There has been a lot of talk of power around me recently… recognizing your power, giving it away, retrieving it, power held and power lost, SuperPowers. I don’t really understand this notion of power. I go asking.
I want to know my power, to recognize it.
I make my way to the Wellspring. Every step sinks me into the earth. I sink in, wrench myself out, swing my foot forward with a new weight, skin of earth and rock. I flare my hands in distress. “I can’t keep from sinking in.”
“Why resist?” the Wellspring asks.
Why indeed. And just like that, I give in, sink down into the ground. The bulk of me is swallowed, but my consciousness stays above, all unbodied. I reach up and grab my awareness and pull it down too, into the dark rock, slow pressures of ground. I remember then that I am mountain. I exist like that, a vast presence and solid, knowing, wordless. Sweet as a long exhale, I abide.
After a time I think I would like to go and meet the spirit of this day. I lift up out of the ground halfway up the climb to the cave of days. The bear is there with the Grandmother riding. I have some trouble keeping my feet from sinking in as I go. I steady myself with my hand on the bear’s shoulder. I bend over and blow on my feet to free them. It works and I straighten up grinning. That feels like a pretty neat trick. We walk on. When we get to the cave I find my hand has melted into the bear, we are fused, hand and shoulder. The Grandmother cackles and flaps her hand over the merger. She thinks it’s hilarious. Night Hawk comes and rests his hand over mine to call it out of the bear. He wraps me in my red blanket and I slip free.
“Everyone stand back.” I flare my hands again in warning. It’s a little freaky. I’m a little freaked out. It seems I meld into everything I touch.
Night Hawk, from a little distance, explains that the blanket will help protect me from spilling out. His dark cloak, the cloak of expansion works its relief differently. Night Hawk’s cloak keeps me safe by opening infinite space around me, so no matter how unfurled I get, I don’t spill into anything else. My red blanket is more of a binding, a membrane of muscle that helps me to distinguish this from that.
But there’s something else.
Not till I am settled back into my own skin again do I see it. And then it’s a great big lightbulb moment. This is my power. Melding with what I encounter. (And living to tell.)
Ok, so it’s messy and complicated, but it is strong. And it is mine.
Now that I see it, I stop sinking into everything willy-nilly. “I got it, I got it. Thank you. That’s, hmm. That’s really something.”
Feeling refreshed and vigorous and actually quite self-contained, I step through the fissure at the back of the cave and into the day.
A flood. I am under water. All is tumult.
A hand reaches in and pulls me out, sets me down. Who was that? I see no one. I am on a log in the river, the trunk of an old tree wedged in rocks, mid-stream, and leaning out over the current. The wood is dark and slick and saturated with moisture. There is water on all sides, the tree gives no access to the shore.
High above, in the bare branches of a tall shore tree, a dark bird perches with his wings folded close. It’s maybe an owl. Or an eagle. Or a vulture. I cannot see him clearly, against the bright of the sky, except that he is dark and large and powerful, and that he is watching over me.
Under the protection of the silent bird, I lie belly down on the trunk of my tree and watch the water flow beneath me. I let my hand dip into the water. The red of my blanket bleeds through my fingers into the water, ribboning out with the current, on and across until it reaches the far bank just at the feet of a bright, shimmering woman, white, like a cloud, her delicate shoe leaving a delicate imprint in the mud.
She is my princess. Oh! I have a princess. A princess of purity and light. Who keeps getting locked up in towers.
“I’m not a victim,” she declares. “I choose what I do. The tower is not a prison. It is a powerful tool if you know how to use it. Like a sheath or shield. It’s important to be able to filter out the noise of the world when you need to. There is work that requires solitude.”
She is so sparkly and etherial there. I feel myself, dark and solid on my wet perch, cocooned in the muscle of my sturdy red blanket. “Are we friends?” I wonder.
“We are inseparable.” No question. Inseparable.