David Cauldwell

Caretaker of Lost Souls

David CauldwellComment

Poor old emaciated Death. It gets a bit of a bad rap, although not in northern Romania where you’ll find the Merry Cemetery. Forget drab gravestones molested by lichen. In the Merry Cemetery you’ll find a series of blue oak crosses demarcating the dead. Each one has a picture of the person within the context of their life, or else the actual scene of them getting killed. There’s one image of a man the size of Godzilla being run over by a teeny car; the man has a smile on his face! Beneath the pictures are first-person poems that tell you about the person’s life. It’s like the dead are talking.

Caretaker of Lost Souls

Caretaker of Lost Souls

Some of these poems are light-hearted to the point of irreverence. On one cross, a man talks about his mother-in-law who is buried beside him. It seems that she still has a hold on the man even in the afterlife: “For those of you passing this way try not to wake her up... I intend to see that she remains here, safely in her grave.”

Mocking the dead may seem a tad tasteless, but the philosophy behind the Merry Cemetery doesn’t view death as being tragic. Rather, it is seen as a moment when the deceased enter through a gateway to a more prosperous existence – one unencumbered by suffering. This belief stems from the Daicans, ancient Greeks who once inhabited this part of Romania near the Ukrainian border.

Visiting this cemetery, which one local told me was run by the mafia (!!), got me to lighten up a little about death, to uncurl this mortal coil. And then my life became a devotion in how to die well. I see life as foreplay. Death is the release, and with the Daican perspective, it could be pretty orgasmic.

So here’s to a prosperous death. See you in the Merry Cemetery…

In a sea of atoms teetering on the brink of density
A figure levitates
Enigmatic escort
Waiting to guide those
Who have never asked the way
In the space between this life and the next
How will you find a way
To transition between physicality
And the utter estrangement of pure lightness
To resist death
Is to resist staring into the pits of your being
And accept everything that’s there
And everything that’s not
If you have not spent your life
Preparing for the moment of utmost liberation
If you have not torn up harmful family blueprints
Bolt-cut ancestral binds
If you have not dissolved all beliefs that hinder Creativity and Kindness
If you have not delved into your deepest emotional cavity
And emerged laughing at the ridiculousness
Of your own perceived self-importance
If you have not dared to deface the canvas of Existence
With patterns of your purest creative expression
Soul etchings
If you have done none of these things
Then the space between this life and the next
May engulf your spirit
The Caretaker can lead you to a place
Where you are the Creator of stardust and solar systems
But only if you live to die
To meet everything as new
To reset beliefs the moment they are born
For death is only suffrage
If it’s never been invited in as a part of life
A stranger cold and wet standing on the threshold
Of your ultimate liberation

How will you live to die well? I’m dying to know…

Burlesque

David CauldwellComment
Burlesque.jpg

It didn’t matter that it was winter, that the temperature during the day wasn’t going to get above freezing. It didn’t matter either that I’d never been hiking in serious snow before, let alone in snow shoes. 

What awaited on that alpine plateau in Victoria (in Australia’s high country) was a cabaret of dancing snowgums. Alive, these trees have red, yellow, green and grey trunks. The colour is accentuated in snowfall; moisture seems to saturate the hues. What really took my breath away is when I reached a section of dead snowgums. They were so vibrant in death, their silver branches reaching out towards each other as if desperately trying to reconnect. All of the branches in this forest were turned in towards each other. It was like one massive party except all of the attendees were dead. 

I sat in this forest for a while and got a sense of the spirits in these trees, still so present even though they were in various states of decay. Thank you to the snowgums for reminding me that life doesn’t stop after death. 

BURLESQUE

In the death I will seek thee
Through the cavernous tickle of your root system
Ushering me off to my next post
Will I be held sentinel once more?
I hope to dance
So in death the cabaret begins
With silver limbs I’ll carousel ingl the afterlife
Long after the last leaf lost
The snow shall fall to celebrate this life in death
And then
In one sun-drenched moment
To the tune of an alpine parrot
And a cockatoo ripping off bark
We’ll unite in death
And our branches will touch once again

What experiences have you had to reaffirm that it’s not necessarily lights out after death? Drop me a note (preferably before you drop dead)...

Implosion

David CauldwellComment
Implosion.jpg

Dream big… How many of us are stunted by the opinions of others, paralysed by peer review, or have social constraints that make us believe we’re smaller than we are? We are the size of planets! Well, when tuned into the vastness of what’s inside we are. Walk past a mirror and sneak a quick look from a different angle. Don’t be surprised if you catch a glimpse of cosmic rings around your midriff, or a moon or two orbiting around your head.

The idea behind implosion is to not explode our energy out into the world. That is, not to project our crap onto others. To take responsibility for what’s ours and put the love we want to receive from this world back into ourselves, so we can then share it with others, as opposed to needing something from somebody. This just creates yucky interactions of disempowerment. So dream big. Think yourself a planet. How do you orbit? What’s your place in the solar system? And how does your gravitational field affect those around you?

Let me know by leaving a comment below…

IMPLOSION

And I became a planet
Magnetic belt cummerbund fast around my girth
I watched thoughts nasty and nirvana-like travel towards it
Held in geometric stasis
Turned around
The love I yearn to give to others
Put it into myself
The love I yearn to give to others
Turned around
Held in geometric stasis
I watched as thoughts nasty and nirvana-like travelled towards it
Magnetic belt cummerbund fast around my girth
And I became a planet

 

Khumyt, Princess of the Nile

David CauldwellComment
Kuwani.jpg

A love affair across the ages.

The girl on the train. The boy working in a café. Strangers, yet the body recognises them. From somewhere.

This poem/piece came after a Temazcal, or traditional sweat lodge. Just before entering the darkness of the lodge, my eyes locked with a beautiful girl’s. And it was literally like walking down a corridor back into Egypt. I haven’t seen her since, and perhaps whatever connection I felt doesn’t need to explored in this lifetime, but I’m not so secretly hoping that our paths cross again, and that maybe I’ll get to sail down the Nile in the eyes of an ancient Priestess.

For you, Kuwani, and for anybody else who has ever been beguiled by a fleeting encounter that has left a lasting impression. Share you stories by leaving a comment…


KHUMYT, PRINCESS OF THE NILE

Down the corridor of her eyes
Deepest recognition
Remembrance stirring 
How my body has yearned for hers
For many moons it has dreamed
Of fluttering away in the frolic of her eyelashes
Of being held still in her embrace
Unlocking everything with a single smile
Priestess, siren, confidante, lover
Your iridescent sovereignty hums deep within my cells
Your spell paves corridor complex
No choice but to follow this intricate design
Your eyes, Khumyt, the perfect mosaic
Sun sizzling brightly brimming over Nile banks
Across time lines
Priestess of pearls weaves ways
Ties ribbons around the waist of the world

Symbiosis

Language of RainbowsDavid CauldwellComment
Symbiosis.jpg

How many of us stop to ponder the movement of clouds above city skyscrapers? How many of us take time out of busy schedules to go and sit in the forest and watch all of the interactions bustling in Nature?

I lived in a forest for two years, surrounded by nothing but trees on all sides. I had the great joy of eating meals on my balcony, of observing the way the black cockatoos come into the forest a couple of days before of rain. I watched echidnas rummage in the rock wall I built, foraging for ants. I saw glow in the dark blue mushrooms at night. And I realised how everything is interconnected. And how humans are an important link in that process, even though we seem intent on excluding ourselves from a relationship of cooperation, preferring, instead, one of control.

If we don’t listen, then how can Nature divulge its secrets?

What secrets have you divined from Nature? Share any magical sit spots or tales of Nature connection in the comments below…

SYMBIOSIS

Silence, for this is a connection not easily heard
Yellow flowers sway in sultry zephyrs
Merging, pirouetting pollen throughout the forest
Blissfully moved by a force born of surrender
I do hereby give myself to this wind
Origin unknown, but trusting its thermal thread
Spiraling in geometric swirls
Indigo corridors to the land where soul tribes roam
Sacred caravans devoted to the turning wheel of alignment

Dragon Dreamtime

Synaptic SeedsDavid CauldwellComment
Dragon Dreamtime.jpg

Eleven days in the wilderness does wonders…
…for your sense of clarity and direction
…for your ability to tune into the true vibration of your being and practise living and interacting from that place
…for a poet’s flowery sensibilities

The dreaming in New Zealand’s south island is strong, particularly near the Dragons Teeth - a prominent rock formation in Kahurangi National Park. After hitting music festival Luminate for a week, I went straight into an 11-day solo hike. This didn’t seem like such a good idea on the first day when my lack of sleep and dancing endeavours seemed to be catching up. Not great when you’ve got to navigate.

A third of the walk was bush bashing, abjectly at times through undergrowth so thick that the leaves molested my face. Branches poked, scratched and bruised from all angles. And over the 11 days a pattern emerged: Lose “path” (actually non-existent at times, demarcated by rock stacks); scout aimlessly; get impatient; set compass point; bush bash; get totally lost; give up on finding a path, and then find the path.

The journey was a test of trust, of believing I was strong enough to hike through both internal and external terrain. Most of all, it was about being kind to myself whenever I lost the way.

The jagged Dragons Teeth cut an imposing skyline

The jagged Dragons Teeth cut an imposing skyline

I scrambled out of the dragon’s mouth. I followed animal trails. Head-high tussock plains engulfed me. I lost my legs down sporadic, soggy holes. I listened to the distant echo of bird calls ricocheting off nocturnal valley walls.  

I weaved through the saddle of the Needle’s Eye and stumbled past the Drunken Sailors. I bathed in Lonely Lake and felt part of everything. I wild-camped on ridge tops beneath moon and stars. I watched morning mist hover over Boulder Lake. Branches drew blood. One whipped my mouth during an uncontrolled slide down a mossy waterfall. I ended up in places few people would have ever contemplated their existence while frantically chewing dried mangoes.

It was eight days before I saw people, two men aged 71 and 68. Their buoyancy and vigour was inspiring. I hope I’m that fit when I’m their age.

What kind of wilderness experiences have you had, and how have they inspired you? Drop a line in the comments below…

DRAGON DREAMTIME

Every footstep taken
A line written in your personal Mythology
A rite of passage  
Through No-Time
Chronology dissolves during wilderness wanderings
Internal and external
The order of memories unimportant
When awakening in the realm of the dragon
Of magick
When Dreamtime merges
With all you ever thought was real
Then you are truly awake

Ego-Ode-Ic

David CauldwellComment

The poor, young ego. It gets such a bad rap when all it probably needs is a damn good hug.

Ego-Ode-ic.jpg

I think so much of the confusion we feel about ourselves is because we don’t properly understand the role the ego can play for us, and how to connect healthily with it. For me, my ego has put me into closer contact with the positive, magical aspect of my childlike self. And I believe that the ego can enable us to form a healthier relationship with our inner children. It can switch us on to the magick of imaginations seemingly stifled by adulthood. One hug at a time. 

What do you feel your ego can teach you? Is it enabling a stronger sense of connection to your childlike self? Flick me a comment below and let’s chew the cud!

EGO-ODE-IC

When we talk about crushing the ego
Smashing it to pieces
We talk about crushing a part of ourselves
The weeping child in isolation
Ignored for so long
That the only way it can get attention
Is to scream so loudly
So abhorrently at times
Until veins throb
In the hope we’ll listen
In the hope we’ll take it to our chests
And embrace that which was never soothed
Listen not to what the ego critic says
Instead see the child tremor behind the spite
As hurt as you by venomous vitriol
In its desperation to be heard
Dissolve the ego
Dissolve a magical place within
That child with a full throttle imagination
A magician capable of creating worlds of wonder
You are the energetic guardian of yourself
Every step in this life a journey towards that
So stand up 
Be kind to the part that bullies you into thinking you are less than God
For that bully is here to show you
Unflinching compassion in the face of hostility
And the Divine nature
Of everything that lies beneath

Proof that yetis exist! Kinda...

David CauldwellComment
Don’t lose your head. Image: David Cauldwell

Don’t lose your head. Image: David Cauldwell

The monastery is awash with colour, in stark contrast to a cantankerous monk who stands by a locked cabinet. He jangles a set of keys. Gestures for me to make a donation. The monk then unlocks the cabinet to reveal an ornamental box with a scarf draped over it. Inside is something that looks like a genetically modified coconut sliced in half. The monk tells me it’s a yeti scalp. Is this concrete evidence at last? Well yes, if yeti scalps are made from the 200-year-old skin of a serow, a rare goat-antelope. Whoever made this scalp stretched the serow skin over a purpose-built mould, and then stitched henna-dyed hair (presumably yak’s) into it. It’s unclear if locals actually believe it’s real, or whether it’s simply a gimmick to lure tourists into handing over their rupees.

Beyond the Spectral Hum

David CauldwellComment
In the Realm of Yetis, Gokyo Ri, Nepal. Image: David Cauldwell

In the Realm of Yetis, Gokyo Ri, Nepal. Image: David Cauldwell

Beyond the spectral hum of alpine clouds, anything is possible. Avalanches, frostbite, pneumonia. Yetis. Feared and revered by rosy-cheeked mountain dwellers, how they long to spy these hairy creatures. Yet are terrified of the consequences, believing bad luck bestowed on all those that dare catch a glimpse. Superstitious Sherpas or devotees to the Divine? Caught not beneath sudden snowfall, but in ice-laden paradox. Internally frozen in the frost of the mind

The yeti is an expression of God in Nepalese mountain climes. The confirmation of a long-held belief, a niggle on the outskirts of consciousness, that the Divine is always present. Yet many mountain folk don’t feel worthy of being in Divinity’s presence. So the Scribe pens misleading mythology. Easier, seemingly, to dilute a deity into nothing more than a hairy creatured parable disempowering in its verse. Easier to believe in that than to look at the source lactating lack of self-worth.

Humanity’s malaise. Insidious belief of Source separation. Perpetuated by priests and bastardised scripture. Those claiming they are middlemen to God. Access granted only with their participation. A precipitation, a haze on what really lies beyond the spectral hum of alpine clouds 

A scripture rewritten: Let the imagination paint without interruption, without judgment, on swirling mountain mist. Each brushstroke freeing creative expression. Fear not the beast of magick. Fear not the divinity pulsing through your veins. 

Image: David Cauldwell

Image: David Cauldwell

Along yeti migration route I trek. Where beehives hang like caramelised tongues licking rock faces. Buttermilk River scythes through the valley in a gushing torrent. An aquatic drone flitting in and out of consciousness. Up ahead, the highest freshwater lake system on the planet, Gokyo Lakes. A sacred place where Sherpas believe yetis lurk beneath the water 

In sub-zero darkness, moonbeams illuminate patches of snow glowing like phosphorus, like clusters of faerie villages or distant yeti bonfires.

Scrape frosty layer off sleeping bag for the day is here. The myth somehow diluted as sunbeams warm the valley. Potato and barley terraces layer the hillside. Shepherd’s houses stand alone, isolated in their crumbling walls.

Cloud hovers above Gokyo Lake. I scan it for ripples, for erect yeti nipples. For hairy hands reaching up to swipe unsuspecting ducks. 

A stairway to heaven, the climb up Gokyo Ri. All 5,360m of it. Led Zeppelin failed to inform of the inflating balloon inside my head. Heartbeat pounds in throat as I plod slowly upward. Sweating yet cold. Head-rushes harrying. A blend of euphoria and anxiety. Perhaps one and same

Image: David Cauldwell

Image: David Cauldwell

Atop the summit, a Polish man in his sixties waits, as if expecting me. Arm outstretched, offers me a hip flask of whiskey. Too risky for the task of a controlled descent, But perhaps it would warm numb fingers and toes. 

Down the mountain, fresh snow dapples rhododendrons. Wiry, spindly branches jag eerily through the fog. Mountaintop clouds glow blue, impenetrable by sun’s ray, preserving mysticism lurking beneath. And then the cloud breaks for a fleeting moment. A rip in the seam of reality. Revealing peaks so improbably high, possibly on the verge of heaven. On the verge of realisation of how vast the Divinity in all beings. 

Yak pee freezes lightning fork patterns in the snow. Wizened women roll yak dung into patties, slapping them on rocks to dry. Juniper burns in small pots outside houses. Rosy-faced kids with blood noses pass in Kalvin Klein caps. In their eyes the answer to this mystery, that some things are better left shrouded in the mists of imagination. For it keeps alive the wonder of the little child to be ever curious. To acknowledge yeti existence in realms peripheral. This furry beast’s service to humanity: providing a link to fantastical realms where it matters not if they appear physically. What matters is that the inner child is at play imagining yeti homes on desolate summits. Far beyond the spectral hum of alpine clouds

Local Sherpa man’s interpretation of a yeti inspired by his grandfather’s sighting

Local Sherpa man’s interpretation of a yeti inspired by his grandfather’s sighting

Dare to Whirl

Dare to WhirlDavid CauldwellComment

Spiralling, siphoning, entrancing – the magical motion of a vortex is both dramatic and dynamic. These whirling phenomena reflect the cyclical nature of evolution, forming as devastating hurricanes that create opportunities for rebirth. They are symbolic of propulsion, appearing in the wake of airplanes and paddle-prints on water. And they are proponents of a language that cannot be written, fundamental in the formation of smoke rings.

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The mind whirls around its creative axis, forming energetic portals that manifest as ideas, the kind that inspire airplanes and the language of smoke. These portals of energy are created both collectively (for example, devotees gathering to give power to religious iconography), and individually (monks meditating in mountaintop monasteries). Vortices appear in the centre of the picture, of the mind; the ripple effects of these openings are seen all around this central vortex. Inspiration unfolds.

Opening vortices challenge engrained belief systems. They expose environmental conditioning and programming, and expand consciousness and understanding. They remind us of the magnificence of our minds, of what is possible if we dare to believe in our ability to create realities based on the wonder of dreams.

Language of Rainbows

Language of RainbowsDavid CauldwellComment
Cellular Fusion

Cellular Fusion

I am but a prism of light, nurtured into being by the colour of your imagination. I can appear as a multi-faceted diamond in the microcosm of a dewdrop. I emerge as opposites collide, as bruised clouds clatter into clear skies. I'm effervescent from a distance, yet invisible when you stand right beneath me. Some say I'm intrinsic of inspiration. Others may think that I instil melodies within their soul; I'm only a reflection of the person that sees me. And if I do harbour pots of gold at my extremities, then none of them are redeemable. My symbiotic offering is beyond trade. Worth words. My language is complex. Its syntax governed by creativity, its phonetic flair fluid through free expression. I'm ungrammatical, free to arc wherever I please, unable to be defined by punctuation. 

All creation stems from light, whether it's the geometry of a leaf or the glistening garnish of sunbeams glimmering on water. It's the same language expressed differently, uttered on a collective breath that undulates within the lungs of Existence. Know my language, and you will find your breath. You will find your true creative voice.

Transmuters

TransmutersDavid CauldwellComment
Transmuters.jpg

Before the spark of the first thought, the utterance of the first word and the pulse of the first human heartbeat, an asteroid hurtled through space. This ball of noxious gas travelled from galaxies afar, lurching through black holes and interdimensional fluxes before colliding with Earth. The explosion rattled the planet. Plumes of dust smothered the sun. Odious odours spewed from a catastrophe of comet carnage. They mixed with the Earth’s atmosphere. Chemical reactions infused the planet with an invisible new race of beings.

The Transmuters were born, beings that absorbed energy through their temples and into their gaseous bodies. These balls of static electricity could discern the vibration of passing asteroids in the atmosphere. They were swayed by the currents of vast ocean waters, awakened by distant waves crashing hundreds of kilometres away. They could feel the movements of molten magma deep in the Earth’s core. They were able to use this energy to transmute their DNA, to adapt and densify so they could survive in their new home.

The Transmuters are everywhere. They feed off thoughts, from the pulses of irregular heartbeats. One feeds, they all feed. One action affects the entire tribe. They are selfless, communal beings acting always with the intention of galvanising the masses. Selfless acts of psychological sabotage: they feed off the selfishness, the cruelty and the single-mindedness of humans. They are a constant reminder that all of this can be transmuted in a heartbeat. As quick as an entire planet can be plunged into darkness, can a world find itself on the precipice of a light-filled dawn where possibility trails off every breath...

Forgotten Ones

Forgotten OnesDavid CauldwellComment

What happens to the spirits of ancient civilisations when they are wiped out? Human forms may have long disappeared, but the energetic aftershocks of these ancient Earth custodians still resonate in sacred sites around the globe. Having lost physical form, these beings drift in an etheric realm sandwiched between Earth and the Great Void. They are still able to appear on the Earth plain, often becoming visible in states of altered consciousness, when in communion with sacramental plant spirits, and also in dreams.

The key to manifestation is making the invisible visible. Sometimes we’re drawn to ancient cultures, perhaps feeling as though we’ve had lifetimes in specific epochs. Take time to pause when this happens. The custodians, these forgotten spirits, utter messages from the annals of No-time. They whisper secrets that can only be understood at a cellular level: encryptions transmitted via dreams, where dream bodies sidestep into realms where they can receive these messages, and then bring back their essence to be integrated into the physical body. The Forgotten Ones talk in tongues. Who will hear their messages?

https://bit.ly/2IJtqSC

Synaptic Seeds

Synaptic SeedsDavid CauldwellComment

What does it look like inside the brain when neurons fire to fuel a moment of inspiration? When synaptic seeds spark, they oscillate at a frequency that stirs other neurons into life. Thrumming mycelial networks everywhere. In the centre of this activity, a portal emerges, one born of the matter that forms universes. This portal morphs into thought.

Kaleidoscopic canvases capture thoughts in their purest form, without material structure, and untainted by any desire that binds them to story. Stare centrally, fixating on a point. Fall into an endless cauldron of ideas made from dream dust. See how ready you are to spread the alchemy of possibility with just the twinkle of an eye. Meet thought here and so carries the tantric pulse, so you’ll hear the beat to a soul dance.

https://bit.ly/2XwWEHK

Breaking Open the Head

Breaking Open the HeadDavid CauldwellComment

That moment of realisation when everything suddenly seems to make sense. That moment of release, when old traumas are finally squeezed from sore cells, the psychological sponge wrung out, the mind ready now to absorb only benevolence and nourishment. That moment of meditation when the third eye splits open and a cavalcade of downloads cascade through the crown: a new wave of energy is here, one inspiring ideas and visions of a more symbiotic society, of a world more aligned with everyone’s true sense of purpose, of pure position.

In moments such as these, the head appears to split right open. Malingering daemons, festering tenants that have never paid the rent, can no longer survive in this heightened vibration. Angels rally to support energetic growth, filling the gaps where daemons once plotted actions of self-sabotage. Dormant aspects of the self – ones teeming with magick and harmonic resonance, now burst into life. Existence will never be the same…

Emergence: Faces of Nature

Emergence:Faces of NatureDavid CauldwellComment
Keeper of the Rainbow

Keeper of the Rainbow

In rocks, trees, water and plants they hide, seen only by those who know how to look. Fleeting faces appear in the waves, emerging as quickly as they disappear. They bubble in babbling brooks, creak in the wisdom of knotted trees, and are sculpted in ancient rock. Nature’s whispering. She has a message for us all. So listen up. The landscape is calling. It’s urging us to once again merge in symbiotic union…