I have been so heavy with sleep, drooping as a green leaf might droop under the accumulated moisture of a heavy mist. My body feels tired, my emotions are troubled, my mind muddled. I don’t want to touch a rock, to drag myself into the magic circle. Feeling trapped under the weight of things to do, things to do, things to do, I have an angst filled desire to moan, “Fuck it all.” shed some tars, eat some candy corn and watch The Vampire Diaries.
A tiny voice inside of me urges me against giving in to the weight of sleep. I crawl into the magic circle and touch a rock. I do a number of secret things with no attention whatsoever. It is difficult just to be there, forget doing anything well. My mind is pulling like a dog on the end of a leash, reaching for anything anywhere but refusing to heel, to be right here, right now.
Eventually the tiny white rabbit enters the magic circle. I know her well and think of her as Mamma Bunny.
“Keep trying. You’re doing good just by trying.” she tells me.
I don’t feel like I’m doing good. I feel like I’m going through the motions and I’d like to give up.
“You're in a valley. That’s all. On the mountain it’s clear. You are awake, everything makes sense, but inevitably you come down. That’s part of existence, a natural law. And in the valley you feel that you can’t ever reach the peak again, that maybe you’ve never been there. You can’t understand what you once understood. You can’t understand the mountain from the valley. That’s okay. It’s not worth trying to understand what you knew then. Now is now. All you have to do is understand that where you are now you won’t be able to appreciate where you’ve been or where you will be again. But you can understand that it is temporary, that you won't always be as you are now. You won't always sleep. One day you’ll be awake again. And it is in preparation for that day that you continue your practice. Even if you can’t do much through your practice at this moment, simply maintaining the habit of practice makes it possible for you to do something real later.”
“Look at it another way. The master of the house is away, but you maintain the house so that the master can return. If you let the house fall into decay, if you abandon it, the master can’t come home. Or when he does, he‘ll have to focus on putting the house in order. But if you keep the house in good shape, the master can return and do something productive with it right away. Which is better, because the master comes and goes on, and this house can only stand for a century or less, so time is limited.”
Mama bunny points her little face up at me, golden eyes shinning.
“Just keep it up. You’re doing good by trying. Trying is good enough. It turns into doing. Nothing is permanent and you don’t have to understand everything in all of your facets. Practice makes it possible to experience another facet from whose perspective you will understand. If you don’t get up and do your chores, you can’t go to the ball, and if you don’t go to the ball, you can’t meet the prince! And you‘ll find that even if your chores seem impossible, by getting up and getting started, by trying, you‘ll attract enough helpers to get the job done.”
I lower my face towards mama bunny’s and gently touch my forehead to hers. Then I open my mouth and swallow her. She jumps down happily, a white rabbit plunging back into wonderland. I feel her glowing inside of me, a kernel of levity, a nightlight against the darkness of slumber, a movement in the underbrush that sends the dew into a sparkling scatter of droplets bouncing from a green leaf.