The spiritual equivalent of altitude sickness: the mix of awe and compassion is too thin for me, and my soul lies gasping on the pebbly ground, while the hemlocks throb against the twilight. If I could just catch my breath –
You might have to go on without me, and pick me up on the way back.
I was given a massage tool when its owner died: a white serpentine in a shallow 'S'-shape, smooth as jade, which warms quickly to the hand. I've never used tools in my practice, but I keep the serpentine on my bedside table, and I toy with it sometimes before I fall asleep: it fits into my hand in various ways, and seems always on the point of conveying something of terrific importance to me. I fell asleep one time, holding it, and hoped it would bring me a dream, but it remained silent. Dreams aren't sent like credit cards. You have to earn them.
I am failing, failing some important test, and I don't even know what it is.