Sobriety is a scary place to be without appropriate navigational tools, one can get lost here in these vast open spaces, especially if you are not familiar with the crisp clarity of such radiant heights. Mystical mountains kiss the sky, breath expansively in awe of magnificent sun rays awakening tree tops, forests glowing in golden light. But when the ferocious mind winds begin to blow their icy death breath, an amateur like me swiftly descends into the depths of the subconscious underground, looking for my usual way to turn around from this great trek into the unknown. My ego overcome by fear of impermanence, wildly shaking, clinging, panicking, but this time I’ve gone too far, there is no turning back, I am forced to face this very thing that I am so afraid of, stand steady in the reality of life, this true magical flow that I’ve been yearning for all my life, confusedly looking for it everywhere other than where it gently resides, just past the icy winds, near a warm fire, in the silent cave of my own pure heart.

This womb-like unity with the universe is what I’ve been wanting to return to all my life, as a young child obsessed with cosmic expansion, pausing at this exact same place where the vastness is too scary, the power too immense, as none of us can know the truth of this mystery in this physical form, but I had to know… I wanted to touch this void, I wanted to jump into it and fly, swirl through rainbow colored skies, like I did in my dreams. From my early teenage years, I surfed my way through many religious, philosophical and spiritual waves, searching for a way into the abyss, until I found an entry through sound, my passion for music took me to a secret door where I met what seemed to be a transcended level of my own consciousness.

Ecstasy, how much I loved to dance your vibrant juices, from sunset to sunrise, my body, mind and soul surrendered to your delicious pulse, sensually swaying my goddess essence on the fertile earth of your exotic trance temples, pouring my life force into your fires, praying for one more deep bass line to take me beyond… Beyond my shyness, beyond my inhibitions, beyond my limited life experience, I wanted to be free, naked, high, on the dance floor forever, deep beats drumming my body into an infinite rhythm with the mystery of life.

Instead you collapsed my boundaries, exposed my sacred jewels to fierce warriors, left my rivers dry and my body barren, a shadow of my former self. Your elixir of eternal life numbed my soul with poison, my skeleton dancing with the illusion of god, my mind burning in the fires of my own prayer.

My journey back to sobriety was a long, arduous struggle, a formidable path to ordinary territory, no sparkly crystal stars, no smiley faces, just raw reality, as it is, harsh. Yet beautiful, if you can persist through the icy winds, not distracted by the fantasy of a shortcut to nirvana. True ecstasy, the kind that is sustainable, is not the extraordinary explosion of energy that leaves us depleted, it is the subtle honoring of spirit in each breath, the miraculous feeling of life force flowing through this present moment, the simple bliss of being alive, this is the mystery, here, now.

(Creative inspiration shared by Melanie de Villiers in Camps Bay, Cape Town)

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