I no longer wonder how long it will last, but how long we will endure.
We are living in extremes. One side of the world weeps, while the other side burns in fever. One element, without the other, leads to imbalance. Just like in the human body. Too much yin swallows life force. Too much yang, burns it up. Yet, somehow, for now, we endure. Endure to hold onto extremes…
We reflect what we create.
Denial can be a powerful force of destruction. Eyes resist focusing on what brings discomfort.
Turmoil stirs the Earth, but it also stirs the self.
How often do we forget that what we sow within, we reap outside of us?
I find myself growing tired of excuses. The unchecked ego filled with self-affirming prophecies refusing to go inward to see outside the self with clear eyes.
I find myself growing tired of the selfish mind refusing to remember that we are here to take care of not only the self, but the whole.
I am tired of those who insist on being right at the expense of life. Denying a crisis serves no purpose other than for the ego to feel justified.
We are taught by our spiritual leaders that all life is sacred. That we are just one part of a whole. We are taught interconnectedness and to do no harm, yet the ego’s search for separation has led to a world that burns and weeps extremes. A world where more than 4 million people have died from a virus that is mutating out of control because there are so many hosts that refuse to believe it is real.
Refuse to see that inaction can cause harm.
Our Earth was created with free energy and that energy has never left us. Yet we burn her lungs for profit, and drill into the body that feeds us for industrial gain. Temporary gains leaving trails of disease and death.
We are, undeniably, a selfish lot, but we don’t have to be.
Small gestures can go a long way…
Getting a vaccine can not only save your life, but countless others.
Wearing a mask if you are at risk of harming your own life and others, is not a violation of your personal rights, it is an act of ahimsa. It is an act of grace and kindness.
Tending to the planet is not an act of weakness, it is an act of strength. It is an act of ahimsa. It is an act of grace and kindness.
Three simple words hitting the head of the nail with precision. Driving the thought I had been avoiding bringing into articulation into the stark light of truth. “She’s a hater.” Even though she touts herself as an influencer of positive change.
I had been following her for longer than was comfortable. To be honest, I lost comfort from the first post I saw, but since I was trying to open up more of my awareness to BIPOC issues, I kept following. And, to make it worse, I kept liking her posts. I even responded to one. That’s when the hammer finally hit the head of the nail. Bang. Reality check.
Although my post was not hostile by any means, it was immediately returned with a hostile response based upon unfounded assumptions about the white writer who had written it. That would be me. I went further with one more response, again devoid of hostility, but with a slight bent towards defense. Another flurry of hostility came my way.
I liked the response anyway, but declined comment while I made the decision to wait for one more of her posts on Instagram before I decided whether to unfollow her. Three swipes through a barrage of hate memes, ending with a literal “f-you” to all the folks who did not see life the exact same way the influencer thought they should (aka just like her, I sealed my decision. Goodbye.
I am sharing this experience not for pity or defensive purposes, but to hopefully bring some awareness to the damage that can be caused by people who place themselves (or are elevated by others) into a position of influential power. In this particular case, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between the former POTOUS, who managed to amass a huge (cult) following of sheep-like followers drunk on his power. Drunk on his hate.
Hate=Hate. It’s simple math. Even when you are trying to be an influential voice of positive change. I can’t help but thinking about Amanda Gorman in comparison. A bold, strong, beautiful voice of truth spoken with poise, compassion, and grace. A voice of light.
There is a huge difference between an individual who is working to bring the light of enlightment to the world, and one who becomes drunk on his/her own power while thinking that being angry and judgemental is a path towards the better good. One is living from the place of the heart, while the other is trying to thrive through the self-righteous ego. The divide could not be wider, even though the mind might think the goal is the same.
I find it deeply disturbing that these types of people rise to positions of power by others blindly lifting them up. Liking their posts. Sharing. Applauding. While not taking the time to pause and say, “Is this really such a good thing?” “Am I really contributing to a cause that feels authentic and true?” More disturbing, of course, is the lack of self-examination by the person who is in that position of such incredible influence…
Anger is okay for short time. It spurs action. It is a yang force to drive the latent yin into doing rather than just thinking. Yet, anger becoming the constant driving force is never a force of good. Anger begets more anger. Hostility begets more hostility. To be a true influencer of positive change, one most inspire through a voice of truth and love. One most model the change one hopes to see, but from the place of empathy and compassion, and the knowing that there are as many experiences and viewpoints in the world as there are people.
When we close our ears to all voices but those who echo our own words, we only hear ourselves. That, in essence, is living in a vacuum. It is not opening our hearts to light. So, while I am now following the beautiful voice of Amanda Gorman, whom I had regretfully not heard before the inauguration, I am no longer following the influencer pumped up on her own myopic power. And, I feel good about that. I’ve given myself permission to leave the room of the bully. I’ve given myself permission to find further enlightenment not in the voice of hatred, but in the voice of beautiful, powerful, compassionate truth.
I haven’t been pulled by the blogging muse for quite some time. We are living in challenging times, it’s so obvious it feels redundant to write it. Times that affect each of us in slightly, or vastly, different ways. Every day I am aware of the white, middle-class privilege I am living in. My home is in a first world country, albeit one that is for a short while longer (thank God!) being ruled by a crazed while man (I’ll have more to say about white male privilege later). I have a nice warm home, ample food, my health, loving companions, and the family finances are sound. I have, in essence, all of my needs met and more. There are so many who do not.
This is, in essence, why I have not mustered the creative impulse to wax poetic as of late. To me quite honest, I am wrangling, instead, with a sometimes over-whelming sense of dismay and, at times, a healthy dose of anger by those who would rather live in, and try to pull the rest of us, into the world of “What ifs.” I know I have written about this before, and I can’t promise this will be my last post about it.
I have two dear friends with whom I have weekly discussions about our current perceptions of spirituality. One is older, one is younger than me, which doesn’t really matter, but for ease of distinguishing them in this post. I met my older friend during the very early stages of my exploration into my spiritual self. As she recently reminded me, she introduced me to the world of Tarot, past-lives, and more. A Virgo like me, she has always had a strong grounding in reality, a fierce lean towards justice, and a heart big enough to hug the world. I don’t, quite honestly, know where I’d be without her.
I met my younger friend much later. She came to my house one summer day when I was hosting a gathering of “light-workers.” And, although she practices shamanism and sometimes speaks to animals, she too is grounded in the here-and-now. For me, she is a reminder that one can live in both worlds and still keep your head above the watery world of, well, let’s just say it, conspiracy. Neither one of us belong to the “light-workers” group any more because the core ethics do not resonate with us, but we both still consider ourselves spiritual beings.
When I talk to my older friend, who has just completed a certification course in Qigong, I empathize with her struggle to figure out how to be authentic. We are both in the category of privileged white western women. She was not born into the teachings of Qigong, just as I was not with yoga, yet we are both drawn to the practice and philosophy. My younger friend was drawn to learn shamanism even though she did not come to it through the traditional path of lineage. She too is a white, middle-class woman living in this first world nation we each call home.
The subject of authenticity comes up often when I talk to my friend who is trained in Qigong. We are both concerned with the rifts that are occurring in the world and what it means to live authentically in a world that is rife with struggle to define, or redefine, itself. We are both trying to figure out where we fit into it all. “I know I pretty much introduced you to spirituality,” she tells me with some guilt. Yet, I will forever be grateful that she did. My soul was craving belonging. It yearned for voice. These days, my friend finds grounding in debunking popular conspiracies propagated by the “spiritual” world. I feel her struggle.
I still believe we can, and should, exist as spiritual beings. This is our essence, this is who we are. Should we, though, cling to the false holds of “New Age” spirituality? The thinking that “I know something that few others do,” the belief that “I have a power that others will never have,” etc. All that ego-driven nonsense that gets us, frankly, nowhere but divided from ourselves and each other?
We, as humans, are endowed with brains that are designed to process information through logic and deduction. We are also born of the same essence that exists in all life. Yet this is over-looked through our ego-centric need to feel “special.” I use that term in the broadest sense of the word, because “special” can also mean the need to be “right,” or the need to be “dominant.”
Our human brains cannot know everything. Nor should they, perhaps. Mystery is what drives us. It’s what motivates us and sparks the desire to keep living. Seeking knowledge is part of the human condition, but I wonder these days how much this seeking has led us to go astray from our true, authentic nature.
The questioning brain is not inherently dangerous, but when the questioning is unfounded, or premised upon ego-centric fears and insecurities, should the questioning be propagated?
I grew up with in a household ruled by a for the most part, loving and intelligent, albeit very insecure, white man. He had some college education, but was not educated, as no one can be, in every area of knowledge. Yet his ego was driven by a desire to feel like he “knew it all” and “knew best.” I have met a lot of white men of a similar nature. They are often quick to call others wrong in their need to be better, or know better. Frankly, I have lost my tolerance for this.
I fully realize that this is not solely a white-male-privilege issue, but it can be particularly dangerous when it is. One need to simply look at the pattern of “his-tory” to see it. One need only look at the dangerous state the POTUS has incited to see it. Ruling by the ego-centric need to feel dominant and special, and propagating lies and “what-ifs” that are not grounded in logic, creates a world filled with division and mistrust.
It serves no good to insist you are “all-knowing” when your all-knowing beliefs cause harm to others. One must rule by the heart, as well as the mind. There is a dance that occurs when peace is the objective, rather than division. It’s called harmony. It’s driven by love. Not fear. These days I find myself doing more unsubscribing and practicing non-engagement rather than trying to argue with fear. I realize we are all struggling in our own way to find our authentic selves and to create a more authentic world. I still hold the belief that we are more good than evil and that no dark force, but our own individual shadows, has taken over the world. I cling to this, because it feels both true and essential. We will always make mistakes, we will always be imperfect, but it we can choose to live seeking the good that is inherent in each other and in ourselves. It we seek what is True, what is of love, and what is uniting, then we all come out “on top.”
We left at 9:30am. Three women, piling into my little blue car to fulfill a promise I had made with a dragon. And a stone. We had everything we needed, or so I hoped. To be honest, I wasn’t wholly sure what we needed, or what at all to expect. All I knew was where I needed to go and what I needed to leave behind.
My offering was wrapped in gold satin at the bottom of my backpack. A gift unearthed six years before at in a place where it shouldn’t be by my daughter. I couldn’t deny I would miss it, just as I had the Raven’s Crystal but this too was not mine to keep.
Inside the pack, with the pillar of selenite, were my snacks and water, some tissues, bandaids, my wallet, windbreaker, and three bundles of sage and lavender from my garden. There had been no more dreams or visions, aside from the returning memory of a journey with my two companions to the Mystery Hill where my daughter had found the offering years before. They, in turn had brought their own offerings, which later we would realize were perfect. Being led, like me, with few clues but with a willingness to discover whatever awaited.
The signs began to become obvious when we pulled the car into the base of the mountain. Although its electric charge was now at zero, the gas meter read 333 miles remaining in the tank. When I glanced at the sequence of 3s, then shared the number with my companions, it became obvious why we had formed a trinity for this journey. There had been a moment of guilt days before, followed by an extension of the invitation to others to join, but in the end we were left with the three I had envisioned. And, somehow we had settled, without knowing it, to embark on the day of a new moon, because it was simply the only day that worked.
Deb and I jumped out of the car to pay the park fee, get maps and make an inquiry.
“Can you tell us how to get to the Serpent Ridge trail,” Deb asked a dumbfounded attendant. I had an impulse to nudge her when I saw the look on the attendant’s face.
“There’s no trail by that name.”
“Yes there is,” Deb insisted, “readying her phone to pull up the evidence.
“Never mind,” I interjected.
I’m okay with not being considered “normal,” and perhaps a tad bit “crazy” by some people’s standards, but I saw no point in further alarming the poor woman behind the glass who seemed pretty close to making use of her own phone. To call the authorities.
“We saw it online,” I said. “It was probably just named that by some hiker, never mind.”
The car chugged up 2/3 of the mountain with some effort while Deb and I shared our experience at the gate with Sophia. Marking the beginning of a steady stream of jokes and much laughter that would carry us through to end of our day.
The air was colder than I had anticipated, and the sky threatened a rain that never released from the clouds when we disembarked from the overheated car. Resting nicely in a near-empty lot, we left the vehicle behind to eat lunch.
“What time is it,” Sophia inquired.
The next time I would look at the clock on my phone it would be 12:44.
“Should we take the slut trail or the slab,” Sophia wondered as she studied the map.
“Slot, Alethea, Slot!” That was it, we were doomed. I could have blamed the wind for the tears, but it was pretty obvious that the three of us had reverted back to childhood. Laughter would turn out to be the balm we needed as we descended into the darkened forest.
Our first guide was a familiar one. “I was wondering if you’d be here,” I greeted the chipmunk as it scurried from stone to stone beside us.
“Do you remember the chipmunk at America’s Stonehenge,” I asked my companions. They recalled its uncanny hoping to the stones where our eyes needed to linger. This one, though, stayed with us for just a short time. There was another guide yet to make its appearance. A guide that would make me think of Sue.
I took it as a good omen we were in the right place, but I think the old man who passed by moments later thought I was as looney as the gatekeeper did Deb. More laughter, of course, ensued.
The next being we encountered stopped us in our tracks. Nestled into the roots of two birches aside the path, it was impossible to miss.
“It looks like…”
“I had the same thought.”
All three of us, apparently, saw the same image encased in stone. And what we saw foreshadowed what was yet to come.
It’s no denying we are living in strange and turbulent times, but alas this is nothing new. We are creatures with a history of chaos and violence that extends through the long lines of recorded history. Then there is that history which was never recorded and extinguished…
But I am thinking of present times and how much the world seems to be tipping on the brink of a major collapse. I am thinking about fear, in particular, and how it has seized the hold of logic and reason, trapping the heart-mind in a suffocating vice.
So many people I admire and respect have seemingly gone down a rabbit hole, blindly following the trail of fear in an attempt to defy anything that comes form the place of logic. The enemy, illusive but ever-pursing them further and further into this pit of chaos.
Rarely a day goes by when I don’t receive a video or read a posting that cries out in the language of conspiracy. “Who started this?” I sometimes ask, “And who is this person on the screen?” Rarely do I get a logical answer, as mostly it is unknown, yet freely the noise of conspiracy is passed and as it passes into each field of vision, its message of chaos and confusion grows.
I get it. We are all searching for answer in these uncertain times. We are all searching for a reason for the madness, but does further madness lead to peace and resolution? Logic states that it does not.
We seem to have forgotten one simple fact: Love Begets Love. Fear Begets Fear. At this point, I no longer care why and how these things happen that spark conspiracy, I care that we are spiraling into their abyss. I care that we have fallen into separation and polarity rather than grabbing ahold of that which binds us together.
We are demonizing the other as though the other is not us. It is this that I find the most disturbing. The few that are truly working to pump fear into our veins are seemingly winning. They have taken ahold of our lifeblood and replaced love, empathy, and unity with anything that feeds our separation. This is unsettling.
When I look arounds and see the individual, I see someone searching for unity. I see a person that is not unlike me, searching for meaning and purpose. I see that which binds us. We share the same air, we share the same basic needs for survival. We are share a yearning for love and understanding.
Perhaps the need to go to battle with the perceived “other” is so deeply encoded into our cellular memory, passed on from generation upon generation through our DNA, that we simply cannot find a way to decode it. Anyone who has tried to break a habit knows how difficult it can be. Imagine the multiplying of its force over millenium inside billions of bodies passing the habit on…
It’s mind-boggling and over-whelming. The force it requires to break it apart seemingly impossible. Yet it is also incredibly easy. It’s incredibly simple. We simply need to look at each other and see ourselves reflected back at us. We simply need to turn toward what we share: the need for air, food, water, shelter, and most of all love and empathy. We need to understand to be understood, but we also need to see beyond the trappings of fear and the dark abyss that it is.
“Oh my god,” I thought. “She’s singing it again. Why does she need to keep practicing that song?!”
I was dreaming I was back at school, which is no surprise. This time I was inside a dorm room with some of my high school classmates. They, and my adolescent angst, had followed me to college. I’ve had these dreams before, and just in case I didn’t know why, that famous song from the movie “Frozen” was being belted through the hallways by one of my dorm-mates. “Let it go! Let it go!”
“Oh my god,” I thought. “When will it be over? When will she be done singing that annoying son?!”
When the message sinks in, I realized once I woke beside the satisfied dog who had snuck her way upstairs and onto my bed after my husband had disappeared into the shower.
Least we think it is easy to let go of our stories, we need only look into the mirror to be reminded. If a mirror is not available, or we cannot read the lines our stories imprint for us, we can settle into the weight of our bodies and listen to their moans and groans. Although our cells divide continuously, the new cells are encoded with the memories of the old ones. Sometimes this encoding is a choice.
Before I want to sleep last night, I found myself thinking about how I can hardly remember the two years I struggled with severe IBS more than a decade ago. Those restless nights when I woke to the body’s attempts to expel its painful memories. My digestive system had felt like literal bowels of hell. Bloated with sulfuric gas and knotted in pain. Yet, I can hardly remember those years. I marvel now at the will to hold onto what I no longer wanted. It’s illogical on so many levels, but our cells carry our truths even when we don’t want to hear, see, or feel them. They are the story of us until we rewrite the narrative.
I marveled, also, last night, at how in one night the unconscious aligned with the conscious on a quantum level in its decision to heal and release, finally, what I had struggled to keep. Yet, although my IBS may have vanished in one night, I was reminded once again by my dreams that there are still stories trapped and waiting to be “let go.”
Particularly in my throat. The seat of the voice and our expression of our truths.
I have been struggling these last several days since I watched the choking out of George’s Flyod’s life filmed by helpless bystanders. I have been struggling with irony and injustice, as well as a pervasive feeling of helplessness. I have been struggling with the collective unwillingness to see, hear, and feel truth as I try to come to terms with this unwillingness to “let go” the individual and collective stories to explore beauty and truth beyond the surface.
When I drive to the lake, a place where peace usually washes over me with ease, I find myself troubled by the signs. Passing through rural towns filled with residents struggling to hold onto the middle class sense of security, my eye is drawn too many times to the symbol of irony. Moving through the discomfort of despair, I will my mind to imagine the life inside those doors and why the individuals who reside there are holding onto the notion that the POTUS is their savior.
It took me days, instead of minutes, to remember why my own body struggled for breath when I watched George Flyod’s being extinguished. To remember the white man who used to squeeze the words back into my throat with his hand at the dinner table. It took me nearly two weeks to realize that we all hold the stories of oppression. Even if we are a rare and lucky few to never have experienced the suppression of our own truths, and our voices, our ancestors have. Oppression is so deeply embedded into our collective history that there is no way any of us have escaped its encoding in our cells.
No wonder we are struggling to let go. No wonder we struggle to hold onto what we are used to. The bully reigns upon his mighty throne because we have placed him there. And the bully reigns within because we let him hold the history of our narratives. We have all heard the term “healing begins within,” yet how many of us refuse to look inside and examine the narratives of the self? We may not like what we read inside. We may have the impulse to bring our hand to our ears and shout, “No more! Stop singing that awful song over and over again,” but the narrative repeats until we change it.
The power is not in the holding on, but the letting go. Freedom is the opposite of repression, and ultimately the letting go must begin within.
In my dreams last night, I replayed the narrative of acceptance in the form of my friendships. I was reminded of how much I still struggle, at times, to honor my own boundaries and truths when friends approach me with their own needs. I was reminded that I still carry the narrative of rejection and the fear of being left “friendless,” rejected, and alone.
I find it interesting, or perhaps perfectly fitting, that this dream came to me after a day spent mostly in a state of peace. My body must have remembered lying prone on the ground and feeling the ever-present security of Mother Earth below me. The smell of dirt and crumpled grasses mixing the interconnectedness of all life for me to both witness and be a part of. Yet disbelief must still linger inside the narratives of my cells.
How can it not? We’ve held it so tight for so long. We weave the narrative of oppression and rejection over and over again on large screens that form plays for our eyes, and inside the type-faced print of pages of books, magazines, and newspapers. We’ve read it and watched it so many times and in so many ways inside a world that holds the narrative as truth. Who are we to release it?
Who are we not to?
We must, at some point, let it go and right a new narrative.
A few dreams ago I found myself floating down a sheer, jagged rock face when physics says I should have tumbled bruised and battered into the river below. The climb back up, though, required the help of other hands.
I’ve been thinking about who we will be when we emerge out of this period of isolation. In particular, I have been thinking about how we have lived clinging to the covers that we choose to wear, which separate us from our true selves, as well as from each other.
I am so ready for emergence, my body aches. Before I fell into that dream a few nights ago, I crawled into my womb. It’s something I’ve never done before, but suddenly that’s where I was. Sinking into the orange-red chalice of my being, surrendering to my inner creation.
Here inside the womb of self, I returned to a five-year-old-child. Emerging to be seen was the little girl who is still a part of me, naked in her truth before she donned the cloak of the false self. I felt her body sitting atop the first stone she fell in love. Not her own stone, but her neighbor’s. So huge she had to climb it. Here the sun fell around her, and through its golden beams danced the fairies she adored.
I felt joy before the collapse into fear and conformity as I watched my child self grow with rules and beliefs that offered her a false sense of security. A few nights before, my dream teacher had shown me a shelf filled with books he had chosen to leave behind while all the others were being cleared. The books were filled with fairies and magical beings.
We live in a time when magic has been largely forgotten and often shunned as nonsense. If you talk about “magical” beings most people will look at you askance. It’s likely you will be labeled as not quite sane. Yet the lore of the magical landscape stretches far back into the past. Further than written memory. When did we forget who we were? How many children fall in love with fairies, dragons, and unicorns before they are taught they are fanciful?
After I made my way back up the cliff-face in my dream, with the aid of other’s hands, I returned to a classroom with my dream teacher. Together we surveyed long tables of stones and crystals, all formed from the body of Earth. Out of the myriad I chose a citrine. Into my hands I took the crystal, feeling its weight and size, before I swallowed it and the impossible became possible. Too large for my body according to physics, the crystal dissolved into liquid upon my tongue. In an instant, I became pure light. I became the inner sun, set free.
I find the hiding of the true self wearisome. I wonder how many feel the same. This daily donning of false garments, which weigh upon us heavy and burdensome. Most of us walk cloaked, covering the light of the true self as we allow ourselves to follow rigid laws and codes designed to confine and conform. We peer outward, ever-searching, instead of inward to the magic of the inner light. We believe we are Earthbound and body-bound, yet even the Earth, for most of us, has become just a vessel to be mined.
Back inside the red-orange womb, I watched the four-year-old child grow into her world of separation as she learned to forget the magic of life. I watched her swallow her essence to guard her light as she moved robotically through her phases of physical growth. I watched as she checked off all the milestones she was expected to earn. Awards for academic achievements and races won. Marriage. Children. And then, finally, she arrived at schools of her choosing and the true self began to emerge. The child who once danced with magic in the sun was finding home inside the self, again.
I grow weary when I wear the cloak of society’s expectations, and I wonder who the cloak was really designed for. Pretenses feel more false than they perhaps ever have as the world struggles to rebirth us. Or rather, we struggle against the world to be rebirthed. It is becoming more and more apparent that this struggle is of human design. Nature is thriving while we try to figure out how to live. Truly live with the magic of our beings.
I realized, after my dream of swallowing citrine that it was the first flying dream I have had since the pandemic instilled fear in all of our minds. It was different from most of my flying dreams, though. The body had dissolved entirely. There was no need to defy the laws of physics, because I had become the light held inside the stone. The light of the sun. The light of the true self.
I long for the feeling of home while I struggle with the rules and conventions that still form our ideas of normalcy. Some days there’s a longing to fly across the pond and sit inside a circle of stones and never leave, because it is a place where I feel most “at home.” Why? Because the magic of the land, and of us, still lingers there. It has not wholly been erased.
There are other days when it is enough to sit outside on my deck and lift my naked face to the sun. To let the gaze soften to magic and watch the dance of the sylphs against the limitless blue horizon. Here, I know, is also home. The free soul one breath away from release.
Yet the struggle persists. Inwardly and outwardly. I wonder what will prevail in this world seeking our rebirth? Will we erase more of the magic, erecting more false monuments of power, or will we rekindle, slowly and with love, the magic of the light held within?
The governor of New Hampshire announced today that public schools in the state will be closed through the end of the school year. The rumor started a few days ago, but now that it is official, I find myself slipping into melancholy. Not for my personal loss, but for a collective loss that is made up of so many individual forms.
A few days ago I listened to a podcast of Brené Brown interviewing David Kessler called “On Grief and Finding Meaning,” called to my attention by my dear friend Carol. During the interview, Kessler talks about the individuality of grief and loss, and how there is no way to compare one loss to another. He talks about how each loss holds meaning particular to the individual, whatever that loss might be. We are in the midst of so much loss, in this time of rebirthing, that sometimes the collective weight feels overwhelming.
This morning I woke from another dream about school. More nights than not, during the course of this pandemic, I am pulled into a classroom of some form. Ones that I have once attended, and ones I have never visited before. What seeks emergence struggles with a past I seem to be holding onto and can’t quite free.
Before this afternoon, when I read the message about the school closures, I had been thinking of my school dreams in terms of the “I.” What do they mean for me? I wondered. What is it that I need to learn that I have not learned? Perhaps, though, these dreams are not just about me, as most things, in essence, are not. Perhaps they are about all of us.
This morning I was telling a friend about a “Mr. B” that has now shown up at least twice in these series of dream, pondering what he might symbolize. Each time he’s appeared, I’ve thought of the character/archetype in the enneagram used in the Silent Eye School of Conscious sometimes referred to as “Plan Bee.”
Plan Bee’s ego adores the material world and accumulating stuff. If he was a suit in Tarot, he would be the pentacles. At some point in life, though, the “stuff” we accumulate becomes a burden and even a curse through the mind’s obsession. Addiction can only be tempered by sobriety.
At this time in our shared history so much of what we once held dear is being pulled away from us. The material world we have created is crumbling. In so many ways, we are being called to go without as we go within.
The world, in essence, is one big classroom of which we are all students. The structure of our school is changing. There is simply no denying it. Literally and symbolically. The facade has broken apart and we are being ushered into a new learning ground. Although the circumstances may be felt individually, we are all, young and old, being called to a chalkboard we have never quite seen before. The formula is only partially written, the solution, yet to be derived.
When I asked my daughter if she was upset that she will not be returning to the physical structure of her school until at least the fall, she told me “not really” because she knew it was coming. Some of her friends, though, are deeply upset. They are grieving the loss of the familiar. Of something they held dear that has been taken away. Even though my daughter says she’s okay, I know she is still grieving. She’s been feeling her losses, as all of us have, since the pandemic started shifting reality.
Tomorrow is my son’s fifteenth birthday and none of us are entirely sure how to celebrate it. Cards have been arriving all week, now strewn in quarantine along the dining room buffet, they will be opened tomorrow with just the four of us present. We’ll order some takeout for dinner, and my daughter and I will make a cake, but otherwise, it will be a quiet occasion. So many celebrations are being condensed around the hearth fire now. Graduations, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, births, and yes, even deaths. Too many for us to want to count.
I think we owe it to ourselves to grieve and to feel each loss. To hold it in our hands, and cradle its essence, before we release it back to creation. We owe it to ourselves to feel its weight, before we let it go. To cry and scream if need be. To rage at fragility as we dig deeper into the core of our enduring strength. That is what makes us humans. We cling to the corporeal before we lose it. The beauty before it fades, the victory before it is over. We are temporary bodies who often forget we house eternal souls. Yet, even Plan Bee, Master of Pentacles, can realize the beauty of the free soul when he steps through the (always) open gate of the classroom. Wholly free of that which once held him back.
As we spiral into another month (longer for some) inside the nest of our homes, many of us are turning to gratitude. Beneath the blanket of fear, we are finding a renewed, and perhaps even new, appreciation for life. All that we no longer have may feel like a loss, but what we do have is felt more poignantly.
How many of us now wake to greet each day with gratitude? “I am alive!” we think or may even say out loud as we feel the fortune of existence. Around us we see the blessings in our lives. The companionship and love of pets and family, the birdsong outside the windows that we can open to the wind, the budding of spring, and all the growth it offers…
We are being offered another chance at Life, and an opportunity to reflect upon what we hold essential and what we no longer need. Perhaps, after this time of turning inward, this hibernation in spring, we will emerge not quite the same as we were before isolation came upon us. Perhaps we will continue to see our world, as well as our individual and collective lives, differently. Perhaps what we deemed essential before may softly fall away to become the detritus for new growth.
There is an exquisite beauty to the heart song opening around the world. It sings love and empathy in the voice of unity, threading its notes through the darkness of fear, despair, and hatred. We are turning over the ground we walk upon, discovering the roots that lay hidden. We are finding that life connects and weaves a grid of which we are all a part of, even though we may have walked in separation concerned only with our own path, or the paths of those we hold dear.
We are seeing how the farmer is essential to our lives, just as the rain that falls upon the fallow land. We are seeing how precious the seed is, pulled softly from its husk before it is nestled into the body of earth. Upon our window sills, we are growing our own food and watching the wonder of creation in real time. Slow, unfolding, time.
Each time Earth turns towards the sun and the sky parts its clouds, we give thanks for the energy of life. It asks nothing of us, but continues to pour down its golden rays to keep life moving, growing, and hopefully evolving.
We find ourselves questioning the hold that we once felt and seeing that perhaps it was false. That perhaps the new house, car, vacation, shirt, or electronic device we yearned for and thought we needed is really not so essential to our happiness anymore. Now, we are realizing, that wellbeing is the folding into the abundance of love in all its myriad forms. A love that surrounds us, but is also within us. Ever-flowing and sustaining real life.
This is not to say that we are all going through this time of renewal with ease. Although there are those of us with the privilege to still have the fundamentals to sustain life, there are even more who are going without. The polarity of life is becoming acutely apparent. And although we may shun labels like “socialism,” we are seeing how essential it is to care for the “other,” who is more like us than we once cared to see. The “other” it is now becoming unavoidable to see, is the “I” in another form.
In one, blinding moment, the wrap of security that once bound us tight may be pulled from us, as it has already for so many. Will we continue to allow ourselves to open our eyes to see the bare, unfettered truth as we become unraveled? Will we grow a new appreciation for the farmer who grows our nourishment, as well as the plants and animals that we consume? We will walk this Earth with steps of gratitude, realizing that we walk on life, itself? This ground that feeds us and sustains us?
Will we reach our roots down, deep into our Mother and rejoin not just with her life force, but allow our roots to reach out and nurture our neighbors, far and wide? Those we know, and don’t think we know…. Those we love, and those we thought we despised…Realizing that we are all interdependent upon each other down to the tiny microbes that we cannot see but swim through our cells?