This will make it 3 of 3 and I know in writing this I am also leaving out a whole lot that could be included. That’s the nature of this creative project, it always involves loss. You give it all and there are bound to be mistakes, ways I could have said it better.
One of the most important lessons I learn from my quest is to appreciate water. In my every day, it is too easy to take for granted. On the 8th day I am given a 1.5 L bottle of cold water. Eight days behind me without a drop except for the medicine tea on day 5 but water is different. The satisfaction arrives as it touches my lips. My state is instantly changed, water gives me the feeling of life. My inner spring fills, I think how a plant must feel after a dry season. I don’t need much of anything, I feel that in my being. It’s enough right now, I am enough right now. Life happening and thank goodness water is part of it.
The water prayer in the West (on the medicine wheel) is about surrender and it reaches into the last 4 days of integration. I am visited twice by the support team on day 8 for the water prayer and again on day 10 which takes me through to the 13th day, where the quester is ‘harvested’. I think anyone who completed a quest will wholeheartedly agree that this last day is a an emotional one. The feeling that overcomes me when I see my support walk towards me for the last time is a mixed bag, relief, joy, even sadness at the finality of it.
Back to the story. I thought I may be in for some smooth sailing after the water days. They were anything but and perhaps the most challenging of all. This time was characterised by incredibly vivid dreamscape, bearing in mind that lucid dreaming is now a very normal part of my sleep. I climb up a notch or two in my dreamtime leading me to this experience I am calling ‘the deeper dream’.
It is the dream that invites me to let go of all control and meet my fear in a very real way. It’s not the kind of experience one can get ready for. The preparation I needed was these past days and the building of trust in the ground beneath me. Intellectually, I know about my deeper fear. A central theme is not counting for something or not being seen or included. Going there though is a different story.
This is how it went – I am plunged into my dream to visit a teacher of mine that I have worked with for many years. He himself taught and received many a lesson in dreamtime. In the dream he delivers a clean and swift blow to my ego. A group of students are sitting around him. He captures our imaginations as he always does with wild stories and all the charisma emanating from his shaman heart. My heart is beating so loud it could explode with excitement. It feels like this is what my life was made for. I know he is going somewhere soon. I remember he said something about it but the details aren’t clear. I also know it could happen any moment so I must be ready.
There is a part of me in the background that is also secretly waiting for a special invitation, something that acknowledges our bond and sets me apart from everyone else. It never comes. Making matters worse, I am mid sharing something in the circle that feels important to me. It’s not that he is not listening, rather his attention is on something much bigger. My little story appears to be insignificant in the moment we are in. He does not give it any attention whatsoever. I don’t come close to finishing. I am ignored.
In what feels like a flash he stands up and announces he is going on a special assignment. Being the one he is, it’s the kind of once in a lifetime project brimming with meaning and purpose. Just the kind of thing that appeals to my need for significance. Moments like these feel like they carry the antidote for everything in me that feels void of meaning. There is nothing else I would rather do. This is my burning desire. Yet when the times comes, I am too slow and the three places are taken. I don’t know how they go but they go. They may have left on a magic carpet for all I know.
A void remains. I feel an emptiness I may have been avoiding for lifetimes. Ignored, rejected, abandoned. Here I am in what feels like the worst that could happen. My heart is broken.
In the next moment I wake up, it still feels so real, my heart aches. I am certain that it happened. I look around, its early in the morning. The light is starting to break the night sky. I see a leaf connected to a branch. I feel a deep relief, it was just a dream.
The thought comes. I am that leaf, maybe I fall from the tree but I never lose my belonging. I come from the tree, I am always a part of the tree, no question. Even my deepest fear can never change that. At the most essential level I am always apart of life and life takes me in. All that remains is thank you.