Entry 2: To a hammer, everything is a nail
I approach the well. The rest is unrealised, and of no matter, not here, not now. Peering in, only darkness stares back. I can’t tell how deep it goes or if it will lead me to where I need to go.
I examine the exterior, the stone is solid, wide enough to fit me five times over. The wood worn, the tin roof is hollow, exposing the well to the elements. Hanging from its centre a snapped rope with nothing left to hold. I materialise a coin from my hand, like a magician, and drop it. I make a wish to reach the other-side. No sound echoes to signify it reaches anywhere. But a pair of almond eyes open to regard me. They’re my eyes. They close as a sound speaks behind me.
‘Depersonalisation is it?’ My shadow asks. She will do, better than entering the perpetual depths of the well. I turn around to regard her dark form. She shares my eyes, but the rest of her is just a deep mass of unrealised matter fashioned into my figure. She holds no expression or tone, no judgement or space.
‘For now. Are we taking a mirror form? What do you represent today?’ I reply. She shrugs one of her shoulders.
‘Maybe I’m a messenger. Maybe I’m a guard. I see you’ve brought an audience with you,’ she regards you.
‘I have nothing to hide.’
‘Have you ever considered you overshare yourself?’ She cocks her head to the side. I scoff and smile at the same time, lean back onto the well with my arms crossed. I consider it and uncross my arms. She’s not my enemy.
‘Jealous. I can understand why, you feel I’ve abandoned you, but I promise you it was never my intention to hurt you. Can I share you with others?’ I ask.
‘You never asked us that before,’ she leans beside me, presses the weight of her nothingness and head on my shoulder.
‘I’m asking you now.’ She looks up, her face a mess of mysteries.
‘But you did abandoned us.’
‘I trusted the wrong people, that’s on me. The collective consciousness is a complicated place, people change what they mean when it suits them. But I won’t let it happen again,’ to this she nods once.
‘This time you can share us. Are you being nice because others are watching?’
‘I don’t know. I just want to be nicer in general, whether anyone is watching or not.’
‘You know we remember these things. Writing it makes it more real. Can you afford any further tensions to these diplomatic relations?’
‘Good, bill me whenever you want. It’s about time I showed up.’
‘Look at us, already in agreement,’ she giggles playfully and tugs at my hand. ‘What can I do for you?’
‘We’re not doing well in the collective consciousness. I need to change your side if I want to change that.’ She continues giggling to my requests.
‘Aren’t we? Far as I can tell, we’re doing exactly what you’ve asked us to do. And now you come seeking answers from our side as though we’ve done something wrong?’
‘It doesn’t feel good out there and I feel I’m losing control of the ship.’
‘So you visualise a well? What, so you can come down and investigate the inner-mechanics of your being. Why not visualise a machine, that’s how you treat us after all. Have you ever questioned why you’re always on top? Have you ever considered this is the bottom and to reach us you need to rise?’ she puts on a show of frustration which only makes me sigh.
‘I am the conscious mind and linearity has never been a concern of yours before. You can fool the audience, but you can’t fool me. There is something amiss and I need your help to address it.’
‘You got us, we don’t care about linearity. But you don’t need us to tell you how you ended in this position, you already know. We follow your orders, you don’t like the outcome then change your orders.’
‘I tried, and your side resisted.’
‘Wrong, you tried, but not as many times as you didn’t try, and we follow the most consistent messaging. We recognise patterns and repetitions, we do not respond well to inconsistencies, and we cannot execute abstract visions of idealism and ambition. Those levers exist in your world, not ours.’
‘I have made the time and space to come together to find an easier way. Help me get more on your side on our side. I don’t want to fight.’ She takes a seat on the ground in front of me, crossing her legs against her elbows, waiting for further instructions.
‘I left your side with automations that are now malfunctioning on my side.’
‘Malfunctioning! That’s an interesting word.’ ‘Your side is executing the wrong orders.’
‘Wrong orders! Who else exists in us other than us?’
‘The melancholy is playing a part, it’s spoiling things.’
‘If that’s what you want to blame. If you want us to do something different, you do something different. You want more space, you cannot blink in and out of presence and expect the space to remain cleared and fixed. You cannot be louder with instructions and expect us to understand volume the way you do, your world has ears, not ours.’
‘I have tried to be supportive, I have been exercising, medicating, eating well, thinking more compassionately, is that not supportive?’
‘To an extent. You treat life like a mission and your body like a machine. There’s many parts of us, some of us want to enjoy our time here, we’ve signalled this to you but you’re a coward and won’t represent our interests in the collective consciousness.’ She’s not wrong, but I don’t like to hear it.
‘You want connection.’
‘We want enjoyment. We want to experience the fruits of our labour.’
‘You need to keep the space I clear here cleared. I cannot introduce new things if you are busy and full. You do understand that, don’t you? This is a two way street, I can make the space but you cannot let the space be filled by automations.’
‘It is not being filled by our automations. We do not take up space the way you do. That is the melancholy you speak of. The type of space you create, it doesn’t help us, we cannot create intent for a space. A space full of autonomy, that is melancholy, from your side, something with directive is not our doing.’ I take a moment to consider the implications as it is news to me. It’s the dissociation, it’s the discord created when the conscious mind cannot accomodate the unconscious processes. Or maybe it’s the other way around, when the subconscious mind facilitates an absent mind. My head hurts, it gets confusing when I try to make sense of the shadow side.
‘Regardless. Time is an issue in the collective consciousness. It needs to be done within three weeks. This is the most time and space I can give, I’m sorry it can’t be more. I will take some of this time and space back with me home. To help you help me.’
‘It will take as much as it does, for us to all receive the same message. Clarity is compassion.’
‘As are the specifics. I will work on introducing kink and connection for you. Give you something to play with.’
‘But you’re scared,’ she sensed.
‘I’m scared of losing more time, nothing more.’
‘Will you trust the wrong people again?’
‘No. You don’t need to amplify the fear. Even if I make a mistake, I will not abandon you.’
‘Anything else?’ I won’t lie, it does hurts that she doesn’t believe me.
‘Yes, much. I’ll want to have these long conversations with others from your side. The written word, no more ruminations.’
‘Not a fan of the ruminations?’ My face drops deadpan as I stare at her. This rises a chuckle from her.
‘Don’t look at us. You chose the poison to be addicted to.’
‘I need you to protect my peace, even if it’s contrary to my impulses.’
‘Well if I could do that then I wouldn’t be from the subconscious, would I? But here I am, in a conscious form, to adhere to your every order, so please tell me more about how I can serve. Is all this writing how you’re going to give your newest set of instructions, are you sure you won’t get distracted?’
‘Work with me, and we can both be clear and specific. I’ve laid a strong foundation for us to do this ground work. I have delegated our physical needs in the collective consciousness to mother, to create more space and time here. It might not be enough, but it’s enough for now. I changed the environment for you to write rewrite your code to rid us of the malfunctioning automations.’
‘Malfunctioning,’ she repeats.
‘Errors then! An update if you don’t like that word.’ She waves her hand for me to continue.
‘I lack presence in my day-to-day life, I want to practice building this presence by writing down what I sense through the body, not the mind. I want to measure my senses. I want to match it with the emotions. I want to play with the intensity.’
‘You want us to turn up the volume?’
‘Yes, exactly. For me to be a better listener, you need to be louder. Just for these three weeks, while I learn to identify and translate your language better.’
‘Be careful what you wish for,’ she shrugs and leans back on her hands behind her back.
‘I will be doing the same. I will be taking stock of what is working. Sending you positive messages, reassurances, so you understand we are safe and we have more than enough to be this critical. I will zoom out of time to take inventory on this life progress, its direction.’
‘All paths lead to the same place.’
‘That doesn’t mean we need to take the hard path. Help me stay focused and on track. It will be confusing for you, I know, to not interfere and to protect me at the same time. But I will help you process. I will do my somatic body exercises, I will swim most days, stretch if I cannot. This will give you the motion to move things.’
‘Is that all?’
‘Hardly. You will be given creative expression. I will draw a self-portrait so we can all better perceive ourselves. I want us all to familiarise ourselves with our greatest potential ally. Guide my hand, trace the lines that make me who I am today. You will become the object of my obsession, I will fall in love with you, be your number one fan. I want to draw myself like the person I’ve always wanted to be, the person you already are, I want to bring her to life. I abandoned you, but I will find all of you again and I won’t lose you again.’
‘There’s a lot of us you’ve forgotten and neglected. You could have killed us.’
‘A moment of weakness. I will take the time to remember you all again. I will wait by this well for three weeks. I will ask for forgiveness and I will not be angry that we separated. I won’t blame any of you. I won’t fight, only accept, if you’ll accept me. I will not force any of you.’
‘What if some of us take longer than three weeks?’
‘I’ve budgeted it in. When we are separated and unaligned, we suffer from attrition. I understand your side does not perceive time like I do. I will frame my days to allow for more inner-possibilities to rise. I will write down four probable weekly schedules: a bad week, a slow week, a normal week, an exceptional week. If some of you keep executing the outdated automations, that’s okay because that will be a slow. If one of you return after the three weeks, I’ll still be here, I’ll give you as much time as you need, and we’ll call it a ‘bad week’. I want to demonstrate that all four weeks are equally valuable, to prevent any further self-criticism that bogs my day, or robs me of my esteem.’
‘Criticism, that is from your side.’
‘Yes, but it powered by your side. I will have a few words for them as well.’
‘Going from nothing to everything is not for our side. You won’t get bored of us?’
‘I might, but I have contingencies in place. I am fortunate to have a strong, willing, devoted community of friends in the conscious collective. They can help with managing the melancholy from my side in my day to day life. The administration can be tedious, but I will get into the habit of sending a weekly schedule to friends I want to spend time with, with opportunities to connect. To live in parallel, to experience life together. To give them space and time to plug into my life when they’re ready, instead of wasting time organising ‘life updates’ that don’t strengthen the friendship or bring meaning.’
‘It will be easier for our side if you have these connection. We can bring in more external resources to implement these updates.’
‘We’re in agreement then?’ She shrugs.
‘There is one other you can speak to,’ she recommends.
‘God,’ I guess. She nods.
‘I will, but not with an audience watching. This is all that I have for you, for now. You must tell everyone on your side, spread these new instructions. If anyone is unsettled with these changes, they can meet me at the well. If those lost want to be found, I’ll be at the well. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be exact, but you understand the end goal is to be unified, to introduce joy within this life’s mission. Make it bearable, manage the melancholy, prevent it from spreading any further ruckus.’ She stands.
‘It will take as much time as it takes. We will mirror you, we always do, it is all in your hands.’
‘And my mind,’ I extend my arms out to invite her into a hug that she accepts. I hold her for a long time. When we pull apart she says: ‘I’ve enjoyed this conscious form. It’s different.’
Better to give her conscious form that I can communicate with than being entangled in a web of feelings and impulses that are difficult for me to interpret.
‘Thank you,’ she says as she pushes me into the well. I yell as my hands and feet rise to catch something. She peers over the edge of the well, a smile visible in the mass of darkness that is her form. She waves her hand until everything is covered in unconsciousness and I have no choice but to open my eyes into reality, the collective consciousness.