The phoenix has been born anew!

kodi-phoenix

But there is a storm raging outside.’ I look at the shadow of my grandfather.

Yes! There is a storm raging outside and there is all chaos. There will always be a storm raging and there will always be chaos.’ He smiles.

But remember Son! Chaos is the fire and ashes from which a phoenix is born anew.

Be the phoenix.

Come to terms with the chaos. Understand it. Know it.

Let it envelop you and seep through you.

Be the tree and let the harsh wind blow through your branches.

Dance with the chaos and sway with the wind.

Ultimately the wind will pass and you will stand proud.

______________________________________________________

            The room is dark and there is a storm raging outside. I look out the window. The sky is all black and grey and filled with heavy clouds. Rain is falling in torrents – obscuring the world and distorting the reality. Mark Knopfler is singing “Brothers in Arms’ in his deep and broken voice.

“These mist covered mountains

Are a home now for me

But my home is the lowlands

And always will be”

           

            There is a booming thunder outside. Lightning flashes and the room is bathed in white for a moment. There they are – standing somber and proud. Robed in all dark, they are the spirits of my elders. They are here because I called for them. They are always here when I call.

 

            I sit down at my desk and hold my aching head in my hands. My brain is throbbing inside, beating against the bone and the membrane – dying to explode and free itself.

I am all alone.’ I raise my head and whisper.

Yes you are.’ A shadow detaches from the rest. I recognize the familiar noble features of my late grandfather.

But then you have always been alone – fighting your own demons and waging war on your troubles.

I feel so weak and powerless. And I am afraid.’ I confess.

Remember the many nights you spent on the dark cold mountains of the North?’ He reminds me in his kind voice.

Each night was your last. At least you thought so.

You said farewell to life with each sunset.

And you welcomed the hope which came with each sunrise.

 

            I think and look back at those days. I was young and recently married and fate had arranged an early meeting with death.

There was blood and there was death.

We were sitting in enemy territory and there was enemy on the front and enemy on the back.

            Death came from everywhere. It came from the sky like a rain of fire, blistering and scorching. It came from the front like a hailstorm blowing in our haggard faces. It even came from beneath the snow, exploding upwards in mushrooms of destruction.

 

            I lost so many of my friends. I think of their faces – bearded and soiled with the soot of the kerosene lamps. I think of their hands, bleeding and blackened by the cold. One by one they all fell. So many smiles lost to war.       

Yes! I do.’ I raise my head and smile a sad smile. ‘Terrible times indeed.’

Weren’t you afraid?’ My grandfather adjusts his glasses and asks.

           

 

            I think of those pitch dark nights when the enemy was climbing the slopes – hundreds of them against us thirteen. They came when the artillery barrage stopped and climbed like ants. We could not see them but they were there – waiting for their chance and determined to kill.

           

 

            We fired onto them and into them. Our bullets hit their mark – soft thuds of death entering the human flesh. The front file fell and the next file took over. They kept on climbing. My hands were badly shaking and I was losing grip on the wooden butt of the AK 47. It was many degrees below the freezing point but my palms were sweating.

 

            I was afraid – frightened out of my wits – scared shitless as a rabbit caught by a pack of hungry wolves. The magazine emptied and I extended my hand for another. Nobody handed me anything. I looked back and my comrade was dead – blood oozing out from where his right eye used to be.  

 

Oh yes! I was afraid – so very afraid.’ I shrug my shoulders and feel the chill. The fear is still there – crawling like a snake of ice in the pit of my stomach.

What happened then?’ My grandfather asks. He already knows the answer.

I conquered my fear.’ I reflected.

The old man smiles:

No, you didn’t conquer it. Instead, you understood your fear. You dissected you fear into small parts and understood the meaning and shape and form of each small part.

Bravery is not the absence of fear. The absence of fear is stupidity.

Bravery is also not the conquering of fear. Fear is never defeated.

Instead bravery is understanding fear and managing it in your favour.’

 

            I look back. I can see myself standing on that snow-covered mountain ridge. I am angry. I am angry because the enemy wants to kill me and my friends. I am angry because my survival is threatened. I am angry because my friends’ life is at stake.

 

            I scream like a wounded dragon and pick up the rifle of my dead comrade. My friends hear my scream and rally around. We are fighting. We are fighting for our survival.   

 

Yes, I guess I did.’ I smile at him.

Yes you did and you survived. You came back proud.’ The old man’s moist eyes are brimming with pride.

 

Hmm!’ I get up and stand in front of the window. It is an apocalypse out there – angels and demons fighting the eternal duel.

But there is a storm raging outside.’ I look at the diminishing shadow of my grandfather.

Yes! There is a storm raging outside and there is all chaos. There will always be a storm raging and there will always be chaos.’ He smiles.

But remember Son! Chaos is the fire and ashes from which a phoenix is born anew.

Be the phoenix.

Come to terms with the chaos. Understand it. Know it.

Let it envelop you and seep through you.

Be the tree and let the harsh wind blow through your branches.

Dance with the chaos and sway with the wind.

Ultimately the wind will pass and you will stand proud.’    

 

I look outside. I dissect my fear and make an effort to understand the chaos.

I will survive yet again.’ I declare my resolve and look back.

The lightning flashes again and there is nobody else in the room.

The spirits of my elders have left.

Their job is done.

The phoenix has been born anew.

4 thoughts on “The phoenix has been born anew!

  1. Hmm, I will re read this again in about… 2 years time 🙂 once it is time for me to embrace the storm.
    Till then, let’s meet in the City of the Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

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