Departure (Burning Man 7)

He slowly stood. The water was eerily calm again. Makara was magnificent and deadly terrifying at the same time. He looked into the large reptilian eyes and was frozen. In slow motion, like that of a long forgotten dream, the creature’s mouth came down around the solitary figure. Gently the crocodilian mouth enveloped Billy’s body. As a mother croc would pick up her young, he was lifted unharmed into the air. Makara tossed her head back and swallowed him whole.

All was dark. He felt a solid surface beneath him. The air was lightly perfumed with the smell of flowers. He was unafraid. It was very silent. A glow began to appear before him. How far away it was he could not tell. Space and time had become irrelevant. A sound. Yes he distinctly heard a sound. It was the same tune he had hummed to himself on the beach but he wasn’t humming. The glow grew brighter. He walked in the direction of the ethereal. Soon he could make out dancing flames. The flames took on the rhythm of the tune. The closer he got the brighter the fire rose. There was no crackling noise, just the hypnotic, methodical melody.

He was baffled at first but the closer he got he began to understand. Knowledge, hidden knowledge flowed into him. The fire resembled the colors of his opaline amulet. With every color of the rainbow the flames danced a macabre ghost dance. Sparks he noticed now. Millions of sparks swirled around the tips of the flames and disappeared into an infinite ceiling of night like so many stars of the outback where he had grown up. He stood entranced almost in rapture at this gift of light in the vast darkness.

Something touched him on the shoulder. He shivered in surprise. It was Eingana. The music emanated from her very being. Her body glowed with life in the darkness.

“Well done Billy there are only a handful from creation who have made it this far in mortal form.”

Eingana what is this place?”

“It is a place you won’t remember but also a place you’ll never forget. The flame you see is the beginning and end. Some call it the Qabalah. The sparks that dance are the souls of all that is living and all that ever has lived. Some will return to a form of life on Earth. Others will pass beyond the realm never to return.”

“Which ones return?”

Eingana laughed. “Billy you indeed ask the right question. The harmful souls will not return. The noble souls can choose to return. They may live again on Earth as the Universe decides their place.Those that are beneficent to living things around them are the right and noble souls. You have a choice now.”

Eingana there is no choice but to return.”

“Yes but that’s the riddle. Even I cannot foresee where you will be, who you will be or what you will be if you return. Neither will you remember this place except at moments when you feel the most uncertain, even then not directly. At those troubled and confusing times the Universe will guide you in the ways of life and preserving life.”

Eingana I choose life.”

“Of that I was always certain.” Eingana smiled and raise her silken arms above her head. The vision disappeared. All was dark.

Far away a man laid on his death bed. He was 103 years of age. He breathed deeply and looked at his grand surroundings. He was wealthy beyond measure. He had more possessions than any man could possibly use. Ruthlessly he had obtained this wealth and now it brought him no comfort other than his bed which even now felt like a prison. His body was worn out, his memories not a comfort. He reminisced of a time when he was a young man in Australia out among the bush. His Land Rover had stopped at a billabong. An indigenous Australian man was getting water. Beside him stood a young, nearly naked boy. His ribs were sticking out. He looked intently at the boy. Their eyes met. Billy turned away and grabbed his uncle by the leg. The old man was haunted by that boy as he lay in his bed. He could not get the image of him out of his mind. He took his last breath and died.

A red spark hurtled through space. It rushed through the firmament. It headed straight for a star. As it zoomed through space it passed a green spark that had been emitted from the second planet orbiting the same star. A green spark headed directly towards earth. A green spark full of consciousness and the essence of life itself.

Roy jerked suddenly in the waters of the Gulf. He had been falling in a dream. Thankfully he had not let go of the log he clung to. He looked up and saw the Coast Guard boat approaching.

CGC Heron (WPB 87344)

“Do the difficult things while they are easy, do the great things while they are small. The journey of a thousand leagues begins with a single step.” — Lao Tzu

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween