I live in a beautiful house, a large house with multiple floors and I would say my design is pretty unique. Sometimes people come to visit and they say 'oh how wonderful this is' or 'why did you do it like that?' Although it may not be everybody's cup of tea it certainly works for me and has given me great joy.
There have been times when I have accumulated too many things, either because I bought them or because people gave them to me, so every now and then I have to have a big clear out. It can get overwhelming trying to sort through it all on top of having to do it regularly in such a large house. I spend most of my time on the top floor as it has great views and I can oversee many things, I can see for miles. This is where my bedroom is set up and fortunately I can't carry everything to the top floor so it has accumulated less than the lower floors which makes it great.
One day I was sitting on the top floor feeling grateful for all the things I had in my house but I wondered how I could make it better. Could I make it better? Did I need more space? Did I have the right kind of house? Could I get a better view? I couldn’t understand why I had begun having doubts about my house. It had served me very well all the years of my life. I had begun living like a minimalist and only brought things home that were absolutely essential. I employed all the methods of Feng Shui so that every room I walked into was suitable for my needs. This all worked very well, for many years, but only for a time.
The time came again where I began to wonder if I had done enough. I looked around me at the beautiful house I had created and wept. What was missing? What was it that I hadn't done? I decided to clear my mind of the house and the beautiful thing's within it.
In the past while moving different things into the house, I had discovered a basement which I had been unfortunate enough to fall into. It had been a frightening experience as it had been dark, hard and cold and after tripping down these basement steps a few more times, I had decided to section off the basement to avoid any more accidents. I hammered planks of wood in front of the door and built a small fence around it which I then chained and locked with a key so even those that visited wouldn't have the miss fortune of falling in.
Now many years later walking in and out of the house, I noticed the fence and the chains and the wooded door of the basement that had stood silent for so many years. I thought about the dark empty cold space which was so different to what I was used to. Perhaps I had lived in this beautiful house for too long.
I left my garments, my makeup and my name on the top floor, gathered the basement key and made my way down the flight of stairs. I unlocked the chains on the fence and dropped them onto the hard wood floor. I ripped the planks of wood off the basement door with a crow bar. Taking a deep breath, I slowly opened the door. I was welcomed at the door by a thick, heavy darkness that seemed to be alive and welcoming me. I stared into the darkness as the darkness stared back at me and with my identity and fears left above me, I descended into the basement.
At the bottom of the stairs, I felt the cold hard gravel underneath my feet. I had never felt gravel under my feet before, only smooth wood and carpet. I marvelled at the feeling as I looked around allowing my eyes to adjust to the darkness. I saw the bare, dark, lonely walls, empty, untouched. Something about it's emptiness was inviting and authentic. And bare and authentic, we embraced each other and I couldn’t understand why I had been so afraid of the basement before.
Suddenly as if I had been given a hallucinogen of some kind, the basement walls and ceiling began to melt. This began to unsettle me. Stone walls don't melt. And although I knew it was impossible for walls to melt, I could not stop my eyes from seeing what they saw. Unsettled with this new turn of events which I knew was a falsehood, I tried to make for the stairs only to find the staircase dissolving before my very eyes. I attempted to grab the rail and missed. Slowly I backed away from the stairs back into the centre of the room to let me heartbeat settle down. I knew that this would soon pass, that the walls still stood and the staircase was still there even though it was hard to see them right now.
I realised that had this experience happened in the past I would have panicked and possibly injured myself trying to get out, if I had ever dared come down here in the first place. But this time was no accident, I came here for a reason.
I took my attention back to the cold gravel beneath my feet and decided to sit down as not to lose my balance as the room swirled around me. Bright geometric shapes began to show up in the darkness, dancing all about me and they were there when I closed my eyes too. I wanted to be concerned, I wanted to be alarmed about what was happening but I was not. Infact I was thankful that for once in my life, my mind was not on my house. It was free. Free from fear and worry and almost instantly I was touched with a feeling of love and safety. I was laying on the floor now allowing the cold of the gravel to take over my whole body. I was one with the basement. Empty.
After some time, opening my eyes I saw that the room had stopped melting and the staircase had come back into view, but now from the floor I could see that in the bottom corner of the room there was a little rounded door, perhaps half a meter in width and length. I could have mistaken it for a little storage unit had the door not been so beautifully carved in wood. I approached this little door and opened it to find a small dark tunnel, just big enough for a me sized human to crawl through.
I realised that after just becoming familiar with my basement which I had not done properly my whole life, there was no way I could leave now, without knowing where this tunnel lead to. So slowly but eagerly, I crawled into the tunnel and ignored the gravel scraping up against my skin covering me in dirt. It seemed I had been crawling for some time and at one point it got so narrow I realised I wouldn’t be able to return the same way. My life was on the line now, but the worse thing I could do was have a panic attack in this small space, so I pushed any fear aside and kept crawling.
The tunnel had begun to ascend and before I knew it I was climbing narrow steps that had been carved into gravel. When I reached the top of the stone ladder, I came into a new room which was equally as dark, but with a different, lighter texture. Not so thick and heavy, somewhat magical.
There was a sign up above that said "Attic" and through the dark I could see doors all around the room. I lowered my hands to my thighs to brush off any remaining gravel when I felt the smoothest silkiest fabric. I looked down to find myself wearing a beautiful white slip dress made of silk. All the dirt and gravel had dissapeared from my skin. I wondered if I was still under the hallucinogenic effects of the basement. Where did this dress come from and how could I have lived in this house my whole life and not know it had an attic? What else didn’t I know? I walked up to the large double doors ahead of me and didn’t hesitate to fling them open.
My mouth dropped with amazement at the beautiful sight ahead of me. I dropped down to my knees so that I didnt loose my balance and brought my hands to my face. I suddenly found myself standing in the middle of a vast beautiful meadow with all kinds of exotic flowers. A raze from the sun lit up the entire attic and I was blasted with a warm breeze of the freshest sweetest scented air. How could this be? What kind of magic was this? What's behind the other doors? Behind the other doors was an equally as beautifully breath-taking scene of nature, mountains, valleys and forests. Anything that I thought of would appear behind a door that I opened. I couldn't believe the magic of what I saw before me. I was amazed to say the least that all these amazing places could fit in my attic which sat on top my house.
Very quickly I realised that these places were not at all just in my attic in my house, but that my attic was in fact in all these different places. My eyes welled up with tears of joy and astonishment. The whole time everything I ever needed or wanted was in my attic which I never knew I had. Realising that in order to discover my attic I had to embrace my basement, humbled me.
I guess you could say that I had a sense of graduation and at this point all the doors of the attic flew open and I felt as though the whole of creation was giving me a standing ovation. I had made it. This is what I had missed so dearly. I took a bow.
On the floor of the attic was a small hatch that was highlighted which indicated a way back into the house. The small gravel tunnel I had arrived in had dissolved so I wouldn’t have to go back to the basement to access the attic. However I was no longer afraid of the basement and had grown a love and respect for that dark space that I never knew I could.
I turned to one of the doors which was overlooking a beautiful beach and walked onto it with my white dress revelling in the feeling of the sand between my toes. I looked back at the door and saw it was just a door standing alone in the middle of a pictureque scene and it remained open.
Walking up to the shoreline I saw a golden saxophone stood in the sand reflecting the sun which I gladly picked up, and with the cool salty water sweeping over my feet, I played to the ocean and to all of creation a song that said "Thank you".