“Time is a circle, there is no beginning and end.
Space is a triangle, there is no above and below.”
Mother-Wild has not only the experience
of her forebears and the accepted rules
of the clan to guide her,
she seeks to learn also from
ants, bees, spiders and badgers.
She studies the family life of the birds.
To her and her child the birds are real people,
who live close to the mysterium.
The murmuring trees breathe its presence.
The falling waters chant its praise.
It is possible to box almost anything.
In this way a whole life may be compartmentalised into secure, bounded segments of much more manageable proportions.
Bite sized pieces.
Or even, ‘shots’.
As everybody knows it is even possible to box one’s ears, so that only those things which compute are actually heard.
This is the way Spirit dies.
Blinkers, are boxes for the eyes…
In fact, about the only thing which it is not
possible to put into a box…
This is strange…
But only because light,
is really the gift of a turning-year.
All stands hidden
At the heart of the cavernous world.
All lies sequestered
Black but comely
In the cavernous heart of man.
The unseen green within grey rock
Wielder of Psyche’s Axe
Looser of her Emotional Block.
Our animal soul crowns the summit
Inanimate intimacies call
‘Drink deep – Drink deep’…
Don’t merely dip a doltish finger-tip
Like felt for freely-gifted gold
or spawn of devil’s bloodied-blot.
Not sentiment nor sediment
Such cavernous yawning.
Drink deep of Night
To Day’s Dawning.
All lies hidden
At the heart of a cavernous world.
The mysterium conspires with the
animal world whose souls so resemble
the purity and innocence of a human child.
It recognises the miracle of life
in both seed and egg
and the wonder of a harvest which
springs from an ear of corn.
This solitary communion with the unseen
can be rendered, a mysterious feeling,
and it has been called, ‘the dreaming’,
although it may be better understood as divine consciousness.
The mysterium needs no
shrines or temples
save those that nature provides.
It may be met in the shadowy
heights and aisles of a primeval forest,
on the sunlit expanse of virgin prairie,
the dizzy spires and pinnacles of naked rock,
and beyond, in the speckled vault of the star-lit sky.
All who live a lot out of doors
know the magnetic force
that accumulates in solitude
swiftly flees when confronted
by the faceless vagaries of a crowd.
Approach to the mysterium
is silent, solitary
and free from all self-seeking.
It is silent because in comparison
with the mysterium all speech
is feeble and imperfect.
It is solitary because the mysterium
draws closer to us in solitude.
It is free of self-seeking because
the souls of our ancestors
ascended to the mysterium
in wordless adoration.
‘For God created man immortal, and made him in the image of his own eternity.’
– The ‘Twentieth’ Leaf
The preceding image we had to own did not seem to us particularly god-like.
We turned the leaf:
…Although that description most definitely did.
Finally we came to the last leaf of the little gold-plated book.
It did not come before time.
Already a golden dawn was beginning to blaze through the blinds of our study window.
The Twenty-Second Leaf looked like this:
We walked to our bedroom in a daze, collapsed on the bed, and fell into a fitful sleep.
We dreamed of two rooms the exact reverse of each other.
One was in shadow.
The other was lit.
We awoke around Noon.
We walked into the living room to find the window open and the little golden book gone.
We fell to our knees and sobbed.
On the study desk were our rough copies of the material we had found in the book.
How had she done it?
Where had she been?
And why didn’t she use the door?
The door may be watched, came the answer.
We remembered our dream and walked back into the bedroom.
We opened one of the mirrored doors to our wardrobe.
There on the floor lay a leaf from the little golden book.
Was it ‘the missing leaf’?
If it was, it was not what we were expecting.
The Twenty-Third Leaf: