Before her eyes opened, Merlyn sensed the soft, red glow behind the makeshift curtain which hung unevenly over the window. The unit was relatively modern and clean, and had heating and cooling that worked. Pittown, as a suburb, was ordinary but she could afford the rent on her own.
Remarkably ordinary, thought Merlyn as she walked a couple of doors to the only decent cafe.
Although highly enjoyable (at certain stages), falling in love is problematic. The first problem is who we can fall in love with. We can fall in love with anyone. A gay person when we are not gay (or maybe we are gay but the wrong gender). A married person who happens to be not married to us (or we could be the married person falling in love with someone other than our partner). An unsuitable person in terms of age, personality, lifestyle, or future goals. Or, worst of all, a person who doesn’t love us in return.
However, even if we fall in love with a gender-appropriate, sexual-orientation-appropriate, availability-appropriate, age-appropriate, life-goals-appropriate person then falling in love is still highly problematic because of the inherent dynamic of the process itself.
Ten years ago, in Borderfirma, when Bethany was told that she would begin her training to take over the running of the Borderfirma Mountains, she asked where her mother would be going.
Lady Faith replied, “The Inner Circle is not the end of the journey. There is another land. It lies between Borderfirma and Heaven. It is the place where all conflicting thoughts are settled and all illusions are dismantled. Once there, Heaven’s pull is very great.”
Spring had come and gone in Waldmeer and it was well into summer. As Waldmeer is in the Southern Hemisphere, summer carries with it a new year. Gabriel and Aristotle were travelling in the car to Waldmeer from Gabriel’s apartment in Darnall. It was Aristotle’s idea. Gabriel didn’t like going to Waldmeer anymore. Since Amira had mysteriously disappeared in early spring and her nasty cousin, Eve, had taken over the house, the whole of Waldmeer felt different. It was as if a light had gone out and a dark cloud had spread over the town. Nevertheless, Aristotle wanted to visit, so Gabriel said yes. Gabriel said yes to almost everything Aristotle wanted. They had been inseparable buddies for the last three months even though Aristotle was only twelve and Gabriel was forty. Aristotle was probably the child Gabriel had never had. What an exceptional child he was – intelligent, kind, quick-witted, and altogether delightful to be around. When Gabriel looked at Aristotle, a thought often popped into his mind – Look after my boy. He could not remember that they were Lady Faith’s parting words when he and Aristotle entered the frame which transported them from Borderfirma to Waldmeer.
The fruits of serious spiritual devotion have an unmistakable flavour, sometimes even more so in retrospect. It had been a challenging few years. I was twenty-six and had been progressing through an existential crisis; an involuntary falling apart of life’s meaning. I felt a deep human aloneness and with all my praying, I failed to feel the love of God in any way which could help my state of being. Other than the care and protection of my two little children and my spiritual studies, I had no interest in anything. Everything seemed trite to me; meaningless and often painfully intolerable. I had lost faith in everything human to give solace to my soul. It was not intentional. It is simply what happened over the space of a few years. I was at the bottom of the valley – all things lost but nothing gained.
How can we see things as they really are? It’s important, don’t you think? For example, honesty can seem like meanness, when really it may be love. Niceness can seem loving, when really it may not be at all. People can wish us dead and still be polite to us. And people can sometimes seem harsh, when they would give their life for us. The behaviour of a person does not necessarily correspond with their underlying intention. If we can’t see people clearly, we can end up trusting people and situations that are not in our best interest and dismissing people and situations which would make our life better and happier. It is not just in regards little things but if we understand the far-reaching and powerful effect of thought, we realise that it can even be a life and death matter. Thought is very powerful and the underlying intention is everything.
I surrender all to you. I surrender my life to you. I will do whatever you want. I will go wherever you want. I will love whoever you ask me to love. I will give up all my stupid opinions. I will give up all my hopeless cravings. I release my broken dreams. I forfeit my planned futures. I am at your mercy. I will think no thought or proceed with any action which does not come from you because You love me.
Amira took every opportunity that crisp, glorious day to be outside. She walked down to the beach and returned via the shops and up the hill taking the longer route past Verloren’s holiday house. There was a For Sale sign in the front garden. She stopped to look at it and wondered why Verloren would be selling.
In the five years since Farkas sold this house to Verloren, thought Amira, he has lived at Charlie’s property in the back hills and in Ide’s bungalow, bought a house, started a relationship, had a baby, ended a relationship, and, hopefully, is now resurrecting that same relationship.
On the way to the Outer Circle (interdimensional):
Vera stood very still. She listened carefully to Mullum-Mullum. She did not want to miss any of the few words he was giving by way of instruction. In his customary style, Mullum-Mullum spoke in a meaningful but mysterious manner,
Think not you can return on the path that leads to the fork. Taken once, it disappears as the choice lies ahead. Both roads will lead to somewhere, but one will be to nowhere.