The dream that visited the other night is bothering me.
To be honest, it was a nightmare.
But I don't want to haunt you with what is haunting me.
I prefer to offer something else... the story that slipped from my pen in the moments after waking from this dream.
This is one of the oldest stories... as stories go… and it lives inside of many tales… the core of this story is about what happens when we refuse one from the table of communion.
You've heard this story before... it's about how the isolated and banished being creates a great curse and destroys those (and everything they love) that banished it. From Sleeping Beauty to The Black Panther…this story lives among us.
No one knows how or why,
if it was based on whim or reason…
But Once Upon A Time, it was feast day in the kingdom. Everyone had come from far and wide and was dressed in their best as they gathered around to enjoy the fruit and vegetables that had been given by the land.
Love was seated at the table, as was Joy, and Jealousy; Awe and Shame were there, as was Disgust, Kindness, Envy, Amazement, Optimism, Trust and Admiration.
Perhaps Grief arrived late, or didn’t make an offering.
As I said, no one knows exactly what or who inspired the moment…but Grief was banished from the great table of communion in the kingdom.
It came as quite a surprise to be true, no one expected to be banished, they figured they had been created, and so surely they were all worthy of being there. But as soon as they caught the scent of possibility of being banished from existence, they all opted to get on the bandwagon and kick Grief out rather than allow the attention to turn on them.
They say that is how Grief came to be banished, and left to starve alone in the woods, raging from loneliness. Everyone Grief approached would run from her, as if she smelled of dead and rotting flesh and nothing more. They said if a person caught a whiff of Grief, they would run in the other direction, that if someone heard Grief calling, they would start singing so loud they couldn’t hear, and if Grief knocked on the door in the middle of the night, lonely and cold, they forgot their manners, and refused entrance.
They say only the trees had the courage to hold grief in those days. They would take Grief into their great limbs and wrap Grief in leaves and sing sweet songs into its heart. They say that might have been the only thing that got Grief through.
And Grief did what every being in every story ever told about the one who is banished from the village did.. Grief did not wither away and die. Grief fed on the only things left…lonliness, abandonment, and righteousness. And Grief got stronger.
And when those who were outside of the village were lonely and scared and on the hunt for the great table, if they stumbled across Grief, now so great it could barely be recognized…they would run in the other direction, afraid to be swallowed whole by the famished being.
They say for a few years, maybe it was the 1980’s, or maybe it was the 2000’s, that Grief got so out of control that it decided to take everything away until it was all that was left. Starving and famished and just a hint of itself, It mysteriously killed off Joy, and Pleasure, stomped on Ecstasy, and kicked Kindness off the cliff.
Those who wandered in the woods searching for the great table of communion...if they stumbled upon Grief -- and ran in the other direction-- in their flight they never found the path to the great table of communion where Awe and Love still resided.
They say it was a time of great loss.
They say the fields went fallow.
They say the oceans overflowed with tears.
They say the trees changed colors at the most unexpected times.
They say so many people forgot who Grief really was,
they began to belive it had sent Pain and Agony to torture them as punishment, not realizing they had been there all along but that Grief had been the bridge between them all.
They say it was a child who brought Grief back home.
Taken in the wilds by something called a gun, or an illness, or something else out of sorts with the expectations of time.
The ghost of the child led Grief back to the kingdom. But no one recognized it as first. They thought it a dangerous stranger, and demanded it to be battled to the death.
And they hoped that by killing this unknown stranger who had been lurking in their midst they might gain the stength to also kill the Loss and Pain and Despair that had taken up residency and would somehow right this horrible imbalance and arrive at the next chapter.
Grief wouldn't agree to go to battle unless it was matched against the greatest warrior in the kingdom... Love.
Everyone in the kingdom gathered around chanting and screaming for Grief to be destroyed.
They thought, surely the fiercest warrior of them all, Love, would destroy Grief once and for all.
You can imagine what happened next.
Grief entered The Great Arena from stage left. (Everyone booed)
Love entered The Great Arena from stage right. (Everyone cheered).
Everyone except the ghost of the child who had brought Grief home.
The audience was ready for a great fight.
Grief and Love circled each other in the ring.
And yet, they had underestimated whom they were grappling with.
The great warrior Love circled Grief three times, filled with fear, lonely and abandoned, the one before Love held the scent of and could be confused with nothing but Pain and Suffering...and Love wanted these to be gone...and yet that was not who was standing before Love on this day.
Love opened its palms before Grief, and Grief blew into them and dropped three tears. With this, Love grew and grew and grew, to a great force no one imagined possible. Love opened it arms to Grief, and Grief opened its arms to love, and for a few moments, everyone saw what that small ghost of a child had seen all along… they was union.
They say this is the story of how Grief was welcomed back and restored to its rightful place at the great table of communion, where birth and life and everything between is celebrated and shared. They say when Grief was brought back to the table, everyone agreed they had been less of themselves without it, and Love said it finally felt like itself again.
Lisbeth Cheever-Gessaman is a visionary artist specializing in expressions of the noumena, synthesizing technology with esotericism to interpret anew the mythos and archetype of the Divine Feminine and alchemical transformation. You can follow her on Facebook.