Archive for the ‘Mother Night’ Category


New book forthcoming – Warming the Stone Child

June 16, 2010

Forthcoming from SoundsTrue…

I have written something over 400 posts over the last five years – not a prolific blogger by any means – but I have blogged in spurts of energy and focused energy and intention. Sometimes, I check my blog stats to see what people are reading, or how they found me, or what they click on and it is fascinating to me that “Warming the Stone Child” is almost always in the all time top five search strings for this little blog.

I know that a lot of therapists and women’s groups use the audio files. That’s how I found my way to the warm and inspiring stories. I find that the work has aged well and holds up and has led me to look for other teaching stories that are a balm to the heart of the unmothered child within many of us.

And now… how many times have you looked for new work from Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes and read the words forthcoming…? for me? LOTS! But something is shifting…

Our cantadora has come out of her long respite and is sharing new work in the world. It began with some interviews scattered about the internet about her forthcoming work. Then some interviews with SoundsTrue. Mother Night burst on the scene and was followed by the Dangerous Old Woman. All of these are in audio format. I love audio format because I love her storytelling voice… but sometimes, I want a book…

I want to curl up with paper and pencil and a BOOK and I want to write in the margins and cover the pages with notes. I want to put that book aside and come back and reread it over and over, astounded by the notes that I took over time. And soon… well maybe soon is relative… CPE is going to release a flesh and blood ink and paper version of Warming the Stone Child – as a BOOK!

Tami Simon at soundstrue mentioned it during one of the sessions of the Dangerous Old Woman – but I don’t remember which one and haven’t heard it again as I listened through… but I know I heard it… for reallies I did! Somehow I thought it was spring – maybe spring 2012? Anyone else here that as they were listening?


Eleven Practices

May 22, 2010

CHOOSE ONE THING to concentrate on; keep it small: one symbol, one aspect, one archetypal facet, one aspect of a dream, etc. That is your portal. Keep it. Return to it daily.

Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

I have had two weeks off… TWO WHOLE WEEKS… and in that time, much has been accomplished… and surprisingly, I have taken a lot of naps, zoned out while weeding and realized I was not weeding anymore – just sitting, rocked for hours and hours staring at the embers of a fire, and also just sat still, very still for long periods. Plants have been transplanted, meals prepared, laundry done, the sacred and the mundane of life woven together in such a way that I am surprised when it is midnight and another day is done and I am still awake.

I have been intensely focused for three full years – with a small break last summer – but other than that, I have been on a straight path where side paths beckoned, paths with no path called me, and yet to reach this internal goal, I had to keep feet on the path and butt in the seat… and now… suddenly, it is over, and I stand at the threshold and instead of leaping out the door, I am hesitant. My feet are now accustomed to walking on the path, and they are not sure how and where to step.

Prior to this particular journey, I had several daily practices of writing and creating and art making and processing and one by one they fell away as the PATH demanded more and more and more of me… and now I find myself wondering which, what, how, and if to reclaim any of those daily practices and what they will look like.

To complicate and enrich this quandary is the enormous slug of new material from Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Her Mother Night series is now out on CD. Her Dangerous Old Woman opus first round will soon follow. And between those two works, there must be something like more than twenty hours of oral tradition… dense with meaning… and so filled with possibility that is almost feels paralyzing.

Which brings me to this teaching from dr. e. Choose one thing. I haven’t decided what the one thing is or if I will choose one thing… but just knowing that there is some way of ordering and containing the abundance feels valuable right now.

And you – if you chose one thing? what would it be?


Feasting on new ideas

May 20, 2010

In 2005, I spent a solid nine months commuting – 45 minutes up the interstate and 45 minutes down the interstate. During that time, I listened to all twelve sessions of the two volume Theatre of the Imagination. As I remember, each tape was about 45 minutes a side or maybe that isn’t how it was, but I do know that it took time, lots of time, and the changes of the moon cycles and the earth cycles for me to digest, percolate, and absorb the richness of the feast I experienced through those teaching tales – truly it was Story as Medicine. I have listened to parts of TOI since then – but it has never had the deep feel it had when I spent that time in deep contemplation.

And now, five years later, I am once again about to begin a period of commuting…

Up and over the Blue Ridge and over to the Piedmont several times a week, ninety minutes each way from now until December. I have mixed feelings about spending my life energy in a car. Yet the opportunity calls me and the opportunity is on the other side of the mountain.

When I was younger, it was fairly easy for me to make a decision. I had a better sense of “choose this” and if you don’t like it choose something else. And now… I still believe that… but there is a subtlety that makes choosing more difficult and if I am honest, there is a sense of being over half a century on this earth that shifts things for me. Time moves more slowly now and more quickly both.

The exuberant energy that carried me to my middle passage visit to the Swamplands, slowed and deepened into two four year cycles of depth work. And as I come out of the second cycle of depth work, I am moving more slowly and deliberately weighing things differently now. So the decision to commute was a difficult one to choose.

Part of what made me choose this is that I have just had two six week sessions with Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Her Mother Night series at SoundsTrue and following that the first of her epic opus The Dangerous Old Woman. I now have twelve sessions that are each about two hours long. A FEAST of heroic proportions. And I find that I can’t sit still and listen to the sessions. Yet… with a commute… with hours on the road each day… yes… that was part of what shifted the balance into choosing the distant opportunity.

So now, after a week of rain, the sun is out – metaphorically and literally – and the garden is calling me.

And you? What is your process for decision making? and has it changed as you age?


Patience and Timing

April 17, 2010

So many times in my life, I have wished time away – both future time and times in my history and it has taken me so very long to be in time, to be settled with timing and  to be present. I know that phrase is a bit overused – and hesitate to use it now – but that sense of full awareness of this moment and only this moment.

So imagine my delight as I listened to this podcast interview with Clarissa Pinkola Estes as she talks about her creative process, the writing of the Dangerous Old Woman, and the timing of the release of the material. So many of us who are gathered ’round listening to Mother Night and now the Dangerous Old Woman, have a sense that there are “enough” of us now who are ready to do this deepening of the archetypal work.

Gratitude to Clarissa, Dr. E., CPE and to the Wild Woman and her twin the Dangerous Old woman for all they are bringing to women in this moment.


Moist Times – The Scent of Water Alone

March 14, 2010

As I sit at my computer here on Sunday – contemplating the week ahead, it is raining. Yesterday the creek started to flow out of its banks and then settled in and stayed at bank full for hours. The new neighbors have small children. It has been awhile since there were little ones on this side of the creek. When we moved in, many of us were childless and now most of us have launched our children out into the world. So it surprised me to hear the sounds of little voices running up and down the creek. When my boy was little, we used to make boats and launch them in the water and chase them downstream. The creek is dry most of the year – but in these moist times, it runs, filled with muddy water, which eventually reaches the Chesapeake Bay and then out into the Atlantic.

I am taking a break from writing – I have been writing all day all week and I am now avoiding those words that must be written to summarize and tie this all together. Instead I have been listening – listening to some of the teaching stories of Mother Night – and looking forward to the Dangerous Old Woman. And here is a taste of what is to come.

The Scent of Water Alone

Wherever the land is dry and hard
you could be the water
or you could be the blade discing the earth open.

Or you could be the acequia,
the ditch that carries water
from river to the fields of flowers.

Or you could be the just engineer
mapping the dams that must be taken down
and those which would serve the venerable all
instead of only the very few.

Or you could be
the battered vessel
for carrying the water by hand.

Or you could be the one who stores the water
the one who protects it
the one who blesses it.

Or you could be the one who pours it
or you could be the tired ground that receives it.
or you could be the scorched seed that drinks it.

Or you could be the vine,
green growing overland
in all your wild audacity.

From Session Four of Mother Night by Clarissa Pinkola Estes