I open the door and follow the path to the right. I’m greeted by a corpse like figure whose face is green black with ash. Though I know who it is, when he tells me he is the ghost of my dead father, I feel the enormity of actually meeting my Father face to face like this… Because I didn’t really “know” my Father until I accompanied him during his dying process many years earlier, those simple words spring tears to my eyes.
The ritual begins to take on such profound aliveness that the details and facts don’t take root in my brain. The story that follows is my imaginative re-creation.
The voice of my dead Father asks me why I am walking on this path, something about purpose. I wrack my brain for a significant answer, the “right” answer, so I can pass by this gatekeeper. Whatever my response, it is ONLY good enough to elicit another question. I stand on shaky ground and tell myself to get more real – act as if my life depends on my answers, which in a certain way is truly true. Whatever I say next is closer to the mark and after a moment of consideration, the voice asks another question. My answer creates a palpable shift between us. My dead Father nods toward goose egg sized, molten rocks sitting on a ledge next to us. “Choose one and blow your power into it.” I think he then says, “Suck the rock’s power into you,” and so with exaggerated emphasis I both exhale into and inhale from this rock held in my hands, this rock from the roiling fire at the center of the earth.
“Go,” he commands me, “Go.” His head gestures toward the mandorla.
So go, I do, carrying the rock in my left hand.
Opening the door flap of the mandorla, I’m confronted by a hag sitting on a stump…I instinctively kneel before her and with a life of its own, my left hand, open, palm up, offers the rock to her. It’s an immediate, fluid motion, instinctively driven. I’m stunned with the hag’s response. With a croaky, witchy voice, she rasps something like, “Well, look at this sweet thing who so willingly offers me the gift of her power. I will accept that gladly.”
I am encased in a shimmering bubble of surprise. It hadn’t occurred to me that I was giving away my power…Oh well.
I remain silent, wondering what next. She jabbers on, I listen. I am aware of not being aware of what she is saying – almost as if she speaks in a foreign tongue or I listen with ears not tuned to her frequency –
I am aware of not worrying about this. Instead, I am suffused with the warm trust of living this experience engaged with EAIRTH.
“Are you ready?” she asks, as she slowly and creakingly stands, raising her hands above my head. She clutches the ancient, heavy rock I have just given her. I flash on the myth Danny had told us two nights before. Ahhhhhhh, we’re enacting that story of the grandmother splitting her grandson in two with an axe. Only when he is two-in-one can he communicate with all the world(s) around him, save his mother, honor his murdered father and kill the grinch. Ahhhhhhh.
“I am ready.”
Once again, I leave you on the edge. I’m not intending to do this, but the power of this living story demands my sharing it. It requires more words than I imagined it would. Harking back to the lessons of polyphony, I don’t yet know how this set of posts will conclude, but I’m trusting there are lessons to be discovered, for both you and me. We’ll get there!
And a reminder about EAIRTH for those of you who have just found my blog. You can learn more on posts written in September, especially the one written on Sept. 11th, titled: Considering Earth.
You can also write Eairth into the search blank and click. A number of related posts will show up.
You can find additional relevant perspectives on David Abram’s website.