To Begin Anew – Erin Budd

Gravity consistently sinks my shoulders a few more inches toward the ground and I can no longer carry the weight of the world. The art I create is my own ego’s quest for immortality. My logic is that if I leave enough crumbs of myself behind then people will find them and remember me. However, recently I had a revelation: I am already immortal. I’ve always existed and always will exist. No matter what, I can’t seem to break free from this cycle. I long for release from the wheel of life. Those around me are afraid to see into the beyond and only look behind. Adventure and life have allowed me to experience many realities. In order to reach enlightenment, one must let go of all they have. Earthly creatures remain attached to the wheel. I’m ready to let go.

***

It took three days to arrive and I have now been here for approximately twelve weeks. Before check-in I sat for a moment and watched a late fall sunset in a grand desert mirror. Pink and orange clouds dancing across the sky on the reflective surface of a mid-rise structure. Eventually I came to my senses and took a deep breath. I took one step forward. Sliding doors opened and I went inside.

For several weeks I have attended psychic hypnosis sessions with a group called New Beginnings. The New Beginnings headquarters is located in a forgotten corner of the desert. The building stands alone and looks as if it ran away from a futuristic business park. Throughout my time here I have learned a great deal about where I’ve been and where I am going. I meditate each morning, psychic hypnosis sessions fill my afternoon and in the evening I comb the desert for signs.

During my final hypnosis the counselor put her right hand over my heart. In previous sessions she touched my hands as we recalled the past. The Counselor closed her eyes and commenced the session:

“Close your eyes… and clear your mind. Circulate your breath… and relax. Open your heart… and free your emotions. Let go… and find peace within.”

As my counselor walked me into my final hypnosis I recalled lingering feelings for a woman I once loved. She left me a

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long time ago but her ghost remained. I chose to experience a moment with her in slow motion because I wanted to savor it in its purity.Her copper hair danced like fire in the wind. Strands lightly brushed her face and caught on the tip of her long eyelashes. The brisk air sent a shiver down my spine as I watched this vision of beauty. Her moist and delicate petal pink lips parted. The lilac sweater she wore hugged her soft, fair skin and reflected the daylight all around her heavenly body. This vision burned through the very essence of my being. I gazed into her soul, embraced her body and whispered goodbye. Her lips lightly grazed my cheek in a tender kiss and I knew I’d never see her again.

With the snap of two fingers I regained consciousness. The counselor stood up from her chair and opened the office door.

***

A masked figure in a white cloak came to guide me. The figure led me down a bright passageway and into a large circular room illuminated in immaculate light. Ambient music with sounds fit to fill a cathedral echoed from within. No furniture stood in the room other than a bed at center point. The figure made a gesture with it’s gloved hands and I understood I was to climb onto it and lie down.

The figure waved a light blue hand over my eyes and I knew to close them. A soft voice entered my thought stream.

“Hello Micheal. I trust you are ready. If any fear lingers in your heart then this is your last chance to go back. Are you afraid?”

“No”

Upon this response the figure hooked my arm to an IV and the warm tide of crystalline liquid pulled me in. My body sank into relaxation as it flowed through my blood.

“How do you feel?”

“Still…”

“Very good. We shall begin.”

The cloaked figure stepped aside as a masked nurse in a lavender tunic wheeled in a stainless steel cart.  Four copper bowls sat atop the rack. One bowl held sand, another water, and a small white candle with a steady flame burned in the third. The last was empty. The cloaked figure placed each bowl at four points around my body: Above the crown of my head, at my bare feet, and at each hip. The figure circled clockwise stopping at my skull.

Stars appeared on the once opaque white ceiling as the lights dimmed in the circular room. The figure chanted in a low hum as I lay beneath him. Gloved hands extended and hovered over my face. Light blue fingers formed a diamond on my forehead. The nurse stepped in from the shadows and the chanting figure stepped back. With a rose in her hand she walked counter-clockwise around my body and lightly grazed my flesh with the flower. She circled once more and placed the rose at my feet. After a half moon she paused at my head and kissed the center of my brow line.

***

All color and all existence absorbed into a black hole. Not a sound to note. Nothing. I cannot say how long this nothingness went on because the concept of time as I knew it ceased to exist. I forgot everything that was. My memory wiped clean and formatted anew.  As I stared into the soul of the dark abyss I noticed a pin of light penetrating my pupil. It grew until intense brightness reached the point of explosion. Sparkling dust settled around me and I felt as though I were floating. I could not say if I am moving forward or backward or at all.