Since childhood, I’ve always danced in careful fascination with and veneration of darkness, which, when mindfully integrated with the light, weaves a beautiful tapestry of a wise, grounded life.
I’m glad I waited until later in life (early 40s) to meet and marry the right companion. My husband and I grew up seeing so many people around us either stay in bad marriages (such as his parents’ fate) or go through a series of toxic to so-so unions before finally finding a harmonious match (as has been my father’s path).
And for those who are single, which I was for most of my life, may they be happy, enjoying love in all the many ways it exists in relationships.
It intrigues and sometimes amazes me how we all start out as children so naturally understanding of and living from love only to then grow up and work on having to find our way back to that same perspective and way of being in the world.
As a person, I am many roles and attributes– husband, brother, son, friend, psychotherapist, gay man, eclectic Pagan, movie lover, writer, sensitive, empathetic, introspective, caring, imaginative, sometimes overly-critical, and many more things. What I also am, though it is not a central identity for me, is someone who survived a relatively/moderately traumatic childhood. (So many people have survived their childhoods, which is nothing to necessarily brag about– though one can if they wish– or be ashamed of. Probably each and every one of us can say we survived at least something during childhood.) This included divorce of my parents before I was five and much uncertainty thereafter, due, in part, to frequent moves and having to adjust to several new schools and living situations.
Shortly after my parents’ divorce, my birth mother gave me up to my father and his second wife, having found herself, through no real fault of her own, overwhelmed and ill-equipped to be a single parent. I’m also convinced she was hoping I would be a duplicate of her older brother, who she idealized while watching him fill in as surrogate spouse to their mother, my grandfather largely away from home as a career Marine during much of her childhood. What my mother got with me, however, was something very different than my stoic yet caring uncle. She didn’t quite know what to make of me when I left toddlerhood. My emotional sensitivity and fascination with her high heeled shoes, long hair, and makeup made her uncomfortable.
Other unpleasant to even very painful difficulties arose after this initial trauma of divorce and later what I experienced as abandonment by my birth mother. However, simultaneously, I was also thrilled to finally go live with my father and the woman I would soon call “Mom.” Being a sensitive gay child on the non-binary spectrum (in my case, identification with feeling partially, but significantly female in a physically male body) became an added challenge. Most of the community I grew up around was quite intolerant of such differences. I was bullied throughout much of school, especially during sixth through eighth grades. I inherited a propensity for an anxious, highly reactive temperament. This, combined with my early personal history, resulted in some pretty serious anxiety (both generalized and OCD) and long bouts of depression throughout adolescence and much of my adulthood. Looking back, there is no doubt that I suffered from PTSD as a child and adolescent as I lived through deep relational disruptions and repeatedly perceived threats to my safety, with a good share of these perceptions based on actual reality.
After many years of effective psychotherapy, particularly a combination of Internal Family Systems work and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and increasingly mindful living, I’m glad to say that I haven’t experienced any clinical depression for almost nine years. I have been fortunate to not require sustained use of prescribed medication, although I did go through some short trials of assorted antidepressants (with misery-inducing side effects resulting each and every time) and long-term use of a benzodiazapine (Klonopin) for the anxiety. However, I was even able to give that drug up completely about seven years ago. Being free of the need for any prescriptions has been a relief, yet I also honor and understand those who find help in maintaining a regimen of psychopharmacological meds. We all must try and do whatever is necessary for our well-being.
The chronic, generalized anxiety and OCD will always be what I contend with to some degree. They are part of my body’s lot in life right along with some other health vulnerabilities, such as high cholesterol and skin that occasionally produces melanomas (only two thus far in twenty-seven years, both in situ/stage one, thank the gods) requiring prompt medical attention. But, my OCD has lessened in intensity enormously, having last been seriously bad for an extended period when I was fifteen years of age. I realize now that the OCD was intensified at the time by assorted stressors, including a reaction to an accumulation of traumas. Now, it’s something I chuckle about and bond with others over as they describe to me the unique little quirks of their own OCD. As for the generalized anxiety, I think it’s debatable whether I actually clinically suffer from it any longer. My day-to-day intense, chronic worrying has largely decreased. Ten years ago, I wasn’t certain I’d ever reach this level of inner peace I feel today. Mind you, I still have quite a ways to go on that front. Finding and living within inner peace most or all of the time is a lifelong effort for so many of us, perhaps even for most save for a very few (like the Dalai Lama, among others). My nature being what it is, I’m still to a certain extent what others would call “high strung.” That and growing up with having to cope with frequent disruptions to my sense of security as a child, I’ll likely always tend towards initially catastrophizing in the face of change or new difficulties. But, I am able to more quickly step away from such negative thinking and feeling, instead of getting stuck and bogged down in it so often like I used to do. I’m confident I function within the average range of the general population when it comes to dealing with uncertainty and life changes, with me being somewhere in “normal range” on the broad bell curve, for what that’s worth. For certain, I’ll never be fully “normal,” whatever the hell that even actually means. Mentally healthy and adjusted, on the other hand, well, I am definitely more that than not and it’s wonderful.
These days, it’s been about maintaining all the healing I’ve done for my psyche/inner system of parts while continuing to release some remaining deep-down pain from my past as I live more and more freely in the present. I’ve manifested most of my life dreams I started having as a young teenager, namely that of having a psychotherapy career, owning my own home in a pleasant neighborhood, and being married to a fabulous, loving man. I continue to live them each day, for however long I’m meant to do so. All I, and we, really have is now. I enjoy building from the wondrous now.
I’m starting to live into another big dream of mine. This simply is to commit to writing more often than not and see wherever that takes me next in this incredible journey called life. If I publish anything I produce, that will be a cherry on the sundae at this point. At least I’m writing and some people are reading it here on my blog, which I’ll do my best to have exist long after I’m gone.
A fact is, we all had, and have, our unique challenges in life, including, for a lot of us, mental health challenges, and often very serious ones. These are nothing to be ashamed of any more than the plethora of medical problems people live with and can finally freely admit to having more often than not– at least compared to when I was younger and when my parents were children. Being human is to be born into a body and mind with so many vulnerabilities and difficulties, arising from enduring tough environments, genetics, the inevitability of aging or some combination thereof. It’s our resiliency, including deep capacity to heal, that gets us through and never ever ceases to amaze me, both that of others and in myself. And it’s in mindfully sharing who we are, how far we’ve come, and whatever we are going through– good, bad, indifferent– that affirms what being alive is all about: connection. Connection– bit by bit– in ourselves to who we are and trusting that is enough. Connection with others and their wonderful, good enough selves, no matter how wounded in body or mind, so long as one’s wounds allow for genuine connection to come through, however limited initially. And, of course, connection with the rest of the world around us, nature, the All.
I used to think I was basically just my wounds and was worthy of so little, anxiously, shamefully, and sadly hiding away from a lot of life. But, I see now how we need not be defined by our wounds or imperfections, none of us. (And those who seem to intractably, pervasively live and act out from just their pain are, well, ultimately the most challenged, but I refuse to give up all hope on even them.) However, out of our efforts to heal from these injuries and foibles, we can find opportunities to derive wisdom and access to more compassion and other virtues, both for ourselves and others. This healing includes releasing shame, particularly the shame of assorted false beliefs that boil down to the thought we somehow only are our wounds or perceived flaws, victims of our worst experiences. Nothing could be further from the truth. As psychologist Richard Schwartz has written extensively about, what we actually are at our core essence, or Self, consists of calmness, courage, creativity, clarity, curiosity, compassion, confidence, and connectedness. And that makes it all the worthwhile to share in this journey called life, finding out, while doing so, that we are all– not just us, alone– imperfect in body and mind but uniquely wonderful, lovable Selves anyway, and always were.
I have made it a point to a take long, hot shower for my overall well-being on an almost daily basis since I was a young teenager. I do my best to conserve water and energy in every other respect, but decreasing the frequency of or shortening my showers is not going to happen, not if I can help it. I’m convinced that I can attribute maintaining much of my mental and physical health to standing under hot running water on a regular basis. It’s also a spiritual, cleansing act for me, my (almost) daily ablution.
The homo cephalopods, or whatever they actually call themselves, are a long-existing species inhabiting a world somewhere far from earth by millions of light years. A land-based civilization, their actual population is unknown, but it is probably somewhere in the billions. They have progressed in technological advancement in seemingly subtle ways. The outside human observer would find it difficult to discern what is actual technology versus extremely efficient evolutionary adaptation of the h. cephalopods to their natural environment. They make use of some created tools with their eight appendages, with just one tool having multiple purposes. In short, they are materially very efficient.
An earlier evolved subspecies of h. cephalopods resides deep under the oceans of this planet of concern. Their population is comparatively smaller than their land dwelling descendants. Contact between these two societies is rare and considered particularly taboo among the above-water kind. However, on occasion, intermingling between them has occurred, leading to many episodes of recorded lore by each set of beings and a small population of half-breed homo cephalopods arising from some of these encounters. These comprise a rare and often especially adaptive and gifted group.
Homo cephalopods, as I shall keep referring to them out of convenience and sheer ignorance (until one or more of them conveys their true nomenclature to a human being), shall be encountered through inner space, namely via shamanic journeying by a very attuned person traveling to the Upper World. It is there that a certain non-binary individual will come upon these sophisticated, mysterious beings. I shall refer to this shamanic journeyer as K., though their name may change during future writings. K. will mentally-astrally ascend to the world of the h. cephalopods and witness an incredible sight.
It will be instantly deduced that the human is in astral form, so the h. cephalopods will reciprocate in kind, journeying mentally so as to properly attend to this out of body visitor. Through K.’s eyes, we will be introduced to what appear as human-sized, and larger, octopus-like entities. These hermaphroditic creatures will likely allow a particularly precocious one of them to approach K. Rapidly gathering information from each brain within every one of hier suction cup-filled tentacles while touching the earthling, s-he will then process it in hier larger central brain. Hier leathery skin and dark, almond-shaped eyes will surely at first be frightening to behold for K.
K. will wonder at the combination of exoskeleton and strong, pliant tissue that comprise the outer body of a homo cephalopod. Since evolving from the ocean over millions of star revolutions of their world, h. cephalopods developed extremely hard shells over their heads and sections of their tentacles. Their marine counterparts do not have these, rendering them comparatively more vulnerable to injury, though they are far better at maneuvering their bodies through small passages and camouflaging themselves to blend in wherever they happen to be.
Sections of this exoskeleton are shed from time to time, to accommodate growth of the h. cephalopod. This aspect of anatomy used to act as armor for the race during their now ancient history of warfare and small scale territorial disputes. Homo cephalopods eventually achieved homeostasis for their kind via peaceful means. A critical mass of them realized large-scale cooperation would save their population and result in more innovations for the overall betterment of the civilization. K. will unknowingly come upon a flourishing society ready to welcome contact with other beings.
Within the same solar system as the planet of the homo cephalopods is another world inhabited by a large mantid peoples, with three particularly dominant species roughly about as tall as human beings. There are green mantids, tan ones, and then those more mixed in coloration, with shades of red, blue, and purple being the predominant hues on those belonging to this third species. There are a range of much smaller, less advanced mantid genera, probably in the hundreds, residing across this primarily arboreal jungle of a world, though there also exist large swaths of savannah land. The tan-colored species of enormous mantids reside in this latter habitat.
All of these insectoid beings have always been war-like. They comprise a beautiful but cruel and hazardous network of societies battling for dominance over the entire land and resources of their verdant planet. The homo cephalopods have been aware of this neighboring world and its comparatively less advanced populations for a while. They have felt reticent to try and assist them with changing their destructive way of life. However, it is possible that the three dominant mantid groups will finally confederate and battle to the death against the underground dwelling tarantula-like creatures, a recently-discovered culture of giant, deadly venomed spider beings inhabiting the vast tundra of the planet’s north pole region. Interestingly, h. cephalopods have been in telepathic contact with these other eight-legged entities. This offers a sliver of nascent hope for peace to possibly occur between the mantids and these advanced arachnids. The h. cephalopods continue to discuss among themselves the best ways to approach helping the neighboring races of their shared solar system.
K. will journey several times to the world of the homo cephalopods. They will show them many places and things on their lands, including clutches of h. cephalopod eggs. These are cooperatively laid and attended to by several adults, with babies hatching and already familiar with each other within a wide radius, having telepathically communicated while still embryos with their fellow hatchlings. All tentacles of each creature pick up sound and tactile vibration signals at the start of gestation, the central brain then storing and slowly translating them throughout the cycle of development. A basic language is then already known by each new h. cephalopod upon hatching.
The knowledge K. takes with them from each shamanic journey back into their physical waking life on earth will be dense and take time to understand and carefully, selectively disseminate to their fellow humans. Fortunately, they belong to a circle of open-minded journeyers, led by a particularly wise and astute shaman and healer, with whom K. can slowly begin to impart some of this wisdom. It is possible that others within this close-knit group will each then also journey to the planet of the homo cephalopods when they next choose to go to the Upper World. Maybe the group leader will ultimately have all members simultaneously journey to this mysterious place K. initially came upon. From there, this small delegation of sensitive humans can begin to share select information of peaceful higher consciousness to others around them. In turn, perhaps even more people will then shamanically travel directly to the h. cephalopods and pass on their deep learning– occurring during these inter-species astral exchanges– far and wide across America and the world.
(This all comprises the framework of a story, or set of stories, waiting for me to write.)
When I met the man who would later become my husband, I loved him right away. I was instantly able to feel and see his angelic/Buddha/bodhisattva/Christ-like/true Self nature and accept the deep blessing of sharing the rest of my life with him.
I have spent my lifetime trying to see and engage with the true Self/higher/Christ-like/angelic/Buddha nature in everyone around me. Initially, I did not realize this was what I was doing. It has been in turns for me adventurous, surprising, awkward, rough, wonderful, enraging, disappointing, educating, inspiring, and probably eliciting of every possible emotional and mental state you can think of. This journey has been incredible and continues to be as I hone my ever imperfect ability to notice, encourage, appreciate, and simply be with more and more people’s true Self natures, including my own, whether I am working with them in my psychotherapy practice or simply engaging with others in my daily life.
I do my best to discern when and how to steer clear from those who would eat up and/or extinguish my inner light rather than celebrate it while also joyfully sharing their own for me to then celebrate in return. I think of this dynamic as a natural positive circular, even orbicular, flow of positivity. Through some application of basic mindfulness with oneself and, by extension, others, this can be pleasantly, spontaneously maintained with each and every interaction. When there is an instance that this flow is blocked/not at all an option, then prompt and maximally peaceful disengagement as soon as possible is indicated. Sometimes, such disengagement can and does take a while. Other times, it’s wonderfully quick. In the meantime, drawing from awareness of all the actual love one feels for and receives from others/the universe can assist in getting one through any difficulty of leaving a toxic exchange.
Recently, while watching Bruce Lee in the ridiculously dubbed movie FIST OF FURY (1972), I was reminded of how I’ve always found his graceful Kung Fu moves just as beautiful as the motions of a talented dancer.
For me, Bruce Lee (birth name Lee Jun-fan) came across as a real-life superhero when I was a child. Sadly, he died not long before I turned seven in the summer of 1973, shortly before I returned to the U.S.A. after a year abroad in Europe and Central America. I spent the next few years or so enjoying images of Bruce wherever I came across them, such as catching snippets of his movies on TV and coming across posters of him in stores or other people’s homes. I wish I could confidently remember the very first time I saw Lee on TV or in a photograph, but I can’t. It wouldn’t be until around aged thirty that I’d finally watch him as Kato in the 1960s campy TV series THE GREEN HORNET and then, still later, in a few cross-over episodes of BATMAN. Certain media celebrities and fantastical beings (such as Marilyn Monroe, Godzilla, or the mighty genie/djinn of THE THIEF OF BAGDAD, for example), have a relatively clear touchstone memory of introduction into my world and psyche. It surprises me that Bruce Lee doesn’t.
There is a memory I have of being about nine years old and visiting a house where my father happened to be busy on a carpentry job. This was in Berkeley, California. It must have been on a weekend or an afternoon, after school. There before me in what seemed to be an entry room or hallway of the house hung a large poster of Bruce Lee, shirtless. His smooth and defined pecs and abs gleamed with sweat. His thick black hair and side burns framed his face, which held an expression of determination, focus, and defiance. I believe it was an enlarged still from his final completed movie ENTER THE DRAGON, released in 1973. Perhaps this is my initial touchstone memory of Mr. Lee, though I’m not at all certain. I sense that I knew about him even before this moment. It is possible that I’d heard talk of Bruce and already seen him in photos or briefly on TV at friends’ or neighbors’ homes. Anyway, I think my mother was standing right next to me during this deeply impressing moment. She explained, either right then or a little later, that Bruce Lee had died from “a stroke” a few years before, due to being too hard on his body. He had exercised too much, too harshly. At that time, I had never heard of this happening to someone. This man of incredible strength and agility, who looked so fit and healthy, had died suddenly from actual physical abuse to himself, like a master pushing a slave to keep laboring through their exhaustion. At least this is the sense I’m left with of how my parents explained what had tragically happened to him. The image of my father pretending to bang his head against a wall to demonstrate just how brutally Bruce practiced his discipline resurfaces in my mind here.
I felt sad for Mr. Lee, disappointed that I would never be able to meet this handsome man of such skill and grace. I have found that grief so often arises over the loss of potential, what could have been but wasn’t. I grieved over something that, for me, never existed, in this case, the possibility to follow with adoration the life of someone actually alive in the world. There I was, come to awareness too late of a great man long gone while also being too young to fully understand what I intuitively was appreciating. I would simply have to make do with treasuring whatever legacy Bruce Lee left behind– his movies, TV show appearances, photographs, and writings.
Life has a way of distracting and taking one’s focus elsewhere. I had frequent moves with my parents and subsequent adjusting to deal with, school to attend and homework to complete, and an imagination already filled with assorted imagery and other stimuli to keep me plenty occupied. Bruce Lee entered the labyrinth of my psyche, taking his place among many icons and magical beings. On occasion, he would be mentioned during play with childhood peers, where sometimes I pretended to be Mr. Lee fighting off villains, executing what I thought to be his trademark “flying kick” to fell evil men.
At around age twelve, I seized the opportunity to finally see Bruce Lee on the big screen. Having moved to the small Northern California city of Grass Valley by this time, I attended a screening of ENTER THE DRAGON put on by a local projectionist, who made it a point to show movies in town for a reasonable admission fee. I was entranced from beginning to end with the film, marveling at Lee’s incredible grace, agility, speed, strength, passion, and– though I dared not admit it to myself then– sweaty, lithe sexiness. In one scene, a supporting character in the drama musingly referred to him as a “human fly” while watching Bruce jump high up onto a rock wall and either proceed to scale it or walk with ease along its narrow edge. (Given this was over forty years ago, my memory of the actual imagery is not very clear. Regardless, it was some impressive feat of balance and strength evoking comparison to the fine movements of an insect.) His animal-like stances, leaps, punches, hand chops, and kicks relayed a super-human, aggressive form of dance, the intensity enhanced by his constant howling-like kiai’s/battle cries. Every time Bruce was on-screen I watched with rapt attention, captivated by such charisma.
What particularly both moved me yet also puzzled my naive pre-teen mind was Lee’s dramatic facial expressions, namely in one slow motion scene where he jumps upon a villain’s back, crushing it. The camera focuses on Bruce’s pain-filled visage, his eyes wide and mouth pulled back. The emotions of rage, anguish, sadness, perhaps also disbelief, pass through him like shifting lightning bolts captured on very slow film. Pure passion within such intense focus. I wondered what was actually going through his mind in this scene, both his own and the character’s he was portraying. That particular image of Lee’s face lingered in my thoughts for at least a few days. I never arrived at a clear answer to my wondering, but simply found peace around the not knowing. I came to realize that Lee was a complex person, driven yet thoughtful, with a profound ability to focus his will like a laser. My much later reading of a book he wrote about his actual life philosophy confirmed this impression. There, he stressed the importance of being both formless yet adaptive and flowing like water.
The union of beauty in form and movement, such as Bruce Lee’s, is special. Dance often relays this embodiment, succinctly stated by W.B. Yeats’ question, “How can we know the dancer from the dance?” According to Wikipedia, dance is defined as “a performing art form consisting of purposefully selected sequences of human movement. This movement has aesthetic and symbolic value.” Martial arts, including Bruce Lee’s invention of Jeet Kune Do, is considered to have a dance-like quality to it, because, though it is a fighting art with vanquishment of a perceived foe as a primary goal, there is also an aesthetic intent to its movements. Dance occurs mainly to evoke pleasure, wonder, even bliss in the viewer and/or participant. In regards to Bruce Lee and his film and television performances of Jeet Kune Do, he especially met the criteria of doing actual dancing in conjunction with displaying a fighting (warrior/martial) art. Since performance for viewers was primary, with actual defeat of opponents in combat scenes being fictional actions as a means to create entertainment, the aesthetic purpose of Lee’s martial art was pushed to the forefront for a worldwide audience, like what is done with dance. (More intimately, the truly martial aspect of his art was, of course, expressed through the actual classes he taught and his own personal practice. But, I am less concerned with that whole domain of Lee’s discipline here.) I have no doubt he performed his deft foot work, kicks, and strikes to evoke in viewers a sense of wonder and pleasure at the incredible grace emanating from his body. His on-screen opponents are partners in dance. They follow through on choreographed moves, as traditional dance techniques do, albeit explicitly driven by polarized aggression, with touches of erotic energy and intent more in the background, just enough to enhance keeping the opponents’ attention locked on each other. Conversely, traditional dance moves appear to stem more from a source of polarized, controlled erotic energy, the aggression aspect underplayed yet present as well, or sometimes even equally so to the erotic, depending on the dance style. Hence, dance and martial arts– certainly Jeet Kune Do as performance– can be viewed as two sides of the same coin, if not two neighboring sections on the same side. An end result for both of these different movement arts is a multi-dimensional– or form and movement united– expression of beauty, to be enjoyed by onlookers. Bruce Lee for me was and is like Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire was to my grandparents and parents, masters of graceful movement through time and space, i.e., dance, immortalized on screen, while each looked wonderfully dapper in his unique ways. It is no wonder Mr. Lee developed such a following and maintains one to this day, attracting men and women alike for both similar and different reasons as fans experience for Kelly, Astaire, and other famous dancers.
Over a year after watching ENTER THE DRAGON, I started attending a local Jujitsu dojo (school). This Japanese martial art, which focused on avoiding aggression and deflecting attackers via using their own forceful energy against them as much as possible, could not have been more different than Bruce Lee’s explicitly aggressive Jeet Kune Do. For a time, Tyron, the tall, muscular, raven-haired Italian-American Sensei (teacher) at the dojo became somewhat super-imposed in my psyche with Bruce Lee. Before me on a weekly basis was a real-life, darkly handsome martial arts master who, on at least a few occasions, gave me extra attention in between classes. However, at thirteen and fourteen, I was too young and insecure to fully appreciate this man’s kind gestures. What else strikes me, though, about that two years-long experience of martial arts training was how the Sensei mentioned Bruce Lee on a few different instances while teaching us students. He compared styles of certain Jujitsu moves to Lee’s Jeet Kune Do ones, demonstrating how Bruce was a worthy, memorable influence in the overall field of martial arts. I warmed at these brief intersections of my inner world with outer life. Lee’s legacy really did live on(!).
It took me years to integrate my understanding of why and how I embraced Bruce Lee as such a worthy icon. Often, venerating beauty is initially a simple impulse, born of intuition and longing, like a budding flower opening to the sun. It simply feels right to do. Being attracted since childhood to an assortment of appealing, fascinating images, tales, and concepts borne out of the Near and Far East, Lee harmoniously fit within that matrix of my interests. How he stood out from all of this was that he was a man who had actually been alive in relatively recent times and possessed seemingly heroic powers. He represented a union of male beauty and strength, sheer power in pursuit of the greater good, channeled through perfecting his body and movement while deepening his mind. Paradoxically (and, hence, humanly), Lee pursued world stardom, an often selfish endeavor, while also generously developing and teaching others a philosophy of harmony through clearer thinking, being, and movement (like water). He was still early on in developing a healthy life path for others to further emulate or at least draw from, his movie and TV show appearances an expression of his public persona, one of beauty in form and movement. He apparently explained that his martial art was poetic metaphor for his philosophy. Cut down too young (aged 32) from cerebral edema, Lee’s loss was tragic, given his deep potential that he’d only just tapped and started sharing with the world. But, in my own way, I slowly took in what I could of Bruce Lee’s legacy of beauty and wisdom he left behind. And, now and then, I return to take in a bit more.
Last Saturday found me circling with a mentor of mine and a small group of individuals who have become very special to me over about the past eighteen months. This was our second annual all-day shamanic journey retreat.
In my morning journey, I ascended to the Upper World and quickly flew to a black crystalline fortress floating in space. This was the home of L___________, one of my inner spirit guides. Standing at an open doorway, She beckoned me inside, Her raven black hair flowing over an iridescent blue-green cape. She moved like water up bejeweled stone stairs to Her black crystal throne, turned and sat, smiling benevolently from out of a fair face with large eyes the shape and coloring of peacock feathers. Two huge onyx panthers came to life at the bottom of the steps, turned to me in gentle greeting.
I asked L__________ about dual consciousness. She replied with many statements in rapid succession. I found it hard to keep up. Basically, She emphasized that I notice the visible and invisible (to my own eyes) beauty in all things, the movement and life in everything.
Above us gleamed a cathedral-like ceiling, the bottom half of an enormous emerald globe, finely cut and interspersed with lapis shades of blue. Soon, this smoothed out into an opal filled with a web-work of scintillation, mostly blue and green with hints of purple. I floated up into it. Inside, I heard L___________ say, “Be between the spaces,” or something very close to that. My mind translated: Where dense matter is, there is always peaceful space. Be there in that spaciousness. Feeling at one with it all, I levitated within a warm expanse of green light and floating crystals, their hues ranging along the rainbow spectrum.
Then, L____________ took me through a day in my present life. From home to work, everything was cast in a calming light. Before leaving my house in the morning, I took note in the dining room of a lead crystal vase holding peacock feathers, cherished mementos from my husband’s and my wedding reception in 2012. These were one of many a visual reminder that L____________ is ever-present around me.
A little later, I saw vining plants fill the hallway where my office is located, a tunnel of thriving verdancy. I understood, yet again, how being with plants is a way into feeling the wonderful spaciousness of existence. L____________ kept reminding me to see and be with the beauty all around in both the large and small spaces between, each of them ultimately simply peaceful space. Plants live this understanding so naturally. “It’s all there,” She hummed.
We returned to L_____________’s fortress in the cosmos. I then floated backwards from Her mighty abode, back to Earth, smiling in farewell, for now, even though we’ve never actually parted.
In the wee hours earlier this week, an image of a lioness standing by the edge of a pine forest came to me. We looked intently at each other and I felt filled with a pleasant calm. I mentally asked her if there is anything I should know. She conveyed the message that I should spend more time out in nature.