Thank you, Creator-Destroyer Mother, for the certainty of rebirth. I know the trial is not done, the loss not even over let alone healed, but I listened to your deep wisdom and I am alive. I am whole in my brokenness, grateful through my tears, ecstatic by my sword-split heart. I am on the path. I surrender to your power, and so step into mine.
Archive for July, 2011
A Lantern to the Deeply Living
I am self-catalyzing
Containing the Teacher
Reaping the sacrifice
To which I had offered
The very beat
Of my burgeoning soul.
These bloodied jewels,
Seeking the Beloved
Within the pain,
And now I have
Out of it,
But again inside
No longer am I only
For my body shines
In the light
Of the returning
And not only
Does the Child
Have a voice
But the Man,
Who contains all parts
And walks with
The Journeyer’s stick,
The Shaman’s drum,
The Warrior’s shield,
The King’s staff,
The chalice of the Priest
And the nakedness of the Lover:
I am self-catalyzing,
And so the love I draw to my open arms
Reflects that which I am ready to receive:
Great peace and passion,
The space to breathe the living air
Of my own sphere
Silver, gold and platinum threads
To bind close that which I love.
These are dangerous words,
The truth of who I am.
With the experienced innocence
Of the Bodhisattva
I speak them:
In a world where the gods are stripped
Of heart and cock
I offer the unity of these in myself,
Sometimes stumbling, often graceful
As a lantern to the deeply living.
“Running to Stand Still”
“And so she woke up
From where she was lying still
Said we got to do something about where we’re going
Step on a steam train
Step out of the driving rain
Maybe run from the darkness in the night
Singing halalala de day
Singing halalala de day
Sweet the sin
But bitter the taste in my mouth
I see seven towers
But I only see one way out
You go to cry without weeping
Talk without speaking
Scream without raising your voice, you know
I took the poison, from the poison stream,
Then I floated out of here
Singing halalala de day
Singing halalala de day
She runs through the streets
With her eyes painted red
Under black belly of cloud in the rain
In through a doorway she brings me
White gold and pearls stolen from the sea
She is raging
She is raging and the storm blows up in her eyes
She will suffer the needle chill
She is running to stand still . . .”
U2, from The Joshua Tree album
I called my mom today and she sounded really sick. I am scared. I want to drop everything and go and be with her. Her mortality is too near at times like this.
–I feel better now. Krissy [stepmom] said it would be all right if I went down for the day. I know I can’t really do anything to make her feel better, but I need to be around her. Life gets kind of scary sometimes.
She is much sicker than she wants to admit, and I am worried. Perhaps I was playing God, but I am glad Molly did not come down today. I, myself, have had to fight back the tears many times today. She has been sick since Saturday and has not eaten. She looks emaciated–her stomach looks bloated–and I could probably carry her if I wanted to, she is so thin. I called her doctor, but she is out on lunch break until 1:30. So, when I get back (I am having a bagel at Bruegger’s right now) I should be able to call again. If she won’t eat, she most likely needs an IV. She won’t like that, but I don’t care. I need to take care of her.
My reality is very acute right now. It is as if I am totally conscious of everything, and at the same time, not at all.
This is a funny thought, but, healing yourself seems like trying to get from one place to another. Just like a car can only go down a one way street one way, but a person on foot can go either, maybe healing is like that. Maybe everything is like that. So, if I don’t like the bus, or if it doesn’t go exactly where I want, do I just get off and walk?
I feel like I’m in some movie, sitting here in Cambridge in a bagel shop by the window, writing in my book. It’s the 1st day of winter, the Winter Solstice, but it’s 50 degrees out. It is beautiful. I was going to drive down the street, but it was so gorgeous I had to walk.
The sun is warm on my back. I remember once, when Mom lived with Rhonda, sitting by the window with the black cat sleeping in my lap, warm from the sunshine and listening to music. Strange how I remember such a small thing. I miss Gipper [our daschsund]. He was the best dog. He always slept at our feet inside our sleeping bags. What a goof.
Kahlil Gibran, from The Prophet
“Long were the days of pain I have spent with its walls, and long were the nights of aloneness; and who can depart from his pain and his aloneness without regret?
Too many fragments of the spirit have I scattered in these streets, and too many are the children of my longing that walk naked among these hills, and I cannot withdraw from them without a burden and an ache.
It is not a garment I cast off this day, but a skin that I tear with my own hands.
Nor is it a thought I leave behind me, but a heart made sweet with hunger and with thirst.
Yet I cannot tarry longer.
The sea that calls all things unto her calls me, and I must embark.”
It is three days before Christmas, yet it is not near at all. I am empty; I am full. Denial is my momentary specialty, yet my mother’s mortality is also quite near to me. Duality rules my life.
My mother died of colon cancer on August 25, 1996 when I was 19 years old, and my sister Molly was 15. This journal entry is from when I was 17, when it became clear that her cancer had taken a serious turn for the worse, although she wouldn’t die for another year and half. That Winter Solstice, after finally speaking with her doctor, I had to take her against her will to the hospital, where she eventually consented to surgery so that she wouldn’t die from her colon exploding in her body. Although I was quite angry with my mother at the time for resisting help–and I can still access that feeling of rage and helplessness on my part–I now possess another, more transpersonal perspective. I believe my mother carried the pain of her fragmented childhood in her pelvis, her abdomen. I believe that at the time I intervened she probably wanted to die, to end the suffering she had carried for so long. There isn’t any black and white–I don’t see myself as wrong for my interventions and my wanting her to survive–and at the same time I now have a deeper compassion for her experience, as well.
Hello Dear Ones,
I am currently in the wonderful, albeit sometimes murky, process of re-visioning my healing/professional practice. As part of that I have been doing more writing about the emotional/spiritual/philosophical heart of my work. This morning, while writing about said topic, I realized it would be beneficial to actually bring my community into my journey, instead of waiting to present a final ‘product’ to you. So below I am copying my thoughts from today, raw and unedited. Please let me know what languaging resonates with you, what seems less grounded or clear, and any other thoughts you may have. As a related note of interest, I will also be integrating all of the material from my Bhakti Birth and Bodywork blog into this one, streamlining and strengthening my efforts.
A Practice Devoted to Wholistically Supporting Somatic Healing and Life Transformation
Why the Heart? The Heart is the electrical center of the body. The Heart is the chakra that unites the body and spirit/soul. In one painting of the body and the chakras, the Heart is actually the first chakra, and our energy moves in a spiral out and around from there. In Biodynamic Cranial Touch, we reside in our heart, in our sinoatrial (SA) node, as the point of neutral and the point of balance. The SA node is the pacemaker of the heart—it is the impulse generating tissue. To reside here means that we literally and energetically pace our lives through Heart energy, through the vibration of love. It is this centering in the Heart that allows a dance, and a balance, between the more earthly energies of the lower chakras (survival, pro-creation, sexuality, personal power) and the upper chakras (language, perception and the inner senses, direct connection to Source).
Why the Magdalene? The Magdalene symbolizes and embodies the experience of the Divine as lived through the intimacies of day to day life, and through bodily rites of passage: birth, menarche/puberty, sexuality, marriage/partnership, healing and death. The Magdalene was the one who recognized, through perception and action, who Jesus was: he became the Christos (anointed one) when she literally anointed him with her sacred oils and her hair. It is not enough, in these times of change, that we see God/dess/Life/Source as only outside ourselves. In order to heal the rifts of modern alienation and disenchantment, we must recognize the Divine in each other. Fortunately, this can be simply and practically done through resources we already possess as humans. We can slow down. We can honor the body and her processes as an expression and vehicle of Source. We can touch each other with kindness and love, allowing vulnerability and intimacy to permeate our relationships. We can reclaim the passages of the body (birth, sex, death) and become the subjects, instead of the objects, of those transformational opportunities.
So what does this mean in terms of a healing practice? How does it translate into tangible work supporting people in their bodies, women and families in the midst of pregnancy/labor/postpartum, women seeking to heal and align their sexual, creative embodied selves? The heart of this work is relational—regardless of the modalities used or the circumstances under which we work, how we engage with each other (vulnerability, honesty, compassion, love) is the starting point for the healing and transformation. How the body is seen (whole, innately intelligent, sacred, an expression of the spirit/soul, vs mechanical, base and inherently problematic) guides us in how we engage and support the body. As spiritual beings expressed in flesh and blood, we long for the experience of the body, its pleasures and pains, its joys and sorrows, to be acknowledged. Through touch, through witnessing, through somatic education and personal and community ritual we acknowledge and align with the body’s deep spiritual experience. I am a writer and a doula, a bodyworker and healer, a teacher and spiritual midwife. Everything I have, everything I know, all the mystery I am privilege to witness and experience, is mediated by my body.
You are slowly letting him in.
I can do this
(You say to yourself)
He wants to see me.
The foibles I think
I wrap inside me
Instead litter my skin
Like an alphabet
Stitched on a quilt.
So I learn to give voice
To that which my soul
Requires to express:
All these mistakes I make
The wrong words
And the awkward step.
The little girl wants love
For being perfect.
The woman wants love
Because she welcomes in
And offers them some tea.
My existence is a joyful expression of the Tao.
I am the embodiment of Love’s warmth.
I am the manifestation of God’s humanity.
Nobody answers the call in a beautiful, fabulous, saintly fashion. We all kinda get bent out of shape . . . But the fact is [that] everything goes away when you get to the YES. And as you get more experienced at answering the call, the YES comes sooner and the arguing gets lesser. But nobody but nobody does it perfectly and beautifully. That’s only for the books.