The path from here is uncertain. It might not even be marked in any way, but it is there.
There is a river that flows through my life. Sometimes I let it carry me along. Sometimes I walk along the shore. And more often than I like to admit I walk away from it and stumble through the wilderness. Yet no matter how lost I become the river finds me again. I swear at times it changes its course so it can bring me back to its healing waters.
I've spent a good part of the past few years reclaiming my memories. In large part this was brought on by wandering well off the path in 2005, when I disregarded all warnings and attempted to go back to the past. A nightmare lasting two years not only reminded me of my weaknesses but it also put me in touch with bitter truths. My suicide in 1994 had not come merely as a result of disappointment and lost love. It had been a long descent into a darkness from which I did not believe I could ever emerge. The person I had been before my death was far from the naive and hapless person I tended to paint myself as in pictures drawn from mis-corrected memories. The truth of the past came most prominently to light when I tried to help a woman deal with a great pain haunting her from her past. When I realized I was the one who had brought that pain, reclaiming a memory buried deep within me, I knew there was a reason why going back to the places I had haunted before my death would indeed be counterproductive to my vows to help and guide people from darkness into light.
Icarus flew too close to the sun in 2005 and began a tragic descent in flames that continued for five years. Another course correction was needed but was never made. Instead, walls were built to protect the degrading fortress and I retreated to safety, a monk-like existence where I reflected on the past while treading water in the present. I considered it to be a retirement. It was something else. The damage I had taken, the losses I suffered and the pain I felt as a result of being unable to "save" people I was close to had forced me into full retreat.
In my personal mythology, there is a town known as Rancho Nuevo. It is a kind of purgatory where where the perpetrators and victims of man's inhumanity towards man reside and continue their unholy struggle with each other. It is a town surrounded by three kingdoms, each ruled by a queen, and while these kingdoms dispute the territorial lines between them, not one of these kingdoms will claim Rancho Nuevo. Who would seek to rule a place populated entirely by undesirables?
In this mythology, I am part of the population of Rancho Nuevo. It is symbolic of who I was before my suicide in 1994, a person who used others, took advantage of the weak, and didn't give a damn about anyone as he followed his own self-obsessed agenda. Since 1994 the way in which I escape the symbolic confines of Rancho Nuevo is to attain asylum in one of the three kingdoms. In order to gain asylum I need to be granted audience with a queen.
Over time I have come to realize that the mythology of the queens is not entirely static. The three queens I encountered after following the messages from my death experience and the lucid dreams that followed, to go where there is no snow and to await a time when I had no doubt and the sky turned to gold, was a blueprint not a definition. The nature of each of the three queens and their relationship to me is key to interpreting the blueprint. I believe life is a series of trials, or adventures, which have a tendency to repeat themselves in less than obvious ways until we follow them in such a way that we are fulfilled or attain peace with them. To see them as tests means we keep taking the tests until we are satisfied with the results. The path on which we stumbled eventually appears again and waits for us to walk its course once more.
Interpretation of personal mythology often runs into trouble when we compare elements of it to definitions we are familiar with, or prejudices we have learned. The nature of the three kingdoms with each ruled by a queen that must be sought out tends towards a belief that those queens are each a singular person or entity. What I have learned is that the entity is not singular, it is a symbolic entity representing someone who has a specific power or impact in my life. The original three queens, Tina, Christina and Tammy were representations of these queens. They were not the end of the story. To seek and discover other One Queens, Two Queens and Three Queens became possible by following the signs associated with them. Where I perceived myself letting down each of the original three queens became a blueprint for changing my actions in future encounters with queens so that I could find peace and unlock emotions. The pain and the confusion that continues to exist within me was not all magically cured by my death experience. My death experience gave me the keys I needed to find what I needed to reach the place of peace that eludes me still, a truth that became all too obvious over the past six years.
Strangely enough, in the lucid dreams I have had over those years, a message I received in those dreams over and over again is one I now believe I misunderstood. "You must find the way" always came across in a strange way because of the way it was pronounced, with a "k" sound at the beginning of "way." The actual interpretation I now believe is "You must find the quay." Within my personal mythology, this makes far more sense than the ambigious "You must find the way." In my death experience I travelled down a river on a battered little raft alone as people on the shores called to me for help, something I was unable to offer, as I travelled toward and through the great light that took me into the desert that became Rancho Nuevo and the Three Kingdoms. I have once again been adrift for some time and I need to seek a place to dock. I need to find the quay.
The desert I found myself in after travelling through the light changed after I returned. It was symbolic of what my soul had become, a suicide who had faith in nothing and had come to hate everything about himself. Upon my return and my course correction, I created Rancho Nuevo and the Three Kingdoms, symbolic of the changes in my soul. The torments that remained in my soul led me to become a Jack of Rancho Nuevo. Through symbolism born of a deck of cards, Jacks were a special breed in Rancho Nuevo, holding certain abilities and power. One of these abilities was to gain audience with the Queens, but only if that audience was granted. One of the powers of the Jacks of Rancho Nuevo was the ability to love, something foreign to the landscape of Rancho Nuevo, and the only thing that allowed one to escape its borders. Love is also the only way to gain audience with a Queen. It would seem a simple equation, a Jack offers his love to a Queen and escapes the confines of Rancho Nuevo, but love also causes a Jack to become empathetic to the suffering that surrounds him in Rancho Nuevo and gives him the desire, and the need, to alleviate that suffering. A Jack becomes enigmatic as a result, able to attain that which those around him are unable to so much as see, but unable to accept it. He can accept audience with a Queen but cannot accept residency in her Kingdom without sacrificing that which brought him there in the first place. The audience always becomes a temporary oasis, a flash of light in the darkness, a brief moment of golden sky that dispels the black clouds.
All this is symbolic, an interpretation of who I am and what I have become as a result of my journey. In all religion there is a story that helps its adherents to understand their journey, but the blueprint becomes lost within literal translations of the mythology. To believe this is a literal explanation of my afterlife would cause me to lose touch with the path I have before me in this life. I work to alleviate the suffering of those who cannot see a path away from that suffering while seeking out audiences with the queens who appear in my life in order to keep my own pain from becoming too great a burden for me to be of any use to others. The defenses I built over the past six years during my retreat from exposing myself to meaningful interactions with others on a personal level have damaged my ability to follow my path. There must be a balance between my In and Out Boxes for me to be effective, otherwise I am likely to suffer the kinds of breakdowns I experienced in 2009 that rendered me unable to function for several months.
The river has become a swamp and my raft struggles to maintain course. I must seek the quay. It will be illuminated by a Queen. Of this I am certain.