The Imperfect Cult of Spirituality

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Perhaps it’s because my early years found me inside the cult of the Hare Krishnas, and later in the cult of family dysfunction where truth was suppressed with fear; and perhaps it’s because I am, once again, finding myself immersed in the cult-like group-think of the spiritual world, but I’m beginning to seriously worry about how pervasive the cult-mentality is and how damaging to truth it can be.

Unless you are living blissfully unaware inside your own little bubble, you’ve no doubt heard about Qanon and all the damage it has created through its false rhetoric and dangerous accusations that are founded upon fear and lies. Or, perhaps you are a believer in its unproven claims.

I know many people who are, to some degree or another. The ones I know are mostly self-proclaimed “lightworkers” who believe they have been chosen to help save the world. For awhile, I wanted to be one of them. These days, though, I often find myself shaking my head in dismay as I watch people I care about falling headfirst, and willfully, down the rabbit hole of yet another cult that only serves to harm through an abuse of power.

And, I wonder, where are we continuing to go wrong?

In my own experiences with cult-think, there is always at least one figure positioned into a place where power can be abused, hungry for attention and adoration. In the Hare Krishna cults that were popular in the 70s, children and women were often drugged and/or abused by male figures in positions of power in the name of religion. Sound familiar? It should. We’ve seen similar behavior played out with priests unearthed in the more recent past.

The repression of women and children, in particular, has long been a habit of religions and spiritual groups. For many of us this is obviously wrong. For some, it’s disturbing. For others it’s accepted. We crave security. We crave belonging. We crave feeling special.

The last one is where I find myself lingering and where I have had to, once again, reassess and redefine my own belonging. As a result I have removed myself from cult-like groups who profess to be “lightworkers” but are ultimately more interested in spreading their own “specialness” than they are the truth. I have found my circles of friends growing smaller, but also expanding, as I turn my attentions more toward the spirituality of truth than the undefined.

But it saddens me, again. More people I love feel like they are slipping away and there is nothing I can do about it. We must all walk our own paths, but my own compass keeps steering me in the direction of truth and unity. I don’t mind wearing a mask if it will save lives. I don’t mind reducing my carbon footprint if it will save lives. I don’t mind taking a vaccine if it will save lives. And, I don’t mind admitting that I am imperfect and don’t have some secret access to a higher knowing that is not accessible to everyone else.

My Feathered Seer is Apparently Asleep in my Playroom #dreams

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It was dark in the room, as it often is during the daytime. My children, lapsed back into younger years, opened the seldom used front door to let the wild bird inside. It flew, or rather seemed to stumble, bumping along the floor for awhile until it settled under the couch into sleep. There it stayed for quite some time. I can’t tell you exactly how long, as dream time stretches and bends in funny ways. And soon enough the dream shifted, and my feathered seer disappeared.

I left the pileated woodpecker behind in the room we once referred to as our children’s playroom, but is now a library/game room, and found myself inside a museum. Well, that’s not entirely correct. If memory serves me, I was first outside. Once again, the light was muted as you often see in movies to build dramatic effect. Here the old blended with the new, again, and I found my eyes pulled to the stones. No surprise, really. That’s where the seer resides and reads the secrets held within.

I was excited. Sure that there had once been a circle in a place now built up by more modern hands. “See that one,” I pointed, “and that one!” The position, size, and alignment could not be accidental. And then it all began to fall apart. Suddenly I was inside the museum in need of a restroom. Here I found myself literally exposed. The bathroom was more an office than a cell, open to windowed rooms with people inside, and a wide open door where others walked by. And there I sat in the center with my pants down, exposed and worried about what others were seeing and perceiving. My sight pulled in angst to the world constructed around me while the inner spirit struggled to break free and wander back outside with the stones.

I am not surprised by the dream. When one ignores the first sign, another one will inevitably appear. About a week ago, I dreamt of another “play room.” This one was hidden inside my sister’s house. When I stepped inside this unexpected wonder, a child’s dream unfolded. Gradually I was draw to the vast windows where I stood in awe peering into the vast wilderness beyond. As in the dream last night, there were feathered beings. More than one. Young and downy, their colors muted into balls of fluff. Fledglings impossibly large, and birthed forth in autumn instead of spring. No, I thought, it could not be. They were so healthy and vibrant. Filled with the promise of life.

Before I woke completely into morning, I had another dream experience that has lingered with me. It is a brief recall. This time I found myself inside a vehicle with the radio turned on against my will, playing a recording of my voice. The first sounds were those of coughing, as though I was clearing my lungs of congestion. Then the coughing turned into a humming of sorts. “No,” I said embarrassed, “Don’t listen to that.” My voice on display, to my ears, echoed back to me dissonance as I resisted. Then strength grew into a sound that sung of freedom. It felt powerful and clear, now that all the gunk had cleared. “Take care,” the voice urged before it stopped. “Take care of you.”

I find myself now wondering, in the sometimes harsh light of day, how many of us are feeling the same way. This long year that has held fear and constriction for so many of us has, no doubt, left imprints on us. Perhaps, like me, you have used the pandemic and political turmoil as an excuse not to wander outside the confines of containment, and by containment I don’t mean those imposed to preserve health. Rather, I am referring to the free spirit that is a winged thing always yearning to fly. Always yearning to sing to the tune of inner truth. I must remind myself to play. To wander into magic, even if it involves outer restrictions. To let the feathered seer awaken once again and commune with the mysteries of life that return the wonder of the inner child.

Neglecting the soul is never a good thing, as I was reminded before I woke to this day. If we ignore its yearnings, a restlessness sets in. And sometimes, that restless turns to malaise.

Our Broken Moral Compass #usaelection

I am sitting here, again, trying to make sense of what feels like no sense. The idealist inside of me is struggling to comprehend how nearly 50% of the nation I call home can support a person who is by all moral codes so far from decent that we have redefined humanity. Or maybe we haven’t? Maybe we’ve always had 50% good and 50% bad inside of us and only now it seems we’ve given permission to let the bad overshadow the good.

But I am not okay with this and doubt I ever will be. I am not okay with a white man who cares only for himself ruling a nation in the grip of fear. I am not okay with racism, sexism, homophobia, repression, oppression, inequality, injustice, rape, and all the other aspects of that define what is morally reprehensible inside of us. I am not okay with the placement of one self above another. Yet here we are, again. And, here I sit in the midst of a currently undecided election wondering when and how it all went wrong. Again.

We have work to do. That is one thing that has become glaringly clear. Collective work. And, individual. I know I must ask myself am I doing enough? Am I doing what is right not only for myself, but for every being that shares this living planet with me. Right now all I want to do is weep, but weeping provides a temporarily relief to the pain of a collective wound that desperately needs tending.

And so I think perhaps I must look at the term service too, and what it means in the definition of the self within the whole and the whole within the self. And I think perhaps I must look at the term fear before I search through love. The fear that exists inside the individual self and inside the self that is the whole. I must ask myself what pieces am I willing to untangle and how far can the reach be extended? We are all, in some way, complicit in this state we have created for ourselves. Right now it feels like a living nightmare, but, if truth be told, this living nightmare has been playing out for thousands of years.

It is, thus, not surprising that we would resist waking from it. And, in turn, realizing that we need not enchain another who does not look on the outside the same as us, that we need not rape into submission, or ravage land that simply asks to nurture us. We have taken up arms in the defense of fear, we have long held the righteous hand of anger and mistrust, and we have long looked into the myopic lens of the “advancement” of the self over the whole. It’s then perhaps little wonder at all that we find ourselves at this place in time still holding fast to the defensive grip of our fears.

We travel through the shadowlands yet we are still resisting the light. It sounds cliche, but it is, nevertheless, truth. We are interdependent, intricately connected, bound through invisible webs that can tie us, or unite us. And, we must work through the individual self, to recognize the whole.

I Dream of Laundry, Resisting Letting Go #dreams #denial #death

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Another night passes fitfully, laden with soiled laundry, much of which is not my own. Each night I slip into uneasy sleep only to find myself sorting soiled clothes of family and sometimes strangers in homes that I once lived in. Washing. Ever-washing to try to get them clean of the stains left behind.

There are always machines waiting to spin the soiled garments clean. Sometimes too many to the point of the absurd. Homes becoming laundromats to cleanse the filth of the outer layers worn to shield the inner. The symbolism does not escape me, yet the dreams continue and I must ask myself why I turn backwards, again, to release the stains of the past.

If you study the mysteries, you may be familiar with the symbolism of robes/clothing worn to cover up, or mask, the true self. We often hide what we don’t want others to see, but most importantly, what we don’t want to see ourselves. Yet what resides inside the layers needs no washing.

Stripping ourselves naked requires trust and vulnerability. And it requires faith and letting go.

Each night as I pour through the soiled garments, a stack of towels waits for me. Their surfaces colored with floral blooms, drawing my eyes to their tall stacks. Yet the towels will do nothing for the garments, and I have yet to strip bare and immerse myself in a body of water to find my own cleansing. To release and rebirth.

Instead, I travel back through past homes, even though they are no longer mine. Seeking belonging, no doubt, but also approval. Acceptance. Healing. “Heal me,” my mother begs, showing me a leg riddled with arthritis, her face grotesquely distorted, too big for life and thrust too close for comfort against mine. How can I say no? She is my mother after all. The one who birthed me in this lifetime.

Sometimes life seems more cruel than kind to the human mind that tries to find reason and logic. If I could collapse time it would be by thousands of years and not a mere lifetime of long months. I would go to the place of heather and stone and find the one who wears the feathered cloak and embrace home.

I know why I am sorting through these endless garments soiled by life each night, yet I cannot quite let go of them. “It’s time,” they tell me, and I want to shout back, “I am not ready to let go of her, though.”

“You will and you must. Just like the bird trapped inside your porch, you will release this tie to life. Just as you must release the others that hold you back.”

The wren appears in uncanny ways, surprising me with her visits in the daytime. “I will never be truly gone,” she reminds me, but I want to hold her. To cup her feathered body against my heart. Just once, before I let her go.

A (typical) morning in my life with two cats and two dogs (let’s overlook the teenagers for now)

It’s Wednesday morning and I’m up before dawn to ensure one of the teenagers I said I would not mention, but already have, does not miss her morning class. I’m emptying the dishwasher while steaming a kettle of water for tea and a too loud clink gets an echoing bang from the other said teenager I promised not to mention. Did I mention it’s Wednesday, which means in our small town in NH there is no school (unless you’re taking classes elsewhere).

Yoda the wise one

Abandoning the chore, I decide to salvage some peace and descend into the dungeon of the house to visit the cat-who-distrusts-dogs, Yoda. Yoda, as always, is elated to see me (unlike the teenagers we’re trying to overlook for now) and promptly comes over the his morning pets. As I settle in for a good hand grooming of the feline, my eye catches upon a white and gray mass near the hand weights. “It can’t be,” I think.

I flick pull the string to turn on the overhead light.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Yes it is. Stuck to the wire of a portable fan, and even more stuck to the black mat on the floor, is the flattened carcass of a mouse. As I gather spray cleaner, paper towels, and an old bread bag from the shelf beside the cat food, kept in the dungeon for this very purpose, I recall the evening five days ago when Yoda leapt through the cat door and deposited his live catch before my feet. I had my answer.

The desiccated rodent remains now (mostly) cleaned and scraped from the floor and tied inside the (single use) plastic bag and in the garbage bin, I crank open the tiny window get ready to settle in for a morning workout under the supervision of Yoda the Cat.

Millie the queen of the house

In bounds Millie through the same cat door that allowed entry of the rodent I just disposed of. Full of energy after her night in the coat closet, Millie is ready for second-breakfasts and not so ready for pats. As Millie-who-thinks-she-might-be-a-dog, or as we call her a “cog,” polishes off the scraps of Yoda’s treats and the remainder of his breakfast, I zero in to steal some pats. Once again, my eyes hijack the intended moment. “Is it?”

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Yes it is. A tiny black tick is working its way into Millie’s white coat. Fingers pinch the bugger and the other hand quickly finds the roll of masking tape (also on the shelf for this very purpose) to snuff out the life of the invader.

Thirty minutes later I have managed the semblance of a workout with my trusted guide, Yoda (Millie, true to her nature, has found better things to do with her time) and have also caught myself up on half an episode of ‘The Great British Baking Show.”

I figure I’ve at least faired better with the first half of the morning than some of the contests under the tent as I give Yoda a few more pats and make my way upstairs where the dogs are already taking their second naps of the day on the couches.

Not from this morning, but still typical of my attempts to share the couches

I reach for my laptop to go through the morning’s mail and give Rosy a slight nudge so I can sit down beside her. A waft of dog-perfume greets me as my rear-end meets the cushion. “Never again,” I tell myself for the five hundredth time, “Will I buy a couch with unwashable cushions.” Friday, which we’ve dedicated to renting a commercial washer and hopefully scrubbing the scent of cleaner into the couches, can not come too soon.

Rosy (bottom) and Zelda (top), caretakers of the cushions

Rosy, on the other hand, appears quite content with her couch, and not too thrilled with her human invading the tiny space beside her. No worries, soon enough I leave her to her nap, and head upstairs to my yoga room with my shadow (aka Zelda) at my heals.

My shadow

Ten minutes later, as my busy mind is finally beginning to settle into the flow of the postures, my fifty black shadow with fur, claws and a very loud mouth, leaps onto the window seat and starts hollering her displeasure at an unseen presence.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Just for good measure, I check to make sure. Yep. Not an intruder in sight.

I settle back on the mat, while my shadow settles her head on the windowsill to keep watch, and slowly the flow of life returns. But not for long. With a charming chirp, the cog announces her reappearance.

Again, not from this morning, but still typical of my mornings

There is no resisting the cog. Even the dogs who despise all other felines, have been charmed into near-adoration by this would-be-dog. Adjustments must be made and the mat must be shared while Millie graces the day with her presence.

Not to worry, though, she’s soon vanished (again) and I nearly, just nearly get a complete practice in before the not-to-be-mentioned-teenage-son makes his way downstairs and starts rooting around for some breakfast.

Life Outside the Window

It is raining here today. Thankfully. The water cools the heat that should have left by late September and covers the dirt in the empty stream beds. I have never seen such dryness where I live. The lake where we spend much of our summer has receded by feet from the shore. The sandy cove popular with swimmers, now a vast mudflat exposing the spindly legs of a dock that no boat can go near. It is surreal. It is so uncomfortable to observe, I could not take a photograph.

Each day brings a new challenge to face, asking us to learn how to live on the edge, and quite often inside the roiling elements of life. Too often, I find I am chasing after my breath and asking it to expand out of the constriction of my lungs. I got outside during these moments and lay on the good earth to sync my heartbeat back to the mother. It is best way I know how to live inside chaos.

The area where I live has become beloved in a way I never thought possible. A simple acre of land surrounding my home somehow enough to show me the vast wonders of creation. Life contained, yet not contained. The birds come and go and so do the squirrels and the chipmunks. The trees stretching networks of roots too vast to comprehend the mystery of what it means to be rooted. We can move without moving, and with my belly pressed against the grounded life that deep stirring fills the ache of belonging.

Life has become a game of tension and release and I often wonder who is really controlling the bind. I wonder how far we need to go back to remember the vast connection that both binds us into division and frees us into unity? This juxtaposition of a truth that seems alien to our rights if you feed into the beliefs of the mind struggling for separation.

As I listen to the fall of rain and the birdsong of gratitude I am reminded of how false the hold is. The entangled mind that tunes into dissonance feeds a disease that spreads through all minds if the frequency is found and listened to long enough. Why boil the internal waters if what the body needs is a cooling into peace?

The Eye Opens: Keeping a Promise to a Dragon and a Stone Part 3

When we arrived at the pyramidal stone that had caught my eye during my first visit, I found myself worrying a bit about encountering other hikers. The stone is not far from the intersection of three trails, making it likely we would not be alone. Yet I need not have worried. All beings we met seemed to be messengers even when they were not aware that they were.

This image is from my trip in July. Can you see the face near the apex?

I pointed the stone out to Sophia and Deb, who could not deny the significance of its shape. It also seemed to mark the entrance to an area that pulled us into a desire to explore, and so after paying our regards with the knowing we would return, we ventured off the beaten path.

I immediately had the sensation of entering into what felt like the body of the dragon. Dimension began to slip away, and the mind softened as the inner sight opened. I knew my companions were feeling the opening too, but I would not know until we rejoined how similar our experiences were.

As I walked, past dreams and visions started to knit together, as worlds folded into each other. As strange it all seemed, it also made sense. At least to the degree I was meant to understand that day. I soon discovered the land here holds its secrets tightly guarded and a trust must be earned to enter into their mysteries.

An other-worldly presence was undeniably evident, it turns out, to all of us. The face in the pyramid stone that had appeared during my trip in July, along with the large stone head at the beginning of our walk that day, could no longer be claimed as mere coincidences. I am a skeptic by nature, but I could not deny what I was seeing once Deb and Sophia revealed that they, in fact, had seen the same.

Yet it wouldn’t be until later, after I had some time to digest the experience, that I would begin to connect the dots and wonder how lives past and present were weaving together for a purpose just beginning to be defined. “Ammon Ra!” I was nowhere near Egypt, but the pyramids were everywhere, dimensions had collapsed the stars into Earth, and one tiny messenger was about to lead us to a mysterious eye.

I believe it was Deb who first spotted the tiny brown bird flirting among the shadows of the trees. It flew just beyond our reach, and difficult to detect. Were it not for its voice, we may have lost it. Yet despite its illusive nature, the bird seemed to beckon us to follow, and so we did. It was, in my mind, without a doubt, another messenger. Perhaps our most important one.

“I think we need to go there. In fact I know we need to go there,” I announced as I pulled my companions into the undergrowth of a path that wasn’t marked by human footsteps. The energy of the beacon had an undeniable force, yet there was a point when I knew we must stop.

Surrounding us were guardians staring out from the trunks of trees, peering through the visages of moss covered stones, and leering up at us through darkened holes. I was beginning to feel rather like I was in some Tolkien novel and the words, “Thou shalt not pass,” echoed through my mind.

We gathered between the grumpiest “troll” and the wooden head of a dragon guardian, forming a makeshift triangle on the uneven earth after we placed offerings of herbs and corn near the watchful eyes.

This wooden dragon brought back memories of a recent dream

On one side of us was the alpine forest, on the other, an immense white stone. If I had any doubts it housed the treasure being guarded, they soon disappeared.

Soon after our eyes closed in meditation, the serpent appeared. Its body emerged from the white boulder just over the head of Sophia and quickly wrapped the crown of our trinity. There it held us until we were finished.

“She’s standing in wait,” I whispered, eyes still closed and fixed upon the pillar of white energy waiting by the pyramid stone. Who she was, I still cannot say for sure, but she knew we were coming, and I was pretty certain I had seen her before. I recalled the “white goddess” who appeared in England at the foot of my bed years before, pulling the bedclothes back, urging me to surrender to the fey queen’s bidding. I thought also of Sophia, who had pulled the card for Isis before we had left. Was this her serpent energy that wrapped us tight?

It was after we rose from our mediation that I really looked at the white rock we stood beneath. “It’s the eye,” I don’t know how I knew it, but I was certain of my words.

A rock not meant to be climbed

Sophia, drawn to the curious markings that crisscrossed its surface, tried to get closer. The soft earth of the lid pulled her back and she lost her footing. “I don’t think we’re meant to go any nearer,” Deb and I both declared.

It was difficult to over-look the markings…

After a taking a few photographs, it was clear the “eye” had given has all of its gifts for the day. It was time to complete the mission of our journey and return to the pyramid stone and offer up the white pillar from Mystery Hill.

To Be Continued…

Thoughts of Fathers and Daughters with the Loss of Ruth Bader Ginsberg

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I don’t watch the news much these days so I am often late finding out about world events. This morning, I learned of the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsberg on Facebook. In a world that seems to be spiraling into an ever-darker abyss, this is one more crushing blow to all that is good. But, this will not be a post filled with all the good that RBG brought to the world. I have no doubt these are being spread far and wide at the moment, as they should be. Instead, this is a post about fathers and daughters.

At this time, I cannot help but think about fathers and their daughters, and here is an example why. Where I live in rural NH, there is a house that is positioned near the entrance to our small town. It is on the corner of three bisecting roads and just off a main highway that connects the state to its neighbors. Inside the house lives father who is in the military, his wife, and their two daughters. Their vast yard is punctuated across its perimeter with more signs for the POTUS than I care to count. Including one so large it could easily fill the side of a school bus.

They are a white family, privileged by the world’s standards, raising two strong girls, from what I hear. I don’t know them personally. But each time I pass the house, I am reminded of all the privileged white men with daughters in the world who are asserting their support of another privileged white man, who happens to also be deeply misogynistic, a likely rapist multiple times over, and an individual who is doing his best to strip away women’s rights. Including their daughters’.

Each time I pass this house, I think about all the progress women like RBG, and many others of both sexes, who have worked tirelessly to ensure that all lives matter equally. I keep thinking about what a father is telling to his daughters when he stakes his over-large sign on their yard to assert that, in essence, their lives don’t really matter. And, I am deeply, deeply, troubled by the notion that there are so many who are pushing their daughters into the shadows to assert their power as privileged white men.

Keeping a Promise to a Dragon and a Stone: Part 1

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.

Photo taken by Deb. We saw hearts everywhere throughout the day.

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.

My faithful companions with just a hint of mischief in their visages.

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.

“11:44”

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.

“Slut?!”

“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…”

“Yep.”

“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.

To Be Continued…

The Wild Soul Yearning to be Free

She stood wrapped inside the wild wind and her wild thoughts. No, they were not her thoughts, but she felt them as if they were. So wild there was no language for them, only feeling. So wild they lifted her soul out of her body, which she dragged behind her in her wild search for meaning.

I woke this morning from a dream that seemed to be telling me my story but also everyone’s. Inside the walls of an ever-expansive house, I searched the crowded rooms, looking for an exit. Pulled at layered clothing too old to be anywhere close to new. I felt worn and tired, too weary to feel beloved until a ravishing touch awakened my pulse.

Before the dream was over, I listed what defined me. “Oh yeah, I whispered as an afterthought, I am also a writer.”

The list made me feel tired even though my body slumbered. It dulled me inside the confinement of the rooms I could not escape from. Endless chambers filled with the collection of things made to define lives hopelessly searching for the return to the wild soul.

As I put meaning to the dreamscape, I realized that perhaps this simple longing to return to the essence of the free soul is what is plaguing humanity right now. Radical factions breaking off from the “norm,” decrying conspiracy and even hatred in the search to be free. Masks defiantly not worn in the name of freedom…

My thoughts wandered to Nelson Mandela’s life. Twenty-seven years spent imprisoned in body, but not soul. I can’t profess to understand how he endured those long years while keeping that light strong inside, but I do know the wild longing for freedom when there are no bars holding the physical body in restraints.

The mind is a master of erecting barriers that cannot be seen.

I thought of that day when I followed the wild thoughts that were not mine to a hill in England and looked with wild eyes that were not just my own through a history I felt acutely in my dancing cells. I had, it seemed, come to bear witness to the past stretched long into the present. To know through the depths beyond reason our collective history. As I wandered the ruins of a land that was once enchanted by the magic of the free soul, I felt the long moment of entrapment. The wings that would fly, clipped. Grounded into a darkness not my own, yet very much mine.

We are swirling, once again, into the darkness of the shadowlands. We blame the outside, crying out in the name of injustice and freedoms lost, inciting division and even anger and hatred as we rage against our would-be constraints. And in the process, we entrap ourselves and each other, further and further into the abyss that diminishes the light of the soul that knows that it, in truth, can never be confined.

Yet who can blame us? We are birthed to know confinement. The soul that knows only light, suddenly constrained by a dense body inside a dark, ever-confining womb, waits to be birthed into form. A form that it exists within, for a limited time, not just to understand life, but also death. The soul inside the body learns easily what it feels like to be restricted, easily forgetting what it feels like to be boundless.

I am reminded of the suffocation of my dream. The feeling of rooms without exits, but also self-imposed labels that felt heavy and limiting. The voice that felt lost inside itself. I am reminded of the inner child who always searches for the chance to dance back into the light, naked and free. Not caring who is watching…Singing with abandon.

I am reminded of how much I have allowed myself to forget that she exists without bounds. That she need not be constrained without my will. I am reminded about how much I default, as I watch those around me doing the same, to the outside instead of the inside. Forgetting, in the processes that we are never not free. That the wild light is alive inside and is always best nurtured with love.