it is the dark of the moon in january. crystalline stars arc radiant overhead. virgin snow at deep midnight folds over the hills & valleys of the mountain countryside. i am wrapped & layered well in a long down coat, my full winter cocoon for stargazing. i carry a folding lawn chair out to the winter-bare field & place it at the center of my known universe, open to the arcane communication of stars, open to the mysteries teasing at the edge of awareness. silence softly & thickly enfolds like an invitation to transcend the human story & its demands & exclusions. i am at the still-point of all that i can know of the embodied world, suspended beneath the witnessing sky in my reclining lawn chair. great shining beings cluster around me. some of them are stars drawn here by my beseeching heart: others but touch the edge of vision. all creation is breathing with me in the cold of the gleaming night as the stars reach down. the sky is alive & dancing. i am part of it, for only the body is of earth. i spread my fingers & stir the still, cold air. the stars stir something deep within, preparing me for You, Shiva, laying me open beyond all concern. an ageless destiny has called me forth into this night of shining snow crystals & stars to commune with these elders. the rolling silent land, the clustered trees & the old bones of the mountain hold me while the great glowing sky of stars enters me & fills me with quiet yearning. Shiva, You call me. i respond to Your call to go beyond the human realm, for this place is not my true home. i find my home in You, Shiva. this world is my domain of service & these words are one form it takes. they are like stars calling to be seen, alluring, shining forth even in the desolation of deep winter snow in the dark of the moon. they are the fixed stars of my inner space, spelling out Your holy name, emblazing "Shiva" to light the sky in blessing.