The Wrong Snake Part II
Please read The Wrong Snake Part I, preceding this entry.
So, off I tromped—not just discouraged and disappointed but despairing. I can definitely get dramatic sometimes. But beneath what might look like drama is an actual existential angst and hopelessness. Sometimes I feel I can’t take one more step in this world until I have an answer of some kind—but usually, I am not quite sure of the question.
I thought of a quote I read recently in a book—“What is the answer? THAT is the question!”
I walk around doing stuff for about 15 minutes, dragging my feet.
I turn up a slope.
And there it is.
Actually, it is not THE snake—Tyger--but it is A snake. Smaller but still a good size. It crosses my path in a perfect perpendicular track.
But, of course, it is The Wrong Snake.
I actually roll my eyes at it and shake my head. Are you kidding me? What am I supposed to do with this? Is divinity always like this? Because it sure seems like it. The only “concrete information” I ever receive is always reliant on my subjective perception of events—in other words, not “concrete” at all. There is always an element of faith required to assemble the pieces—to string the story together. And I get tired of it. I just want something big and undeniable. Divinity being defined by what is unknowable really drives me nuts.
I look up at the sky (?) and say, grudgingly, “Fine. I know there’s no ‘wrong snake’.” And then, for some reason, I crumple on the ground and cry. I feel both acknowledged and ignored. I feel special and insignificant. I feel like I got what I asked for, but reminded that I don’t get to describe the terms of such a transaction. I feel like I should be grateful for the “response” but at the same time I think the whole thing’s a sham—and I am now even more unclear on any one reality out-weighing another.
It does feel good to cry, though.
To this day, I still have yet to encounter Tyger again—although I have taken to seeing the snake as a higher power of sorts. My prayers now are often poems; poems not written by me. I am tired of thinking I have to make everything up myself—and that the inspiration of others is not something relevant to my own experience. Just because I got The Wrong Snake, doesn’t mean that snake wasn’t meant for me.
I cross the long grass, eyes to the ground:
“Tyger, tyger, burning bright
In the forest of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could shape thy fearful symmetry?”
I still fear being swallowed.
The Tyger by William Blake, 1794
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