Tag Archives: love

So the woman who has danced out of control….

So the woman who has danced out of control, who has lost her footing and lost her feet...has a special and valuable wisdom

 

Thank you Jackie Robinson for coming to the rescue today.  This is the beauty of connection at its best.  One of us puts wise words out in the world, another friend finds them and passes them on.  And so it goes.

As I combed through my inbox, I found this jewel just waiting for me to find at the perfect moment.  From Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run with the Wolves

‘So the woman who has danced out of control, who has lost her footing and lost her feet and understands that bereft state at the end of the fairy tale, has a special and valuable wisdom.’

Wow.

I would consider it an honor and privilege to rise to this occasion that Dr. Estes illustrates.  It would be a personal challenge to take those life challenges where I’ve lost my footing and turn it into my own fairy tale. First, I have to fully grasp and accept the feelings that arise from losing one’s footing.  Each time I do, I believe it to be the last and final time that I’m faced with such challenge that completely knocks me off my feet.  Yet again and again, I’m plunged into that dark place where I must face once again the end of the fairy tale.  But now, I’m starting to understand that there is more than bleak, painful acceptance.  I can use the opportunity of the darkness to rest, spin a beautiful, silky cocoon around myself and re-invent myself, my soul and the fairy tale.

This really got me thinking hard again.  There is much dancing to be done.  Dancing with wild abandon.  Dancing out of control.

I would encourage you to visit Jackie’s site, A Heart’s Whisper and especially Sacred Circle Retreats.  These women, among others, in person and online have kept me afloat during those “bereft” times.

They dance with me out of control.

 

Advertisements

mommy heart

Handed to me fresh and gooey, she stole my heart instantly.

I wasn’t prepared for the impact of pure love when I looked at those eyes, wide open and brown as dark chocolate.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of her, she was so perfect, so beautiful that I almost felt frightened as she stared directly through my soul.  She never cried, she just watched, taking it all in like the old soul that she was.  In fact, we all remarked that we didn’t  know what her cry sounded like until days later.  Since I had traded the option of pain relief and hospital birth for the autonomy and gentleness of a home birth, I never had to deal with someone whisking her from me until I was good and ready to put her down, which didn’t happen for days.  Our first year is hazy as we slept, nursed endlessly and stayed swaddled to each other to soothe her colic and to ease my anxiety that I must be doing something wrong.

The beautiful child eventually found her footing and released my breast at the exact perfect time for her.  I never pushed her away. Never.  My body and soul was there for her as long as she needed me.  It couldn’t have been any other way.  It was absolutely futile to resist my role as her mother, it called to me so strongly like a destiny that I had been waiting for my entire life.  And I know now, that up until that point, I had never experienced a love like that.  Blinding, pure, knock me off my feet love for this little 6-pound being.  Everything that I had felt for my parents, friends and other loved ones didn’t hold a candle to this.  For the first time, I felt the enormous power of my emotions seize my being.  I knew that I could have lifted a car from this child or flat out murdered anyone who attempted to harm her without a blink of the eye.  I felt that certainty and a distinction that I not experienced prior.

If it was even possible, our life together just got sweeter and sweeter.   We walked and sang and looked at stars.  We caught lightening bugs and set them free in our bedroom at night.  We played late into the summer nights and then went for ice cream. Sleepily, she would crawl onto my lap, wrapping around me murmuring “I love you mommy heart”, her pet name for me when she was especially full of love.

Over the years, I stayed close as she watched other children for endless hours before venturing toward them.  She was reserved and shy.  It was to be respected and always on her time frame. Always.

She became a little girl, then a young woman.  The eye rolling started and the physical touch disappeared.  It hurt.  But it was necessary.  It had to be done. One couldn’t love this intensely and wholly without having the separation be of epic proportion.  So she did what she needed to do at exactly the time that she needed.  She hugged her friends, then her boyfriends.  It was reserved for them now and I made do.

Leaving for college was a snap for her.  Her independent wings had sprouted so long ago that she simply just took off.  Her rock solid foundation of love made it easy for her to leap.  It was never about me, she did exactly what she needed to do at that moment.  She needed to fly.  And I needed to cheer her on.

We approached the deadline of her moving cross country with mixed emotions. She would be leaving her midwestern roots and heading toward the ocean and a new life.  Mostly we occupied ourselves by planning and making lists of necessary items to purchase or pack.  I kept it light and wouldn’t under any circumstances let her see my sadness, only the excitement.  I knew firsthand what a burden it could be to watch a parent crumble as a child left home.  My mother waved bravely as I pulled out of the driveway headed for Texas, post college and headstrong.  It was my mistake to look back.  She sank to her knees sobbing with her head in her hands.  I’ve carried that forever.

My daughter and I were both methodically and consciously trying to let go of each other, coping as best we could,  trying on for size the separation that was inevitable.  We had bonded so completely that it would be difficult to pull this off but we still needed to try.  Maybe that’s why she chose to go so far away.  Maybe she needed the distance to see where she started and I left off.  It made sense.  It was always about her time frame.  She always got to choose what worked best for her.

A few days before she left, I awoke to her sleeping in my bed beside me.  My husband had already left for work and I mistakenly thought the dog had taken his place, but it was her.  A full grown woman replaced the tiny 6 pound miracle that graced my life a mere 25 years before.  We snuggled but not too close, mostly letting the dog absorb our affection, tempering the emotion.  I knew she needed some mother comfort and so did she.  But we didn’t speak of it.  We didn’t have to.

The Saturday morning she left was crisp and clear, a day before her 25th birthday.  The morning air brought that snapshot frozen in time flooding back.  It was the same weather the day of her birth.  It felt  cyclical and right.  We busied ourselves with packing her car then fussed some more and kissed all the dogs and took photos and put off the moment when we had to say goodbye. It was finally upon us.

I wasn’t prepared for the intensity of her hug.  She’d spent over a decade avoiding touching or sometimes barely acknowledging me and the sheer impact of her propelling sobbing body at mine literally knocked me off balance.  My baby.  She’s back.  Pressed up against my heart… how good it felt to hold her again.  I immediately felt guilty for loving the embrace at the expense of her unleashed emotion.

I reassured her that her home was there always, waiting if she needed it.  I held her until she pulled away then came back for one more embrace.  I inhaled her sweet essence and let her cry.  Then I let her pull away from me.  It was always about her. She let go when she was ready and I made do.


“the hole” revisited…

she wakes from a long and tormented sleep to the all too familiar darkness with the circle of light far above her

it takes minutes to transition and orient herself to “the hole” that she’s visited so many times before

the cavern is so quiet, silent, her thoughts racing are the only noise

the sensation of cruel dampness that once penetrated her clothing, her skin, has been replaced with comfort

she looks down, her eyes now adjusted to the darkness, she sits upon a soft, downy quilt and wonders how and when?

its then that she sees the faint glow in her periphery…she blinks to make sure she’s seeing right

there is no fear, no anxiety, safety and warmth surround her

an angel moves to her, summoned by a mere prayer from a friend, has been watching over, providing comfort, releasing the fear from her soul

she is luminous, breathtaking, the unblinking eyes of an innocent fawn

the girl beholds her in awe as she wraps her arms around her

nestled against the divine being, she relaxes for the first time in days as her breathing slows…they look at each other for a long time

her eyes no longer retain the trauma driven focus necessary for survival, her gaze extends to her surroundings, noticing the quiet beauty for the first time

fireflies dance, filling the darkness with their radiance

shimmering crystals glisten from the walls

a beautiful humming seems to come from everywhere around her but no place in particular

the animals have crept to her, encircling her while she slept, each bringing their gift to aid her during this troubling time, unafraid to penetrate “the hole” like the people were

the owl shows her how to adapt her vision and see through the darkness, easing her into the shadowy world: cool, feminine, moist

the girl glances over to see the regal stance of the wolf and knows her lessons immediately

the hawk circles overhead, dipping once before soaring out of the opening into the sunlight….piercing the air with her message to look at the entire situation, there is always a way out

she isn’t alone at all

they’ve all come to help her remember that she’s been here before, “the hole” has beauty and purpose often unrecognized and the girl weeps with joy at her connectedness

with reverence, they all move to the center, forming a sacred circle…animal, human and divine to begin their prayers of gratitude


a month of letters….

I fell in love with this idea the moment that I saw it on Mary Robinette Kowal’s blog and knew I had to participate in this forgotten, time-honored method of communication.  A month of letters challenge. I can’t even remember when I sat down and wrote an actual letter, probably 30 years, maybe more.  Even though its appeal has many layers, I jumped on an exercise of mindfulness combined with the ultimate slowing down.

I also immediately knew who the recipient of my letters would be. Seeing that it is close to Valentines Day, this all fit together perfectly demonstrating the message of  love and caring that I needed to convey to my friend Becky.  You see, her mother has recently been placed on hospice and as the days pass by, it requires more creativity in finding ways to help her family while going through this type of experience.  Heartfelt gestures seem to be the winners.

For years I’ve shared my flowers from my very abundant garden from early spring jonquils through to the end of the year mums and sunflowers with Becky’s mom. Her mother Grace, was always that, graceful and elegant.  She loved each of my amateur arrangements and would care for them until they were finally spent, then she would wash the vase and have her daughter return it to me for more.  And there always were more until now, middle of winter, I have no flowers or foliage to offer them in her true hour of need.

So they will receive letters.  An entire month of letters, maybe more.  I’m not sure how I could simply stop in 30 days, this must be a project that continues through Grace’s decline and passing as well as the mourning period and beyond.

Each day Becky comes home from her day job, exhausted but determined to continue the care for her ailing mother,  it is a devotion that is pure and patient.  She changes clothes, feeds her dogs, gets her mail and heads over to her mother’s home to feed and bathe her, play cards or sit in the surreal horror of watching her mother trying to breathe.  This takes an amount of focus mixed with acceptance to dance through this minefield of emotions.  And so far they managed to dance with Grace.  

I mailed the first card today after discovering Mary’s blog.  At the very least, my friend will come home to a daily card from me in the mail.  It will probably contain a photo of a dog nose to nose with a cat or an equally funny expression.  These are her favorite types of images to share with her mom, those of animals, babies or flowers.  Before she leaves for the evening with her mother, I hope to give her a small break in her day.   I don’t know that it will be enough to turn away sadness or grief but I’m hoping a glimmer of hope or a smile.  

I will also mail a card a day to Grace, knowing that Becky will faithfully retrieve it from her mailbox and share it with her also.  Hers will contain photos of flowers, its all I know to do for them now.



%d bloggers like this: