I have been opening for two days. I look at the day, and I realize, if the original promise is correct, we have four days remaining in this process. In the beginning, I found it hard to believe it could take thirty days. Now, I find it unfathomable it could be complete in so few.
The Wizard rises, and I follow. Since first beginning on this journey with KaeDunfte, I have a repeating vision. I see myself at the cave entrance and then going in alone. I do not know if this is an accurate image, but it does return to me as we begin walking. I wonder if magic can be ‘passed off,’ like a temporary sharing of strength. Can one be motivated magically? I’m not sure. Again, my training happened during a time when my conscious mind was otherwise occupied.
“Does the work we’re doing relate to the death of our rabbit or the sickness of my child?” Usually, I would not ask a question. I have just waited for his requests or listened to his teaching. Questions seemed inappropriate, as we were are not here for me. We are here to heal the self-loather.
I know, technically, I am a current favorite of the self-loather, and I would be insane not to hope the healing of this man while he resides in my cave will also extend out and bring me peace. However, my goal is to heal him, whether it helps me or not. It is just ‘what I must do next.’
“All things relate.” He speaks with a very matter-of-fact tone, I probably expected.
“Of course.” I must decide if I am to pursue this question. I think his answer leaves an opening. He was not shutting me down, but answering the exact way I would answer, were someone to ask me this question. Every other question that comes to mind bears a similar answer. I can hear it.
‘Would this have happened if…’
‘Who can say? We cannot predict the future.’
‘Did I allow…’
‘What has happened to others is not yours to allow or disallow.’
I’ve been on both sides of those conversations. I can think of only one question now, but I will not be asking the Wizard. My question is for someone else.
We come to the base of the mountain, and without hesitation, KaeDunfte begins to climb. It is late in the morning, so there is plenty of light upon the path. I feel the self-loather stop whatever he is doing and sniff the air. Like a dog, he senses someone on his mountain. Odd to me, I cannot feel the pursuer here. Why is he on the mountain in my world but not here? I unravel a bit at the thought, but it is not for me to confront at this moment. For now, I can worry only about the self-loather. Whatever happens with the pursuer, I have faith in myself and my guides to manage it.
We reach the top of the mountain and stand at the cave entrance. I do not expect things to move slowly here. The time to wait and prepare has gone. Now is the time to act. My mind spins as we pause at the cave entrance, and I find my premonition was wrong. The Wizard will move with me into the cave. I’ll wait again to see what happens at the inner cavern. Still, I am relieved.
We climb for some time, through the tunnels, toward the center of the mountain. KaeDunfte moves quickly, and I rush to keep close. At the mouth of the inner cave, he pauses and holds up a hand. I understand the message to remain still and silent. I follow it while he moves to the cave entrance alone.
He does not sneak but walks with the confidence of a man on his way to Sunday Tea. Just before he moves to the cave entrance, he turns to me and waves a hand. I am whisked away, back to my bed, where I type. The movement is so sudden it startles me. I think this has something to do with not having two of me in the cave, or maybe I am in a neutral place, like the water perhaps, but my consciousness is no longer in the tunnel.
A different ‘me’ sits in a sage circle, with her hand upon a Stag.
My head is down, and my eyes are closed, but I feel the small Wizard walk through the cave door. I look to validate my mind’s eye. He is there like he assumed we expected him. During the time between ‘smelling’ the intruder and his actual arrival, the self-loather went through many ranges of emotion, none of them relevant. At this moment, he decides just to confront the visitor.
He stands just to the left of my circle like he is preparing to fight for a possession. I would be offended by this notion if I did not see the sheer weakness of this kind of thought. This man is insecure and terrified, and I can’t find it in me to respond to anything he does in any way but pity. He would be enraged if he knew I pitied him, but this too is irrelevant.
The Wizard walks up and produces his hand. “KaeDunfte at your service, Sir. Glad to make your acquaintance.”
“What do you want with this place?”
The Wizard drops a bag which appears to be a tool pouch, and begins to look around the cavern. He says, “I want nothing with this place. What I want is with you.”
“Fine. What do you ‘think’ you want with me?” He is starting his ‘tough-man’ show. He is uncomfortable.
“We are going traveling, deeper into the Mountain.” At this, the Wizard starts to rummage through the bag as if preparing it for a journey.
The self-loather gives himself away and looks towards a passageway that is almost directly behind him. “We don’t go deeper into the Mountain unless I decide it’s where we’re goin’. Just who do you think you are?”
“I believe we’ve already settled that. There is treasure down the tunnel, and I am going to retrieve it. I believe you will follow me if you want your share. If you do not, you will regret it.”
“Are you threatening me?” He looks ready for blows, a ridiculous image when looking at the two of them. He can’t comprehend how fighting someone who is half your stature would look even weaker than he already feels. Of course, he can’t take the thought that far. All he knows is that someone has come onto his mountain telling him what to do, and he is not bright enough to counter the comments. Therefore, violence is the only alternative. I’m sure my lack of cooperation isn’t helping his ego any more than being bossed around by a ‘dwarf’ (His perception, not mine.)
“There are no threats, just statements of a fact.” The Wizard’s response is oblivious to any insecurity and merely states his opinion of the situation. Luckily, these minds do not need to meet to establish our goal. As KaeDunfte would say, “It just is what it is. Our perception will not change what it is. It will change only what we take from it.”
He throws his bag over his shoulder and begins walking. The man looks panicked. He doesn’t know how to respond to being disregarded. He backs up to guard the cave entrance but does not get a chance to respond right away. The Wizard stops at my circle, whispering to me. “I will return. We will return, and when we do, you must be sure you are prepared. Do you understand?”
I nod. And he nods back to me.
At this, KaeDunfte stands and walks directly to the man ‘guarding’ the tunnel. He does not pause but walks past him. The self-loather is so stunned by our communication and the total disregard for his ‘rules’ he can’t comprehend what has happened until the Wizard is out of view.
He is staring at me. He saw me respond. I have not moved since he entered this cave. I believe he may have thought me dead or unconscious in one way or another, but he saw communication between me and the ‘little man.’ A million questions are running through his mind. Do we know each other? Why did I answer him? Have I been awake the whole time? Who is he?
The questions continue and he does not have answers. I can see he is anxious about the ‘little man’ moving deeper into the mountain, but he cannot simply let this go. He cannot help but approach my circle. “You know this guy? You and him think you got somthin’ goin’ on? You don’t know nothin! You’re in way over your head, little girl, and when I get back from takin’ care of your little friend, I’m gonna come back and teach you a little bit about manners. You got me?”
I do not move. He looks back at the tunnel and one more time at me before he says, “I’ll be back.” and moves deeper into the cave, after the Wizard.