Nun too happy!

Nun too happy

Exhale.

The north Welsh countryside in the springtime was awash with colour and life. The warm breeze that swept along my cheek via the open car window sent rivulets of nostalgia dancing across my mind. Sunny days smelling of freshly-cut grass and dainty star jasmine heralded what was soon to come: sand, sea and short-wearing opportunities! I felt a shiver down my spine, of the good variety. And for the next couple of days, it was all about this.

My better half and I were in Gwynedd, possibly the most interesting place in the British Isles, to me at least. As far as I was concerned, this was where the juiciest bits of British history were conceived, including Arthuriana, not where the conventional historians popularly claimed. This was the birthplace of the Apple Isle and so, as usual, dragging my obedient boyfriend behind me, this was where I had to explore.

A small 5th century town on the River Conwy was our destination. Famous for its tumultuous Llewellyn the Last-versus-the-Bishopric-and-Edward-I struggle for independence, it also featured the equally ancient and history-laden abbey… our bed for the night.

We drove up the winding drive and parked outside the front entrance. Standing outside the imposing granite edifice, I sensed an air of damp mystery. My uncomfortable feeling continued after we checked in and made our way up the creaky grand staircase to our room. (As an aside, the porter reminded me of that sinister character who always features on the Scooby Doo cartoons!)

We were given a family room with high ceilings and an enormous poster bed. It smelt funny, like old wooden pews in a church. But it was time for dinner, and after a delicious coursed meal, accompanied by a necessary bottle of wine, my sense of foreboding was reduced to a vague, fleeting memory.

We retired for the night and I fell into a deep, dreamless sleep almost immediately.

It was quiet… a ‘heavy’ quiet. The type of quiet that makes you feel like something’s pressing down on you just short of smothering. The old wooden pew smell… the crowding darkness… the creaky floorboards – they all converged like a well-executed military manoeuvre ready to trounce an unsuspecting enemy regiment.

A slow-moving mist began to gather at the lower left corner of the room, emanating from the adjoining bedroom. As it grew in volume, it swelled and rose until it began to take shape. Its movements stopped momentarily. A few minutes passed as the mass seemed to throb and lose consistency, almost as if it was debating whether or not to continue with its present course. During this time, the room’s temperature dropped decidedly; breath turned icy and, subsequently, a soft sigh broke the stone silence of the room. The mass, shifting suddenly in response to the sound, resumed its previous metamorphosis. The mist stretched and warped until it relaxed into an undulating humanoid form. Solidity progressed until finally, there stood a heavy-set silhouette donning what appeared to be a nun’s habit.

The ‘nun’ made no further movement, just regarded the two warm bodies lying blissfully unaware, hands clasped before her. When the male stirred, sat up and looked straight towards her, she did not sway in her resolve; she was here merely to observe. Sensing no immediate threat – she meant none – he laid down and fell asleep once again.

 She smiled to herself. This was the one.

The morning shone in the bedroom window bringing with it the faint aroma of meadow flowers, and fried eggs and bacon. We arose to slightly foggy heads but refreshed nevertheless. Breakfast over with, we packed up and shipped out. Halfway away during a dubious discussion relating to the spookiness of the abbey and how it was indubitably haunted, my other half dropped the bombshell that he’d seen something during the night and was waiting for us to be far enough away to tell me, lest I get the heebie-jeebies.

Needless to say, I was nun too happy!

Advertisements

Origins

origins

Darkness.

I felt like I was being cradled by the black sea of nothingness that enclosed me. I had no sense of the boundary of my being and that which surrounded me. The darkness was part of me and I was part of it. I felt neither warmth nor a chill; there was neither quiet nor sound. No smells. Nothing to touch. Yet I was not afraid. I felt… taken care of.

I stayed in this state of quiet existence for what seemed like an eternity and then a pin-prick of light erupted in the distance, or, maybe it wasn’t that far away, but I understood nothing of spatial awareness then. I gazed calmly at the little white dot and watched it shimmer and warp like a tiny mirage. I waited. It grew. And then it was on top of me, enveloping my every sense until I felt like a million tiny explosions of feeling had erupted all over me.

Me.

But what was me?

As I became accustomed to the light and began to make out shapes and forms, I took stock of the landscape around me. There stretched out a vast expanse of lit-up dark terrain in all directions, like a light-field grid, and a repeated light geometric form that seemed to impress itself wherever I cared to look. I ventured movement and was rewarded with the sense of my right top-most appendage directly before me. I regarded it with mild curiosity as I grew more accustomed to its weight and capabilities. Transferring my attention to the left, I discovered I had a matching pair and I stood, most amused for some time, revelling in the sudden extension to what I was.

Then lo, shifting my sights downward, I was doubly astonished with the sight of two lower appendages. Unfortunately, having afforded previously unfocussed attention to my lower extremities also introduced gravity to the mix, it seemed, and before I knew what was happening I felt myself crumpling to a heap.

If there was anyone else in the vicinity, this would now prove to be embarrassing, had I an understanding of the concept! I concentrated hard and forced myself to feel all of me. With this rudimentary site map of sorts firmly in mind, I willed myself to an upright position and was immediately granted my first head-rush. But at least I was up. Then, one pace after the other, I propelled my form forward towards… anywhere.

Time.

A seemingly inordinate amount of what I understood as elementary linear time had transpired since my initial awakening out there in the vast expanse of here. I lived an uncomplicated life of providing the basic necessities to assure the continuation of my existence only. I gathered knowledge and wisdom, accumulated feelings, and formed relationships with others I’d discovered around me. We weren’t all the same but we were all here for the same common purpose… which I was still a little hazy on.

I lay in the private chamber of my abode, a simple white affair of sleek organic lines and non-geometric planes. I had learned about myself plentifully, but in all this time, I was yet to be assigned an identity. Although I was aware of the central core to my being, I had not seen my true self… as was the same with everyone else here. On chancing another being, the same phenomenon would occur; the identity focal point was always obscured by a dark void just waiting to be filled. And there was the repeated light geometric form always, which I now understood as being a triangle with a ring encircling a fine dot point at its apex. Curious, but familiar now.

This particular moment in time was different. I felt a yearning to rise and venture to where I had not yet been: to the sacred place. I arose and draped my loose-fitting robes around me. Outside I was met by my companion: a small noisy critter that followed me to all places and would accompany me again in this moment. I but thought of transport and felt the familiar rush of time and space swirl around me, my previous location being replaced by the towering, glittering edifice that was the temple. The translucent pillars rose from their solid crystal plinths, disappearing into the void like soft beams of light.

I felt my companion fuss below me, making its intention clear that it was keen to follow me in. Alas, this was not to be and for the first time I felt the searing weight of loss and sadness on realising that our acquaintance had arrived at its natural end. I took a furtive step towards the temple entrance before turning one last time to my friend and expressing forward what I always had in its presence. We both knew that I would never return.

Inside the gleaming crystal structure, I was greeted by a host of similarly robe-clad beings. I was escorted to a dimly lit circular hall bearing a solid stone dais at its axis and, surprisingly, the repeated light geometric triangular shape branded on almost every surface. I was bid to recline. The robed beings encircled me, holding on to one another and began murmuring softly under their breaths. A quiet chant.

I lay peacefully for a while before feeling the extraordinary sensation of weightlessness. I felt light, in both senses of the word, and a warm peace spread over every fibre of my being – not just within the semi-physical vessel that I inhabited presently, but everything and everywhere. At that moment I felt the full expanse of my true self swell and spread and I came to realise oneness with everything there ever was and will ever be.

I was a part of everything and everything was a part of me.

I felt lift and then the awareness of being propelled out into the extreme vastness and farthest reaches of the Universe to finally alight in the place where I was destined.

I opened my eyes; unfamiliar sights, sounds, textures. I felt cold. I was hungry. I heard a gurgling sound emerge from my lungs.

I cried for the very first time.