Full moon emergence

August 31, 2007

I missed the lunar eclipse – I was offline and didn’t even know it was coming – but I was able to bask in the full light of our dear mother moon and share with her my struggles and triumphs. For those of you who supported me as I struggled this summer in my adjustments to THE INSTITUTION I am back – but fall is a different time than summer. It seems my summer session may have been a bit of an anomaly – goddess be praised.

I was picky and choosy about the work I selected for this fall. I contacted the guides who had offerings and made my choices based on their openness to me and my path. One response was lukewarm – cordial – but limp – I didn’t pursue it. One response was – yes I remember you and I look forward to having you in my class. Another response was “Indeed we have many of the same interests and of course you may sit in on the first class and see what you think.” Because of issues of confidentiality and privacy – I will call him Bodhisattva and I will call her Two Moons.

Bodhisattva’s work for us began with the dreaded introductions – say something interesting about yourself as we go around the circle – but of course what made it whimsical and fascinating was his reflections back to us. He mirrored us in ways that captured his first impressions and our essence. I LOVE when someone truly gets me on the first try! I took the same risks I took in the other class, and they were met with warmth, humor, joy, and curiosity. The interactions left me feeling optimistic and not the least regretful of being vulnerable. He then proceeded to spin a tale for us. I went straight back to fifth grade where our teacher used to read to us after lunch and recess and we could draw or listen or put our heads on our desks and just let the words wash over us. I can tell already this is going to tons of work – the kind of work I am passionately interested in doing. This time though, I have a trail guide and traveling companion.

Two Moons is a gentle woman who speaks so softly we had to sit on the edge of our chairs to hear her. Normally women with very soft voices annoy me – I want to shout SPEAK UP – use your voice – but there is something about her softness, sensitivity, gentleness that made me want to sit very still and listen carefully. I thought about calling her Kwan Yin here – and it would certainly fit – but after some contemplation – I think she will be Two Moons.

Our first assignment is “out of the book” and of course I asked if I could bring in my own work and weave it into the theories in the book. She smiled and said of course – I would love to hear more about that. In that moment she won me over! But it gets even better. During the course of our discussions – we were able to talk about pivotal moments in our lives – and as I warmed up – I began to share from my tradition. The sense of deep listening, mirroring, and resonance with my sharing made me feel like I am in the right place.

Of course it is the “right place” just for a time because I am an interloper – I am not formally admitted into the program. There is a definite divide between us and them – us who are shopping or wanting to belong and them who are already through the first gate and inside the fence. It reminds me a lot of the artificial divide that my former employer created between “wage employees” – those of us who chose to forgo benefits in exchange for working less than 40 hours a week and “classified employees” who often saw themselves as superior because they were “real” employees. This is a dynamic that I notice in my interactions. For others, they don’t notice, or notice – but it means nothing to them.

One of the lasting gifts of my vision fast is that we all sat in the same councils – day after day – yet because of our deep inner work – we each paid attention to and remembered what had heart and meaning for us. I knew I had filters that colored my experiences – but it wasn’t until that experience – and the enormous pain of being unmothered and unprotected – that I began to become aware of the effect of filtering. After the class this summer, I sat with a woman who experienced many of the same reactions I did. We shared our pain at being thought of as “old” and not useful – at being marginalized in some ways – and of the biased preference for perky youthful sexual  spandex bodies. My sorrow was over expectations that were not met – I wanted the guide to “get me” and he didn’t. I confounded and challenged him (another pattern of mine :). What was wonderful about processing this with another emerging crone was that she told me “I know you are disappointed and didn’t get what you needed, but I got what I needed.” In that reflection back to me – I felt heard – I felt my crone friend “got me” accurately and she didn’t minimize my pain – but she could also tell me that given the exact same experience, her filters selected different events and that gave her different conclusions. Another gift – one that was not possible for us before we had this shared experience. So for all the trauma and disappointment of that class – we both came out with a little bit more of our fur rubbed off and quite a bit more real.

Baby Jedrek is through round two of chemo and doing exceptionally well! He is growing and developing and as the tumor shrinks he has less pain and is able to do all the normal baby things – like rolling over.  We also welcomed baby Naomi into the world – she showed up a bit early, but her parents are ecstatic to see her and report that she is adapting well to being “out here” with us!

As Clarissa Pinkola Estes reminds us – it is a life-death-life cycle. If you have never heard her speak or are hungry to see her – here is a wonderful video about the work Woman.Life.Song – a commissioned work with Jessye Norman featuring the creative juiciness of Dr. Estes, Maya Angelou, and Toni Morrison. Enjoy!


One comment

  1. Julie I thought of you while dancing at the water’s edge this a.m. Am glad of the update you left…

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