Pandemic Diary: How to escape in the dark
Study your captor, your gatekeeper - the one who patrols the edges of your freedom. Pay attention. Learn how the prison guard thinks.
Forget the prison guard. You don't need the prison guard. Fuck the prison guard. He is not real - that was never what kept you stuck in the tower/the castle/the marriage/the dead end job.
Walk out -
right into the dark.
It's the only way.
In fact, you can skip steps one and two.
But you won't. You still believe in steps.
which is really step one. But who's counting?
Not you. You haven't been paying attention.
This is how you've survived. Shutting down the part of you which, if it were allowed to, would go off like an alarm, shrieking: get out get out get out .
Well, she's awake now. And you're listening.
I was about to give Step Four.
Before I do
remove your shoes.
Step five is the same.
Down down down.
into your senses,
into your body,
plumb the wild wisdom depth
of your own
Drop your mask, your cloak, your dress.
Leave your pretense strewn across the floor
You know you wanna
(breast stroke is nice)
and feel the darkness, smooth and thick
as velvet, moving around you, moving inside you,
warm as brandy,
warm as blood
thick and rich,
amniotic and everywhere
Realize (at some point you will) that you can breathe underwater. A while after that, you will realize that you are diving through the flesh of your own heart.
Feelings will rise now.
Shame, disgust, rage and then, grief.
All the icky eeeewwwww that must show itself is here.
You can endure this. It leads to
where you will finally notice the shadows:
the ancestors whispering,
the princesses pouting
the knights riding horses back and forth
across a stage.
There are lanterns everywhere.
You don't know where to look (you know exactly where to look)
You aren’t sure you’re ready to look
as they approach,
oars slowly slapping against the lake,
singing their echoing song.
You will dream now
of scholars studying, fairies dancing,
a merchant offering bread to a hungry child.
You will dream now
of cornfields drying,
fires burning beside the ocean,
and priestesses braiding and un-braiding their hair.
In these dreams,
you will walk and walk,
climbing hills, searching caves,
as a clockwork of druids,
brown-robed and silent,
moves, backlit by fire light,
back and forth,
and in and out
They are carrying lanterns.
So many lanterns.
What’s with the lanterns?
This will fascinate and frustrate you.
This will take a while. That's okay.
They have all the time in the world
And now, so do you.
There's a rowboat (rudderless, with room for one alone.)
Feel the whoosh as they push,
and the shhhhhhh as you slide
and the ahhhh as you slow
and come to rest
on the mirror smooth surface
of the lake.
but not moving,
propelled by something,
you do not yet (never will) understand.
As you float, invent a little
(remember an enormous)
prayer. (Repeat after me):
You are not alone. (I am not alone.)
In the dark unknown. (In the dark unknown.)
Here. There. Everywhere. (Here, there, everywhere.)
Wherever you are She is (Wherever I am, She is)
Don't forget this.
(You will forget this.)
You will need this
(and you’ll remember it then)
to get through
The Unimaginable sorrow.
I am not alone. In the dark unknown. Wherever I am, She is.
Morning. (But this is morning underwater. Light streaking through the murky depth.)
Opening. (Eyes, nose, gills.)
Breathing. Breathing. Breathing.
As you take it all in.
The extraordinary beauty of the world.
All of this.
All of this.
And all of it for you.
Walk across the lake (this will work now)
and meet the one
who is walking across the lake to meet you.
All that is left now, is
the great surprise.
of looking into your own eyes.
And of course,
Full Surrender as
the whale echo ancestor song takes you apart.
All the steps are gone.
You are ready now.
Descend into Her.