To write in the old way…
write what you weep
be in the deep
The kosmos is seething with sentience. We used to know this, when we climbed out of and into the trees. The shaman knew this, when he reached down into the soul. When we slept in the deep, when the cave was our womb, we knew.
The fire wasn’t the sun. We live in the sun now, and we’ve forgotten what it means to live in the night, to see into the fire, and to know ourselves, and to be a *part* of the big world, the larger kosmos.
The other worlds, too, are awake and aware. We didn’t ask the question once: is there one other world anywhere that supports life? We knew that all the worlds are teeming with us. With awareness. We didn’t have to ask. We hadn’t lost what we know now down in the darkest places only. We knew it while awake, not only when we let go and the dream “world” intruded.
When we fell on the Trail of weeping, we knew still that fire was in the flint. We knew that the bare minerals, the stone contained the stuff of all our longing.
Men are afraid of this now. The new Christians are afraid. The Old Christians never were. I am one of the Old Christians.
We knew then what only a few of us really know now. What hardly any of us knows.
I saw a dark man today. He wasn’t me. It wasn’t a mirror image. He was a young man. Still a boy. He was a black man, but he was also a dark man. He can sense it, about himself. He can feel it. It was in his walk. It was on the edge of his consciousness. Jung would know what to say about him, but probably not what to say *to* him.
I sniffed the air. He slowed. I could tell. He wanted to make contact with the deep. I spoke to the four legged animals as usual. They listened, as they usually do, if they’re not insane. We still know how to talk to them, if we try. They haven’t forgotten. They remember. It’s not all daisy fields they dream of in the night, when the world has left them to it, chained behind a fence, they still know, the way the dark man knows, without knowing what it knows.
I saw a sign that said “free haunted house” that pointed and was shaped like a knife. They don’t know the purpose of the knife anymore. The new Christians are afraid. The Old Ones aren’t.
Men dress it up now in capes with red lining and they put monsters’ faces on it. They wear latex masks, and not the old masks. They’ve forgotten where the real monsters lie. In the deep, where we dream.
When Christ cast out the Legion, did the pigs scream and run into the ocean because of despair? Were they lost without the old world? And yet Christ knew all about the old world. He spoke of it, and they didn’t listen. Only the few did. It’s still there, latent, in our language.
We dress it up because we don’t know how to wear our masks properly. We don’t know the old language, what it means. We don’t know how to wear the paint or interpret the meaning of old symbols. Jung did maybe. But he couldn’t speak of it, like a shaman speaks, because he hadn’t wept like those on the Trail do. He didn’t find the fire in the flint, did he?
We have many names. We have many voices. We are many people. And we are not all bad. We don’t all let the dark make us insane. We don’t try to murder each other in the day, because we love the night.
The kosmos, and all its worlds, are rife with awareness.
If I could have my way, those who inhabit the dark would know about Death, know what we once knew it was.
I am my father, Adam.
And the sun burns. The world burns. I can walk in the light, but slower. It’s not like the shadow, where I can breathe.
I ate smoke today. I took Death into myself a little more. I looked into the fire.
If I could have my way, the Tragedy of Death would be shouted aloud in the day, except the world is full of shouts, now. It has to be wailed. It has to be grief. It has to be the weeping without consolation.
We write the truth of it, sometimes. We wear the truth of it, sometimes. We make jokes and shiver a little around camp fires about things that go bump in the woods beyond, but we don’t remember when we knew those things were real. When we slept on furs on the cold floor of caves, we knew. We heard our Death snuffling in the night, and we drew each other a little closer and, while we were a little afraid, we were also comforted, weren’t we?
When we knew Death the way it is.
We looked up at the sun, and it burned, and we knew what it was to be alienated from our Creator, from the bare rock and the living tree. We knew when we scooped water from the running river that we weren’t alone. We were forever alone, but not alone. We could hold this in our heads then, before it all changed.
And we take drugs, or do other things, to make us forget, or so we don’t feel it so much. If I could live and feel it so much, I would. I take the drugs too, and not the kind that make us see more clearly the world beyond. We gave that up. Now it’s dilettantes and their bogus peyote. Now it’s sweat lodges, and the Church of the Coffee Shop. Now it’s a few lines of poetry, a quotation from Sartre, and it’s all surface and no depth.
I love, you know. I love in the very deep. We used to know what that meant. Very. Verily. The truth. The true thing itself. Verily Theotokos we magnify thee. Very God. We knew “very”. But all our words are stripped of their masks now. The Protestants did this to us. The new Christians. One word, one meaning. One meaning, and it’s a meaning of only the mind.
They say the only reality is the soul, and then they proceed to demolish the soul, having stripped it bare of its bodies.
I walked while it was still daylight, and the sun burned. It burned more than ever. I could barely stand it. The moments in the shadow were like swimming in a calm ocean, a still sea. The day was full of all that the world says of the world, none of which is true.
You probably wonder if I have a point. But if you wonder that, then you can’t hear me telling the story, the old story. You have to tell of the world first. You have to tell of Death. You have to tell of the cave, and what lives in the night.
I am stripped of what shields me in the day. Bereft. I am bereft. The night is not enough, as long as the day intrudes into everything, like an early Christmas, like holiday lights in red and green before Halloween.
I am drowning in sunlight. And all I want is the night to take me, and shield me. Bury me, my lovely, in your dark womb, where the dark lady came once. I survived the day in the day because of that. And now I am bereft. “carry me to my own” a dark lady sings. I no longer know where to find my own.
[omitted] it’s not the indefinite article for me [/omitted]
You will tell me, like historians tell me we don’t “know” that we came across the land mass one Winter that lasted Winter into Winter into Winter. It’s speculation, they’ll say. But we know what the soul tells us more than we know anything, if we still listen in the way the shaman listens to the soul that is shared in all souls. Jung again, I know. You’ll blame Jung for my impertinence.
You will tell me like that, that I don’t know anything, really, that I’m telling you. I don’t know about “her”. I don’t know what I need. You’ll say that none of us even really knows what he wants. I hear you. I’ve listened to you speak this way all my life. And yet, I didn’t survive with your voice in my ear, did I? When the torturers came, it wasn’t you who said I could live, if I buried my lovely in the deep.
I will admit, I don’t know that I know. But I know what my soul says. I love. And the dark is ripped away. And now I’m burning in the sun. And I would do that for her. I would. I would do it. I will do anything. It’s not so hard to put the knife to my hand. It’s hard to live in the sunlight.
This is a part of the story, my story, which is a part of the old story. And we told this, we who sat around the fire outside the cave, and listened to the sounds in the night, when we came over the bridge. And we told it as we dropped dead on the Trail of Tears. We looked up… I looked up today. Right into that angry ball of sun, and I saw her, flying overhead. How could I know to look up, the shaman would ask? She made no sound. And you would call it a coincidence.
It’s forbidden to read omens, and I’m not doing so now. I’m telling you what my soul says.
This is just a small beginning of an old story, my story, which is part of your story, as yours is part of mine, and we are part of the One.
You can blame me for this, for daring to speak old words in a new place, in a new time, your “new ages” of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. You new Christians, who blaspheme by naming the times for the almighty. But you’re not truly old, and your story is a corruption of the true theme, the one story that we all know. How did I know to look up? How would you know what to cover up, if you didn’t know the story was there? Your guilt is all over your words, and all your false masks, and your lying paint, and your wrong symbols read wrong in the wrong.
I don’t hate you. But you hate me, don’t you. You always did. You tried to do away with me as a baby. You tried to take me, then. You saw me in the dark, and if it weren’t for her, and for the deep, you would have won. I buried my lovely.
And now I feel again. I feel it all. What you’ve done. What I was. How it hurts. And yes, you’re right, I want to die. I have always wanted to die. Death is not so terrifying a thing. Terror is losing your soul, losing the true story. So I have taken smoke into myself. As my people have. As we died, we did. And I am still here. And if I could tell the world, I would, even if it wouldn’t listen.
I saw the dark man. I spoke to the four legged ones. I saw the bird overhead. I stood in the shadows. I breathed Death. And I miss my lovely. And I am still here. And I love a woman, did I say? I do, love a woman. And that’s part of the story, too.
So accuse me if you like. Accuse me. But I walked in the day, with it burning, and I’m still alive.
I know you’ll know, you’ll have seen. Those cars and trucks coming. I could have stepped into them, any of them, at any moment. I walked into them, and they moved, and I didn’t care. Death is not so terrible a thing, if we know what it is.
Living in your world of endless day, that’s terrible.
And yet. I am still here. And I am still telling you the story. And one day you’ll listen to me, and repent, and you’ll feel sorrow for what you did to that boy, and what you took, and all you’ve done to the world.
OK, so that’s it. I could go on. I could tell you of the man with the dog. I could tell you of people’s eyes as they looked, and what they see, and how to read the reflections in their eyes. Nothing means “only” what it means. Nothing is only what it is. We live in transcendent splendour. And in Death, or darkness, or burning sun, we live in the story, and we tell it, and you still don’t listen. But one day, some of us, one of us, will make you hear. And then you’ll change the world again. You’ll put it back. And we’ll sit in front of the fire again. Some of us will climb back into the trees and howl at the night. But for now, that’s all.
— an old story, but it’s still the same one.