Page: Profile: Poetry
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VxPoem ID: 42975
Posted: September 25th. 2012 3:00:29 PM
Elevator -- a Guided Meditation
by Ted MacGillivray
Age Group: Adult
Elevator -- a Guided Meditation
You are in an automatic elevator. Its walls are made of steel and are unthreatening. Over the door is the usual readout of floor-numbers, but the script in which they are written is unfamiliar. To the right of the door is the expected control panel with buttons labeled in similar script to the readout over the door, and other graphic symbols pointing up and down, open and closed doors and so on. The quiet sound permeating the place has both electrical and organic components. You are totally comfortable and relaxed.
You decide to get out of the elevator and push the open door button – the doors slide quietly open.
You step out the door and look around. It is almost as if you are in a department store except that the scene around you seems to have no limits, but rather stretches into the horizon, and as you look around you see that you are in a familiar place and at a familiar type in your past. And you are witnessing this event perhaps as an observer, or perhaps as the self – the younger person – participating in the event as you recognize it, and feeling all the emotions you felt at the time.
The persons with whom you are interacting are as you remember them, and so is the event itself, and yet there are subtle differences because you are now experiencing them with the benefit of hindsight.
You're glad that you had this opportunity, and you feel at peace with the event and the persons involved. You turn around and go back towards the elevator and as you do you notice that on the wall extra the elevator door there is an electrical panel. The door is open and you can't see inside which seems to be a large master switch. It is made like the old-fashioned knife switches, but rather than the usual small handle projecting, the bar that connects the blades, the bar itself is the handle that you would grasp firmly in your fist to actuate it. You make a mental note of this, and go back into the elevator. Not knowing what the symbols accurately represent you press the up button. The doors close and the elevator starts to rise.
Now you are transported into endless space, and looking at a structure which you recognize as the elevator. It is a large segmented tube made of some iridescent material. It is floating in space as are you, and leans toward your right at about a 45° angle, and has about 20 segments. From the junctions between the segments, and from the top and bottom ends, wispy colored lines emanate and stretch out into space, and eventually fade out. You look at this for a few moments with a feeling of wonder.
Then you are once again in the elevator. You feel it slow down to a stop, and you press the button that opens the doors.
Once again you’re facing a panorama depicting another event in your life, and you're eagerly drawn into it and participate in it as you observe the relationships it involved, and also the apprehension or fear or anger that might also have been present. Again you experience all the emotions that you felt at the time and the warmth of the human contacts around you.
When it is time to go you turn and walk into the elevator, noticing again the switchbox by the elevator door. Once again you press the up button. The doors slide closed and the elevator rises again. After a few moments the elevator glides to a stop, and you press the open door button and start to step out. But before you is just blackness. Nothing. And yet you know there must be something there. So tentatively you step out. Yes you're standing on something solid – a floor? Solid ground? You stretch out your arms and feel around in the space surrounding you. Putting your hand back you can feel the edge of the elevator door, and you intuit that there must be a switchbox just to the left of it. You feel along the wall and there it is. It is closed but opens easily. Your reach in gingerly and can feel the handle. This time you could feel that it is in the "up" position. Surely pulling it down will turn on the lights and you can experience the scene.
You grasp the handle firmly and pull it down. The pain is excruciating. It runs down your arm and engulfs your whole body. You are on fire. You scream and let go of the lever, which snaps up in place. You stand there terrified and shaking. You are grateful to still be alive. Slowly you begin return to normal. Your heart slows down your breathing becomes calmer, as the pain fades away. Obviously a mistake. And yet you remember that, along with the pain as you pulled the switch into the on position, there had been a flash of light in which you saw the switchbox and the elevator and saw your screaming hand let go of the switch.
So was it really a mistake? Perhaps there was something here – someplace, some person, some event that you would want to experience or that you should experience.
Once again reach up and grasp the switch handle. You pause for a moment, summoning up all your courage, and yank down on the handle. Again the excruciating pain, the feeling that you are made of fire, and the weak, shaking aftermath. Your hand burns. But now you know that in the instant that you held the handle in the on position there was light.
Now your fear and pain were mixed with determination. You grab the handle. You brace yourself. Then you firmly hold it down and hang on. Again the pain engulfs you. Your hand and arm go white-hot as you hang onto that lever. And you keep banging on the wall, all the electricity in creation is destroying you. But, wonder of wonders, the light stays on. And as you gently open your cramped hand the switch stays in the on position. As you recover, the pain fading, and the shaking subsiding, you turn and look at the scene before you.
And you see, now, why it is so painful to look at that scene and why it is so painful to recover it. And you relive it again, both as the participant and as the observer.
And now it's your choice – you can leave the elevator, and decide never to return. Or you can leave with the insights that you have learned today, determined to come back again, as often as necessary, to learn about those parts of your life which are almost too painful to bear, and those when we ware blissfully happy, and knowing that you can learn more about yourself, and your past which will help you make a better future.
And when you choose, you can take a few deep breaths and find yourself back into conventional reality.
Author's Notes: I didn't understand this one myself for a long time, until someone pointed out that it's about our spines and the autonomic nervous system where memories, especially traumatic ones, can somehow be stored. And if you have sleep apnoea or any other medical condition which meditation might aggravate, don't do it.
Author's Location: Gabriola Island, British Columbia
More Poems: Ted MacGillivray has posted 36 additional poems- View them?
Author's Profile: To learn more about Ted MacGillivray - Click HERE
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