Into Shiva’s  Cave

INTO SHIVA’S CAVE once again documents a journey deep into sacred space. Here I’m in the protection of Ganesh’s father, Shiva, the Hindu Lord of the Dance, known as the Creator and Destroyer who destroys what’s in our way.

This does not make me a Hindu. It shows that, at the eidetic level, the gods and heroes of different cultures collaborate, passing us around among themselves to put us in the hands of the best man, or woman, for the rescue job ready to be done at the moment.

The actor Sean Penn, on Charley Rose the night I wrote this poem, told the story of a couple who had just brought a new baby home from the hospital. They invited their four year old to come with them to meet the baby. The four year old refused, insisting on wanting to meet the baby alone. After several refusals, the couple reconsidered, thinking there might be something important they should allow to happen. They could listen on the intercom to make sure everything was all right. They heard their four year old approach the crib and say to the baby: “Tell me about God, I am forgetting.”

There is something so perfect about this story one wonders if it is true. In any case it speaks of the direct states of communication with our divine wise child nature that imaging restores to us, and adulterated, jaded memory consciousness closes us out of.

Now, when I get thrown off,

into that place that feels like noplace.

that odd interstices

I get caught in

scared stiff,

I can simply see that I go to Shiva’s cave

and listen for his heart beating.

I hear it right away, reverberating

from the cliff face over the mouth of the cave.

As soon as I enter I lie down in the cave vestibule

where the walls slant down at the edge,

and, in that  snug space,

I rub my back into the cave floor,

put my knees up, and lie there happily,

knowing Shiva is in the other room

waiting to be with me whenever

I am ready to put in an appearance.

He even talks with me as I lie there,

answering my dumb questions, like:

“Are you there?”

In my mind’s eye I see him smiling,

glad that I am there.

I take a roundabout approach to him.

One day I get up and go to the center

of the vestibule. Facing the glowing

golden wall Shiva is hidden behind,

I do handstands and cartwheels towards him.

My mean sister shows up, however,

and I turn into a cricket wanting only to hop away.

But Shiva and I are working

on this shyness together.

I don’t know how I know this,

since we haven’t met yet.

Our cooperation is in the air.

So one day I snake my way

around the edge of the golden wall.

Shiva is so pleased. And I feel so good, too,

though I am still a tiny black cricket

standing before Shiva standing so proud and tall.

Since then I notice that whenever

I go to Shiva’s cave

I still like to start out lying down

and rubbing my back into the cave floor,

and  smiling, knowing that Shiva is right there

in the other room waiting

to have an audience with me whenever I’m ready.

Whenever time is ripe.

Sometimes I just lie there and listen

for his heart beat and mine goes Boom Boom too,

sending a beautiful shudder of warm energy

rippling right through me.

Boom boom. The whole cave fills with warmth

and wraps me in it.

Today I get that nice feeling again

that the wall is down between us.

We’re in this big spacious cave together.

Though it’s dark, somehow it’s bright here.

I can’t see Shiva yet. I bet he can see me.

“Yes!” he says triumphantly.

He’s been wanting me to know that

for a long long time.

I can’t disappear in his eyes. Never!

Tears of joy brim over in my eyes.

And I can see and hear Shiva is triumphant.

This has been such a hard one for me

since I was always being disappeared as a young child

and grew up understanding that the thing to do

is to get out of the way and stay there.

Shiva has a smile on his face now

like my Father’s brightest broadest smile.

We are overjoyed.

“Yes!” my inner voice chimes in whisperingly,

not wanting to go unheard in this scene

we’ve sought for so long.

I feel my child’s smile giggling all across my face

as I see myself lying on my back before Shiva

kicking my applause right under his nose.

Shiva scoops me up and holds me,

looking deep into my eyes as he sways steadily

and swings me cradled in his strong arms.

His love goes so deep I understand why

cupid carries a quiver of arrows.

I see Shiva’s look of love entering

that flat place in the center of my chest,

the arena of my heart where mortal combat

now gives way to peace.

I feel radiant warmth spreading

from that center where the warmth of his love enters,

and I see the child in Shiva’s arms melting,

almost wanting to throw herself back

with abandon like a siren chanteuse.

I understand now that people really want

to show off with abandon

as I’m about to do as this kid in Shiva’s arms.

I see Shiva and I are working here

to liberate this show off in me,

free her from the habit of dread

she’s been wrapped in so damned long.

Watching to see what’s going to happen next

in Shiva’s arms, I see this huge giggle

welling up in my belly

and my cheeks are polished with joy

as I’m about to curl and spring up.

I throw myself over on his arms

and spring up like an acrobat riding two horses,

one foot planted on each of Shiva’s palms.

What an act!

Shiva holds me there like an alert juggler

waiting for my next move.

I hop down and do an extensive flourishing

swan dive bow at his feet.

He swoops up my hands in his

and we stand there together awhile

holding each other’s hands

in thankful joyous fervent prayer.

Then he lifts me onto his shoulders

and I ride wherever he’s taking me,

my small hand holding on

pressed against his forehead

right over the third eye.

He sets me down now, and takes my hand.

I get the feeling we’re embarking

on a long journey where we will need to be

side by side, hand in hand.

“Yes!” my inner voice says emphatically.

I feel we’ve just left tons of dread behind.

“Yes,” my inner voice murmurs, insisting

on letting me know this encouraging voice

is going with us wherever we go.

“Yes,” the voice whispers again. “Yes!”

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© Janet K Bloom 2010. All Rights Reserved.