Here I stand,
Poised on the edge of a great abyss
That plunges downwards forever.
There is no way that it may be traversed,
But cross I must, for the path behind me
Has crumbled into ruins and no longer leads back.
Shrieking and gibbering below me,
Roiling and writhing, lies my every misdeed,
Every failed dream, every empty promise,
Every evil thought, every fault-
They rise up, animated, to indict me.
I quail and know I cannot remain here.
And then, on the far side of the chasm,
A glowing cruciform light- a sword - ominous and mighty,
Balanced on its point, puissant with latent authority.
Gripping its quillons are the hands I know so well
And his voice sounding as uncompromising as the sword,
"Trial by ordeal my love, come to me..."
He grips the sword's haft and its tip rests at my feet,
The blade, a fearful bridge spanning the maw-
Perilous, implacable- an impossible route,
Its keen edges mute witness to my plight.
Behind me the way is closed, below, madness and death,
Ahead, the sword path, a test of all I am.
Naked, barefoot, hair unbound, I focus inwards
To gather my strength, for I must cross alone.
I must not look back, the past cannot succor me,
I must not look down lest vertigo claim me,
And I must not look to him, for he cannot help me,
He can only hold the sword steady and the way open.
The path is a true one! Certainty fills me
As I place one foot on the blade and then the other,
The nightmares from below erupt around me,
Flying in my face, clamoring in my ears, tearing at my body!
In the onslaught I falter, appalled,
And my blood flows crimson on the shining blade.
But I do not fall! Amazement fills me
As I feel myself centering,
Intent on reaching the other side,
I walk across, step by bloody step, sure of my goal now.
The abyss shrinks below me and disappears
As I step down onto firm ground.
He puts the sword into my hands and covers them with his own.
"You have passed over safely. The trial is ended.
By the sacrifice of blood and spirit
You join me in the Light and we are one..
By choice and ritual, the beginning is here,
And it leads us on forever.."