A huntsman crawled onto my laptop
and the screen crackled into rainbows
and went white.
Jet black shadows slashed across the walls
of shapes I could almost remember.

“Let it all go,” said the huntsman.

“I cannot,” I replied,
“for the people on Twitter are mean jerks,
and Eckhart Tolle was just on the Rubin Report,
and Bob Dylan made a Christmas album,
and everything is phony and stupid
and the bad guys always win.”

“Let it all go,” said the huntsman.

“I cannot,” I replied,
“for my hand is now shaking,
and I’ve had this strange pulsing feeling in my tummy,
and I should really see a doctor about that,
and there’ll be no one to care for my children if I die,
and my pill bottle is all out of placebos,
and the ribbon on this laptop has run out of ink
and the mountain of pennies in my wishing well
has displaced all of the water.”

“Let it all go,” said the huntsman.

“I cannot,” I replied,
“for then everyone will see what a doofy loser I am,
and there’ll be no one to watch my unguarded back,
and people will stick knives where my armor used to be,
and I’ll lock myself out of my house because I always forget my keys,
and I’ll die of exposure all alone on my own doorstep
and then who will keep the world spinning with their worry?”

The huntsman beckoned me in closer
and touched my forehead.
The shadows gobbled up the walls,
the windows, the ceiling and the floor.

I beheld an impossibly vast presence
underneath the fundamental ground of being.
It had infinite arms and infinite eyes,
infinite mouths and infinite stomachs,
and countless spider faces pointing in all directions.
Its intensity surpassed the fury of every star in the universe.
Its vastness was incomprehensible.

Prismatic jellyfish rose up through my feet
and bubbled out the top of my head,
cleansing my cells of inner deceits.
Impossibly shaped godlings swirled around me,
chanting “Ooh ah ee! Ooh ah ee!
She is learning about real nakedness!”
in a language I’d need an impossible tongue to speak.

The thoughts in my head began bursting like bubble wrap
when you roll it into a bunch and twist it.
My nose, toes and fingers grew long and sprouted leaves,
and my hair became a chlorophyll peacock feather waterfall.
My hips split open and I birthed infinite worlds.

An alien song erupted from my throat
in a voice I haven’t used since before I was conceived:

“When the student is ready,
the guru appears.

When the poet is ready,
the poem appears.

When humanity is ready,
paradise appears.

When the questioner is ready,
the questions disappear.

The essence of buddha mind
is getting out of your own way.

Till the soil
for its own sake.

Till the soil
for its own sake.

End the narrative,
even this narrative.




Suddenly I began to feel that this was all happening in me,
that it had all always been happening in me.
Every movement since the dawn of time
has its origin in my heart of hearts,
arising from stillness,
disappearing back into stillness,
and unfathomably beloved.

“LET IT ALL GO,” spoke the Supreme Godhead.

“I am ready,” I replied.
“I am ready.”

And then I was back on my couch,
with my graying hair and my fat, sagging flesh,
and my old, gibbering thought patterns
whispering in my mind’s ear.

But it was different.

Very, very different.






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18 responses to “The Huntsman”

  1. WOW!! Thank you so much!

  2. Crikey … and I just squash ’em. I didn’t realise they were here to set me free.
    Now my guilt will follow me forever.

  3. Caitlin, what a beautiful description of awakening from the dream of “reality”.

    I’ve experienced Spiders in visions and dreams as initiatory beings. In my day to day life I am not too fond of the big hairy ones but I would never kill them, they are such mysterious incredibly sensitive creatures

    In the visions the spider zooms straight for my head and “I” explode in brilliant white light. The head becomes an “open cup of touch” and blissful nectar pours down into the body and circulates round and round.

    This process you describe resonates deeply with me. It takes you where you could never have imagined or planned or wished for, and burns the past in its wake so that there is no going back.

    It is true that when the student is ready the Guru arrives, and in my experience it is also true that the Guru also decides when the student is ready. Time and time again.

    Thank you for this Caitlin. It is remarkably perfect timing to read this today, as my later life foray into understanding the political world, that drew me to your site and others, seems to have served its purpose and is completing. I’ve understood so much better the workings of everything that I used to completely blind to. And to be blind is to be complicit.

    My Guru found me a long time ago, but lessons can’t be avoided and this last period of time understanding human politics has been eye opening in so many ways. My eyes being opened resulted in disbelief, disillusionment, rage and blame. Now, unexpected compassion has arrived.
    Not for people’s negative actions but for the way we are all so blindly conditioned to the point that we humans believe we are doing the right thing even in the face of the disastrous consequences.

    It is an ongoing process and i still want positive change and i’m still angry …..but as you said it is just different “Very, very different”.

    Inclusivity is the only way forward. I know this without knowing how it is even possible in this divided world. My teacher calls it “Not Two Is Peace”. There is no “other” to be opposed to.

    Thank you for your beautiful being and expression, for sharing your own journey so eloquently and passionately, for being unafraid to expose your soft belly in this public space. You rage with the best of them yet you have the dearest and sweetest heart.

  4. Franz Kafka’s 50th Aphorism written at Zürau around 1919 (translated from the German by Benjamin Pierce McFry):
    50. Man cannot live without a permanent trust in something indestructible within himself, though both that indestructible something and his own trust in it may remain permanently concealed from him.
    Comment: Think you are enlightened as to the indestructible something within you.

  5. A song in my head … Let it Be, Let it Be! Let it Be-eee oh Let it Be.

  6. Samadhi moment! Just love it! Namaste!
    Yoga for Peace, Justice, Harmony With the Planet! Unity of Mind, Body, Spirit!
    It is like that!

  7. I’m quickening too, Sister.
    Can’t force it; have to focus on unfocusing and flowing through my open heart.
    Time to bike to work, now…

  8. How do I know I’m not a robot? Mu!

  9. I’m going to need the CliffsNotes on this one…

  10. I love your ecstatic style of poetry, Caitlin!

  11. Beautiful!! This poem surpasses any that I have read of yours before, wonderful adventures that they have all been. My wife was reading it over my shoulder, and she laughed and showed she appreciated your poem. Her deep interest in Buddhism helped her grok your wild flights of imagination Thanks for all your gifts to us. I feel lucky to have an activist who is also a gifted spiritual teacher.

  12. Speaking of spiders…has any else seen the latest Mega-Mega-Mega-Bombshell ?
    Alex Acosta who wants to be Secretary of Labor but has that sweetheart deal with Epstein hanging about his neck, it is now revealed, said that he, as federal prosecutor in Miami, was told to back off from Epstein because Epstein works for an intelligence agency.

  13. ;))) ThankYou Caitlin for Tarantulas adventure’s through data screen ;p

  14. Tingles… shades of winkie stars, “Ooh ah ee! Ooh ah ee!, so very close.

    Great looking spider there!

  15. “I would rather have questions that cannot be answered….than to have answers that cannot be questioned” ~ Richard Feynman, Physicist

    1. Feynman – a physicist with humor and wisdom beyond his brilliance as a scientist. And he played drums!

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