Thinking Man lightening flip

 

Chapter IV. Doors, Locks & Keys

Still stunned and confused she sat down in front of her painting. Her thoughts raced. A flurry like a thousand dragonflies, thoughts took flight within her mind. She strained to choose one to settle on and could not. Like a honeybee moving from flower to flower her mind would alight for a moment and then move on. She unconsciously reached for her brushes. As her hands moved color across the canvas she sought that place of peacefulness her art brought her. She could be alone with herself there, emotions bypassing her mind and moving through her and out into her work. She had found a way to loose herself there and then to find herself again on the page before her. It was a sacred and secret work and throughout the castle were wondrous works of beauty and deep meaning. She absently traced the lines of the artfully fashioned dragonfly on the page before her. Then quickened by the sound of wings she watched and followed the path of her winged friend’s flight back over the balcony and in the direction in which she had last seen the stranger.

He found his way to the edge of the village. He needed to breathe the fresh air of the wild. He pondered the strange profound and totally unexpected turn in his story. This was new and totally outside his experience yet there was an odd sense of familiarity. But the battle he faced now would not be decided through strength, or skill, of cunning. This was a new challenge. Or perhaps it was the oldest one. The one he had never fought. The one that had sent him into the wild those many years ago.

Thinking Man lightening flip

He sat himself down to rest on a mossy rock outcropping. He reached inside his tunic for the medallion. He held it flat in his hand and looked again at its brilliant silver and wondered again for the thousandth time about the oddly shaped void in its heart. He had spent his life trying to solve the mystery of the empty space, “repairing what was broken,” finding the missing piece. It had all somehow eluded him. All the places he had been. All the things he had done. All his searching, striving, creating, winning and even loosing had never touched him like that one look. And that look had both terrified and thrilled him to his core. As he sat and thought and looked there came a companion, his guide. The beacon that throughout his life had made itself manifest at the crossroads, the boundaries, the place between choices. Here it was again hovering just out of reach beckoning him again toward the unknown. He sat and looked at the medallion and to the winged creature and back and forth. He stared at the odd shaped void and back to the moving wings. The creature just hovered watching and as if waiting on some signal or shift or change, but what?

Out of the ferment of his soul she appeared. He held the vision of her in his mind’s eye. It was a sweetly strange experience for him. Where once his mind only held images of conquests, adventures, dreams of the next thing, now was only her. She conquered and claimed all of that space in him without contest. And her occupation of that sacred space in him beckoned him toward the terror, that fissure in his heart whose entrance he had carefully guarded since the escape from his confinement all those years ago. It seemed to him to open into a gaping cavern, an endless void into which he may fall and become forever lost. And out of that space of flux and change and crisis came a thought rushing up and out of and from the deep dark depths of him. And the thought was so profound so apparent that he reeled from the stark startling insight. He saw the void, the shape of the empty space in the medallion that he had looked at so many times. And in his mind the shape emerged and simultaneously he saw it filled with the image of her moving toward him with arms outstretched. And he saw himself too, opening his arms and self to her. It was like a bomb going off in his head. After all his outward seeking he now knew that there was nothing “out there”. There was nothing outside himself that would solve the puzzle. In a very real sense he was the medallion and the piece that was missing was in him. It was he who had been broken. He now knew the answer and the remedy. He looked to the creature and as if guided by some wisdom beyond his comprehension he held out his finger and watched as it lit there. He momentarily felt the old burning sensation run through the scar as he placed the creature on the medallion. Upon contact the creature began to glow silver white. The medallion began to morph along with the Dragonfly as they merged, shapes shifting, changing, rearranging until before him was a medallion made new and transformed into the symbol of a soul, free and soaring.

Soaring Remade Medallion

He replaced the medallion around his neck and inside his tunic. Clear now, determined he stood and faced in the direction of Her castle, the place of terror and of his wildest dreams.
She stood, cleaned her brushes and absently put things away. While her body was present her mind was racing through her experience still trying to find a place to rest, a handle to grasp. She could not focus on her art. She felt muddled and all mixed up. And then in the midst of the frantic anarchy of reason the only thing substantial was him. Her mind focused and raced and wrapped itself around the image of him. Here was something solid, both the source and perhaps the cure for her state. Where was he? Where did he go? How had he seen through her walls? To have been seen was thrilling and frightening at once. For years she had made herself content behind her walls, knowing yet never being known. “This is crazy”, she thought, that a second’s glance frozen in time could so alter her world. But she had seen herself in his eyes and it had completed a circuit heretofore unknown to her. It was as if an electrical surge had passed through her and enlivened dormant places in her soul. Now awake and aware those latent parts of her opened wide and the longings flooded her. Her true heritage called to her once again. Old hopes long buried sprang forth and took their rightful place at the core of her being. She had settled for knowing now she longed to be known. Known, comprehended, acknowledged, and appreciated were once concepts she thought she understood. Now they were alive in her and demanding attention. But she was at a loss. She could not give herself the very thing her soul demanded. She could not do this by herself. That one glance from the outside, from him, had revealed blind spots; hidden places she never knew existed. The longings created an exquisite ache and the new mysteries of her self wanted exploration. She needed. She wanted. She hoped. She felt hot wet tears of mingled grief and joy spill down her pretty face. Like the melting of a glacier ice, walls began to recede, at least for him. She glanced again in the direction she had last seen him go, casting her hope across space and time that somehow he would return. She had never let anyone that deep inside her. And given a choice she would not still. But there was something different in him, in that look. No permission had been asked or given. The windows of her soul were found open and he was there. No one had really known her and she had been content. But now she longed for him to know everything. What makes her smile, what interests her, what makes her sad, how she sees the world around her, all these things and more she wanted him to know. She glanced around the castle taking in all the many paintings, sculptures, sketches, and writing she had done. She went from room to room remembering much she had forgotten. Some were happy; some were sad, but all beautiful in its representation of her heart. Now though they all seemed flat somehow, dormant. Awaiting a spark, that surge of life energy that could complete the circuit, bridge the gap, repair the tear between the inside and out. She made her way down to the doorway and entrance to her castle. She searched for and found the latch that had remained untouched for years. She pulled until she heard the release of the spring and click of the lock coming open. With hopeful resignation she made her way back to the balcony which afforded her a better view of the countryside.

She had just done what would have seemed unthinkable a few hours before. She had opened the lock to the doorway leading to all she held most dear. Now it was out of her hands, beyond her control. She had done all that she could. And her actions went against her pattern. It was a pure, untainted, and radical act of faith. Her fate now rested in another’s hand. He now must come and she would wait. He had to find the key and unlock the door from the outside. He must make his way through the castle to its heart. There she would await him. She left the balcony and went straight away to the pool. She undressed and lowered herself into the perfumed waters. She felt the tension melt away and be replaced with a surge of warmth as the royal blood coursed through her. Relaxed yet alert, she emerged from the waters expectant, confident in the rightness of it all. She thought against adornment. No, it should just be her. No need to hide or conceal or enhance in any way. Pulling the covering around her waist she moved to the center of her silken bed and sat down, back to the doorway, to wait.

Her color 2

As he made his way back toward her castle he paused mid step. Something was not right. He imagined her reaction to him. What if he was wrong? What if she rejected him? The chasm would open again and this time he would be forever lost. The terror would overtake him and he would become a hollow fragile wraith, powerless and tormented. His first impulse was to storm the castle, conquer the place and then claim her as his own. But something in him rebelled at the thought. The vision he had seen was not a prize or an object to have to own or possess. He had done that all of his life and his hands and heart were still empty for all his effort. Here at the end of his search he still was looking. His heart remained empty for all his grasping, reaching, yearning for the Real in the wrong direction. All he possessed, all he had seen and done, all of his conquests, skills, and victories seemed meaningless, worthless in the face of the chance that somehow this last battle would bring him rest. He turned again toward the lake to prepare, to baptize, and to anoint his self. Something about him was dying. He accepted and even welcomed it. He abandoned all and clung to a faint insane hope that there might be life on the other side. He removed his garments and bathed once more, shaved, and applied scented oils to his skin. His movements were slow and deliberate like a condemned man savoring his last meal. He combed out his hair, replaced the medallion around his neck, and turned again toward the castle. He moved toward her unclothed, hands empty. The props he had carried with him now seemed profane. What would she care about swagger or stories of victory? For the first time in years he was the boy facing the dark and yearning for the light. He heard the thunder and felt the first over-sized drops of rain falling on his naked skin which glistened as he walked in the final rays of the evening’s twilight.

Him color clean

He felt exposed and weak without his accoutrements. They were all well earned but in the light of Her they felt like props and the juvenile attempts of a boy playing at being a man. He had read somewhere that the warriors of old would enter into battle nude as a display of their manhood. In this moment he thought he finally understood why they did it that way. In the end, it was not about victory in the battle, but rather victory over the timid, the shamed, the terrorized Self.

As he neared the town he spotted the castle and hastened his steps. His doom or salvation awaited him and he was now ready to accept whatever may come. Dread, terror, and thrill all competed to dominate his being. But he straightened his back, set his jaw and took another step nearer. He approached the ornately carved doorway dominated by nature themes predominately dealing with dragonflies. He looked for and soon found the lock. It was a mirror image of his remade medallion. He removed it from around his neck and placed it in its mate. Upon contact the lock and key morphed and merged amid a silver white glow. The door swung silently open. With one last deep breath he took the plunge and with great trembling stepped into her world. As he crossed the threshold he felt the cold windswept rain began to pelt him. He felt the rumble in the earth and the castle walls as the powerful thunder shook and rolled, trailing the silver white bolts that lit up the night sky.
She sensed when he crossed her threshold. A shutter and a thrill ran the length of her. Her heart was pounding in her chest and was evidenced by the throbbing at the base of her throat. She noticed that she was biting her lip. She smiled and sighed, long, slow, and deeply. She heard the thunder and felt its power move through the castle, its vibrations moving in waves through her body. She heard the rain as it threw itself against the walls and roof of her dwelling. She smelled the fresh electric scent of ozone from the myriad lightning strikes that lit the black sky. She had always liked storms but had never really given much thought as to why. But tonight was new. Her mind and spirit was opened to the moment and was alive in the Now. She was connected mind, body, and spirit, to the storm, to the outside, and to the one who made his way to her. A flash like a bolt shot across her consciousness as she became acutely aware that storms had always called to those parts of herself which had been hidden away, those wild and untamed forces which lay just outside of her control. Like Him. He approached her like the storm in her heart and she longed to be washed away by him. The lightning flashed again and in her mind’s eye she saw the silver white of her old friend there, transformed and reunited with that from which it came. The power of the dragonfly to transform, unite, to see, to move, to fly is that which makes life possible. It animates, frees, and calls broken souls out of the half life and into the Real.

He instinctively made his way into the center of the place observing the wonders he encountered as he moved toward her. His habit of observation studied the detail of the many lines and shapes and decorations. He noted and memorized the unique scent of her dwelling, the textures, and hidden places he found within. What she had done was indeed a work of art hidden behind these walls. His heart pounded as he neared her. He saw just ahead the door that would lead him into her presence. He moved toward her uncovered, blemished, and naked to his core. The evidence of wounds long healed marked his body as did the wounds of his soul marked his countenance. To be inside was to him to be exposed, measured, and found lacking. But he had lived on the outside for too long. His soul craved rest. He approached the doorway a dead man surrendered to his fate. As he looked past the doorway into the room his breath stole away from him. His eyes fell upon the most beautiful form, more beautiful than he had ever imagined.

She listened to his approach. She sensed his presence and his nearness quickened her. She was attuned, alert, and sensitive to the very vibrations which moved between them. Her thought shifted from self awareness to him, and in so doing brought him into herself. She moved toward him arms open, self consciousness lost and transformed into something larger. She no longer had a sense of separate self. As she opened the door to her heart I became We. Me became Us. She saw his need and moved to fill it. He was a powerful and amazing creature and she was surprised that such a familiar thing as being inside could weaken him so. But she was not moved to deride him for his weakness for he had mastered much of what would strike terror into her heart. She was moved with compassion, glad to offer what to her was a small thing.

He watched her rise from the bed and move toward him arms outstretched. He was overwhelmed by the vision of her moving toward him, arms open in welcome. He was transfixed, stunned by her form but deeper yet by the soul who offered him herself. He spread his arms wide as she moved into him, their bodies nearing, arms encircling, drawing each other ever closer. The vibrations between them shrouded and drew them into each other creating a new space in the universe that only they could inhabit. A new form of being was given birth. They soared! They were free!

Them color clean

She gave understanding, comfort, grace, acceptance, and love without comment or judgment. She covered his weakness with tenderness and not shame. Little did she know that this was all his large heart had ever craved. Through his long journey and all he had accomplished this was his whole heart’s desire. He had found a place to rest. He needed not shame himself by asking. She knew his need and gave herself to him. Somehow she understood his need and loved him more for it. For in his weakness her full strength was demonstrated complete and fully revealed. He in turn absorbed the fear and rage from her that had long been stored away and forgotten. A storm surged and rose within her spilling onto and into him as the larger storm raged round about them. The sights and sounds provided the backdrop and paralleled the tempest of her soul. The energy spilled over and through and around every lock, every door. Walls were broken down in the place never to be rebuilt. He saw her. He knew her and in his eyes she finally comprehended the striking beauty of herself. The princess lifted her regal head. Her royal blood coursed and ultimately, finally, took its rightful place. At one with the storm around her all its wildness contained and controlled by his presence. And rather than chaos the power of the Other became waves of life, of pleasure to ride and thrill to.

They both had been driven to seek understanding, to appreciate beauty, to accomplish, to create that which reflected and moved their soul. But it all amounted to nothing if there was no one who sees and loves and understands. The lonely separate soul remains mere potential, living a half life either behind walls or on the outside looking in. They easily forgave weakness in others, but only from a distance, and yet they remained bound by the guilt of the human stain. But they found grace in each others’ arms. Their failings and insecurities no longer terrorized, no longer stole their strength. They provided for and covered those small things in each other and were freed to soar.

The details of their joining pass far beyond what words could describe. Their bodies joined, haloed in the pearl light of the lightening flashes and candle light. It was as if they radiated the very light of the Dragonfly. They rode out the storms in their souls worshipping each other, mind, body, and spirit. They were intimate, open, passionate, tender, and powerful. They were naked but ashamed. There was ecstasy, an exquisite forgetting and remembering at once. But all of these words fall woefully short and border on profaning that which was a scared thing. It was her second, or perhaps her first, real Dragonfly kiss. They gave and received the precious gifts of sweet surrender until exhausted they lay in the early morning’s first light. They felt the cool clean air wash over them through the now opened windows. And in that place between dreaming and waking they rested, her head on his chest, leg over his, breathing the air of peaceful and utter contentment.