I think, “What is this? Where did you come from? Quit trying to confuse me and sadden me. All is well, I know who I am and the strength that I harbor within! You, whoever you are don’t know what the hell you are talking about?”
But I cannot deny there is this thread of fear that threatens to cut me in half. The cloud is there and not leaving until I pay attention to it and listen without prejudice to what it has to say. And as much as I would love to tell it to “fuck off!”, there is an urgency there. I must see to it. It will not be denied.
Reluctantly I walk towards it, to this dark shadow mass of substantial nothingness. I instinctively reach my hands out for balance and I feel the cold moisture on my fingertips. A sob fills my throat.
“Why do you want to put me through this? I am here. I am listening. What do you want? What do you need? I assure you I will help. You don’t have to pull me in and hurt me so I may understand!”
But my words hollowly echo into the damp atmosphere. I cannot reason with it. That is not helpful. I have to quietly submit knowing the more I struggle the more painful it will be. Submit. To the reality. Of it all.
Determined to keep my wits about me, I blink back tears so I can fully take it all in. I don’t want to miss anything. This is serious, like I am being put to the test and if I don’t answer correctly this could mean my death. Within this dark, cold murky cloud, wet and heavy with emotional riddles, there is constructive truth there.
Moments pass and I struggle trying to find firm footing so I can feel securely grounded in this cloud but I cannot. I appreciate that I suppose. Nothing to keep me rooted me here.
I am beginning to grow impatient. It is so cold and I am becoming numb. What am I here waiting for? The silence is deafening and I feel like precious time is being wasted.
“For what? Precious time wasted for what exactly?” the wet cloud slaps at me. “You came to me after all!”
I am ready to argue. I came because there was no choice! It was a demand! But I hold my tongue. I am growing angry but I know in order to ensure a short visit to dreadful place I cannot say too much.
I look around me feeling a fool. Why did I even bother to come? Urgency or not, there is always a choice. Isn’t there? My eyes drink in the darkness around me. These Shadowlands, my Shadowlands.
“Yes, they are yours!” the voice of shadows echo. “Glad you are being honest with yourself for a change!”
“I am always honest with myself!” I retort and I hear laughter.
I think with shame at that lie. How much I hate this place!!!!
The laughter continues.
“Enough of these games! What do you want?” I yell into the dark and damp atmosphere.
And then I feel the thread of fear shift to a ball of calm.
“You always seem to hunt for the shadows in everything! In your thinking! In your wishing! And then you settle, you mute yourself, blend in, try to be correct all the time! You are brittle and cracking! You watch as you are doing this and do nothing to fix it! Ignoring me, ignoring yourself, it has been too long. You have to face me sometime!”
I hang my head.
“What would you have me do? I am a human being. I refuse to walk the earth shrouded in clouds all of the time. I cannot say every single thought I have in my head out loud and expect to be heard. I am not an island. I cannot live on my island of shadows all the time. I don’t want to! To do so will lead me into a life of dark exile. It is torment to alienate myself so….I would implode…I would…be… sad…”
And I realize that I am sad. Something is not working. The shadow is right and my method of trying to do opposite is not helping. Giving in won’t work but ignoring what is there is making me equally crazy. Regardless of choice both have lead me here to my lovely damp, dark Shadowlands. How can one win?
“Ok you are right, I settle, I blend I try to be correct. I hide, I alienate myself. Trying to deny this sadness I have still managed to exile myself to an island of sorts…these Shadowlands haven’t I?”
And then I feel a gentle cool breeze across my cheek and the atmosphere starts to lighten.
“These weren’t always Shadowlands, this place used to be filled with sunshine and dreams.”
The darkness lifts and out walks this ghost of a girl.
She continues in her quiet voice born of the lightened air which fills my head,
“You would come here often and dream without limitation. We would laugh together as the dreams took to the sky dancing with their seemingly limitless wings. Then those wings became weighed down with questions and the more questions that got stuck to their wings the less they would fly about until they couldn’t move around any longer. They would find someplace to sit and then they would blend into the background, forgotten. You worried that you messed up. I told you that was silly that you just had to dream more and not worry about details. You became so angry. You said you were too old to be spending time in this dream world anyway. You needed to be realistic. You needed to focus. You were wasting time here. And then you left or so you thought.”
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“You have always walked the Shadowlands! You carry it around in your mind! You have just never travelled this deep. I’ve been calling for you a while now. It is time for us to move on from here. You know I have always been here but you would not listen. And now finally, you came back to face reality again. It’s time for focusing on making limitless dreams happen. It is much needed now more than ever!”
And I think, what is this? and as that thought fully materializes, I begin to remember that was how the questions started in the first place. I don’t want to repeat that cycle. I am ready to move on.
She smiles then and I think I remember that smile! It is my own! She runs up to me throwing her arms around my waist. She is warmth and I feel it radiating through me.
“I am glad you finally heard me!”
She hugs me tighter until finally she disappears within my skin.
“Now let’s go from here and make dreams reality!”