I must have seemed an odd child.
What am I saying? I WAS an odd child. It just never seemed strange at the time.
Much of my daily routine involved sitting on a bus. An hour and a half to school, an hour and a half back. What do you do to get through a full three hours commute? Some slept, some did homework that was due imminently, some chatted (or rather shouted loudly), some fought.
I sat, fully awake, fully aware, looking out of the window, landscape flying past, completely oblivious to the semi chaos that would often break out around me.
One particular incident, which would pay dividends during my training period, involved a sheep. Head stuck in a gate. The driver stopped. My friend, sitting on the bench beside me, leapt up to aid the sheep; and, after a rather heroic struggle, managed to extricate her in one piece. The first I knew of the commotion was when he plonked himself, sweating and breathing heavily, on the bench beside me, the bus lurched into motion, and he asked, quite pained, “Why did you not come out and help me?”
I had no answer. Certainly not one which could possibly be any more acceptable than my rather lame apology, involving denial of any knowledge of the affair. I think I hoped he would assume I slept. In my heart, I knew that, at one point in his struggle, his eyes met mine. Only, that which I saw through the semi-steamed window, bore no relation to the scene experienced by the rest of the eager, young commuters.
It would normally start about ten minutes into the journey. Mountains faded first. Then the hills. Finally the trees. In their place, shimmering, swirling, misty shapes moved through my line of vision. Darker shapes, immobile, stark and cold punctuated the journey. I never really understood the difference. Until the sheep incident…
When the bus stopped, as expected, all the apparent movement outside stilled. The mists coalesced into a translucent reflection of the landscape outside. The orange energies of the sheep slowly precipitated out of the background ether, its neck banded by the blues of the gate. My friend appeared, golden, apart from the small red spot which seemed forever at his right hand side. The gold and orange melded.
It happened so fast, that I really didn’t have a chance to quite register what was going on. From the other side of the blue, at what appeared lightening speed, a black tongue reached out, wrapping itself around the orange on that side of the blue. The orange faded, the gold lost its shine, the red flared, the black shifted to green. The gold faded to a hollow yellow, the green brightened, the red rose up, striking the green (it was at that moment that my friend looked straight at me, and I saw all the way through to his soul). The green shot off, and a sickly orange bounded into the distance. The yellow filled out, as the red shrank back to its normal size and place. A fuller yellow sat down heavily on my right hand side. By the end of our journey, he had regained his correct, golden colouration.
Hmm. Didn’t actually expect to write all that.
What I really meant to say was that eleven years of mind numbing commute had trained me in something, which I wouldn’t really appreciate until the meditation days; and which, to my great surprise, would prove so useful in being able to rapidly enter the type of trance state essential for journey work.
When Red_____ brought the subject round to benevolent / malevolent spirits, because of that incident, I had no doubt. (That he would even consider communicating with the latter seemed completely insane, of course). The invisible forces moving through, and around the planet, were already known to me. I guess from that point of view, much of the core training was quite an easy ride.
Not until my brush with the dragon, did I fully appreciate his words regarding personal risk arising from venturing into the ethereal realms. It’s only now that I feel strong enough to get back out there… and you know, I can’t wait!