I have been thinking. Exploring the gardens and the grounds, thinking. Waving goodbye to friends, old and new as they set off on their journeys, thinking. Secreted in my room, thinking.
A knock at the door.
“Come in”, I say.
“Come in”, I say, louder!
‘Knock, knock, knock’.
I go to open the door.
Two figures stand there, one man, I think, one woman, or so she seems. Looking back on it now I am not sure of of the gender of either of them.
I wave them into my room, indicating the seats by the window. The pair had a stillness about them. I have felt this in one or two folk I have met before. I find it disquieting, it unnerves me a little, butterflies beginning to gently flap in my stomach.
I proffer a smile and ask if they would like a drink.
They nod, in unison. I fetch them some honey tea and sit.
“What is it that you have spent so long thinking about?”
His voice is gentle, but booms in my head.
“My journey”, I reply, not unlike a frightened child.
“I have been thinking about Inanna and Ereshkigal, of Inanna’s journey, her having to remove a layer at each gate she encounters, in order to pass through, ending up totally naked, her skin even hanging from a hook. I understand the meaning, but am unsure as to whether I am prepared to bare my self in that way”.
“What makes you think you are undertaking such an onerous task as hers?”
“It is the unknown, I am to venture into a part of our world that is shrouded in mists, there is no knowing what awaits.”
“I have one question for you”, he booms, “I do not want you to think about your response or to censor it … speak immediately on hearing my question”.
“It is simply this: What do you want?”
“I want”, I stutter, stumble a little over my words, “I want to learn my craft , I want to practice and learn my craft well”.
There, that was it! Simplicity itself. As soon as the words had left my mouth I knew that that was it, pure and simple.
He smiled, bowed and left the room.
‘She’ is stillness itself. She smiles. She hands me a bag, telling me within it are the items I will need to chart my journey, to make my map.
She exudes such calm I am totally relaxed and happy.
She took my hand in hers.
“You have allowed your mind to create a great deal of fear. There is no need for such fear. Recall, if you will, that you are a member of the Artists’ Guild. If you must think so much, think on what that means. You, my dear, are to become a Travelling Artist … that is all. Nothing to be scared of in that. Perhaps it is that the land you are to travel is unknown merely because you have much yet to learn? You answered your own question yourself after all, did you not?”
She smiles and takes her leave.
She is like a whisper, not her sound, her ‘physical’ presence itself. When she has left I find it impossible to describe her, to remember what she looks like, however, the sense of her stays with me and it is extremely strong and comforting. I wonder whether she will travel with me.