I go through the exit rituals of preparing the bed for the next visitor, leaving the notebook in the archive with the charming Mode, waiting on the staircase with other students who are terminating their stay.
The process is long and demanding on my patience, but I talk with some of the people I have met at this school. We smile, we hug, we do not want it to end, yet we want to be on our way at the same time.
Time is waiting, meeing again, exchanging remarks and wishes – and looks – and hopes under our breaths.
Finally, we are only three left and I am next in line. Talks are more of where to go and how, when we are outside. Things begin to return to practical life – I look for the poetry to keep it. The Air comes to get me. One final ritual. When called for, I walk towards the strong light, blinded at first, but makesout the contour of his upper body as I approach.
He greets me again. We enter his room.
Sitting on the flooe, we speak a few phrases, settle down. He lights a candle to symbolise my light burning, then rips a piece of paper for me to write or draw on – something related to my stay. I breathe, wait for it to find me.
I then know.
I draw a circle with one arrow showing a clockwise rotation, then four short lines cutting through the circle at different places. I explain my drawing. This is a drawing of something I have learned in here during my stay – or maybe I should say, something I knew but that I was made aware of here again. It is a circle of metamorphosis. The lines indicate different stages of the development through metamorphosis.
It is a circle because the metamorphosis will continue to repeat itself, but each stage in the process is always a new instance, yet also identical to earlier instances in terms of development, requirements, place in life, possibilities. What I do not say – for the benefit of the ritual – is who made me aware. I will add it here, for fear the memory whall wither.
I took a class with the Magpie on the life of the moth. We studied its phases of metamorphosis and reflected on what each stage might require to be fullfilled. At the end of the class, we turned to the cycle of life, a mother moth, laying her eggs on a plant, then dying. The interval when the parent and the off-spring, were both alive and present seemed almost infinitely short, yet this period, of course, was crucial to the survival of the species. This spiral, almost, of living moths, going through the four phases via metamorphosis, could be represented by a circle with four lines marking each stage.
Coming to me, sitting opposite the Air in this ritual, I saw the significance of this representation of metamorphosis: in relation to Sisters Academy and to life. As long as each stage of the metamorphosis is allowed to fulfill its purpose, the living part of it will keep the metamorphosis going – will keep producing off-spring – and ideas.
My stay was nearing its conclusion. Soon it would no longer be. I had – consciously or subconsciously – passed through a cycle of metamorphosis. Hopefully, some of my eggs will hatch, and hopefully a few of them will reach maturity – behind that lies the frail and vain hope for the possibility of new beginnings.
We ended the ritual, I shall not remark further on it.
I left with hugs and wishes and love.
Standing on the platform waiting for the right train to arrive, I felt silent.
A moth having left its plant leaf to end a stage.