(The follow-up, when I went into the chambered cairn at Nether Largie South.)
A summer's day -
the air warm, late afternoon with the sun in the west,
looking into the tomb.
Then seated: cool, cold on the stones striking into my bones, a relief from the heat of the late afternoon, then becoming colder, and then I no longer was aware of the cold of the stone. I chanted a song that had come to me some months before, which seemed to fit. Over and over, then silence, and waiting.
Eyes closed, I waited, then with open eyes studied the walls, the stacked stones, the large stone slabs of the base, the capstones. Some present-day constructions of meaning were evident in the scratched graffiti, some older than others, though.
In the stillness I waited, and my song still echoed. Still, and silence, and my eyes were closed again, my heart rate increased, a waiting of anticipation.
Thoughts, impressions, voices.
Hazy, with a memory of dissolution, of burnt bone, of merging into the others, into the walls, into the floor.
The community was here, and I was of them, looking out over the valley and awaiting something -- what? Fragments of my poem from the mound surfaced, though these people were far older than their descendants of whom I'd spoken then.
But I did not know, then, where I had waited for words to come, waited for rebirth, waited for those who would uncover walls and floor, let the light into this place that with my eyes shut or even open had become so dark, despite the sunlight that streamed behind me, to warm my back and counter the effect of that so-cold stone: a warmth that I no longer needed, absorbed into this community, part of these presences that permeated walls, roof and floor.
I understood that there were sounds in the silence, voices, whispers, and I was part of the sound...
.. I felt my body trembling as my awareness shifted again, pulling free of the clustering ghosts. No longer one of many but now seeing, or sensing, one who waited, born of earth and sunlight... and I heard my voice singing the song that sends the seeress on her journey, as I made my petition and waited, and spoke again without spoken words, hearing the words in reply, attempting to tug the strands of wyrd, with no thought for what, perhaps, I 'should' have asked.
And listening, as I was given to understand that my words/thoughts/images were now part of the pattern, part of the understanding that emanated from this place...
...and I was now a separate being, and asked again, this time of my own projects and where they should go...
... until suddenly the guardian was before me, and a sound pulled me back, back, the knocking of one pebble against another as I surfaced, dazed, opened eyes, felt the cold of the stone, the heat of the sun, heard the wind moving outside and realized the stillness in the tomb, and saw ... the denim-clad legs of a person who descended into the tomb, and stopped as he saw my backpack and camera bag placed just inside the entrance for precisely this eventuality, as a marker that someone was within.
I stood up, not wanting to have the silence of the stone seat breached, and said 'hello'. He looked in, seemed a little embarrassed, commented that it was interesting, and left... I paced slowly up, and back, and started to hum, letting the sound echo and resonate, then resumed my seat, asking the guardian to take me back, felt my awareness whirling and was again there,
with one who smiled,
for this there were no words, but knowledge yet
of what I must do;
one-ness and completion
infinite, unbounded, yet
in time and place
distilled, this moment,
...until some time later, I saw again the many faces, changing more swiftly now, and the guardian, and then felt the warming sunlight on my back, in time to be aware once again of sound, a quiet chinking of stones.
The three backpackers sitting patiently outside, when I went to the opening and spoke, said 'take your time, we can wait'. But I had done what I had come to do, and so left, with a glance of thanks around the walls, and climbed out, with a smile, not looking back as I made my way down the stones of the cairn, and along the little path and so out, reverting again to a recorder, photographer, as I passed the other cairns of the linear cemetery; later in their building, interesting, but not, today, for me.