Sunday 30 January 2011

A small cold thing

Today I am a small cold thing. A sad lost thing. Broken, confused, battered, blue. I sit and shake, so hard I feel my bones will shatter. I cannot stop the shaking; nothing warms me. It is not a physical cold but a spiritual shivering. Shaken to the soul.

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.


Anonymous said...

Well -why??
All very dramatic, but what can possibly have made you feel like that? Is your family all right??

Exmoorjane said...

Hi Anonymous - Sorry, didn't mean to sound dramatic. And yes, family is all fine. Just my way of working through the dark forest... I guess some people don't ever find themselves in it.. Is that good or bad? I don't know. But thank you for caring. And I'm feeling a bit better now. Just SOOOOO damn cold. :)

Posie said...

Berlimey Jane, I do hope you are feeling better soon and the journey gets smoother x

Miss Sadie said...

The dark and cold of winter can change our bodies and minds dramatically. You've told us about it Jane, and done so wonderfully.

May you have some light and warmth in your cold and dark.

Exmoorjane said...

Posie - thank you, my dear.. Ah, but would I want a smooth journey? *resigned smile*

Miss S - thank you too,dear one...your alter ego is very sensible. I feel in great need of a warm cave... :)

Dragonfly Dreams said...

I have been told that it is so very important to nurture your roots. And, once they have soaked in as much sustanance as is needed (and you give them) then the green will grow towards the sun and flower from the buds put out. Dormancy is bound to come these dark days, but they won't be dark for long.
Many positive thoughts to you from me!

Wally B said...

Sounds like a trip to somewhere warm is required, especially with warm soothing water to bathe in. Relax and float on your back with your face turned towards the sun and heal.

The bike shed said...

Small confort I expect - but great writing.

There's a serious point in that I guess, maybe we need the bad times to get close to that 'world beyond ourselves' that makes for proper art. I don't suffer dark nights, but I have suffered, long and secretly at times, from severe anxieties - coming out of them I feel stronger, like a hard session at the gym: f**ing awful but kind of glad I went.

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

Oh lovely jane, you have been up for so long you had to come down. Find a warm, calm place and curl up for a while with a fire and a blanket. Come in from the wind if you can. Be thinking of you xx

Eliza said...

Hope you feel better soon, you could have written that for me at the moment :-)

Anonymous said...

Thoughts create feelings and feelings create thoughts. It's sometimes a nasty round thing that's called a vicious cirle. Some people find it difficult breaking out of it. That's because they wallow in certain thoughts. Breaking out is as simple as focusing on one thought for around 20 seconds...not as easy as you would think. When a thought is held for this amount of time or longer, it attracts like thoughts and when these are held in a similar fashion, they too attract like thoughts.

Thoughts create feelings and feelings create thoughts. It's sometimes a nice place to spend some time.

We have a choice in thinking what we think. One thought can do so much and often does.

Exmoorjane said...

Heey, that was an old, old post... :)
Vicious cirles are nasty beasts, I try to keep away from them - and the terror wrists as well. But sometimes one indulges in neuroticism (as opposed to neurosis) eh? I focus a lot on 'good' thoughts but then need to balance things out every so often. :)