Your mother is on the couch, lying on her stomach. She is very sad. If she cries it will be too much, your world will fall apart. You’ve got to soothe her, to make her feel better. You rub her calves, you brush her hair. The TV is on, crackling out a show you don’t understand. She looks up at the screen. A weak grin. “Where would I be without my boys?” No tears tonight. You kept the world intact and the terror at bay. But you know how close you came, and it scares you. Tonight’s triumph hangs over a void dark and deep – the place where nightmares live.

I visited you early through your mother as this was the best way to reach you then. You sensed me my cloak without knowledge of my identity and yet you responded beautifully and I was pleased.

Keeping her darkness at bay becomes your way. As an adult you are drawn to women who harbor deep darkness. The cycles are familiar, though you are unaware. You want to fix them, to shine a light into the dark – to find a way to brush their hair - so that you can feel okay, and get to sleep.

I visited you later in the female form for that was the best way to reach you then. You sensed my cloak again and worked effectively as an agent of light.  You honed your skills of vigilance and responsiveness.  You wrote beautiful music.  You chose the career I needed you to choose.  And I was pleased.

Each day the darkness returns and you have until nightfall to fix it. Or else…the sadness, the lump in the throat, the heaving chest, the racing heart – the terror of knowing that no one can make it stop.

I come to you now as darkness and helplessness for this is the best way to reach you. 

Over time the specifics are forgotten but the pattern remains. Night becomes the symbol. Your life becomes a dance with darkness - a race with anxiety, a relentless search for answers. For light. But the questions are wrong, and you have no idea where to look.

The specifics have been and will be my means.  Now you are burning intensely like a candle in the still desert... with a clarity and a brilliance that are as rare as they are needed.

Where are your feelings now? Surely you must feel. Anger? Excitement? Sadness? Where are they? The circuit breaker pops before you know the light is on – and you can’t find the basement to flip the switch. And if you knew where the basement was, would you go down there? The six-year-old’s instincts are wired deep into the 47 year-old man’s mind and heart. What you learned then can never be forgotten.

Do not believe you have lost your feelings.  I have watched you at sunset.  I saw you at your children's birth.  At your grandparents' deaths.  I have seen you rage against the unjust, sculpt the young minds of tomorrow and sympathize with prisoners.  You have never been bereft of feelings. 

But six year-olds exaggerate. They live in a small world, where problems are demons, and solutions are saviors. Your mind sees this but your body is hesitant. You can talk the talk but your walk is wobbly.

The body you speak of is a trained dog.  The mind you speak of an untrained monkey.  You who wrote these words is the master, my servant.

Anxiety is the fire alarm. Down the poll they go. It happens so fast you miss it every time. No fire. No tears. No nightmares. The old canopy remains. And another night’s sleep is yours.

Allow fire (anger)..  Allow tears (sadness).  Allow anxiety (energy).  Allow nightmares, they bring humility.  Allow sleep - only at night.  Remain awake otherwise.  These are my only commandments.

Who are you really? The question cuts so deep as to seem meaningless. Emptiness answers. And yet you know there is more. If only you could stay in the emptiness long enough. To go to bed in tears. And have a few nightmares. To pick up where you left off. On those Sunday nights when you were six.

Who are you really?  You are me, the largest vessel in the world.  Large enough to contain any thought and any feeling, any physical sensation, any collapse or loss, even death. 

Emptiness is there by virtue of this capacity to contain.  Call it spaciousness and it undergoes an instant qualitative change. 

Search not for emotions.  Don't feel that you should have what she has or what he has - I am reaching them the way they need be reached.  Don't go to bed in tears until that is a happening.  Humanity is suffering and I need your light dry.  I will bring you the pain you need to achieve this greatness of heart as well as simpler paths towards this goal. 

Written in May 2012 by Eric and Steven Silver, brothers
(Steven wrote the parts in italics)

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