I awake with a start and a huge gasp for air. I sit up and try to catch my breath, oblivious to my surroundings. Once my breathing has returned to normal, I try to remember what happened.
Ah, yes. Suicided backwards off a cliff to avoid the claws of Jaguar-She. And yet I live. I ache as though I’ve died though. And this place…
The golden light. The candles. The rows of benches. The beautiful windows. The high ceilings. I’m in a church. In fact, as I gather my wits more completely, I’ve been laying on the altar for however long. Slightly embarrassed, I stand and retreat to the benches. Though I’ve not had religion ever, at least not since I was a child, and I couldn’t give a fuck about rules anymore, I still feel I oughtn’t have been where I was. A little ashamed. Stupid.
As churches go, this is a pretty one. It’s not so old, maybe only a hundred years, but it’s been taken care of. The carpets are new and clean, the inside isn’t the dark frightening place I remember from my childhood. It’s a lovely place. Warm. Warm light. I feel safe here.
Though churches like this don’t usually practice meditation in the form I do, it still seems appropriate. I arrange myself comfortably on the floor of the central passageway and I let my eyelids grow heavy and I sit and I wait and I clear my mind. It was difficult to do that, clear my mind. The mind kept trying to deal with its recent death, but I acknowledged the things it presented and then we moved on. Soon, the only image that kept recurring was that of She on the beach watching the freighter, the image in my mind just before I dashed myself on the rocks.
But now I’m here. What am I meant to do now?
Slowly, gradually, almost imperceptibly, the nave became brighter and brighter. Opening my eyes fully, it was like noon in a sunny, open field, not the inside of a church. The light didn’t seem to be coming from outside, nor any internal light source. It just… was. Movement caught my eye and I pivoted towards the narthex. There, flooding slowly in from the closed door was a cloud of sparks, of shines, of light. It moved up the central passageway, unhurried, stately, and as it passed me, it tickled.
I followed it with my eyes as it approached the transept. There, in the center of this cruciform building, the shines, the sparks, they coalesced to form a figure, a figure of light, and then the light was made flesh.
It was the Blessed Mother of God. Here. In this church. With me.
Of course, it was also She. She was the Blessed Mother of God, at least, today She was.
She gazed at me with nothing but the love of a mother to a child, her smile saintly. I wasn’t sure what to do. I couldn’t decide if this was She or if this was an avatar, a shadow of She, like the Jaguar-She had been. Then the music started outside. Asking permission with my eyes, and it being granted, I turned my back on the BMoG and headed to the narthex.
I opened the door. There, outside, on the steps, were She and a band, the same band she’d been with that night after the incident at the Statue on the Island. I spun. She on one side, the BMoG-She on the other. She sang; BMoG-She listened and watched.
If there’s someone you love, She sang, you’ll bear any wound, any trouble for their sake, for the sake of everyone.
Looking out across all I survey, She sang, I see nothing but busy people hurrying hither and thither. I’ve noticed this year, too, that the signs of winter are closer and closer to me.
Even today, She sang, somewhere in this town, two peoples’ eyes met for the first time, and they knew, they must be with each other, and it was the violent opening of the first act of their story.
And yet, She sang, for all things, one of these days, the end will come along. Today, somewhere else in this town, two people will choose the road of separation, and thus does the curtain quietly close on their love.
When there is someone that you love, She sang, you’ll feel a strong sense of isolation. Nevertheless, you’ll be everything and anything to that person, satisfying them completely. When there is someone that you love, She sang, you’ll bear profoundly deep wounds for them. Nevertheless, you’ll cure everything and anything for that person, healing them completely.
She address the Blessed Mother of God inside the church.
Maria, She sang, everyone is crying. Nevertheless, we want to believe in you, and so we pray. We pray that this will be our final and lasting love.
Without meaning, the beginning came, She sang. When the end comes, I hope it will have a meaning.
The Blessed Mother of God-She walked slowly towards us. She had tears in her eyes. As she passed me, she took my hand, held it tight, and looked into my soul. I felt such warmth and love in her tear-soaked eyes, such that I’ve never felt before.
The Blessed Mother of God-She continued out of the narthex and onto the step, where she embraced She. It was so bright, it hurt to look at, but a moment later, the BMoG-She scattered into the sparks and shines she had come as, floating up into the sky. A light snow began. I fell to my knees and I wept, there, on that step, in the snow, until night came, by which time I was alone and cold. The church had been closed, locked at some point, I know not when.
She was gone. But not far. She’s still nearby. I’ll find her.