Flight 2413 left Seattle as scheduled; which was unusual for this specific airline based on my experience with them. The skies my be friendly, but these people are rarely on time.
I awoke to a January storm that had subsided long enough for the sun to break through the morning clouds in the pacific north west.
The howling of the pre-dusk winds had subsided and it had warmed to a tepid 54 degrees.
The streets were wet and the movement of people had begun; to where I had no clue.
Today I would be traveling back to the final week of my Texas adventure.
I arrived at the airport early as I always do.
Old habits are hard to break. This particular habit happens to be a good one.
Security at the airport didn’t disappoint. It was as efficient as ever; screening old women and people in wheel chairs and taking away children’s snow globes and girls shampoo containers.
Clearly the terrorists are all over these things was the salient message being reinforced by our government overlords.
After that predictable, invasive and arbitrary checkpoint my walk to the gate had become second nature as I have done this many times.
In the boarding area I wait for my group to be called at gate D9 and walk down the jetway with no particular thoughts in my head.
Airports are just practiced motions for herds of people all on their way somewhere.
The line is slow as we get to the airbus 321s door; everyone rushes to get on the plane. I’ve never quite figured out why.
The plane is full. Most of them are now. No such luck today with the super model sitting next to me. I got the old large guy with whooping cough and a gum chewing addiction.
To drown out the noise of airline travel and the din of mindless social media users regurgitating the trending news topics of the moment, I listen to a lot of music. It both calms and insulates me from the zombies watching their LCD screens living vicariously through glowing pixels of cat videos, prancing goats and insipid memes.
Music speaks to me I long since realized; it is my muse when I do not have my Northern Lights or my White Witch.
As the wheels of my Airbus leave the runway at SeaTac international airport I hit the random play button of my collection of some 4200 songs to see what surprises await.
With the first song I hear Peter Gabriel from somewhere in the late 80s; his lyrics resonating in my mind, in my memories.
There is some irony to random songs.
Red Rain began to play. I’ve loved this song for many years. It is as haunting as it is beautiful.
The song begins:
“I am standing up at the water's edge in my dream
I cannot make a single sound as you scream
It can't be that cold, the ground is still warm to touch
We touch, this place is so quiet, sensing that storm”
I wonder for a moment what he meant with his lyrics or what the song was about.
I think of the storm I have been through; yet now I am on the other side.
I begin to remember a vision I had not that long ago.
My mind drifts to places I had been in my many past adventures. I go back in time several months; perhaps even a few years.
I remember being on the waters edge so long ago. This is somewhat a literal and figurative vision. A composite of many things.
Yet I am here now. Time has blurred into this moment; this time and this space.
The vision recollection has allowed me to be in multiple places at once as I sit in seat 17f. The setting sun shining through my window.
My inner voice reminds me of my past and present with a reassuring yet critical whisper;
“Some days it is only a dream; others it is a nightmare.” I silently agree with myself.
How I survived all of that I don’t know. But I did.
The scars I have are proof of that.
What were my memories from that day I woke up finally?
I recall my screams were heard by no living soul as I made them on that waters edge when I woke.
The sight of the gentle tide moving small rocks on a wide expanse of a shore that exists on the fringe of life and the beyond.
The smell of the salt water and the faint sounds of distant sea birds can be sensed. I feel a slight breeze on my face as I gaze outward at nothing in particular.
These and other disjointed images dance in and out of my conscious mind intermittently.
The duplicity of the body and soul comes to me. That’s too much for now and I leave it for another less cathartic moment.
The words that I heard in this place the most often would echo for many months to come;
“The lost must find their own way.” It was my voice. It was the voice of someone that accepted their fate as they had not before.
No truer phrase had been spoken ever I mumbled to the ripple of the waves on this strange shore.
The waves did not respond. It isn’t within their nature.
Yet these words were in fact not actually spoken. They were felt. They were sensed.
My perspective had changed as a by-product of my chaos; my storm.
This was similar to that voice I heard back in college in San Bernardino a thousand years ago, “Stand here, like this, with us, do not make a sound...”. I didn’t listen to that one; maybe I should have; regardless of not knowing what it meant then or now.
In this new vision the seconds were timeless as my thoughts darted and danced between the sun and the moon; the stars and sky and between the grey of dusk and the blackness of dawn or what amounts to the totality of my experiences thus far.
With all things, the sun rises and the sun sets. Learn to accept.
The waters edge was cold yet so much better than the place I had come from. I could feel it. The cold reinforced this was not a place one should stay.
Where was I before that storm?
Time had stopped and as for how long I could not calculate.
The music came back into my conscious...
“...Red rain falling down...” Peter again chimes into this haze I am making my way out of.
I laughed because for once it made some sense to me in a completely inarticulate way.
Another voice would speak to me “Let it wash away your sins; your imperfections. Let it wash away your pain. That which you had held onto for so many years.”
I had wanted the voice to be from my father, but he never speaks to me in my dreams. He just looks at me and walks away.
More laughter could be heard on the periphery of this place I was visiting.
It was My laughter at the absurdity of all that I was experiencing in this vision.
Of the truth and irony. Of myself.
This meant somewhat one thing to me.
I could move on now. Exile had ended.
Reliving it all was no longer required.
I was free!
From what, I didn’t know. The most likely answer was I was free from my self-perpetuating past.
My storm had run its course.
The vision took me to another place.
In the time of my sleep and for many nights I would stare out from that waters edge waiting for nothing. Just waiting to make sure this was really happening and not another one of my lies.
In the past I allowed these types of illusions to come to life.
I wasn’t going to do that again.
There was no one to come save me or bring me back to the chaos.
I needed to know this. And it was true.
I walked away from the prison I created that only held me back. My choices then and now.
There was a safety on the precipice of nothing and the new horizon.
There was the illusion of purpose without risk.
Yet I could not remain. I had to commit to moving on, and soon as I could go back if weakened again.
The waters edge had promised a rebirth. And I was born again. Not in the religious sense; no that was never going to happen.
I had too many questions to be born again in that common word usage. I did not need institutional saving nor the pious and holy fools to rescue me to a new prison.
Back into my vision; I spend the last few seconds staring out into the sea and clearing my head.
I knew where I was.
This is where we are all reborn. This is mother earth giving us back to ourselves. This is the place where the soul and the body meet.
I listened. To anything. To everything. I wanted to know so many things.
I needed patience. And I had to go.
The journey called.
The noise had left me. The obscurity had vanished. There was some sadness. But growth does that.
I wasn’t angry. That was unexpected, especially for me.
Time pressed me to leave.
Even the vision had its limitations.
I tightened my jacked, turned from the water and started my pilgrimage.
I had no direction, no compass, no course; just move on from the waters edge back into the land of the living. Be alive and venture beyond the pale.
Silence covered the sky as my first steps began.
I could feel things. New things. They didn’t have a name or a shape.
They just were out there to be found if I was able to accept them.
Just move. One step then repeat.
I had chosen rebirth and life. What that may eventually mean I didn’t know.
This vision ended and I was in the basement of Tara’s house on 7th street in Seattle. I think it was September. I lost a few days it appears.
Ultimately I lost much more.
“Focus” I would repeat as a mantra.
It was cold in temperature and warm in spirt and alive with hope in her downstairs temple I occupied to sleep in.
Her magic had sanctified this cinderblock cave and I was lucky she was there for me.
She granted me sanctuary from the wolves outside and the demons within me in exchange for conversation and chocolate.
We talked of the stars and constellations. Of Mars and Libra and watched Game of Thrones wrapped up in a blanket. Friends for many lifetimes before this and many more to come.
Those became nights I shall never forget on her round little couch with the candles flickering and Enigma playing in the background.
She would on occasion give me advice and the remainder of our talks she would just listen. What she would tell me with that smile is that I have the choice in all of this.
We all have choice.
I remember one night she touched my hand and said “There are no gods or demons pulling the strings as may have been in the past. This time it is all on you my dear Oracle.”
This would be a new concept. She was right. She usually was.
My White Witch.
What must be my first step I would ask myself often? Only one answer ever manifested; believe in yourself.
I didn’t really know what that meant. It didn’t really process. I hadn’t ever believed in much of anything. I sure as hell never believed in myself.
No one did.
I had to begin with accepting that I am responsible for me.
My actions. My words. My beliefs. My first, my last, my everything.
Happiness and eventual growth began with this vital step. I must believe in me.
I embraced this motion forward, albeit reluctantly, but I did.
The only way to find salvation was to grasp the entirety that I was worthy of it.
I was not owed anything.
I had to believe I was worthy. And I had to manifest the corresponding grace to accept it.
It was ok to find happiness both internally and externally I eventually came to believe.
So few people in my life ever had that belief it seemed.
I was going to evolve even if it killed me. It almost did.
In order to believe in myself I must rid the body, soul and mind of poisons I had been accustomed to taking to solve my problems. Some were liquid, some were words, most were actions. The ego is dangerous to your health it later turns out.
It would be hard, but I could do that. To a certain extent, I didn’t really have a choice.
I didn’t need any teacher, I needed the mirror and I needed to face myself with honesty.
It had become time.
I would find that belief in myself.
I would evolve.
And grace came unto me and the journey began.