Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A master of the third eye


“You know what a master is like,” she cautioned me.

“Oh yeah.”

“He’s as likely to whack you as to talk to you.”

I climbed the last steps to the master’s hermitage resolved not to submit to any slap-in-the-face treatment.

I found him with his feet in a tub of hot water. Steam rose and the air was pleasantly scented with mountain herbs as one of his handmaidens palpated his feet. I was curious to see whether she would dry them with her lustrous black hair, that fell to the floor.

“Move the chest,” he directed me.

I contemplated the great iron-banded box without enthusiasm.

“Where?”

He indicated the far corner.

I half-lifted, half-carried the heavy trunk to the place he indicated, wondering what he kept in it.
“Now bring it back. And don’t drag it. Pick it up.”

I felt the veins bulge on my forehead as I struggled to carry out these instructions. I nearly made it back. Then the trunk slid from my grip, landing painfully on my left foot.

The master waited until I had stopped howling before he spoke again. “Why do you come to me?”

“Master, I come to you because I wish to see."

“Then why are your eyes open?”

“Master?”

I realized, at that moment, that the master’s eyes were closed. I understood that I was to close my own.

“Closer,” he commanded.

I felt the stir of movement. I heard the swish of the loose silk of his garment, and pictured his arm swinging back, fist clenched. Here it comes.

I intended to duck the blow, but something kept me in place, on my knees in front of him. What was that buzzing sound? It made me think of a bee, trapped behind glass. It came closer.

I felt burning pain as something pierced me at the third eye, like a drill bit. Immediately the girl was at my side, soothing my forehead with an ointment that smelled like yogurt.

When she left off, there was absolute stillness in the cabin. Then I heard the soft slap of water from the footbath.

I opened my eyes. There was no change in the scene. The black-haired girl squatted at the master’s feet, as before. I felt no surge of enlightenment. I did notice that one of the master’s eyes was now open. Above and between his closed eyelids, it fixed me with its blue light, cold and unblinking.

6 comments:

Barbara Butler McCoy said...

The combination of the symbols of eye and feet in this are intriguing, indicating something from head to toe, perhaps? You go in with the wish to see and your sight is first drawn to a foot bath then to a chest. Dare I say that when I read you dropped the chest on your foot I wondered if the same had happened to the master? Has your heart dropped to your feet recently? Just my off-the-cuff impressions ...

Robert Moss said...

Ingenious, Barbara, but on this occasion the narrator is not me, but one of my literary characters - to whom your associations may well apply, to be sure. (Maybe I shall ask him)

nina said...
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Nancy said...

Anything about vision will catch my attention. I think of my recent focus on grounding, being equally and solidly balanced on both of my feet, so that I feel safe enough to see clearly. I think of closing my eyes (using my imagination) so I can see more clearly when they're open. I think of the many tasks I have taken on, not sure I had the strength to complete them, and how I have dropped a figurative chest on my own foot more than once. Thanks for continuing to give me parables that reflect my life.

Morgans Art Studio said...

I had a dream just this last week where I was given a wooden box by a co-worker, dream character, in response to my feeling frustrated about being told that I had to follow their rules. I opened the box and was shocked to see a small dark (as if in shadow)person laying on its side in fetal position, and among it were odds and ends of a child's things, like a little cup, and a block.
I have also, about a year ago, dreamed I cut off my left foot and was working on cutting off my right foot with the intention to change my identity.
To me, the left foot represents the feminine side and the right, of course is masculine, and feet are all about moving forward.
I love, Robert, that you have allowed us to take a peek at this new book you are writing and I'll be looking forward to reading it.
I, just recently, had a dream too that Oprah and Gail were laying on her bed and discussing you. It was very positive.

Micheline said...

Hi,my name is Micheline and this is the first time I read your blog Mr. Moss.

I so enjoyed the tale. I feel for the hero who notices that he does not feel more enlightened after his third eye is painfully opened. The master does remind him that all is inside - (why are you eyes open if you want to see?)Interesting too the wait for the punishment - the hero already had done it by dropping the chest on his left foot. So it seems to me, perhaps because I do a lot of that. The master didn't have to do it. Also since I do reflexology, I can see something entirely different in the foot bath and the herbs. Foot baths in reflexology are better than regular baths if one wants to eliminate toxins from the body. Have you seen the movie Cosntantine where he puts his feet in a tub of water in order to contact the other side? Just couldn't resist commenting. The vision is so juicy. Thank you for sharing.