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26 May 2016 @ 12:25 am
tobacco, bearberry, wormwood, althea  
and then in certainty. and then like that. the puzzle, the mystery, the building scrutiny. how to be who to be when it all comes together to all fall apart. the movement of breath from the surface into the depths. the movement of certainty from what is hoped for into what is dreaded: and the full count of that, the accurate one and two and three of it, who we are in these constructions, what it means, where it goes.
we're going to begin this slowly. by asking for our names. by remembering our names. by accepting our names. who we are, how we got here, where we are headed and where we have been. i'm walking towards the opening, towards the black space that represents the transitions between this world and the next world. i'm going into the lower world but first i am entering the place of transition. the place that i often neglect. the place many of us have entirely forgotten. it is an ancient cave. it has not changed since the beginning of human memory. on the walls there are drawings, scratchings. at first shapes, symbols - at first shapes. that could be an animal. that could be a man with a spear. that could be a woman with a swollen belly.*

i'm tired of many of my questions, but what does that mean? it could mean i'll begin to assume answers that do not exist. it could mean i'll start to act like there isn't uncertainty. answer my biggest questions with wasteful acts of psychic vandalism: pretending the question was never there in the first place. i've seen former seekers do this sort of thing with the idea of god. i've seen former artists do it with the idea of creativity. i've watched people i've loved and people i could have loved vanish into their worst fears about love and emerge as total strangers. because: what did they see? who stared back at them in that cave where there was only enough light to emphasize that there really wasn't a lot of light?

that's the way so many of us can be about it, at least in the first round. we look around ourselves in a dark cave and terror at the dark. it's not even totally dark yet: we haven't gone more than a few steps in. we just assume we have no resources for this. this is horrible. this will destroy us. i better not even ask any more questions about this or this will eat me alive.

you know it's like that. it's like that in so many ways.
blotches and smears and shapes, twining and intertwining. flaring up into each other. blotting each other out. the web of humanity. the way we try to obliterate each other. the way we obliterate each other by simply trying to live our lives. i am surrounded by these swirling, blotching, smearing, vanishing forms. i am overwhelmed. i fall to my knees. i clutch the sides of my head. i press my forehead to the floor of the cave, both resisting and accepting the forms that push into me, that press into me, that press me into a new form, a new self, a new name. i stand with all of these forms around me. i take a step forward and these crude representations that are at the core of everything we do become more refined symbols, become cuneiform. i am witnessing the birth of language. fathered by need. born of desire. it is private and it is transpersonal. it is everyone's story, claimed by no one.

the deeper we go, the more it can build up on us. the deeper we see, the more likely we are to tug at the cord and beg to go back up. and yeah, there's relief when the crew above responds and quickly pulls you back up. but sometimes you were meant to explore deeper. sometimes you were meant to go further down. sometimes you feel that, in a pang, in confusion, in frustration or anger or fear: what are you missing, down there, out here, around this corner, on this path? what won't you now be able to learn?
and as i walk to the point where the cave widens, where i know the altar waits for me, i am surrounded by words. words that are trying to get in. words that know i am a point of entry for their transmission. that i am a storyteller. that i have been put here to craft words into shapes and release them back into the wild. to return them back to those amorphous inexplicable, inexpressible forms that were at the front of the cave. i can let the words assault me or i can accept the words. i can move with the words, i can join with them, i can let them become part of me.

so the questions you've denied become questions you've denied. "cannot allocate resources toward further exploration" shifts from the pat answer you were supposed to drop all your expectations in, shifts into a burning sensation you can always feel but never locate. that's because it tends to settle into the spaces where there are meridians, the ley lines of the self, points of tension between tectonic plates, lines of transforming fire that could lie in the heart but could just as easily engulf the spirit whole. anyway, where is the spirit? anyway, what is the spirit? wasn't that one of your original questions - at least where one of your original questions was headed to?
i am a child in the face of it, a wounded child. a lost and wounded child. who doesn't know why she's here, who has been denied at every turn. and i gnash my teeth and i tear at my hair and i make angry noises. and it doesn't change anything. the cave is there, the candles burn. the end of the cave waits. it doesn't matter if i won't acknowledge my transitions. transitions are still made. the place at the beginning and the place at the end still wait. the place at the beginning and the place at the end are still inevitable. there's always a path. even i won't accept that i'm on it. i sit up in the circle, and i look back. i look back at where i have come from, through the cave. i understand that was the process of my birth, my adolescence. i don't know what that means or what waits for me at the end of the cave. but i get up. i am alone. i walk out of the circle. i walk to the end of the cave.

sometimes we don't realize the question that haunts us is actually a developing thread of questions that's only ever asking one thing: is there god, what does life mean, why can't i have love? sometimes in our lives every answer leads back to the same unanswerable question. and so, you know, and so, you wonder, and so what could that mean? it can be strange to watch a cluster of questions fold in on themselves, line up, take their places in position around the one question you were actually asking all along. strange as in exhilarating, or painful, or absurdly hilarious. strange as in: where else do we even go?
it's night. the wind is blowing. it's night. there's a moon. there's a path, dirt. grasses bent low in the wind. i gather myself and i walk. i walk in the night. there's a lake. as i walk down the path, the path goes closer to the lake. until i can see it, on my right side. i can smell it. night moisture. night. the water, the crickets. i kneel down by the lake. i can hear the water lapping the pebbles under my bare feet, now under my knees. i look out over the water. will the lake speak to me? can the lake answer my questions? does the lake know my fucking question?

*indented text excerpted from journey transcript, 2-19-2016

music: dark muse - claustrophobic