realized that the baballoons were carrying us through this trial. We had to trust in them. It was as if they had a memory of the waves or else predicted the next movement of the water just before it occurred. I was immensely thankful to have my baballoon with me. My sister was having a bit of trouble. I kept yelling to her to “Let go! The baballoon will carry you. If you try to control it, you’ll be worse off.” Once she was able to relinquish her urge to control, her ride was smooth. What helped me let go to allow the baballoon total control was insane laughter in the face of my terror.
Shore was just ahead. The baballoons picked up speed, and before the waves broke on the shore, the baballoons lifted back into the air. My sister and I sat back down on our baballoons and floated quietly as we regained composure. My face was wet and wind-lashed, stinging from salt. My clothes were drenched and heavy. My breath was irregular but slowing as I watched in disbelief at our feat as the Ocean roared and writhed, pained by a missed meal.
We didn’t meditate on the shore long. Turning our backs to the Ocean, we headed off in another direction, to follow a different path home. As we moved through the sky at an even pace (though seemingly much slower than the pace to the Ocean), Time seemed to stand still. After traveling over and through some different scenery (Forests of Autumn, Dunes of Winter, Lakes of Spring), we realized that we were indeed traveling through Time. At this realization our speed of travel became strangely modulated. We whisked through seasons and years without stopping. We were no closer to home than we were on the shore. It seemed that we needed to make an arbitrary decision on When and Where to stop. Our baballoons would carry us where-ever and as long as we desired, but where we were headed was a Mystery to us.
(Transcribed two years later:)
Hiking the Inca Trail was one of the most inspiring and sacred experiences of my life. This post is not about that. This post is about the days that followed that mystical and exhausting trek.
We arrived back in Lima from Cusco; already upon landing, I could feel the change of atmosphere and climate, physically, socially and culturally. We piled in a bus and headed off to the coast where my uncle, his two high school buddies and his friend’s son could relive their youth in sand, surf and beer. Despite their winter season, we had hopes of mild coastal weather. In my mind, I planned to swim, run on the beach, relax, read, go to town for cerviche and take a surfing lesson or two in the days to come.
From the populated city with strange billboards, rogue dogs and tattered housing, we traveled to a sandy ghost town on the coast. The streets were practically deserted. Most of the restaurants and shops had closed. Locals kept a few businesses open, but nothing more than a few blocks were in operation.
We were met with colorful totem faces at the gates of the resort; sea green, bright blue and yellow extended a cheerful welcome, contrasting the grey skies and misty air. Stepping across the threshold, empty rooms awaited us. One of the owners met us there and escorted us to the unlocked room. Two were next to each other, close to the eating area and front gate; one was around the corner, closer to the workers’ area and the back gate to the beach. Each had two beds. Since I was the odd woman out, I inhabited the isolated room.
After setting our stuff down and getting acquainted with the perimeter, the owner explained that he would be absent from the premises most of the time. There were two workers that spoke very little English. The only other residents at the time were a couple, and they would be leaving shortly. Since the town was closed down for the season, we had only one restaurant from which to order food, and only one taxi driver that would deliver food and take us into town. The one and only day we ventured into town was to get cash, eat out at one of the open restaurants, catch up on email at a cyber café and to collect fruit, canned goods, and alcohol for our rooms. All other hours for those four days was spent at the resort with only each other, the rain, the wet beach, the gulls, rogue dogs and the limited contact with the workers who made us breakfast every morning and ordered our lunches and dinners.
The chilly air, drab sky and turbulent waves told me that I was not going to be swimming at all this trip. Since the owner that offered me surfing lessons over the phone was MIA the entire time, I knew I would not be surfing. I communed with the sand dunes and shells when it was nice enough to sit on the beach. I may have been fully clothed in a hoodie and long pants, but it was peaceful all the same. One of my wishes had come true: I had the beach almost entirely to myself. Listening to the water was such a pure and simple pleasure that if not for the chilliness, I probably wouldn’t have left the shoreline.
The days passed slowly. At nights we played cards and drank bland beer. We donned hats made from alpaca wool and blankets bought from the plazas at Cusco. With nothing of interest on TV, hardly any electronic entertainment and no way out of the resort, we were left to each other’s company, the beach and our internal landscapes. When the men were out surfing, my first inclination was to “busy” myself. So I read… until I wanted a change. I tried to write and draw, with little success at first. For some reason, it felt forced (probably because it was). There I was, unable to get wrapped up in a creative whirlwind when I had the space, the time, the peace and the quiet to do so. Of course, when I was at work just a few weeks prior, I longed for the R&R, and when it arrived, I didn’t know what to do with it.
The first day I felt unproductive despite the fact I had finished a book I had been meaning to read. That night was one of the most solitary that I can remember. The wind pounded against the glass doors as I lay in an unfamiliar bed on a deserted coast. In the morning I was greeted with grey skies and roaring waves again. It was difficult at first for me to give into the seeming “nothingness.” I paced and repeated old patterns of behavior to the best of my ability. As I begun to allow the time to fall over me as it would, I was graced with some slow inspiration; I let it creep into my sketchbook. It was of a different nature than which I had been accustomed. I spent more time sketching and reading in those few days than any other time in my life. Time was angled differently there, with strange and unpredictable periods of lengthening and shortening. Many things were different in that place. I noticed the difference in expectation, passage and association.
Dogs with no names came bounding through the center room as we played cards, perhaps looking for scraps or a temporary friend. Clouds rolled in a dance with the tides. The gulls called out messages as they landed on the shore. The night air was heavy with water and called us out for company.
Looking back, I should have taken some invitations from the Night to walk its beach. I am just thankful that I could drop out of the hectic world for a while to see another one. Without the people and the traffic of their on-season, I was able to really see that shore, able to experience it as it is. The isolation, once faced, was simple. The quiet, once appreciated, was comforting. The openness, embraced, was breath-taking. The grey, accepted, can be a gentle hand of inspiration.
There are innate preferences. These should not be regarded by anyone’s influences as wrong.
Actually, let me start with this: The Myers-Briggs type indicator. The temptation to kill time utilizing an accessible and fast-paced entity paired with the inherent curiousity and/or self-absorption of the social human animal has increased the popularity of placing ourselves in square on a grid with assigned traits to compare to our friends and neighbors. The types are defined by the way in which the individual perceives, processes and interacts with the world. Once we know in which square we and our friends reside, we can say
“it makes so much more sense now…”
or “I always knew we were too diiferent (or too much the same)…”
or “we really DO understand each other’s perspective (or never will)…”
At times the inner dialogue can progress to something akin to “my way is better, and I will tell them why.” or “why doesn’t everyone think/act like me?” or “I will attempt to modify those around me to fit better within my square, so we can be there together.”
Boxes of defined perception and operation feel comfortable, like homes; we want our loved ones to be there with us. We all do not “work” the same.
Sometimes… We are built with the same materials, but we are built different ways.
Sometimes… We are built the same way but with different materials.
Remember those light psychological tests that give insight into our psyches? “You are walking through a forest…” types. Someone guides you to a scene of which you paint. The picture before you is a projection of your mind, your internal world, your hopes and dreams and fears, your expectations and your personal truths.
We went to the beach the other day. Sitting so close to Mother Ocean, hearing her lullabies roll onto the shore and call me Home again, I can’t help but be silent with reverence and turn all my eyes in, up-and-out. With my toes wiggling in warm, soft sand, I found myself wishing the beach was largely empty save for myself, my partner and a few more reverent souls. “How many people are on your beach?” Another probe into the psych which really asks “How solitary are you?”
For me? The beach, whether in my dreams, my hopes, or my mind’s eye, it is always practically empty. I am alone or in the company of one or two of my intimates. The people that are few and far between are quiet and serene. We acknowledge each other when we are within ear- or eye-shot; we nod or give spirit-bows as we pass by, usually in silence. We are monks of the shore; each footprint in the sand is a prayer and each breath or blissful sigh is an offering. That is my beach, one where Mother Ocean is free to be herself and she is loved, honored and meditated upon.
I suppose this means that I am a solitary kitty. Such has always been the way.
I sat among the people, at least half a dozen camps less than ten feet away, and I wished for space to unravel. I thought about my head-beach. With time, the population thinned greatly, and I was afforded my sanctuary by the ocean.
I awoke this morning with thoughts regarding peace and stimulation. It has loose associations with the Myers-Briggs personality boxes. Those “introverts” are often those seeking peace. They would trade stimulation for peace… as I often would. This is mirrored in many ways. In situations I am more apt to act according to what will deliver me the most peace as opposed to what will give me the most activity. Some individuals have distinct problems with this behavior when it so obviously manifests in me. It is not the same as flat-out avoidance or laziness; in fact, many times the path to peace is an active one. The activity may not be as explicit or clear to others.
Often, introverts need less stimulation than extroverts, even biologically. There are numerous hypotheses regarding behaviors and dispositions being driven by an individual’s capacity to respond (the degree of stimulation which is necessary to produce certain neurological effects). It is postulated that generally, introverts have a lower threshold for stmulation. (Pick your wording here) Meaning they are more responsive, it takes less stimulation for them to respond, they will become overwhelmed before extroverts.
Some behavior is innate. We are different. We shouldn’t be judged for our differences in perceiving and interacting with the world… but, rest assured, we will be.
I will trade stimulation for peace most days. If I can define who I am, that is part of it. Additionally, I won’t be made to feel like I should apologize for it.