from BARDO

The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.

Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made

is star-stuff too?

– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –

dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.

Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.

Roselle Angwin

Tuesday 1 January 2013

waking up in the dark

The wheel of the year turns. The Fool wanders on. She's come so far: '– been down so long it looks like up to me,' tra-la.

But things are different tonight. What she thought was outside turns out to be inside; what she thought was inside is outside; and strangest of all, each is also the other.

Above her is the full moon. As if in response, in the depths of the dark forest there glows a small light. At this turning point of the year, as the first rays make themselves felt, anything seems possible to her now.

What matters is keeping her eyes on that small fire – she knows that everything in the universe, from the blue whale in the icy depths to the dance of linked particles, resonates with everything else, speaks one to the other and on. So she knows that keeping that fire in sight, keep that fire alight, is crucial.

There's a kind of song, too, between the fire and the small lantern she carries, lit from the last hearth. Carrying fire to fire is, she knows, the way forward; a way of tending the world's fires and the fires that burn in the heart.

It's been an arduous dark journey, a twisting turning road that has cost her almost all she has, and she longs to rest, to warm herself at the hearth.

As she approaches and the light increases she can now see the further obstacles in her path. They are the same old same old – the thickets of thinking, the walls of fear that divide and separate, the treacherous pits of illusion and disillusion, the seductive side paths that will lead her only around in a circle.

This time she sees them in advance of stumbling blindly on into them. 'When we see things as they really are, then all obstacles disappear and nature becomes our collaborator,' he had said*.

She's been through the cleansing fire that burns away what is not true Self, she's been tried by the waters of the heart, she's climbed the mountain of singlemindedness, she's learned how to make her own wings to soar like the buzzard who's circled her now and then on this lonely journey. She knows she will be tested again and again, that there are more layers to be stripped or burned, scrubbed or washed away, and that that's simply how it is. She no longer wishes it to be different.

Now, she can hear. Now, she can see. Now, she knows that nothing is worth the sacrifice of leaving her own path towards that glowing fire that is home.

Now, the world and nature are her collaborators, her guides and companions. Now she can never be alone.

* This is a quote from Joesph d'Agostino's insightful book on the tarot, with reference to the Wheel of Fortune

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