It falls. It seeps. It gathers. They Grow.
Druwa. Filtris. Occue. Amasee...
"I await. The darkness is my blanket and my shield. The dampness is my friend. You are my teacher, and I await...
What in Hades am I doing wrong? The mantra is simple enough.
These four words all feel good to say. The setting is right, the noise level is perfect, my spine is as aligned as I can get it without pulling something. What the hell?
I'll try focusing on 'the beat'. Maybe that'll help get the chakras woke up."
"Breathe in: One, two, three. Breathe out: One, two, three, four."
"Druwa. It falls from the heavens, completing the great circle. This newborn word begins my mantra. It cascades from the tongue, like the Ozark rain in the Spring. I will use it, if it's okay with you..."
"Well, are you gonna speak or are you gonna just keep right on dripping for another million years?
Guess not. Filtris. And then it absorbs, into the tangled soil which crowns your fragile, fractured casing. You are ancient, like me, and fragile like me. Yet you've stood the test of time. How do you do it? Teach me...
All my life I've been searching, struggling, hoping, and waiting. You're my final hope. And all I get from you is: 'Plink!' Why do your walls laugh when I laugh. Why do they repeat my words? Are you mocking me? What are you trying to tell me? I must know! As a citizen of this universe, I demand my right to know!
Hey, I've got news for you! You won't be around forever either! You may be grand and mighty, but one day, those walls will crumble and the light will filter in like the rain. Some day, you will be nothing but a pile of shattered, sedimentary-rock bone fragments! And then what, huh? Then what?"
"I'm sorry. Breathe in: One, two, three. Breathe out: One, two, three, four.
My eyes are closed, as you wish. At least that's what my wishful thinking tells me you're saying. You'll have to excuse me; I'm not Buddha, I'm just a tired old man stumbling through the twilight of existence. Meditation is something brand new to me. Now for the love of the Underworld, speak to me in something besides ambiguous riddles!
I'll calm down. Occue. I like that word, even though it's gibberish. Do you like it? You should, because Occue was what made you grand and mighty in the first place. The rain gathered the calcium carbonate and decorated you like a king. It's been working on you for...I don't know...forty-seven million years? Am I even in the ball park?
"Yes, you're right. That's one thing I like about you: You can read my mind. The only living thing I've met yet that can. You're right, it doesn't matter. You're telling me that time is just an illusion anyway. That to obsess over it is bad for my health.
Hold it! What? Where did that just come from?
Um, moving on here: Amasee. Growth. We're both growing, at least for now. I'm growing old, and I guess for you, fractures grow into passages. Walls grow into flowstone. Soda straws become stalactites, and stalagmites 'might' rise to meet them.
There you go again, laughing back at me. Well, I used to be a speleologist, and that's how we talk. What would you call the formations, then? They can't all be named 'Plink!'"
Plink! ("I don't call them anything; I'm just a cave.")
"Breathe in: One, two, three. Breathe out: One, two, three, four.
OK. Pull yourself together, Gerald. This makes yet another good reason why we're always warned never to go spelunking alone. I thought I knew this cavern well enough to go alone blindfolded by now. I should! It's been on my property and I've been coming here for over fifty years! I've studied every square inch of this place using all the latest cave study gadgets nameable. What's happening to me?
It's just water. It can fall from the sky, it can absorb into the ground, gather minerals, and deposit them down here. It's all breath-taking. But one thing this cave can't do, nor ever will be able to is..."
Plink! ("Speak? True, Gerald. Not in a conventional way. But, oh, we can most definitely speak! I've been trying to tell you things your whole life; you've just never actually attempted to listen until today.
So listen to me now, Gerald. Listen to the water. It's the same water that makes everything possible in your world up above. You wouldn't have been able to enjoy the thrill of that water slide every weekend all Summer when you were eleven without it. You wouldn't be here right now to ignore all the things you've got going for you so you could complain about something so abstract and beside-the-point as 'purpose' without it. Listen to the echoes. My walls are mirrors, reflecting everything, including you. Listen to yourself. Ever notice how scratchy your voice has become lately? You need to go have that checked out. It could be a sign of something serious but preventable if you act promptly. Listen to the darkness. Yes, the darkness! It speaks to you as well. And it's trying to tell you that some things are better left alone. My place on this earth is down here; yours is up there in the above world. So get out there and make the most of it.")
Druwa. Filtris. Occue. Amasee.
"It falls. My former ignorance falls, giving rise to a new era of wisdom. It seeps. I open myself to allow these rusty old chakras to absorb the possibilities. It gathers. I will embrace everything I've taken for granted, and it will build me back into a strong person. Stronger than my old self thought possible. They grow. And the three will grow together for the rest of my days, making this great illusion called Time all having been worthwhile.
Breathe in: Three, two, one. Breathe out: Four, three, two, one...
Thank you for your help today, Mr....Is it OK if I just call you Mr. Karst? I mean, 'Mr. Cave' sounds rather undignified. Don't you think?"