Deep in the inner planes, there is a niche in which resides an ornate box.
The wood from which it is carved emits a pleasing, somnolent scent; vaguely redolent of cedar, rose, and lemon. On the front face, an exquisite geometric representation of the final sky journey we must all take. The burnished top is covered in various animals, some in profile, others facing outward, all bearing the role of psychopomp in various cultures.
At either end, the likeness of an arched doorway. The “left” arch is richly entwined with a vine motif, consisting of much greenery and hanging fruits. The “right” arch, though richly detailed, consists of naught but stark stonework.
The interior… well, the interior changes; to meet the expectations of the inhabitant. Whatever form the interior takes, there is both familiarity and comfort. A haven of tranquility and peace, a genuine home-from-home.
The only constant are two doors, one on each end of the interior. Both never change, always appearing the same, and invariably rather plain in comparison to the rest of the normally sumptuous interior. The “left” door contains a deeply incised V shape, only flatter, like the corner of a square. The “right” door contains a deeply incised inverted V shape.
I had noted that those who had come to this place, gathering their strength, purpose, and thoughts, would remain for an indeterminate time. They had a choice to make while they remained, safe and protected within: which door would they leave by.
There was a consistency. The “left” door returned them to the changed life which they had come to contemplate. The “right” door took them beyond the pain, the despair, or the irreconcilable confusion which had brought them here. Neither choice is better, neither choice is judged.
Today, a most surprising post joined some frustrating dots:
“When I fell into my death-slumber, I dreamt of two lengths of wood that crossed over at their bases,” he continued, softly. “Then they were on a door and I wanted, desperately, to go through that door…”
He stopped, the memory searingly intense for him.
“That longing pulled me away from death and I survived.
The “Unexpected Shaman“, whose words these are, revealed, for me, something of the direct experience of those finding themselves in need of strength and repose within that sacred space.
I may need to do some additional research…