I walk out onto the BBQ terrace overlooking the pool. The pool lights are on, the water luminous blue - and empty. I am alone, sheltered from the moonlight by the huge gum tree. I look up through its branches and am surprised by a row of colored flags flapping gently - strung on a line across the terrace to the tree and back to the house. At first I think they are yacht flags and then realize they are - of all things - prayer flags from Nepal.
I turn to go back inside and then stop. I walk back to the rail and look down into the pool and out over the moonlit fiord of Cowan Creek. I can see the glow of Sydney in the southern sky. Moira is settled, gleaming white, happy on Rip's mooring. It is a lovely night, the temperature perfect, a gentle blush of wind on my face. Cottage Point is quiet, the first night of our return.
We are back. Eighteen months ago I sat there, in the Jacuzzi, with Freddy and Catherine, talking about our plans. Sail to New Caledonia. Finish the Thread of Awareness in the magical Baie du Prony. Sail to Vanuatu, return to New Caledonia for another six months, then back to Vanuatu and eventually back here to Cottage Point. It was all so clear. It was an important night, a turning point. And I have returned to that point, that time, tonight.
I see myself there in the Jacuzzi and reflect on myself standing here tonight, become myself of last year..
I look up from the Jacuzzi and see the future, the way the Thread of Awareness should be, the urgency to finish it. The vision of the thread of awareness pulling my gaze to the terrace above me, where the future already exists, looking back. I am worried about leaving. The weather has been terrible. We don't need a storm in the Tasman Sea.
I say to myself in the Jacouzzil, "It's going to be a good trip. Don't worry, I'll tell you when to leave. On the way you will hear about a depression forming in the Coral Sea. When you hear that, run for Coffs Harbour and wait till it passes. Then go on again. You will go to Noumea and then to Baie du Prony to finish the Thread of Awareness in Chaos. You will sail to Vanuatu and have a good time there, then return to New Caledonia and back here again. You will be gone 18 months, my friend, but I will be there guiding you the whole time."
He is talking to Catharine about the Thread of Awareness as I say this but I know he has heard me because I remember very well when I was "told" the day to leave. And because a depression did form and we did hide in Coffs Harbour and had a great sail to New Caledonia and we did finish the Thread of Awareness production in Baie du Prony, and all the rest.
And the whole time I felt myself, in the future, reassuring me, urging me on. I knew when to set to sea because the me of now already knew what was going to happen.
On the sail back from New Caledonia to Australia I heard myself clearly on the 9th of November, say, "Leave now. Don't delay." We arrived safely in Coffs Harbour and the next day a huge storm swept the Tasman, overturning a yacht that was very near our own position a few days before, killing two of the people aboard. It blew for two weeks while we sat in the little protected harbor watching the sky rip by and waves crash over the sea wall.
And now, tonight, here on the veranda of Rip's house once again, I suddenly realize that I am closer than ever to the me of the future.
I realize that, if I turn around, I will see myself of the future looking at me, guiding me, showing me the way.
I am seized with the thought, excitement blazes through my heart. Slowly, I turn and look, searching for myself of the future.
And I see the eyes of a spirit being, a ceramic one, sitting on the bar inside. A ceramic creature that Joy made. The face looking thoughtfully at me through the glass. Art reflecting spirit; bonds imprinting over clay to become a memory. Imprinting myth over clay. Yet I can still feel myself, in the future, stronger and closer than ever before. I will be here again, looking at myself now. Where will I be? Can I see myself in the future?
I turn and look at the gum tree and walk over to it, one foot after the other, until my hands reach up to touch the smooth hull of the trunk. I look up.
The tree lofts into the sky; a vast torus of life flowing up, cycling out into the night air and around, and back again. All the way back to me. All the way back to me.
I lay my body against the tree, still looking up. The tree transforms, the sky becomes a sea, the tree rises hungrily from the sea floor, up into the liquid atmosphere, like some enormous soft coral lifting its branches into the nourishing ocean. The tree is sharp and clear, each branch, every leaf, every fiber of the tree is visible to me. All the other trees in the night vista reach out in a flow of becoming, rising from the sea floor into this magic sea.
With clarity comes the flow. A clear aura of life flows down the tree trunk, washes over and through me. I vibrate with the life force of the tree, flattened against the smooth being as it sucks becoming from This Magic Sea. And I am nourished in its awareness.
I Step back.
I looked into the future to see myself looking back. But I did not see me. Not what I thought at all. What I saw was the Thread of Awareness in Chaos looking back in the now. The guide was me, but when I finally saw myself, I saw the Thread of Awareness in Chaos. All at once. Whole.
I entered the torus of being of the tree and felt the wholeness of the flow from earth through the tree to the sky and back. All the way back to me. All the way back to me.
I have sensed this before, but never like this. I was always in the way. Tonight I was the way.
If I was a dolphin, learning to vision the sea by sound, I would call out into This Magic Sea. I would set my mind in a certain way, and when I heard the reflection of my voice, rebounding, the whole world would appear around me, even in the dark, even when the sea was turbulent, even in the depths where light never enters. The world would surround me in crisp, sharp detail bringing knowledge and understanding that did not exist before.
Tonight I rebounded my awareness from the thread of awareness in chaos and the whole world appeared around me, even in the dark, even when the world is turbulent, even in the depths beyond horizons of perceptions. I alter my field of perception and a whole new world lifts into visibility.
"You cannot share this experience with words," I say to myself. "You cannot see the thread with your eyes. Of feel it with your skin. Or smell it or hear it.
But I did observe it. It is real. It is an experience sensed with awareness itself."
I also knew the reason I did not see myself in the future on the verandah of Rips house - I would not return to this place again in the future.