I wrote this as a part of my application to apprentice with a shaman. Nothing of this sort was requested, but when I sat down to answer the list of questions, this charged into my head and I had to write it down to clear the way for what I was supposed to be doing. I wound up using it as a sort of framework on which I built the answers to the original questions.
…it worked! I was accepted.
It’s night. And it’s a jungle. The air is full and heavy and warm. Heavy with the potential and the growing and the dying and the breeding and dividing and overtaking and undercutting and the glorious vitality of it all, there in the ripening dark. And the sounds: a thousand frogs, a million drips of water and the airy pops of water moving through and sinking in and being drunk by grateful roots.
Here and there, there are faint glows of light. Here a beam of moonlight has managed to escape through the clouds and the layers of trees above. There a bract of white flowers reflects the dark brightness of the night. The darkness presses in.
A pinpoint of green light breaks the darkness. And another. A symphony of blinking lights begins with the solo and crescendos to the full concert and is audible in its rhythmic brightness. The fireflies have woken and are singing their silent song.
Plants root in dark. We dream in dark. Young of many forms sleep in the dark until it is time to hatch or climb or dig or be pushed into the light. We need the dark. Otherwise there would be no light.
Cold and clean. Each rising day creates the world new from the dreams of the dark. Light invents itself across the open sands. The stage is empty, the scene not yet set. Everything here is waiting to become itself with the first moment. It is not yet there, but it has always been there. It is finished, it is happening, it is not begun.
A sun-drenched meadow: all high grasses, heavy burgeoning seed-heads nodding in the midsummer breeze. Ancient oaks dot the field, each one an island in a sea of grass. Beneath the tree, dapples of sun dance and wink and the breeze whispers through the stems and sets the leaves to gesturing.
Lying in the grass, bathed in sun pouring down in a palpable rush to fuel the engines of grass and tree, life surging and spinning and shouting in its prime. Eyes closed, watching the eternal dance behind your eyes, or in the back of your mind, or surging through the world, unstoppable, mutable, unchanging, whimsical, present.
Light unveils what dark creates.
Late in the day, the winds have settled, the waters are still. The air holds the warmth of the day and the approaching dark of night, caressing in its fullness. The sky is not yet dark, but the clearest darkest blue, and the first of night’s watchers are emerging to escort the light home while terms are concluded with the day and the night’s conversation is initiated. Again the circle is complete, again it begins.