By G.J. Sieck
The jungle feels purple this night. The night feels like a warm, wet blanket. I am a stranger wrapped in vaguely familiar skin. They dance, they chant—the drums carry me away until I touch the celestial canopy. I hold galaxies in the palm of my hand.
From the darkness, it calls me. In silence, I hear its voice. Yellow eyes flash. Nothing else could possibly be. And at once—I am that magnificent beast. And my fetid husk waits by the flame without mind.
I try to be present in the moment. Yet the past, the future—both haunt me the same. I now watch myself. Out of body and out of mind. And time, feels like an illusion. Marching forward, always, in that indissoluble path—I now stand aside from the path, above it, beneath it, and all at once I exist. Existence.
The jaguar leaps. The drums fade farther into the distance. Full, a colossus amid a sea of black, the moon gleams overhead. Pale light shimmers upon a crystalline plane—it reaches eternally from the claw-toothed shore a thousand feet below. The darkness, this light; clash delicately and endlessly—inside and out of me. I, the jaguar, no longer fear. I, the jaguar, feel the salt on my face, the breeze on my back, and know that I am alive.
The flame leaps. The drums explode into an orgy of rhythm that dances through my body and, again, I am here. I am human—a man; and I see how we are all the same. Awakening from a dream too real, I finally see myself. So long focused on what seemed to matter, a more cosmic truth has been delivered to my consciousness. And now it is clear—I might be a man of little means, but I’m not a man that means little. I have seen myself, my very soul, through the eye of the jaguar.