The curious case of one wilfully wayward women

Find that flame, that existence, that wonderful woman who can burn beneath the water.

Life has a weird way of ricochetting between boring and bizarre. After encountering many common and crazy experiences, I am convinced that there is no in-between, at least not for someone who constantly seeks new information. At times you meet people who are so sorted out that you can almost bet that they have an AI implant in their brain telling them what to do. And then there are others, who can’t ever make any right decisions. For some inexplicable reason, my life conveniently revolves around these two types of people. Checking people into boxes based on their aptitude for decision-making is wrong, I am aware of that. Yet my pattern-obsessed mind knows no better. I wonder if there is a third category of people, which brings me back to our today’s story - A fascinating encounter with a woman who isn’t quite boring or bizarre but somewhere in-between - an odd zone in my life where nobody else fits.

Two years ago, when I was facing a serious quarter-life crisis, I met someone. Not a woman but a twirling tornado with torque strong enough to twist old and massive oaks. I was so captivated by her brazen blaze, I thought specifying her as a human is an understatement. She was of course very flawed, but a human mind form biases in the phase of growing admiration. However, the previous statement will never reduce her reality, neither will my excessive rave will balm her flaws. How I discovered her is indeed a fascinating story, however, I kept that tale for some other time. Today I intend to interest you in another facet of the story - about a woman whose choices, circumstances, and characteristics remind me of an old poem by Hafiz

Find that flame, that existence,
That wonderful woman
Who can burn beneath the water.

I met Alice in her wonderland on an unusual day. For the first time in my life - I did acid in a room full of strangers. She was a gorgeous woman, single mother of two - one eleven and one sixteen, diet nutritionist, and a self-proclaimed spiritual healer with counterculture values. A cocktail of some rather outlandish qualities, for an average Indian woman from Generation X. I don’t know whether it was her quirk or her charisma that had an appeal of a mentor I was seeking. To a certain extent, my hunch was correct. She was a smooth talker and a believer of magic. No, not metaphorical magic, but real magic. I am aware that I am telling you this at the cost of being perceived as completely bonkers. But I swear I am not the mad-hatter of this story. The woman was a hurricane served in a teapot. She was uninhibited and authentic. I wasn't surprised when she told me that she had a difficult life. People often hate what they don’t understand, and the patriarchal Indian society wasn’t quite ready yet to understand a fiery nonconformist feminine spirit.

Friendships hold space for growth

She believed in magic so passionately, that she often ended up manifesting it. Some of my most profound psychedelic experiences occurred in her presence. And trust me when I tell you that I had some pretty crazy experiences with multiple catharsis and meltdowns. It is especially intriguing in my case because I am an insufferably rational person. During a few experiences, I felt like my whole body will dissolve in a void where nothing but a high-frequency vibration exists. While free-falling through the edge of infinity, I remember comprehending the essence of the soul and the limited experiences in store for it in this one human life. Those experiences were life-altering and metamorphic. Suddenly, I had to confront my lack of self-worth, the importance of accountability, and the lingering purposelessness. Every time I went into these experiences, my mind planted me ruthlessly on the murky mangroves of life. However, I took it in my stride and bloomed there like a wildflower. In that space between two women who felt belonging, affection, and acceptance, she helped me grow, and I helped her heal.

As lost as Alice, as mad as hatter

Besides, I was not the only person who was fascinated by her presence. We used to gather in a room full of people, I watched her systematically unknot them all one by one. After a while, they used to spill their darkest secrets on her living room rug. It was almost as if she had a mini cult of her own. People who believed enough in a certain type of magic, to create an avalanche of more believers. The collective belief system made people feel better in her presence, although it is up for debate if that helped people rewire and heal. Humans have a good track record of creating a collective fiction and manifesting it into structures within the culture. Like how war is a fiction of fear, marriage is a fiction of love, and money is the fiction of control. However, like any other fiction, it is only as true as you believe it to be. If you can strip down the story and look at the raw emotions driving the narrative, you will discover that only intention matters. Fictions provide us with structures to work through complicated emotions, but it is not the only way. A healthier way to process such emotions is through self-reflection and enough honesty to admit when one is wrong.

The tornado woman and I let the fiction of spirituality become stronger than the friendship that we shared. After that, it was only a matter of time before we fell apart under the enormous gravity of ego and its need to win. Even though she has become a silhouette in my past, I still think about the power of nonconformity she practiced. I think of her vehement display of courage, and the impact it created in the psyche of those who were tired of fitting in societal structures. She remains to this day, one of my most important mentors. She worked with a restless passion for unraveling the human psyche and its mysterious fringes where magic exists. She taught me how to abandon expectations of sanity in a world that constantly adapts fiction as a way of living. These experiences also taught me the importance of archetypes and how they shape our perception of reality. We derive a lot of our life’s work unintentionally from our intuition, and we harness our intuition from our unique experiences. Some of these encounters are unconscious and ingrained and work via the archetypes. Here I go again with my pattern obsession.

Archetypes re-emerge as motifs in our subconscious

Though I have covered many miles since that phase of life, it has shaped me thoroughly. I have lived an inspired life ever since and have grown a knack for finding the answers at the right time. I came to the conclusion that when women speak with power and authority, the world listens. When women defy the norm, the world steps back and leaves them alone. Nobody dares to try their strength on a woman who has learned how to use magic. And when you meet someone like that, treasure her. She will guide you and set your transformation in motion. She is an archetype - a mage with a troubled past, a hero in her own right. Everybody deserves to meet a woman who won't fit into their labeled categories, who cannot be checked into one of their devised boxes of pragmatism. Everybody deserves to know one such wilfully wayward woman.

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