Out of the Movable Dungeon

I read a lot of books. Some more than once. And at any given time I am reading 3-6 in all kinds of genres. A few months back I picked up a friend’s copy of “The Silver Chair”. Since I don’t have a copy myself, I didn’t finish it until the other night while house-sitting. I think I needed that gap of time to hear the story.

Towards the end of the book Rilian is freed from a deception that had him believing all kinds of seemingly rational, logical things but that were keeping him somewhere less than alive and never fully himself. Once freed, yet in the midst of seeming peril and uncertainty, it is suggested he put on the armor he used to wear when under the lies as he enters the unknown just outside the door. And his response is: ”I dare not see the inside of that armor again. I rode in it as in a movable dungeon, and it stinks of magic and slavery.”

The year is ending and this was quite possibly one of the strangest, upside down, topsy-turvy, hard, beautiful, grief-filled, absurd years I have lived, yet. The kind of year that might take a lifetime to understand. At the end of 365ish days around the sun, I find my self much like Rilian – free, yet, in the midst of seeming uncertainty – and there is no desire to go back to the way things used to be, to return to the things that might have provided protection, hidden me in some metaphorical armor, deluding me with “security” and presenting an unreal me to you. And many of those things were rational, logical deceptions that have been unveiled, if not directly removed this past year. To return would be a movable dungeon, indeed.

When I walk away from all those self-condemnations, bullshit notions and killer ways of living and relating, they only stink of slavery standing here in sunlight and freedom. Why would I trade this for that, even when things right now are so up in the air? Even so, it was D. H. Lawrence who said, ”the world fears a new experience more than anything. Because a new experience displaces so many old experiences.”

Recently, Erica O’Grady tweeted me asking what my themeword is for the upcoming year. Not something I usually spend much time contemplating. Still, the more I consider it, in light of the year behind me, it might very well be: Impossible. Not because I expect nothing in the year ahead. The exact opposite, actually. Considering what has gone before, what lay ahead has all the makings of impossibilities becoming not just possible, but Real. And I tend to seek the outer edges of possibility anyway, so it’s not a stretch.

And as Rilian turned from the last chance to put back on that dungeonish armor he said to his friends, ”Let us… take the adventure that is sent us.” Yes. Let’s…
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