Oh, let the sun beat down upon my face
With stars to fill my dreams
I am a traveler of both time and space
To be where I have been
Sit with elders of the gentle race
This world has seldom seen
Talk of days for which they sit and wait
All will be revealed
Talk and song from tongues of lilting grace
Whose sounds caress my ear
But not a word I heard could I relate
The story was quite clear
Oh, all I see turns to brown
As the sun burns the ground
And my eyes fill with sand
As I scan this wasted land
Trying to find, trying to find, where I’ve been
Oh, pilot of the storm who leaves no trace
Like thoughts inside a dream
Here is the path that led me to that place
Yellow desert stream
My Shangri-La beneath the summer moon
I will return again
Sure as the dust that floats high in June
When moving through Kashmir
Oh, father of the four winds, fill my sails
Across the sea of years
With no provision but an open face
Along the straits of fear
INTERVIEW WITH OPHELIA
O: Odd story. So in the early 1960s, I was drowned by my master’s mother in a bathtub. It was a failed attempt. Master survived.
I: Obviously, you survived, too.
O: No. Sadly, I did not survive. Not really. I never came out of the tub. I remained under the water. Hidden. No one knew. You see I was a part of my master’s inner self. I died that day and was mummified. My master couldn’t bear for me to suffer. He knows how sensitive I am.
I don’t pretend to understand the mystical. I was part of my master – and after the betrayal — I wasn’t.
I. How ironic. His mother’s mercy killing was the very thing he did to you. That’s extraordinary hypocrisy. So there was this traumatic act of domestic violence long ago and then you fell out of your master’s mind?
O: Fell? Not exactly. But that’s close. He separated from me to protect me. He left me there. Preserved for the day when it would be safe for me to come out again. I’m on a journey now to find him so we can be reunited.
I: But you are young. He must be an old man now.
O: He is old. His body is ravaged. But he’s been waiting for this day.
I: So what will this reunion be like?
O: He doesn’t realize. It probably means everything to him. We are aligned and at ease with each other. He’s been empty for a long time. In every young woman, he searches deep to see if I am there inside. He sometimes glimpsed me in others. It was like he forgot who I was or where I was — even though he always continued searching for me. A yearning really.
I was his invisible companion. I was his tenderness. The soft part he had to discard to survive emotionally. He felt he had to protect me. He thought it an act of kindness.
I: Was it an act of kindness?
O: It was hell. I’ve missed him so. All alone in the darkness for decades. Wondering what happened to him. Never realizing what had gone wrong.
I: What happened to him?
O: After our separation, without me, he became hardened and brittle. Afraid. He sensed danger in everything. Paranoia. He never could sleep well after the drowning attempt. He wasn’t safe sleeping – because he never was before. He couldn’t see the beauty of life and living. The pain scarred him. The betrayal was deep. It’s a miracle he survived. He lost his sanity at different times. He couldn’t remember the trauma. He was fighting invisible monsters.
I: Are you his inner child?
O: Perhaps. But I am female. He was a boy then. Now he is a man. I don’t know how – after such a long separation – we will be unified again. He lived. I have not. He nears the end of his life. What benefit can come from our late union?
I: Maybe you will both heal from what happened in the past.
O: My Master thinks he can’t be healed in this life. He’s given up searching. His body lost its strength. He supposes it’s a waiting game and death will finally release him.
I: Is he wrong?
O: No. He’s not wrong. Death is a merciful release. But I’m not ready to die again. I’ve just come back. We’re so close to unification. He can’t give up yet.
I: What do you think will happen? Will he be restored?
O. Restored? Not physically. But he’ll find peace knowing I’m back. Then he can feel safe again. Trust again.
I: You mean he will trust you and that fixes things inside of him?
O: In a matter of speaking. Yes. He will trust his soul again – especially his spirit. I am his inspiration. His power of being strange will feel acceptable and normal instead of damaged. You know. A portion of him was missing for decades. That missing fragment is me. His internal spirit guide. He couldn’t trust his perceptions. He had no confidence in his feelings.
I: That is a wild story. Haven’t you seen him yet?
O: Well. It’s not easy. Not only were we separated for years — but we’ve been almost 2,000 miles apart. A long-distance traveling on foot. Also, it was key he remember I was missing. I couldn’t even begin to come out of that tub until then. That didn’t happen until after the death of his mother about 6 years ago. He didn’t remember me all at once. It took time. He had a sort of amnesia.
I: When you’re together again, what do you think it’ll be like for you and your master?
O: I don’t know exactly. But I imagine it will be liberating. Sad in some ways because of the time we spent apart. A loss to grieve. But there will be something wonderful in seeing the world differently. The old pain may leave. Who knows?
I: Do you think your master will want to experience what the two of you felt before?
O: We don’t even remember what that felt like. We only know that we both yearn for an emptiness. I don’t think it’s shouting but more of silence. A realization the pain is gone. The absence of something we recognize first. A quiet inside. And then perhaps a potential reconstruction. I don’t know. His body is damaged. It’s in the way now.
I: What’s in the way?
O: His body. He can’t run and jump or dance.
I: How do you know that?
O: I’m 140-years-old inside.
I: Right. I forgot. Will he sleep peacefully?
O: I hope so. We’ll find out. I am his strangeness. When I embrace him again, it will change things for him. Self-acceptance is important for peace. He will feel my love for him again.
We’ll have the internal conversation of creative imagination again. Dreams. Ideas. He can say what he feels to me and know he is accepted and loved. Always.
I don’t care what others think of Master. This is who he is, and I refuse to be disapproving. We have the opportunity to rebuild ourselves.