Sunday, 30 January 2011
A small cold thing
I try to sleep but I cannot. I just lie in the darkness, my mind torturing me, my body crucifying me. I hurt.
They say that the body gives us the messages we need to hear so what is mine saying? Is the lump in my throat telling me I have words caught in my gullet; words I cannot speak? What about the stabbing pain in my back? Louise Hay would say it’s about guilt, about burn out, about lack of money, about fear. I’ll claim all four and more.
When I meditate I keep falling into unconsciousness, plummeting into the void -but only for a moment so I come to with a lurch; my heart thudding. Yesterday I thought I would try to ground myself. I would journey to the lower world. I have been flying upwards for so long, shooting out into the furthest reaches of the universe; then cracking through the shell into further universes; finding myself, finding the stranger; looking into mirrors; multiplying, condensing; playing the cosmic game and...what? Winning? Losing. Looking for the card that is so high and wild?
Maybe it was time to go down.
So I found my axis mundi, my old friend, the moss-covered opening under the large beech tree and cautiously moved inside; the drum my guide. The steady beat used to hurl me down in a heartbeat. But not now. I have to walk, slowly, painfully, and the path winds slowly, seems endless. I have been away so long. And instead of the usual warmth and my beloved animal, I find a place of howling wind and loneliness. A white beach beside a frozen lake. Dark trees surround. And then I see a bear, a large brown bear. Once - afar. Twice – lumbering, its back turned. Thrice – disappearing into the trees. And then, up close, teeth bared, biting, chewing. I am dismembered and it feels wonderful. I have given up, given in, surrendered. I wait for the warm breath that will lick me whole, that will bring me back to life. But it doesn’t come. Instead shrill barking hurtles me out of the deepest trance, shocked into waking. And I am in this world, in pieces, staring at the dog that bit me.
And I am so so tired. So bone-weary that last night I went to bed at 8.30pm. Crawled under the covers and turned away from the light. And couldn’t sleep – again. Couldn’t tumble into oblivion. Couldn’t dream.
So this morning I didn’t walk in the big wide fields, by the rushing river, in the open spaces under the cool sharp sky. I crossed the bridge and went up the hill, followed the winding path into the deep dark forest. A faintly ridiculous Red Riding Hood who knows that the old warnings were all wrong. That, if one wants to find oneself, there is no point staying on the track. There is no earthly point heading for the safety of Granny’s hut; there is no sense in hoping for the big brave Hunter. She needs to plunge headlong through the trees and hope, against all hope, that the wulf will come - yes, wulf (the Anglo-Saxon spelling is truer) - and tear her to bloody pieces.