Part Nine of The Unseen Sea
“She’s being picked on at school,” says Maria.
Grandad Lucca gazes back to the thick rug in the corner of the tiny living room in the cottage, on which Jessica has been lying, painting her picture. His grandaughter catches sight of him looking at her work and twists her body to hide the painting. But Grandad’s still-keen eyes have caught a glimpse of the picture of the tall girl with black hair, including the arrow through its heart.
“An older girl has taken a dislike to her,” says his daughter. “The teachers are doing their best, but…” She hold her hands out wide, as if to say what can anyone do in that horrible situation where there are no winners?
“And she’s going back to school, soon – and therefore back to meet this monster, as she sees it?”
He thinks about the arrow in the hastily covered picture. Jessica and he had only just finished playing bows and arrows in the garden, while the sun went down over the laurel hedge and the autumn evening began its chill. Maria arrived, then, after her long drive at the end of the working week. Now the arrow has passed from the reality of Grandad’s carefully preserved childhood archery set to the image created on a blank canvas of watercolour art paper.
Maria watches him think, well used to this… “Penny for them?” she says, sipping the hot, black, coffee that was thrust into her grateful hands on arrival.
“I was thinking that it took me such a long time to understand the real nature of fear…”
“Isn’t it just survival?”
“I thought so, too, for a while, but then I saw how it really was and the vision of that changed me.”
“Show me how it really was,” says Maria. Remembering her own childhood and the careful explanations her father had conjured for her–some of them highly imaginative–so she would always remember.
Grandad Lucca clears his throat before speaking, as though the memory still carries a lot of emotion. “One day,” he says. “when I was very afraid of something that seemed inevitable, I managed to find a deep state of presence within me, and that’s when I saw the structure of it… all of it.”
Maria nods, willing him to continue and knowing that state of presence is with him, again, in this quiet room, where even Jessica has put down her paints to listen.
With a far-away look in his eyes, he continues. “I saw that my mind had created an image of the thing rushing towards me, and that my life had conditioned me to react to such images and not to the actual thing rushing at me.”
“Aren’t they the same thing, just a kind of useful shorthand?” asks Maria.
“That’s just it, though.” replies her father. “They aren’t the same thing at all. So many times the thing we are frightened of is completely changed if we don”t rob ourselves of our energy in wasted fear… and turn to face it, unafraid.”
Maria says nothing, hearing the wisdom in the words, but doubting the practicality.
“I think its a heart thing,” Grandad Lucca says softly. “I think there’s an energy – a bigness in the heart on such occasions. it’s almost like a third force.”
“But it doesn’t always work.” Maria is emphatic–too familiar with the nature of fear in her own life. “And you can’t teach it to kids as psychic self-defence, can you?” Immediately, she regrets the harsh tone and wonders where it came from.
“Only if we taught it to all kids,” he says in a whisper.
But it is a whisper that Jessica hears; and she gets up with intent and brings her Grandad the picture she has just painted. She screws it up and looks up at him with tearful eyes that long to be free of the fear she carries. “Is my heart big enough, Grandad?” she asks.
“We’ll make damn sure it is!” he says, hugging her and choking back a tear of his own, ignoring Maria’s wordless scowl at his minor expletive.
Three billion revolutions of the Earth around the Sun have passed since LUCA’s day of triumph. Already diversified into a myriad of single-celled forms which swarmed in the oceans, a very special part of the one Life that was, and is, LUCA began to live on the surface of the waters and to drink the Sun’s light, directly, using its blue-green colour to harness the radiant energy of the Provider in the sky.
LUCA drank the sun, taking in its energy, and ejected the waste small-sun into the shallows of the sea and thereby into the atmosphere. LUCA green-blue was so successful that the content of Earth’s entire atmosphere changed from having none of the small-sun to a dominant 21 percent, a level it remains at to this day.
There was a catch, a ruthless catch, though we can’t blame LUCA for surviving. The change of atmosphere wiped out almost every other LUCA life-form then present on the planet. And if the inability to breathe didn’t get them, the ice-age that followed did.
But about a billion years later, LUCA green-blue small-sun managed to get herself eaten by a fast-developing other LUCA which just wanted her inside for the ride and not digested.
And plants were born; and the speed with which the atoms of LUCA’s body could fulfil their purpose increased a hundred fold. To this day, plants are the only life-form that can eat the sun… courtesy of LUCA green-blue’s small sun, or as Grandad Lucca would call it, Oxygen…
In terms of the clock-face of process that is one of the faces of the enneagram, big things were afoot…
End Part Nine.
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©Copyright Stephen Tanham, 2016 images and text. All rights reserved.