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LIGHT REFLECTING OFF THE BLANKET OF SNOW CAST EVERYTHING IN BLUE HUES…

Even the umber yellow pennants hanging from the trees. As Sarah walked down the path -efficiently cleared with an air of chaotic disinterest in perfection- she felt the cold breeze moving through the forest. Gently touching her fingers to the trunks of trees, the scent of caramel and vanilla caressed her senses. Somewhere along the way the breeze had also picked up the scent of fresh Sage.

An invigorating combination.

And yet, she had a sense that there was something else in this space uplifting her spirits. Subtle as it might be, she felt it when she passed the first pennant, worn and old but still brightly moving in the air. Maybe it’s in her mind? Maybe it’s in the air? Maybe she’s just hopeful, as she has been so many times, and it will all fade to gray like before.

Somehow the last option didn’t seem likely.

A brightness brought her out of her thoughts and she realized the trees had thinned; a clearing was ahead. A rather large cabin -or was it a fortress?- stood a ways in. The sight was impressive but somehow inviting. A familiar homeyness softened the immense presence of this building. It wasn’t massive, but it surely wasn’t small. It wasn’t elaborate, in fact it was quite simple, but something about it dominated the space and the energy of this place. It was a pillar in time, basic and sturdy, standing in a field of something unseen and much deeper.

The house (Castle?) was vaguely Norse and definitely cutting edge. Solar panels covered the roof and electronic security pads sat quietly by the doors with their green-lit numbers smiling.

Off to the right and in the distance, Sarah saw a few smaller structures, with wheels, sitting orderly with their own lights on.

This place is happening.

“You’re precisely on time, Sarah. Bravo.”

She nearly jumped out of her skin as the strong voice cut the winter silence. It was gentle and carried a sensation of care but demanded attention none-the-less. She’d stepped away from the voice instinctively and realized her hand was on her chest, but when she looked up at the man his smile was warm and his posture casually inviting…

“Ah, I didn’t mean to scare you. You’re very attentive but I should have known you’d be in thought, and I am very stealthy,” the man said with a grin that broke the character she’d created in her mind.

Sarah swallowed and replied, “Ah, yeah. No, it’s ok! I just didn’t hear you coming. You did scare me though! Hah!”

He smiled but didn’t reply. An invitation for her to continue.

“Ah, um, I’m actually here to visit Kedrik. He invited me to the house- here, wherever he is..” She stammered out while cursing herself for being so inarticulate. This man was both calm and centered, walking with a confidence that said ‘This dirt is mine’. She couldn’t help but note he was quite attractive as well.

“Well done, that’s me. Do you want tea or coffee?” He replied.

Ah jesus, of course this is Kedrik. What a fool I am.

“Don’t sweat it,” he said as if hearing her thoughts, “We’re in my neck of the woods. I’ve got an advantage.”

Again with that grin, yet somehow it is beginning to fit. This man seems so sure and clear of his place in the universe, to the point that it both generates a feeling of stern knowing while giving him space to be playful.

After a few steps they were near the front door, which was unlocked. As Kedrik pushed it open he asked again.

“Coffee would be lovely,” she replied, feeling a bit calmer now.

 

They entered the home which was again both simple in its aesthetic and impressive in it’s presence. Despite having sparse walls with limited decoration, what was hanging fit perfectly. The oak beams exposed with sepia toned paneling between gave the house a crisp, professional look while still feeling warm and inviting.

Kedrik invited her to make herself at home in the living room and went to making the coffee.

As if on cue, he spoke up as soon as she was feeling settled. “So. Here you are. I won’t beat around the details; Michael showed me your letter. He said you might be offended but that you’d understand. He seems convinced. I apologize for the intrusion into that private exchange. And I was compelled by what you wrote,” a pause,” Do you truly feel those sentiments?”

Before she could become fully offended that Michael had shared her letter she was compelled to respond. “Yes. I do.”

“Fantastic. Conviction. I can hear that clarity in your voice,” Kedrik said as he handed her a cup, “But I can also feel a contradiction waiting to be said.”

“You’re perceptive”

“That’s my job.”

“You get paid for that?”

“Often. And often not.”

“Interesting-”

“You’re dodging the question.”

The exchange flowed without rush but without pretense. They exchanged words like old friends that had seen serious times and no longer needed to move gingerly around anything.

“Yes. Well. Honestly: I don’t think that people really want to change. I don’t think they want to evolve. They’re not interested in seeing something new or creating something wonderful. It’s easier to sit idle and let the world flow by at status quo,” She felt herself stepping into a trap, yet something in her wanted to be caught.

“Is that what you’re doing?”

Ouch. Sarah visibly winced at the question.

“Despite having just met you, I don’t feel I can lie. Which is good and also intimidating. Besides you’ve read my letter. So the obvious answer is yes,” the words came out and her mouth stopped and closed at the end with resolute determination to not say anything foolish.

“People change. And evolve. It’s in our nature by design or determination, take your pick. I’d rather not bore you if you’d already changed paths. We can just as easily spend our time here talking of the world, sipping coffee, and playing in the studio,” he replied calmly, almost dismissively, as he leaned back in his chair and took a sip of coffee.

Sarah new at once that he knew something. Or at least had a sense of her deepest desires. It was unsettling, but she wanted it as well.

She sighed and spoke, “Honestly. I don’t see the point. They’ve given up. And as a result they’ve created a world that leaves me with little choice but to give up as well. Maybe it’s easier if I do; maybe I’ll find this world less unbearable.”

She’d cornered herself again.

“How is that going for you?” he asked, punctuated with a smaller more contained grin than before.

“Not well.”

“So let me get this straight. You’ve got a vision of a world you want, one that will set you free to act as a free sovereign agent in your greatest inspirations, enacting your greatest gifts, for people that give a shit and need what you have, and you desperately want them to wake up…. But you’ve lost faith in their capacity to do so… correct?”

She could sense more coming. “So far.”

“And so you’ve given up, retreated to solitude, settled into survival…. And you’re still thinking about it… correct?”

“… Yes.”

“And now you’ve come to the edge of civilization, in a house that intrigues you, sipping coffee from cup handed to you by a stranger you trust enough but not completely. You’ve stepped off the path yet again, while maintaining that your chosen paradigm of defeat is the most accurate and all trying is in vain… yet you’re here trying anyways…?”

Silence.

“Correct?”

“Fuck. Fine, yes,” she pressed before letting out a sigh and slumping back into her chair.

“Alright. Don’t ‘fine’ me. But I’ll take that ‘fuck’ because it echos your inner sentiments,” He said while leaning forward to set his mug down before continuing, “You give a shit. Period. You want that world you see in your heart. Period. You have an undeniable urge to act on it, and you know your people have that somewhere in them. Period. You haven’t given up because you’re here, and what’s more I can feel your energy field intensifying. This experience, this human fucking experience, is and always will be a game, Sarah. You’ve taken it too seriously, run yourself ragged, and left feeling deflated and lacking. But that. Doesn’t. Matter. Because inside of you is something you can’t deny. Fuck if I see it or not, that’s inconsequential. You see it. You feel it. And despite words of resignation your feet move to the undeniable power of your Soul. Don’t waste your time lying to me, I don’t care. But surely as the air you’re breathing don’t fucking lie to yourself. That thing inside of you that walked your defeated ass to my doorstep isn’t done. So neither are you.”

Kedrik sat back, crossing a leg over the other as he did, and waited. His face was neither stern nor inviting. It was neither happy nor sad. With his fingertips touching in front of him, face as clear as a blank paper, Sarah felt what he was offering her.

A fresh and open space.

No expectations held, no irritations maintained. She could feel that without a doubt he was complete at peace. Whatever she chose he’d support her decision and offer her another cup of coffee as if it was the most normal exchange they could have had. Like weather or vitamins.

Sovereignty. He was giving her sovereignty.

Sarah felt something inside of her. She set her mug down.

It was a paradox and yet utterly in unison. A sense of lifted weight spread over her body and something, anything, felt possible again. Thoughts that swirled in the background beckoning her to complacency thinned and evaporated with not so much as a whisper. Not vanquished, simply gone.

And yet at the same time she felt determined. A fire inside of her burned a little brighter, but it wasn’t his fire, it was her own. Passion awake, expectations released. She was both intent on achieving her vision while simultaneously open to any outcome.

“What have you done to me, Wizard?”

“I don’t really consider myself a wizard and I’ve not done anything to you. More like something for you,” Kedrik said cryptically before continuing, “I’ve shone a light on something you already know. I’ve pointed a finger at the things you said we’re important. And I’ve created this space, both literally and energetically, to make the choice you just made possible…”

Kedrik reached for his mug, “You could have continued to resist what you already decided a very long time ago. I’d have danced with you a bit more but eventually I’d have let you off the hook. Not because I don’t care but because I care a lot. You see Sara, as much as you have a fire inside of you that you must see fueled to continue, I am driven by a need to see those fires lit, and do whatever in my power to give space for the lighting…

But I cannot do it for you. And surely in the game of dual reality I wouldn’t want to. It all moves with Choice. Your choice for you. Mine for me. Theirs for them. You can’t control theirs any more than I can make your choices for you.

But we can create.

We can create in the space that is shared between individuals. We can create in and for the worlds we want to see. In and for the people we want to be. What determines how that changes others is not the control we exert, but the clarity of the things we create.

I want you to create.

And I want to give you the foundations and tools to do it well, without fatigue, and in full alignment to your own fire.

Do you want that, Sarah?”

She hadn’t notice them start but tears ran down her face. Just a few, but powerfully needed.

“Yes.”

He smiled a different smile now. This one held something beyond playful teasing. This one was not the grin of a man that had mastered the universe and intended to sit and witness the beautiful unfolding. This was the grin of a man witnessing the birth of something that he both expected but could not predict. Confidence that it would come but never absolutely sure from where or at what time.

“Excellent,” He said, “I have something for you.”

Sarah was taken aback by the power of that smile and the energy emanating from this man. Surely he was a wizard despite denying it. Taking in the scene she realized he had drawn a bundle of leather from his pocket, and was unfolding it.

He leaned forward as he did, elbows on knees, eyes intent on what his hands were doing. Something about his conduct spoke of reverence and ritual. Each motion was intentional and defined. Each was precise and careful. It was mesmerizing and she felt herself sitting up, arms on knees, watching him unpack the small bundle.

“I made this for you.

I can’t do what you must do for you. But I can help you along the way. The things we’ll talk about will become evident in this Totem. The power is from you. The Totem is a focal point for your Will. It is both fundamentally intrinsic to your path, and ultimately inconsequential to your success. But for the time that it is useful, use it well. At some point it will become iconic of your success. It will become a symbol of what you stand for. You can keep it, at that point, or if you feel called, pass it on to someone who needs it. The choice is always yours.”

As he finished speaking, he lifted the last corner of the second layer of leather. The first was harder, elk she suspected, but this inner layer was soft and supple; deer maybe.

Sitting at the center of what was now an 8-pointed brown-leather star geometry in the palm of his hand, sat a ring.

Looking at it made her feel nervous. But it also made her feel a sort of determined intensity. It called to her in a way that only lifelong friends can. It called to her as a new lover at first eye contact, wordlessly. She knew by his posture that she should reach out and take it. Her arm lifted and slowly left thumb and index finger extended.

“Be sure, Sarah, that you’re ready for what you’ve manifested. That with what you declare, you are willing to follow through. This Relic is yours, but not as a servant. It is a partnership. She will speak to your Soul, which you are now speaking with yourself, and then she will hold you accountable to those whisperings. It is easier to ignore the invitation when nobody sees it happen. She will be watching. Are you ready?”

She paused. Not hesitation but contemplation. Clarity.

As her fingers touched the ring the energy was electric. This was her. This was an expression of her into physical space. An anchor of her Will and desire and the root foundations of her avatar expressed into reality. It was intimidating and invigorating and soothing all at once.

As she slid the Relic onto her right middle, where it seemed to want to be, the fit was perfect.

Sarah looked up into Kedrik’s eyes, tears drying on cheeks but no longer flowing.

“Ah,” he said, “There you are.”

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