On the dark shore of the dark sea, he stood looking out at the sea – or, at least, he stood facing that way. He didn’t appear to be actively doing anything.
“And that’s the way of it, Lady,” he spoke. “You will understand when you have arrived here.”
This shore was part of the Australian Aborigine landscape… the place where I had journeyed to the Earthmother’s Heart. And so was he. His words manifested in my mind, as I had no proficiency in his language.
One could have said, then, that the silence was palpable, but – in truth – it wasn’t like that, either. It was more a sense of being in silence: breathing it, experiencing it, within its silent music.
But, I was having trouble maintaining such Stillness. Standing next to him, I felt huge, awkward, clumsy, inept, stupid…
“Those are your shadows, Lady.”
And he was quiet, again. I tried to figure out his meaning, besides or beyond the obvious.
“Can you not see the shadows?”
“It is a new moon on a dark sea upon a dark shore. How can one see shadows in the dark?”
And again he was quiet.
After a long while, he commented, “When you are still enough, you will be able to smell and taste shadows; you will be able to feel them – feel their energy. They are like disembodied and mislabeled pieces of the dark. They are singularly distinct from the darkness because of the human emotional attachment, which gives them substance.”
“But shadows don’t seem to have substance at all. They are just eclipses of denser vibrations from the Light.”
“Those are not the shadows I refer to, Lady. I refer to yours. And mine.”
“The words in your mind that you used to describe yourself… the negative connotations of them… the emotional attachments to those words, and their bindings on you… those shadows.”
“The word has a shadow?”
“Yes. Attached to you.”
“And you can see it?”
“And smell it, and taste it. It becomes visible when you speak it.”
“Is being ‘clumsy’ so negative then?”
“You tell me. It is your attachment. What is it attached to?”
“Well, usually it was attached to a voice. A voice of anger or sarcasm or impatience. It was sometimes attached to punishment or ridicule. Very negative stuff.”
“But is being clumsy in and of itself ‘bad’? Is a new-born fawn or colt ‘bad’?”
“So ‘clumsy’ isn’t bad.”
“No. I guess it’s the emotion attached to it… the fear and disgrace.”
“Yes. As it is with all the adjectives you used on yourself. The words in and of themselves have no quality except for the emotions you attach to them. It is okay to be clumsy sometimes, to be awkward. You are young, and growing.”
This, from someone who not only was a good foot shorter than me, but also, at least, a few decades younger.
Again he spoke.
“These shadows are the ones you need to deal with, now. You have allowed them to make a comfortable home in your energy field. They swirl about in you like dust motes in the sunbeams. Release them so they can return to the dark. Release yourself as well. It is a healing thing.”
“I will work on this,” I said to him. In my mind, I really desired to know my shadows better, so I could truly release them, bless them, honor their intent and then let them go. And, yes, release myself.
After a time of watching out over the dark ocean in a much better frame of mind, I said, “I’m sorry to interrupt your Watching, but I was wondering what you could tell me about the Salmon.”
“What do you know?”
“That it’s a fish. That it is born upstream grows up and lives downstream, and then – at a prescribed time – it struggles to return upstream to where it was born. Nowadays, however, it is having more difficulties in the modern world because of the man-made dams and obstacles in the rivers.”
“The Salmon is your reflection. Not a shadow-reflection, but a Light-reflection. You, too, are struggling to go Home. And you also have been stymied by man-made obstacles placed in your Path. But, also like the Salmon, you have not given up.”
“I can see that. I can also see that maybe I’ve put some of those obstacles in the way, myself.”
“Perhaps I’m trying to prove something.”
“Maybe to prove I have courage and determination and persistence?”
“Again, why? And to whom?”
“I don’t know. To myself, I guess. Maybe to God.”
“An interesting response…”
“Something else to contemplate, I guess.”
After another few moments of silence, he said quietly and gently, “Maybe you just don’t want to get Home too quick, if at all… This God, this loving Creative Source of all Life, surely this Light does not set impediments to interfere with your coming Home… or anyone’s coming Home. So why not just, as you say, ‘tap your shoes together three times and go Home’? What are you afraid of?”
I had no answer.
“You will find it in your shadows.”
“Am I so obvious, then?”
“No; not at all. The variegated swirls of mist throughout your aura are merely smoke signals that only you can truly decipher. It is the same with all Humans. Even me. I can only suggest what I perceive, which merely reflects the shadows in me.”
“This is very deep, what you have shared with me. I am honored by your company and conversation.”
“I simply Watch and Listen, Lady. You allowed me an opportunity to share.”
“What of the Navigator, then?”
“Ah, well. Who, now, do you think that would be?”
“Yes. And Others.”
“Yes, and Buddha, and Mary, and even my own Chief, too. They all help us navigate this Stream of Life… helping us around obstacles, disentangling us from nets and traps, healing our wounds, encouraging us to travel farther up the Stream.”
“Tonight, I think, I would speak with your Chief, once again.”
“He is waiting. You will find him beside the embers in the fire pit. Good Journey, Lady.”
And he detached from our conversation, becoming intently the Watcher and Listener of this dark shore of his Homeland. As I looked “properly”, unfocusing my eyes from the mundane, I could “see” him standing like a lighthouse… his very Stillness shining like a beacon across the dark waters.
And, like he had said, so it was. The Chief sat on a reed mat by the fire pit, with embers humming in a soft orange glow. I heard him speak.
“You Listen and Watch well, when you are not busy with trying and doing and being.”
“I cannot fathom a way to just Listen and Watch, and pay my rent.”
“You cannot serve two masters.”
“Then, Navigator, I seek guidance.”
“You attempt to be ‘of’ two worlds. You attempt to be both Salmon and Stream.”
“Until you know yourself and them as One, you learn little of either.”
“Well, isn’t the whole idea just to get Home, anyway?”
And he, very unusual for him, interrupted…
“Thinking is a concrete dam in the Stream, creating undue hardship for both the Stream and the Salmon… and for you. You are already Home.”
“You’re already Home. You’ve created this Dream for yourself in order to experience certain things, and become wiser.”
“Honor the Dream.”
And he allowed Silence to enter our conversation, laced with quiet crickly crackly chanting from the embers.
Then he continued.
“Honor yourself. Do not attempt to go beyond what you haven’t become yet. Be patient with yourself. Even the Salmon rests, time to time, on her Quest. But the Salmon knows who and what she is. You do not.”
“Even with the guidance of a navigator, how can you sail your ship if you do not know its build, its speed, its draft, its sails? Discover yourself. That is the only important journey right now. Then, return. And we will pour over uncharted seas, and see what grand adventure awaits you. Go rest now.”
And I awoke back in my own room, dizzy from the intensity of the visit with the Navigator. I felt that I had experienced much beyond what I remember, and have written. I felt that I had traversed galaxies, inhaled the forests of a thousand worlds, tasted hundreds of ocean mists (not all salty…), had a billion bright blazing spots before my eyes from stars unseen and unknown to my small planet. I felt I had walked on shores, the textures of which were indecipherable to these Terran words of mine. I was, at once, psyched, awed, overwhelmed, exhausted, fascinated, and full to overflowing… as if I had just experienced the Whole of Creation.
And then, a whisper in my mind…
“That was just a glimpse, Lady.”
And I laid back on my pillows, amazed… and allowed Stillness to wash over me, until I could sleep.
An additional side Journey, dealing with Salmon, occurred while I met with Lugh. I had been discussing and writing lyrics to celebrate being with him. He gave me a hazel stick with runes carved into it (and so it is in the song). Then, later, I realized that Hazel in Gaelic, also refers to the Salmon. And the runes that were carved into it were navigational instructions! Wow! How cool! How fascinating the Weave!
‘In your Journey to Love, you must go through Deep Initiation and Rebirth, shielded with Light and Clarity, open to the Fires of your Heart.’