My dream –

On an expansive estate, a villa, on an island, by evidence of vegetation – kamagong, acacia, narra – tropical. The setting is one of challenge rather than captivity. Though not a labyrinth per se, presented was an intricacy of entanglement, a series of tests of acumen, of perseverance, of courage, requiring passage before advancement, before release.

As a participant, I was leading six others through this course of obstacles, each of which was more rigorous, more demanding than the last. I was in the lead, in part, because my fate rested not only in my guidance and encouragement of the others, but in my care of them, in assuring that no harm came to them in the fulfilment of any of the tests, of which there were six.

Each of the six senses – longing (hiraeth), smell, hearing, touch, sight, and taste – was tested in conjunction with each of the six questions – who, what, when, where, why, how. For whom do you long? What do you smell? When do you listen? Where do you touch? Why do you look? How does it taste?

Underlying all of these tests was the presumed element of fear. Fear of misfortune. Fear of temptation or revulsion. Fear of siren or censure. Fear of pleasure or pain. Fear of curiosity or intrusion. Fear of excess or refusal.

Fearless by psychological endowment, my personal challenge was that of balancing my own dauntlessness with the timorousness of the others. How might fear be overcome, that brilliance, innate in all of them, prevail?

Of course, it was readily deduced that each of my fellow participants was there, precisely in order to confront his or her own most threatening of fears. As in everything, the estate, the villa, the island were all illusory. The test was that of destiny.

And why six – participants, senses, questions, fears? Because, between the volatility of five (witness, exactly half of ten, which equals one, or new beginning), and the phasic perfection of seven (witness, the total of any two opposing faces of a die [one of a pair of dice]), six is the number of choice, the realm of messengers and angels.

Fast forward…the day complete, but, no. No surprise, really. And, in me, no fear – the epilogue, the afterword, the postscript, appendix, conclusion – test number seven.

Whence, wherewith, whereunto, wheresoever lay the threshold from the first seven, the commencement of the second seven? We were on an island, its cliffs, defying descent, high above the raging sea.

Your fears conquered, if you let go, falling feels like flying. No leap of faith ever revealed its landing prior to the jump. Believing, eyes open or closed, smelling the sea, tasting the air, feeling the breeze, hearing the waves, longing for home, throw yourself out across the brink. Grow wings before you fall.