The Huntsman

Caitlin Johnstone
Jul 10 · 4 min read

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.

Goodbye.

Goodbye.

Goodbye.”

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,
ungrabbed,
unmanipulated,
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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The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Caitlin Johnstone

Written by

Rogue journalist. Bogan socialist. Anarcho-psychonaut. Guerrilla poet. Utopia prepper.

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