When I hit reply, and finally so, after hours post-reading this the first time through, I felt a pain in my stomach that almost brought me to tears. Not dramatic as it was not thought-out. Not invited as I have been needlessly avoiding the door of “reply” for not only this letter, but my whole being today.
If there were doors, visible, which I could choose each day to walk through, and my inner-path was blocked by a blue door, I’d throw things at it–spoons, chairs, my hairbrush. This way, some outside object would touch it and I, a child, would not be responsible for its Unopening or its Opening. And other doors–lust, boredom, anxiety, would be rickety and lean-to’s and easy to blow down with wind or a thought. And those are the paths I take, mostly.
Your letter, your words, our correspondences, are blue doors. Much like when I enter my bathroom with a book in hand, yes, often Milosz, believe it or not, or Meister Eckhart, or Robert Bly–and I shake. It didn’t used to be this way. It goes in cycles, I suppose, the willingness and strength to go there. To open the trap door into the subconscious and feel through the garden of self.
Do you suppose that even a driving force of wanting to be afraid takes us there? Takes us to the trap door, the blue doors, because we aren’t worried about the snakes or scorpions hiding in that garden? Deep in the dark there must be nuggets of light and so we descend for them, but some healthy hand must be holding us back in the off-cycles, when we are content to just stare at snow falling and think only of the surface of things.
I think Milosz is right and yet wrong about the daemons and the good voices. I think we can’t ask for one and not the other.
But I felt the pain when I hit reply. I don’t know where this is going and I know it’s a blue door that I am leaning completely into, and not simply throwing hairbrushes or my shoe at the entrance.
My hands are sweating. I have been avoiding any sort of writing for a while and I feel it building up in me as though a frightened fig tree that hasn’t yet seen the sun but knows it will and when it does, a fire might start. Or perhaps the fire has started and the roots remain in damp and unknowing. A kind of rebirth about to take place.
If I was in a sepia-dream of snow, then your hand was pressing on my lower back and I was a child unwilling to see the silence for what it was.
The crunching beneath feet like a call to worship that means kneeling and my knees are bleeding and there is a trap door under the snow and twigs hide the way and I know you’re calling me forward and I trust you so I keep asking the same question again and again, Are you going with me?
Though I know that you cannot follow, but watch. And when it’s your turn to tumble, I will watch you.
And there is a blue jay near the entrance and he is a guide though we both laugh because it is the moment and in the moment, nothing miraculous happens, just this silence.
Did I tell you that I can feel outside my body in the strangest of places? I know you know this feeling though I don’t know how I know, only that we know everything once the blue door is opened.
I had a shovel in my hand this morning, digging my way down to the street. I didn’t think of snow, I thought of manure. I thought of sawdust and mucking stalls. I thought myself to be younger and shaking her head side to side and smelling the sweat of horse and man. I felt the spirit of the horse who read minds. I felt your response before I read it.
But for now I stare out the window and notice the falling of snow and ask that you please gently lead me to the trap door under the twigs and, when I fall, tell me you know I know how it ends. I know how it ends. I know the way the sky feels on our bellies after someone beats us into submission.
But at this time, I’m still on the edge of the door. There’s a joy and a terror that tastes like lemon and stone-bread, after it’s been in the sun and had every chance to record the way the sea sounds.
My body asks me to stop writing. My body asks me to tell you about the daemon behind the chest and the calling of your own heart against him. But there is a grace like a field in which we are both children and sacred and calling things by their true names.