I was sitting on a boulder on the edge of the Cliff, outside the Elf Village. Despondent. Not at ease.
“What’s the matter, Little One?”
“I am not at peace, Master.”
“And do you understand that?”
“I am aware that I must know my own Peace, to be at Peace. I’m aware that I must know myself to be safe, to find safety within myself, to ever find it outside myself. I am aware. I do know. I understand the concept.”
“And yet I cannot find Peace. I would guess I have yet to experience my Peace, and I cannot know it until I have experienced it. In some way.”
“That is true. With all your studying and journeying, with all the inner depths and darkest challenges you’ve taken on, with all the risk of dealing with your own demons, yet you have still an inner bastion untouched by your work.”
“Too true… I think I will go fly with Ikthar, my Sky-dragon friend, for a while, to calm my thoughts and anxieties.”
“Yes. Go then. Another adventure calls you.”
And then he disappeared. In the blink of an eye.
I whistled (in my mind, for I’m a poor whistler) for Ikthar, who presented himself directly, rising abruptly on the cliff’s updraft, as if he had been waiting. I climbed aboard and fastened myself in, leaving enough slack to stretch out prone upon his back, feeling the wind in my face… my arms outstretched, as if flying.
A sudden microburst caught us both off-guard, tearing me from his back. I was freefalling, and he was spiraling awkwardly towards the earth below with a rip in his wing.
I reached out, as if the air beside me were but a curtain of diaphanous material, and saw it rip vertically with me, as I fell. As realization dawned that I was causing the rip, I grabbed a hold of the “material”, trying to wrap it about my hand and slow my fall. With intent, it actually worked and I was jerked suddenly, pulling my shoulder hard as I stopped. I knew this was no time to look down (mid-air) or use logic of any sort. I pulled myself into the ripped area and found myself on a very narrow ledge of rock.
The gaping fissure next to it kept my eyes looking further ahead, where I noticed that the whole area was dimly lit, radiating off reddish-orange rock walls, crisply striated like a mixture of jasper and tourmaline. Both beneath and above the ledge, the rock ran vertically beyond sight. Off to my left, there was nothing but the blackness of space. Forward, the dimmest of light seemed to beckon. The ledge was too narrow for me to look behind myself, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to, anyway.
Carefully, I shuffled toward the light, which fortunately grew brighter after a while. Soon, I came to the edge of the path, which ended far up in the face of yet another cliff. I looked out onto a place I had never been before. The vista extended before me for miles, in an awesome sparkly greenish-silver forest growing all the way to the horizon. I was aware of a thundering rumble of many voices nearby, and finally realized that this cliff I was on was the home of a multiple waterfall, or a family of waterfalls. Only a few feet to both the left and right of me, their Presence resounded within and around me. Looking down, I noticed that their Journey lasted perhaps a good thousand feet. I looked around and behind me. There was nowhere else to go. I breathed and relaxed into this Place. Soon, I was able to see the luminous fibers of energy here… and found one close enough for me to grab hold of and rappel down with the waterfall. I leaped… … and landed knee-deep in a side pool, missing the boulders, rapids… and grassy bank.
“You could’ve landed over here, you know, and not gotten so wet.”
I heard the light melodious voice, touched with humor and concern, and turned.
I could see nothing but bright white light, and squinted my eyes closed.
Again, the voice.
“If you open your eyes under the water, it will help you see in this Place, by washing away the stuff from your other Place.”
And so I did. This time when I emerged from the pool, I was a bit more able to focus. I saw a ‘person’ … somewhat a blend of Human and Fae, but neither. Silverish-green aura wrapped like clothing about ‘him’… and he seemed to blend into the environment to a point of invisibility. I pondered about the energy, for ‘he’ had a slight taste of masculine energy (from my perceptions) mixed in a curious blend with feminine energy, as well.
“It is a short walk to my Home, if you would like to rest.”
He spoke, not only as if he had expected me, but also as if he knew me, my thoughts, my feelings, my innermost self.
“Of course, as you know mine. Once you trust yourself. And, yes, I speak out loud for your benefit.”
Soon, we came to his Home – a magnificent structure that seemed to be a weave of the environment – with its own sentience created from the interactions of the sentient forms woven into its Self (best description that can be explained in words and Human concepts). My clothes, however, were still damp, as I had journeyed this day in my denim jeans and jacket. I was a bit chilled although the outside temperature was mild. I noticed a fire warming his Home, giving off soft light, but it was not like any fire I had known or seen.
“It is of crystalline composition. These crystals grow quickly here, and then they decompose – so to speak – giving off heat and light. When they have become dust, they begin rejuvenating. It’s not important why (he was reading my mind…). It just is.”
I sat before the “fire” fascinated, and realized that my clothes had completely dried before the fourth ascension of the crystals.
“Care for some refreshment?” he asked, quietly with careful invitation.
I knew that in the reading of my thoughts and interpreting the deep-carved sacriglyphs on the walls of my heart, he was aware of my issue with fear… my search for peace and safety.
“One brings the other, you know. Once you find Peace, safety will not be an issue.” He offered me a cup of some effervescent clear liquid. “Taste it with your tongue, or with your thoughts, or what you refer to as psychic abilities. You will know the truth.”
He seemed to know more about me than I did.
“You asked for a teacher.”
I knew he was right. I knew this Place was right. I knew this Journey was right. But I was more scared than I had ever been in a long time.
“That’s because you have chosen to cross into the Space of your Fear. That’s because you seek Peace. You are in the midst of your Fear energy.”
“Then, who are you?”
“Your Guide; your Teacher… by your request.”
“But this place doesn’t look like Fear.”
“Ah, but it feels like it, yes?”
“Very much so.”
“That’s because your Fear exists beyond what you can see and hear and feel. And I can help you discern the evidence and identity of your Fear, if you want.”
“My trust evaporates within me like mist in the sun.”
“I even fear you.”
Suddenly, there was a transparent wall of energy completely surrounding me, imprisoning me. Panicked, I yelled at him, “What have you done?! And why?!”
“You did it.”
“No! This wall! This trap! You did it! What is it?!”
“You created it as soon as your fear took command here.” He continued, “In this Place, your thoughts and feelings, all your Knowing, manifests in realness, as soon as the intent is created.”
“I didn’t think this thing up!”
“Oh, but you did,” he calmly replied. “Your intent blazed through your fear. Actually, it’s quite good, what you’ve done. Perhaps a bit too solid to breathe through, though. You think?”
Again, his voice resonated with that quiet humor laced with deep concern. I slowed my breathing. I began to visualize this shield I had manifested as more like the Unicorn netting about my Elfhome. I felt the air moving within and around me once more.
Then, I looked at him and said, “You have the Power to override my manifestations, don’t you?”
He looked carefully at me, and somberly said, “Yes – but not without your consent. Not without invitation to do so. Protect yourself as much as will make you comfortable. Nothing, but from your own thoughts and feelings, will interfere with your Journey here. I promise, even knowing your issue with trust. Regardless of what you encounter or experience, I will not interfere except by your request or invitation to do so… because this Journey and my Guidance exist solely by your request. It is my honor to walk it with you.”
I sat down, again, by the Fire, and sipped from the cup he had given me.
“Stay with what is comfortable. Keep your shielding intact. Do not attempt to go beyond what you are ready for, not even to please me or dare yourself. Just be who you are. Be comfortable in the midst of your fear. That is the key.”
“When will we be moving on – journeying and such,” I asked quickly.
“Why not stay here?”
Again, panic coursed through me. And I watched as my energy field once again solidified. I struggled to calm my breathing, and loosen my own cocoon.
He quietly asked, “Where can you go, and not carry your fear? You trick yourself into believing that if you move, you will keep ahead of it – and once you stop, it will catch up to you.”
“So…,” I mumbled.
“And so it is,” he replied patiently. “It is catching up to you, by your belief. But in your deep Knowing, you know it is here within you.”
“Yes, inside me, like an alien lifeform, like some perverted monster eating away at my bones and muscles, my blood and breathing – eating away my mind until I am insane. I have to keep myself- my mind… busy, always busy, so it cannot – so I cannot – hear the munching, the tearing of cell and tissue membrane, the acidic disintegration of all I am. If I can keep on moving, keep busy enough, I will die before I go insane.”
“And if you stay here, and fight it, I will remain with you. I will give you sustenance. I will hold you. I will provide the hope for you, that – no matter what – I will be right here. Now is the Time. Here is the Place. Stand, and face your fear.”
“I cannot stop it from overwhelming me. I have no power. I am helpless.”
“Let it come.”
“No! Are you crazy?!”
“Furl your sails. The wind is too strong. Let it blow through.”
“It will destroy me.”
“Not if there is nothing to destroy.”
“Quit speaking in symbolisms!”
“Give him the ship.”
“Fuck you! It’s mine! Tell him it’s mine! Tell him to leave me alone!”
“You tell him.”
“He isn’t listening!”
“No, he’s listening, but to his own fears, his own voices. They are too loud. He cannot hear you.”
“Tell him to stop!”
“He isn’t listening; you told me yourself.”
“You’re God! You can make him listen. You can make him stop!”
“No, I can’t.”
“I gave him and you free will. I can’t.”
“It’s not fair! You’re going to let him hurt me! You’re going to let him do all this, aren’t you?! You’re going to let all this happen, aren’t you!? I hate you! I hate you! I hate you! Look at what you let happen! Even with the Demons! Even with Lucifer! Where the fuck are you??!”
“I’m holding you, Child. You asked to understand. You asked to experience the worst fear, so you could find the greatest Peace. You asked me not to interfere…”
Sorrowfully, he continued, “… and now, we meet again in this Place. Not that I haven’t been with you all the while. But it’s in this Place that the Fear feeds on you.”
“I still don’t know how to find Peace within that Fear. I still barter and manipulate and use all my strategic intuition to deal with it. It still overwhelms me.”
“But now you know how to stand in Love and Light. You have journeyed, until you remembered again. If you can avoid the Storm, do so. But if you can’t, then stand still and become the Beacon of Light and Love that you are. Most of whom are Dark will steer away… but those who reach, those that try to touch or get too close, you must enwrap with Love. It is all you have, but it is all you will ever need to win. Return every hurt with Love; with every cut send Love back to the cutter. There is no better Way. It is all I have to give to you. It is all I am. Let go, and give Love.”
“And I’m here.”
“Can we still go on some walks, anyway?”
“Yes. They can be your reward, for there are things here beyond your wildest imagination… and I would know that. Fun things. Adventure.”
“Ok. Can we rest now? Will you draw some protection around me, if I request?”
And as I snuggled in amongst the many comforters and blankets, I felt the gentle warmth of his Spirit surround my Shield, like the soft warm light of the Fire. And I slept.