Inner Eye

Written by: Chris D. Aechtner

In-between sleep and wakefulness,
when my dream still lingers,
entwining free-flown fingers
with the morning rays, dancing across my eyelids.

It is in this state of in-between layers
that my inner-eye blinks its prayers,
and I can move backwards
through all of my many memories
until about the age of three -
the time when my imagination was truly free.

When I was three,
there wasn't one God for me to believe in.
There were thousands of Gods and Goddesses
hiding inside of each and every living thing:
Deities in the woods and wind.
Deities hiding beneath the surface 
of our goldfish pond,
water nymphs kissing the feet
of the Lady in the lake.

One of my most vivid memories as a toddler,
was the day I caught a huge, black cricket.
My Father seemed shocked at the size of my catch,
punched holes into the lid of a mason jar
for me to keep the cricket inside of.
He had never seen such an enormous cricket before.
I was so proud.
I remember looking into its mysterious eyes,
believing for some strange reason,
that a loved one, was now inside of this creature.

Such strange thoughts for a three year-old to have.
But at the time, I truly believed in this.
This was sort of my first inner awakening.
My inner-eye was beginning to speye.
The first night with my cricket,
I listened to its hypnotic song,
and realized it sounded similar to the music
that the old Chinese lady listened to, down the street.
This was sort of my second inner awakening.

I didn't know about the Dao back then;
or maybe I just didn't know the labels?
But I did know how I was altering the destiny
of this creature....altering my own being.

The next day, my Father made me release the cricket.
He did not want it to die,
for it was the biggest cricket he had ever seen.
That was still the most proud I had ever been.
Reluctantly, I opened the jar,
waited an eternity for the escape.
That night I swore that I could hear
a distinct "Chiiiiiiirrrrrup" much louder than the rest.
This was sort of my third inner awakening -
my inner-eye, beginning to speye....


....just as I am awakening now,
the morning rays dancing across my eyelids.