Ever second Saturday morning I toddle over to Caulfield, make my way to Viv's place, take my place on the sofa - the same place I've been sitting in this circle since I started in 2005 or thereabouts and I let myself get taken away to all sorts of strange places as the group and I meditate in the cards of the Major Arcana of the tarot.
Over the years, I've learned that this type of meditation has it's perils. We're warned before we go under (start meditating) that this can change the way you look at the world - and I've had some amazing epiphanies from doing this work. But after six years, I thought that there wasn't much left to surprise me.
I was wrong.
Yesterday morning I turned up to meditation. On time for a change. A smaller group than normal - lots of people were away, ill or just too lazy to turn up.
But this is normal when we work the path of the Devil.
We were warned that veils would be lifted - and we would be seeing truths that we wouldn't want to see.
I took no heed of the warning. I've done this path before. I know what to expect.
We all left meditation a little bit on the munged side and made our way to the our cafe for a much needed coffee. After half an hour, the others at the table had gone of to their tarot class and I was left chatting to a new guy in the group, Fabien about the joys of ritual.
Normal Saturday morning after meditation topics.
We also talked about the clarity that these meditations bring to us. The processes that we go to find enlightenment. I said that it appeared to get easier, the longer you do the work - just like peeling back the layers of an onion, you find a newer shinier onion underneath.
I neglected to tell Fabien that with peeling onions, there comes tears.
I wasn't quite ready for the fallout from this path working. It's normally so much more subtle.
The first I knew anything was happening was when I looked at the date. And I started to cry. It made driving back home interesting.
I battled the emotions for the afternoon. The treadmill gave me no solace. The local coffee shop didn't help. I tried reading - nope, the angst stayed. The cat got a cuddle while I watched a few episodes of Grey's Anatomy. Still - I was out of sorts.
It all came back to the date. And where my soul wanted to be. Where every fibre of my being wanted to be at that moment. And who I wanted to be with. There was no denying that fine silver thread that appears to link people across oceans no matter how many times you've tried to cut the cord.
You see, Lachlan turned 50 yesterday.
And the veil lifted.
And I had to admit to myself that despite all the work I've done on myself, and all the tears that I've shed, and the 5 am phone calls that wake me up occasionally, and the fact that he's on the other side of the world, and... and... and... and...
It finally dawned on me that there is a very small part of me that still loves this idiot.
The realisation hit like a sledgehammer some hours later as I was driving down Chapel Street on the way to meet Emm and Kitt at a screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey (I couldn't not believe the movie is 45 years old - it was only dated by the key pads and the shorts worn by the actors)
The full force of the Devil hit. The bargains that you make with yourself to avoid the truth. The actions you take to pacify yourself. The tactics you find yourself undertaking just to avoid the truth.
I was looking for the large, black structure in the middle of nowhere to take me where I needed to be.
The memories came back in an instant as I searched for a parking spot. For heaven's sake - it's been far too long. It's never, ever going to happen. I know this.
Yet, there is a still a small part that still loves the douche bag.
Thankfully, unlike other Devil realisations, self-preservation kicked in. The phone was not touched. The thought of sending him an email was ignored. Nothing detrimental to my sane state was forfeited. I was not going to react to this in a way that would harm myself.
I could switch off the feelings, once identified and recognised. I didn't spend my time pining or wishing or hoping. I've not gone and put myself on internet dating websites like I did one other time I tried swallowing these feelings - much to my detriment.
Nope. I just have to learn to live with this.
And move on.
I did however buy him a card to send over. It will be a bit late. Never mind. I don't like that I still know his address and postcode without having to look it up. Just have to deal with it.
Still, he doesn't need to know what I'm feeling - no matter how often the occasional email comes saying lets meet up, or when are you coming back or you know we are supposed to be together.
This is the path of the Devil. It's about facing truths. My truths - however ugly.
The card is fine. I think he'll like it. Nothing mushy or frivolous. A card that I would give to any of my friends. A normal, safe, congratulatory note penned inside. Hope you had a lovely birthday, love Pand.
The veil is back in place.
Dammit. Dammit. Dammit.