Writing spontaneous poetry and stories is one way to quiet myself and listen to what is moving underneath my mundane day to day activities.
I can only scratch the surface in comprehending what I mean through the words because the writing is alive, pointing towards life, and living things do not like to be dissected.
This piece however stood out as timely for the approaching solstice and how I can approach her.
The recording attached has a different ending than the story written below. A choice at a crossroads had been made by the character at the time of its recording. In the subsequent editing process, I had shifted, and the written story offered even another possibility for him to consider.
I have always been fascinated with the light that is within the inner darkness of turmoil, fear and not knowing.
Wrestling with these forces have forced me to inquire into what sort of relationship I can cultivate with the inner feminine nature and with those close to me of female form- a relationship that is more closely aligned with Reality and wholeness?
This story is about my own growth with the dark and what I hope is medicine for many.
The thunderclap shook the ground underneath their feet. Miriam and Joe clambered up the rock cliff and squeezed into a cave’s opening to escape the approaching downpour.
Miriam was shivering.
“Lightning likes caves, doesn’t it?” She asked, sounding worried.
Joe was already on his hands and knees moving loose debris for them to sit. He paused, recalling having read this very same thing, but said instead,
“No, not at all, we’re 100% safe in here.”
He turned on his headlamp as the sky darkened into that rich steel blue of oncoming rain.
A lightning bolt revealed no back to the cave- it was a low passageway and the loud rolling thunder began to crumble his assurance of their safety.
“Come on, let’s go in deeper. It will be even safer.” He held out his hand for hers. She seemed very young when scared- he imagined her as a lost child and waited for her fingers to find his.
He turned on her headlamp and together they crouched through the passageway. Another bolt of lightning lit their backs and they felt its vibration rise up through their feet but the thunder sounded more distant. He relaxed as it grew darker and more expansive. They could fully stand now and walk.
“You ever been this deep inside of a cave?” Miriam asked in an excited whisper.
“Oh yeah, lots of times,” he said. Well… he recalled watching that National Geographic special in 3D about spelunking, so he wasn’t totally lying.
The narrow passage opened into a large cavernous space where the air was all one temperature with no wind or movement. Their small headlights could not find the ceiling or the far walls.
“Stop.” He said as his light entered the depths of the darkness, “Let’s take this in.”
The thunder was distant and the silence in the cave felt refreshing.
“Let me hold your hand but let’s turn off both our lamps.”
She had turned hers off before he completed the sentence. He followed her and they stood hand in hand in a darkness without any light. His stomach tightened unexpectedly and he squeezed her hand harder not wanting to let go.
Joe lifted their intertwined hands in front of his eyes and felt their warmth but no sign of the flesh. Then he heard Miriam’s voice open into a strange cadence.
“You live inside a room
Without a candle
You live inside
You call your
Miriam’s voice had an eerie calmness to it as she continued to sing,
“This room you call your life
It lives within a bubble
It lives as if forever
Until this bubble bursts.”
With this last line she pulled her hand away from his.
He waved his empty hand in the air but didn’t dare move.
From in front, far enough for him to strain, he heard her words clearly…
Move with love
Come take my hand”
And then such a profound silence, Joe could hear his heart thumping.
“Christ Miriam, stop fooling around, you could get hurt!”
Joe tried to step forward but the darkness pushed back so he got on his hands and knees and crawled.
You have nothing
Joe felt hot tears rising in the back of his throat.
The cold cave floor was smoother than before and he recalled the cavers from the film he had seen, saying with sparkles in their eyes, “you don’t realize how much you rely on the light until it is taken away from you.”
He breathed more deeply into the darkness- fully stopped, leaned back onto his heels.
He listened as Miriam spoke, a little closer to him now.
No matter what you do
We’ll find each other’s hands.”
He heard her scuffling along the floor moving around him and then he saw it. At first it flashed quicker than lightning and pushed him backwards. He fell and felt her breath by his face. She whispered.
Move quickly now
The light in the darkness
Will show us how.”
He felt her hand against his and the warmth of her body as she curled half on top of him. He took her hand in his and placed them over his heart to calm its beating as the light flickered and stood straight as a candle behind his closed eyes.
He looked towards the ceiling of the cave. From within that echoing darkness liquid colors rang out- colors interweaving like fingerlets of water converging. Reds and oranges meeting greens and blues in a headwater of surging light and then- as quickly as it began… stillness and quiet.
Miriam’s breathing met his as happened when making love; her inhale into his exhale… his inhale into her exhale; one breath honoring and feeding them.
A new voice different from hers arose from the distance,
“You’ve come into my hall
A hall of wonder
You entered through my gates
And found me waiting
You’ve come to find yourselves
After being lost for so long
Come hither, come hither, come nigh.”
Miriam sat and answered in that sing song way he had not heard before today,
“You are right we are lost
We are lost from the light
We cannot find our way
Unless you rise within our night.”
Joe felt the urge to rush forward ahead of her, be brave, but instead moved behind Miriam. He had his right hand over the back of her heart as they stood and walked slowly.
“Show us the way
Show us the way
We’re lost without you
We’re lost without you.”
The voice became a beam of rose colored light inscribed around them. It moved right to left in a perfect arc as the two followed into its slow undulating path. With bright eyes they followed the inscription until it met its origin, a full encompassing circle around them.
The arc’s colors streamed downwards underneath the cave floor and upwards expanding into a sphere; a sphere they could see and feel while clearly being inside this translucent bubble.
Miriam stood and he could see her now in the spectrum of lights, outstretching her arms, spinning slowly with the sphere, taking it all in.
“Joe.” The new voice called
“Joe!” It echoed.
He stood, dizzy, frightened, trying to see if there was a break in the sphere, a tear he could escape through back into the narrow passage they had come from.
He moved closer to where the opening appeared winking at him. Nausea rose as he focused on the darkened gap that would take him out of the rainbow sphere.
“Joe.” The central voice was closer.
“Joe,” his name resounded as if being called home. Come home, he immediately heard in the tone of his own voice.
Miriam stopped spinning and stood looking at him from the center of the sphere. She reached out both arms,
“Dance with me Joe.”
Joe stood frozen and through the tear in the sphere he heard the distant thunder.
“Dance with me Joe.”
“Dance with me.”