I have travelled the length of a very long and narrowing corridor, passing through an impossibly small portal leading into the largest of spaces. This space is almost without features, the colour of white emanating from the walls, floors and ceilings. Blinding. A massive white room.
This room is empty, except for me. I am a diminutive figure in this space, dressed completely in black. I gingerly step away from the perimeter as if expecting a trap door to open under me, slowly turning my head to look for any feature at all.
There is a sense of neutrality here, no negative or positive charges. Except inside of me. I am in a state of anticipation, waiting to see what I hope will be something familiar or soothing. And I wait. And I wait. And wait some more.
I sense that there is no other force present in this room except me. I start to relax, walk some distance towards what I perceive to be walls on the other side but never seem to get any closer to them. I look some more, squint my eyes as I look up to see if I can determine the height of the ceiling but cannot. I relax even more, and then lower myself and sit cross legged on the floor like I might have done at an outdoor concert in my youth.
After quite some time as my eyes become adjusted to the brightness, a small smile begins to creep across my face as I realize that I am not in some special place. This space is the same space I have always been in. What is special, what is different is what is missing …. all of my attachments. No sense of need, no sense of nakedness either. Just an amazing openness. And I feel so free and unencumbered. Lightness matching the brightness. Even weightless. Beauty.
I gradually rise to my feet and start walking, swinging my arms as if a little boy at school taunting the others to try and catch me if they can. My strides become exaggerated and I realize that it is all effortless, and I begin to laugh aloud. I leap. I squeal with delight that I can be so happy. I am child-like for the first time in my life.
Time seems to be non-existent here, but at some point my exuberance subsides. I begin a slow, thinking-man walk with my hands in my pockets, solidly but quietly striding as I contemplate what has happened. Have I really released my grasp on all of my attachments? I think of all the things that have identified me, my job and dog and cameras and clothes and friends and family …. family? I couldn’t possibly have released them, could I? But even as I consider these questions I realize that there isn’t a sadness here, just a sense of incredulity. Wordless, I become aware that all of these things, especially family, have never ever existed so that I can exist. They exist in their own right and I in mine. The grasping, the hanging on, the fear of losing these things and these people contaminated us all. Now, as I release the cables and stand in the bright light I become free, and so do they.
And then I begin to cry. Soon, it isn’t just crying, but wailing and flailing as I grieve for those I have hurt. If only I had understood …..! Decades of tears fall from my face as I scan my life. I ache so much for so many people. Gradually, I quieten and return to the floor to lay out on my back and breathe. As I do, I can feel myself healing.
I sit up, cross-legged again because it felt so good the last time. I look around, and yes this place is empty. I scan my body to make sure the lightness is still here, and it is. It is now that I sense the true gravity of this moment, my eyes grow wide and I cover my mouth with my hand. I whisper out loud “I have shed my burdens”. I say it again, but louder. My hand falls away and I say it over and over again. “I have shed my burdens”, “I have shed my burdens”, I have shed my burdens”. Small tears again. Extreme gratitude.
The enormity of this place staggers me. Once again wordless, information, no make that a “knowing” begins to download. I begin to “see” that this place has been cleared of the superfluous, the unnecessary, the window dressings. I have released the accessories and burdens of my life and now am gaining insight into existence. It is like staring directly at the sun and still being able to see.
I understand that it has been my choice to litter this place before and now, now, I must make choices that never again deface the beauty of this “room”. I use the word “choice”, but actually that word falls far short.
It is a responsibility.