Late sending: internet off in my area yesterday. The prompt dealt with reputation, and part of my thinking involved syndromes, conditions, explanations for non-conventional brain surges – and a metaphor came to mind. It is this I have played around with in this lateral look at the original prompt.
The Morrigan. The Night Mare. The symbolic force, seen as a vastly powerful equine, that brings terror to the mind, traditionally when one is sleeping.
Ah! But what would it feel like to leap up upon the saddle and plunge, galloping, into the mind of another? To ride with that person’s innermost thoughts and feelings? Not necessarily to give that mind its head(!) or pull on the reins until it stops dead; not to train or influence, or force it over high fences – more a case of simply taking it for a gentle trek through beautiful countryside, and observing the dark shadows and bright flowers, the scurrying evil mink and gentle fawns of its deep inner forest.
Come with me – and I shall allow you to vault up behind me on the wild mare; I shall canter along the paths of my night horrors and day fears, my own bright sunrises and lunar awakenings…and you can see, you can see…
Syndrome, this path is called – but I do not like that name; it hurts me; it sounds like ‘sin’ and grey shadows of prejudice fan out over it before we can even start.
Sundrome, I rename it. Differences, for sure, but coming from the Central Light, not any crushing and crippling notion of wrongness.
Autistic tendencies have been mooted in the past – in jest? Maybe. Maybe not. The track we trot over is narrow, but the darkness lifts and Sun filters in, a funnel of light through the dense foliage.
Psychic abilities? Highly responsive Third Eye? Possibly. Some who ride behind me will know; others will not – so let me explain: I ‘feel’ birth days and birth signs. Feat of memory? Could well be. But why? Concrete example of this: my first ever tutor group – now in their mid forties – left the school in 1985: I can still remember all their names and most of their birth dates. Friends will be aware of this strange ‘gift’ of mine. They test me: ask me the birthdays of celebrities, Royalty and so on; I have, shall we say, a high success rate – and, sometimes, I just KNOW someone’s birthsign.
Ah! I see some of you edging away. Uncomfortable thought, isn’t it? You must be wondering if I can also read minds, and fearing the answer – and, perhaps, wanting to get down and run away. I do not blame you. But the answer is, ‘No, I cannot – and, even if I could, I would not, for that would be an intrusion and a form of abuse.’ What I can do is to pick up mental and emotional frequencies – and, with very close friends, often know that something bad is happening without being told in any conventional way. But, I don’t think this is uncommon.
Let us ride on. Oh, look at this clearing! Isn’t it beautiful today? I do not think I have ever seen the little pool looking so clear and bright, as if washed clean by the recent Full Moon. And I love the way green becomes such a thin description of the minty, goldy, dark and whiteish shades we see all around us! I love the little snatches of sky, so brave in this Winter Stone Realm, edging palest blue through the white and grey when a sun break occurs. I adore the shy peeking eyes of small animals and the majestic sight of the stag.
But you see fear, don’t you? Perhaps you see it in my eyes, sense it in the heightened breathing – for we are entering familiar territory: the darkest, most tangled part of the forest, the place which holds my anxieties and will not let me in or them out. I skirt this area, my horse jumpy and nervous. Sometimes, I make brief headway, travel a thorny path for a few yards – but, each time, no matter how far in I get, I am, eventually, spat out with some violence.
And what is in there? You may well ask – and I will try my best to answer. It is never safe in there. Ever. Not for one second. The trees are gnarled and evil-looking, each with a different, and fearsome, face. Nothing in there is soft or reassuring or loving. It is all spikes and sharp corners and loud nasty voices and intent to harm. It contains the vile echoing laugh which sneers so malevolently when things go badly, shouting, ‘Told you so!’ in its devilish grating voice.
It contains the yards of thick heavy chain which wrap themselves round ankles and wrists, and with which I hold myself back from so many of life’s exciting adventures and joyous relationships.
In its deepest cave, three malformed beings exist. I would not call the hell they go through, and that which they confer, life – and yet they do, in some strange sense, LIVE. They are nameless, but each has a malign mantra, which they whisper incessantly all day, every day.
One says, ‘You cannot trust him/her…’
Another says, ‘It is not safe…’
The third says, ‘Your mind is weak…’
You will notice that, where before I was calm and relaxed, galloping along this stretch causes little gasps of fear. You think it strange, I am sure; I, who am used to it, think so too – because this is the grisly cycle I go through so often.
I go at speed along this very path EVERY DAY, sometimes several times – and, as long as I do not deal roughly with my mare or push us dangerously into the path of passing creatures, all is well. I arrive safely and in one piece. But, the second creature’s voice gets ever more urgent – and I NEVER learn. Tomorrow, when I come this way, and no matter how much I say, ‘Yesterday was fine, and the day before…’ I will still pass the journey in clenched fear.
A sigh of relief so great that I am floppy – we have emerged the other side, and suddenly I am giggling-giddy with the aftermath of adrenaline. You nudge me, and point to the colourful crowd of humans coming our way.
‘Friends?’ you ask, for they seem to be converging upon us.
‘I think so,’ I say – but the first nasty being is rasping its doom-ridden message in my ears. And I look around, as I always do, to see if there is another person around who might be the focus of their interest; and I wonder, as I always do, if the friends I had yesterday will still be my friends today.
I push the horse forwards tentatively, and know this is strange behaviour – can feel, from your slight edge of impatience, that you would have rushed forward, leapt down, hugged and kissed and exchanged news and views.
I look down. They are smiling and, when they say my name, I know that there is no invisible other behind me, that our friendship has survived another day. That, briefly, I am safe. But tomorrow, probably, I will meet them again – and that moment of anxiety will recur.
Some of you, I am sure, will be itching to give ME a ride through minds less craven, heads stronger and more ‘normal’. Some may well be, secretly, rather dismissive, wondering why I persist in such peculiar mental loops.
Some of you, I fear, will think, ‘Ah! Third Creature is, I suspect, right: her mind is weak, poor dear, and she is struggling to accept this!’
Perhaps you are right.
Or perhaps it is an integral, if painful, part of the Sundrome – a part of my mind which has handed out great gifts too – and maybe, after that dark and harrowing ride, we should trot into the pleasure area, the clearing where the good things live!
Look! Look at the dancing sprites! The colourful members of the Fey! This is the light side of my fear: I rarely experience boredom; I am never jaded – birthday parties are as exciting for me in my fifties as they were when I was a little girl. Mental torment gives me very great empathy for others, and a willingness to listen and care, deeply, for them.
The strange storms in my head also produce the words and the writing and the ability to play any tune by ear. They give me my academic ability, my peculiar memory, my love of humour and puns and suggestive hilarity.
They give me my warmth and big hugs: because, in many respects, I have not grown up, I have never learnt to embrace others carefully and decorously.
Because I feel so much fear myself, I can easily pick it up in others – and can be soothing and comforting to those in acute distress. It is not in my nature to dismiss another’s suffering. Unless I feel that it is an act and being used to manipulate me.
The tempests have given me great passion – too much, at times. Passionate anger. Passionate terror. Passionate love. Passionate sensuality. Passionate loathing.
But, we must ride on. Time is running out. Morning is blushing on the horizon. I need to let you go.
Perhaps you will do me the great honour of letting me ride behind your eyes one day.
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