Are you ready? If you are unsure, here are some clues: You may be experiencing a hunger pang above the stomach, a heartbeat lurching forward, a tug at the corner of your eye accompanied by a whisper saying, “Psst! Hey kid, what’s that over there?” an unheard song settling in around the ears like a ringed spacecraft whirring as it lands in the fog. Are you ready? Don't put it off Let it wake you in the quiet hours of the morning-- (whatever time of day that visits you) let it get you out of bed. Let the flashlight of your mind’s eye click on. Hear the crackle of grass underfoot as you approach the well you just knew to be spent dry. Put your hands on the stone wall around it --don’t drop your light!—- Remember this place? Is it a solid circle in your history? Is it new to you? Can you feel the handprints of others who have passed by? Don’t linger too long at the edge, dear, this is no moment for overthinking. Just lean over and feel the cool air of the unknown breathing up to meet you— to get inside of you. Now is the moment for feeling the quiver in your gut and wiggling your foot over the abyss. Let your toes find the top rung of the ladder leaning nearby. Steady. Now— rung by rung, ease on down. The dim light of the known world in a spot above you will remain even when it grows smaller. You don’t need that flashlight here, you can feel your way, step by step, learning the pictures your mind plays out on the dark walls… the vibrations of your movements on the thing holding you up… the hum at the edges of the echoes of your breath… the scent of the wet earth stories closer and closer… the taste of the thrill in your own tongue… the still presence of the things you just know without knowing how you know… until your foot hits water. First, make a cup of your hands and take a drink that goes all the way down. That’s enough for now. You don’t get to stay here in this underworld of dreams, though you may now be falling in love with the visions you see on the walls around you, the way the rippling water plays with the quiet music living in this chamber. though you may be tempted to gulp down the lot of it— suddenly realizing how parched you’ve been… Now. Steady. --Don't drop your light!-- Find the bucket. Yeah, the one you threw down here— however long ago that was when you cut the rope and cursed and listened for it to clatter to the bottom empty. It did clatter…didn’t it? You were so sure there was nothing left... Find the bucket in one piece, hold on tight, and start your climb. Watch the circle of the shared world grow to meet you again. When you reach the opening, find a length of new rope, and wind it at the crank. This, too, is part of the trip. Tie your bucket to the end. See it swing like a bell announcing where you’ve been and that here, again, you have a true and useful wealth to share.