Crystal Cave

The forest spa was unexpected. He hadn’t imagined finding a moss-lined pool, fed by a hot spring, half way up the dark mountain. In truth he hadn’t known what to expect since he’d awoken, unknown and alone, atop the white mountain at the far end of the valley, and felt compelled to walk towards its dark sister.

It was tempting to stay camped there but he decided to continue climbing. The forest became lighter and it was dotted with small meadows, filled with red and blue flowers. He thought of the red hair and blue eyes of the girl in Samhala with whom he’d spent four nights.

There were hollows in a nearby bluff. His curiosity got the better of him and he approached the largest opening. He called out hello, and threw in some stones to scare out animals. A lone bat flew into view and disappeared again.

He walked in a few metres and stood for a while, allowing his eyes to adjust to gloom. He was surprised when the gloom disappeared quickly, easing into an amber glow. It reminded him of some fossils he’d seen when at school – insects encased in fiery light, which seemed still alive. There was an earthy sweet smell, reminiscent of a marine animal.

He saw that the cave was more like a tube, formed of translucent orange stone with hints of cherry and lemon. These colours vanquished darkness.

The smooth glowing tube invited his entry. Though he held no source of light, the amber light was sufficient by which to navigate. It was initially quite consistent but after a hundred metres began to dim. He considered going back, but decided to push on further in case the light improved. After a patch of near darkness the light increased rapidly. It went from smoky orange to amber, to tangerine, to pale resin.

The amber tube opened into a vast crystal chamber. The man from the mountain said, “My God!” and then was dumbstruck. White crystals were oriented in every direction, some the size of fingers and others as big as trees, growing upwards, downwards, horizontally, and diagonally. It seemed that they were supporting each other, battling each other, pointing and lifting. These countless crystals had endless facets, refracting and reflecting. Within them the man saw many differing facets of himself.

He was a child, an adult, and an old man, all at once.

He had masculine and feminine sides.

He was a father, brother, and son.

He was loved and hated…

Known and unknown…

Together and alone…

He was sane and insane…

Dreaming and awake.

The man from the mountain was all of these things, yet had in truth transcended them. These many versions of himself were concentrated into this one present version. He saw both the microscopic structure and the macroscopic shape of his crystal self. There was an orderly pattern repeating in all spatial dimensions.

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