Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Sometimes it seems to me that I am living in this dark cavern where everything that surrounds me is fraught with darkness and danger. I’ve explored a few caves to know that there are always alternative routes that lead to the same place, and then there are passages that will lead to nowhere, a dead end. And you often have to find your way back the way you came.
Sometimes you have to crawl your way through, and it feels as though you can’t breathe because the space is so confined. Sometimes the caverns are flooded and you have to be prepared to swim…. otherwise you will drown.
There are the holes that will drop you into oblivion, so you have to watch your step all the time, paying attention not only to where you are going, but where you have come from because you never know when you will need to double back.
It’s easy enough to get lost, and if you turn off your source of light, it is easy to sink into despair, because you can see nothing, not even your own hand in front of your face. The darkness is absolute.
For me, therapy is the light. And V is like the light that shines my way and guides me away from the dangerous pitfalls within my own dark cave. Sometimes I still stumble and fall because I choose to ignore the light and make my own way. Sometimes I think I know the way. But I don’t, really.
Other times, I shut out the light deliberately because it hurts my eyes, and I prefer to sit in the darkness and feel sorry for myself. That’s always too easy to do – and to wander deeper into the cavern and hope to fall into that pit of oblivion. And that’s because it is hard to imagine a time when I will ever find my way out, towards the light of day, where there is no darkness but constant sunlight from the deep blue sky. It’s hard to imagine a place where warm winds caress your face, and the air is not stale and cold.
The silence always gets me. You hear nothing at all. In all that pitch blackness, you hear nothing, and sometimes not even your own breath, because you are holding it, for the fear in your own mind.
It’s hard when you are not born from the Above, but rather from Below. It’s hard when all you’ve ever known are the long passages of darkness and the wet, cold air. Sometimes it’s even hard to imagine that the Above exists. If you’ve never known it, and you’ve never seen it, does it mean it could possibly not exist at all?
This big heavy feeling inside,… what could it be? If I have never known it, how could I miss it?
(Photo taken in Ngarua Caves, Marble Mountain, Nelson region, South Island, NZ)