An Encounter With The Shaman

There is a dark hall that stands before me. It’s end seems to stretch onwards into eternity. There is a succession of doors framing either side of the walls. They hover over my mind like a constellation of vast black holes. Behind me there is a wise woman. I feel her. I perceive her. Her hair is stark white with spindles of silver weaving in and out around the circumference of her face. Her stance exudes a sureness accumulative of age. Gold bulky jewellery fashions her hands, wrists and ears. A gold pendent hangs from her neck and encases a small flawless crystal, which emanates a kaleidoscope of light, piercing the darkness. She wears a long ruffled dress of dark burgundy. Layer upon layer of fabric water-falling to the floor. Soft golden buttons frame it’s neck-line and it’s wrists flare out with emerald lace trimming. A shawl dons her shoulders, detailed with intricate pale embroidery. It is coloured in hues of warm fire red and deep chocolate brown. On her feet are stark black boots of supple suede. Her hair, white as death, cascades towards the great depth of the oak floorboards that cover this hall. Her skin is a deep muddy brown that has not been feigned from prolonged bathes of sunlight. It crumples and creases with life lost and life yet begun. She is effortless; as are her movements, as is her stare, which seeps through ancient eyes. They are a piercing mixture of illuminating white and rustic black. Their colour and intensity are like that of a frothy wave that hits the shoreline only to recede, in ripples back to the sea. She does not speak to me. She only looks forward, seemingly vacant yet with a disguised intensity of purpose. I realize she is blind. Her vision no longer serves her; she does not need it. She will guide me; I sense this. I know that she is not me, not like me, but she is of me. She is solemn; she is still. She will help me choose a suitable door. Still, she is blind and it is I who must ultimately make this choice.

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