Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old--
This knight so bold--
And o'er his heart a shadow
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow--
"Shadow," said he,
" "Where can it be--
This land of Eldorado?"

"Over the mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,
" The shade replied--
"If you seek for Eldorado!"

~Edgar Allan Poe~

Seeking Eldorado

Gaily bedight, set out in sunshine and in shadow to find your Eldorado.

To complete this exercise you may find that it helps to follow the general instructions provided for meditations and guided imagery. Once you have quietened and relaxed simply ask 'Where is my Eldorado?'

Shilo Cannon Burn's response to this exercise may guide you and provide you with a kick start.

Eldorado.The lost City of Gold. A myth or legend made by the Indians to protect themselves from the Spanish conquistadores, or an actual city lost in time? No one knows for sure, but it has fed the imaginations of thousands and been the impetus for many a quest for untold wealth. It's been the Destructor and Waster of lives and The Dream of many.

Or I should say gold is the Destructor and Waster of lives and The Dream of many. Look at King Midas. He had enormous wealth, but he wanted more so he was granted the Golden Touch. Everything he touched turned to gold. At first he was delighted, but he soon realized what a curse it was when he couldn't eat a simple apple and accidentally turned his beloved child to gold.

Pindar, the Greek writer wrote: "Gold is the child of Zeus. Neither moth nor rust devour it, but the mind of man is devoured by it." Someone else once said, "Gold is the king of metals and the metal of kings; it is the ultimate measure of value." Only because it is so rare, and because it is so rare it's sought after the most.

So why have I become a miner? Have I caught the gold fever too? In a way I have. But I seek a gold of a different sort. The Gold of Creativity. The Gold of Better Self-Understanding. This gold will make me rich all right, but on the inside. This gold is rarer, more valuable than the other, though it will not make me rich in finances.

A wise woman recently read the poem Eldorado by Edgar Allan Poe to those of us who have boldly staked claims to the mine of Soul Food Cafe. We have been cautioned that mining isn't easy and only the hardiest of souls can and will mine the many veins that are just waiting to be discovered. She then asked us, this wise woman, what our Eldorado is. What are we seeking within this mine? What is the shadow?

I've taken a few days to ponder this, to read and reread the poem and make it mine in a sense. Eldorado is the city of untold wealth, the lost City of Gold, therefore the ultimate unattainable dream. What is my Eldorado? *soft smile* I guess it is giving my heart freely to someone.

I've fallen for men before, but never completely. When it could've gone further my heart remained behind, a portion of it still locked to the one I hoped to give it to. I truly wanted to give my heart away several times when I thought, This time, this guy could be it, but each guy just couldn't awaken that slumbering part of me. In fact, it's still sleeping, waiting for that special man with the right key to come and unlock it. To bring it to life.

Why is this unattainable? you may be wondering. It just seems highly unlikely right now with my circumstances. It has been my experience in the past that not many men look past the outward appearance of a woman in a wheelchair. They either walk away, look upon me as a bud or sister, or they eventually move onto greener pastures, as it were. I would love to fall in love, but I am ok with being a strong single woman. If it doesn't happen it doesn't happen. I have other things I can do, like perfecting myself.

Which is what I'm seeking within the mine. This particular mine has been designed to pull out, make us dig for and uncover hidden resevoirs of potential, creativity and better self-understanding. Which is why those who mine its myriad veins of alluvial gold have found and will find something so precious. They'll be far richer (and blessed) than they ever dreamed of.

What is the shadow? I think the shadow is fear and failure. Mining this special mine won't be easy and will get daunting at times, but we cannot give up. Success is getting up one more time than you fall down. Success is trying one last time. The knight in the poem searched and searched for Eldorado, but could never find it. He grew old and started doubting himself. As the shade said, we must go over the mountains of the Moon and through the Valley of the Shadow and ride boldly if we seek for Eldorado. We must go far and overcome the fear of failing if we hope to ever find...Eldorado.

Shiloh Cannon-Burn

Seekers of Eldorado

Brave miners have set out in search of Eldorado. Along the way they may pick up what they believe to be Eldorado but will they find what is truly their Eldorado? Hopefully some will keep journal records and allow us to bear witness to the search.

The Alluvial Mine is the property of Heather Blakey and Miners who have generously shared their work. Please do not replicate any part of this mine without written permission.