Breathing Underwater.

underwater1The water was freezing and violent and I was filled with fear, but I knew that was where I was supposed to be.

I found after that day of being ambushed by grief that the only way I could do my life was to stay in meditation as much as possible. When I couldn’t do that, I walked around crying, the pit of anxiety in my gut sometimes doubling me over in pain.

Even writing didn’t help, which is bloody unusual for me.

Sunday I sat and meditated for at least four hours. It may have been more than that, but I know it was at least that. I suck at tracking time, so I’m not so sure.

I was determined to sit and meditate and not sleep, even though the sleep deprivation for the past few weeks was hard to ignore. I didn’t want to set myself up in the cycle of taking naps so that I couldn’t then sleep at night.

As I sat in meditation, breathing into the panic and heaviness, I was aware of sliding in and out of dream-like states in my fatigued condition. When I was aware enough, I kept the focus on my womb space.

Wanting to stay in my body as much as possible, I concentrated on breathing into my womb space and seeing the fire in my belly glowing brightly.

The get out-of-the-body type of meditation is a very Masculine way of meditating. I admit to using that type of meditation for most of my meditating life without really knowing there might be another way. When I began exploring the Feminine way of spirituality is when I began to focus on staying in the body while meditating.

Focus on the body, emotions and senses is the Feminine way.

While I sat that day, determined not to sleep but to actively process emotions, not just sit and enjoy a ride out of my body, I went into some sort of visualization. I don’t know if it was a past life, a dream, a metaphor—perhaps I fell asleep? I don’t know. But if I did, it was a type of lucid dream.

I was looking down at a blue and white ocean, boiling and spraying. It was violent. It filled me with fear to look at it. I was high on the cliff looking down at the violence.

I knew I needed to get to the water, but I was looking down from the high cliff and everything between the ocean and me was a steep boulder field of huge, sharp, black, slippery rocks and crags.

The waves continued to throw themselves up and against the cliff and the huge, sharp boulders. The water and spray were freezing me.

I started down, and somehow I was able to make progress down the steep, black, slick, rocky incline. When I got close enough, I launched myself out and down into the ocean by pushing off in a jump to hopefully make it out past the rest of the cliff and into the water.

The water was freezing and violent and I was filled with fear, but I knew that was where I was supposed to be.

From my high jump, I sank easily down past the foam and spray and whiteness and then kept descending without trying. It was a beautiful, clear blue-green down below the violence. I was holding my breath.

Down there, it was not as turbulent and I felt like I was being gently rocked back and forth. My feet were down, my arms out, like I was standing in the water. I looked up and could see the violent whiteness above me, but it was silent and almost calm here.

That’s when my sister appeared in front of me, smiling, her long, beautiful, curly red hair spread out all around her like seaweed. I noticed it moved to that same rocking rhythm, waving softly around her, her skin so lovely and pale, her blues eyes somehow warm in all this freezing blue water.

I was so happy to see her again! We smiled at each other and held each the other’s arms, so that we were together, but had room between us to look into each other’s eyes.

I was beginning to notice that I needed air.

She smiled a small, kind of sad smile and shook her head at me—slowly and lovingly. I pointed up and motioned that I needed air. She shook her head at me again, still smiling—patient, understanding.

I began to get frantic, but she wouldn’t let me go so that I could rise to get more air at the surface. She took my face in her hands and looked at me intensely, conveying to me that I must stay. Some part of my brain thought of the drowning scene in The Abyss.

And indeed, she held me there just like Bud held Lindsay in the movie, looking into my eyes softly, with the water beginning to fill my lungs in stabs of scorching pain as I fought her, thrashing about trying to get loose.

Even though the water was freezing, it hit my insides like white-hot heat, searing me, burning.

Finally, with my lungs on fire and with her still holding me in front of her, I took in a deep, lung-filling inhale and completely filled myself with water. Horrified and still looking at her, I realized I was breathing water instead of air at that point.

It felt heavy and laborious to breathe this way.

She was still smiling. I opened my eyes wide and shrugged to ask her how the hell this was happening. She just smiled wider, holding my gaze with hers.

I relaxed as much as I could and looked at her, ready to “talk” to her and find out why we were both here.

That’s when I noticed she was dying in my arms, becoming limp. Her gaze left me and became unfocused and her eyes slid away and over my right shoulder. I began to shake her and was yelling, “No!” at her through the water.

She was already gone though, limp and beginning to sink deeper into the darkness below. I grabbed her and held her to me there in that cold, gently swaying blueness and looked at her face. It was pale and lifeless, her eyes still open and blue. Her long, seaweed hair surrounded us in the water, weaving itself all around both of us.

My tears were indistinguishable from and lost in the ocean water.

She looked like a blue-tinted version of the body I had witnessed in her coffin—deflated and flat and thin, wearing one of her favorite pink sweaters that was now heavy and pulled downward by the weight of the water. The never-to-be-healed knife slashes and stab wounds were now apparent again on her face and neck, showing the tiny stitches.

She had kept me here and helped me learn that I could survive in this “foreign” world below the violent waves above. Then she was gone, reclining now in my arms, both of us swayed and rocked by the water, surrounded by her long, floating, seaweed hair.

I “woke up.” I didn’t know if it had been a dream or a vision or what. I concluded it didn’t really matter.

I use Bing as my home page on my computer because I love their photos. The next day when I opened my laptop, Bing’s page came up and the underwater ocean scene was the exact color my underwater “dream” had been.

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