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Storyholder

cliff near body of water Photo by Ben Herbert on Pexels.com

I’m standing on a cliff overlooking the water’s edge. The sky is present, hanging there in its vastness, holding this moment with symphonic strains of gray and electric buzz. Watching, suspended, sensing.

I see to both sides of me vast white cliffs carved out by relentless grasping of the ocean extending down the coastline.

The earth where I am standing up above gives just the right yield and welcome, with its soft grass and dainty yellow flowers, falsely giving the impression of delicacy, when anyone can see that they are hardy to withstand the harshness of forces here.

There is an undeniable tightness of gravity here, pinning me down, tugging at me, slowing down my step. I feel as if this force could just sweep me away with the littlest of a flick, like an ant off the table. It screams danger while it beckons.

My life had been recently taking on new grander design dimensions when this place and I met. Dating a new man, after being a single mom for years, we began the walk to this place on an abandoned airplane runway. Taking flight to the heights of our hike and landing back to the car.

He had no idea it would be a power place for me. It was for him too, but we didn’t talk about it like that.

We just oohed and awed and found a way to descend down the mountain to the water's edge, and begin climbing across a field of giant gray-scale speckled and veined boulders as big as dinosaur eggs, but not as adhering in shape, forming an alien stripe of brightness and texture, between sand and sea.

I felt overtaken by the energy by that point, and almost as if to further tether me into that notion, I fell. Rather I should say I was pushed, even though no human was close enough in proximity to make the push. It was an invisible hand, the one that was aware of my visit. I fell onto one of the giant rocks and the pain to my knee cap was so acute that , one, it made a hole in the knee cap, but miraculously, not the skin, and two, it took me many many minutes to get up to discover if I could still walk. Turns out I didn’t have much of a choice and that I could walk, even through the pain. And so it came to pass, that the rest of my visit was coupled with an alarm sounding in my knee, that something had been very damaged. But we'd driven threeish hours, so, I sucked it up and kept moving.

Subsequently, everything felt all the more intensified and pronounced, as if I had been zapped in my knee by the concentrated energy of this place, and I am carrying a condensed energy not meant to be contained in a place so small as my knee cap--so it hounds me, and I swallow the howls. I accept the challenge to see if I can see this beauty with my eyes watering from this hell-call coming out of my knee. I feel nothing but respect, but a little irked to feel like I am trespassing on some invisible keep out sign.

I can do nothing but surrender to the pain in each moment, over and over, so that I can let in the wonder and majesty of the day, especially when sun begins to break through the clouds. We take a walk, illuminated, on the coast line and it feels endless.

I feel like pilgrim. I keep feeling the bigness of this journey, so perfectly centered and bulls-eyed, into a vortex of nature and sensation. I keep expressing variants of this to the man I’m with. He is patient and kind, but I’m not sure he hears the level of homecoming there is for me, in this ordinary moment of beach walking, even with the pain--perhaps better so because of the pain.

I feel my heroine’s journey in every step, as if I am walking on the sand, and each grain is a star. I feel my smallness in relation to the cliffs in the distance, and giant boulders (some veined with a marvelous green, I notice), and yet, I feel like I am seeing myself from a bird’s eye view too, maybe because of that cloud of pain, I see this pilgrim who is a story-holder, who knows she isn’t witnessing this without interacting with it all too, and that somehow her ability to see it, is what makes it pulse with life. The witnessing is the crucial part of this moment. She is the story-holder, big enough to hold the potent sky, the finality of the cliffs and the landscape winding endless, as placeholders for two kingdoms, earth and sea, extending their invisible hands, inviting me to join their power as holders.

Wake up! They shout.

She holds the story of life and as big as that, of life being destroyed, reorganized, interrupted. It is still life, nonetheless. The necessary ingredients.

woman wearing grey long sleeved top photography Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

And today, revisiting this place in my writings, there is a take away. More notes to self: we humans were never meant to be so distracted by the littlest chidings of the human spirit, that prattle on in the form of social media and Netflix--at least not endlessly much, because the bigness of our soul wants to reach out much much further, to feel our place intimately with each other and our universe, and to hold infinite and sacred stories. Sacred time begets sacred experience. A reminder to myself that I must recognize when my passing the time feels like watching vermin pacing and prancing in a pet store, and if so, I must leave that pet store, or any four walls, to feel the wind, even if it pushes me down.

Comments

  1. So beautiful! Thank you for sharing your adventures of wideness and wildness!

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