Fun. Unfathomable fun. He is becoming every minute of the day.
I am nightowling it here again. I just can't seem to go to sleep at a decent hour lately. I've been journalling as if I'm going for a world record and my eyes are hot in my head under my glasses. I've done little this year save for packing and talking about packing. My creative cycle is coming back around. It's pecking at the pet door while I sleep, flashing colors across my eyelids fear-and-loathing-like and threatening to do something if I don't start expressing on a surface.
Creativity is so fickle, like the best and worst lovers I've ever had. So pushy! It is only slightly satisfied with a colorful sketch, a bit more full when I fill page after page, running the ink out of pens, elated when I spread out all of the art supplies and magazine cuttings, and over the moon for elaborate plans detailing my next big idea. During this dengue of a full moon holiday, a day without some form of creation is worse than not eating all day. It has a mind of its own.
I had cold cereal for dinner if that tells you anything.
I know that nothing has ever been real
without my beholding it.
All becoming has needed me.
My looking ripens things
and they come toward me, to meet and be met.
I love this book by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman because it includes animals not often in kids books, a bouncy yet satisfying rhythm for a toddler, features yummy food mentions, (this always has the ability to stir something wonderful in my core, as in the teacakes eaten in Narnia and golden lembas of Middle Earth) great illustrations, and friendship.
I'm reading for me, too:
I made vegetable pie again, except this time I added in a can of corn chowder from Trader Joes and I stir fried the veggies instead of boiling. Mmmm. Even better.
Can't live without tea.
Can't live without this face lighting up my life every day, from the lion roars in the morning to the monkey calls in his highchair.
If we try to undo or change something about ourselves in our lifetimes, I think it may be because we learned it (probably at a very, very young age) and it has become a part of us. This, in it's negative state, feels a bit parasitical. I find that I want to pick off certain qualities about myself that are deeply ingrained, like an elusive late summer chigger in my sock that is so difficult to locate and so irritating.
Personality disorders (as defined by the DSM) are pretty serious, but in their descriptions are lots of little features, which someone may possess as a trait, without having an actual disorder. I find it enlightening to know what causes these features to come forward in a person. Childhood experiences seem to form such a huge basis for how we interpret what happens to us and how we cope.
I have an alcoholic parent and grandparents, (so common, of course), so much of my healing deals with looking at the borderline personality. This is strictly my opinion, but I would have to wager that a very large portion of alcoholics are borderlines or have those traits. (They can go from loving to scary pretty quickly, causing a child to be anxious while waiting for the parent's mood to shift. Those who are impulsive spenders, reckless with money or sex, overeat, abuse substances, ruminate about other's words and actions, self mutilate, rage on friends, family or strangers, engage in feeling really guilty, shameful or self-loathing may also fall into this classification. There is much much more to it that this, but this is what stands out for me.)
This is a lot of unraveling to do in one lifetime.
Back to what we bring to our experiences(stay focused!): I have avoided saying certain things to my son because I have a negative association about them. "Ssshhhh" is one such thing we don't say around here. I perceive it as rude and as shutting down anothers feelings and words. If he has something to say, I want to hear it-no matter how it might hurt my ears. Iwant to comfort him without shutting down his process.
If you are a fan of Harvey Karp, then you know that Ssshhh is one of his famous 5 S's to create The Happiest Baby on the Block. I know Harvey's onto something. All of our friends think he is brilliant-and if you see the babies respond to his S's, melting like magical little malted milk balls in his hand-a stranger's hand!-you would believe him, too. But I still don't dig that Ssssshhhhing word.
A friend recently pointed out how I'm bringing that negative association to the experience, so of course it's going to feel wrong and weird to me. How I love this friend! I'm still not going to Ssshh, but talking about how I came to believe what ssshhhing would result in was enlightening and I needed that!
Here are some of my favorite reads on the subject of psyche, personality, archetype:
She - Robert Johnson (and also He and We)
Four Archetypes - C.G. Jung
The Moon and The Virgin - Nor Hall
The Heroine's Journey - Maureen Murdock (a major goodie)
Women Who Run With the Wolves - Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Understanding the Borderline Mother - Christine Ann Lawson
In the last decade I have turned to these more times than I can count. There is a pattern here, in these selections, that myth and fairy tale are used to describe experiences and personality tendencies.
I read because I want to stop bringing that earlier mentioned "stuff" to how I interpret the world. I want to feel that inner spark within me helping me be more courageous, more in love with the truth.
I admit, I want to feel whole.
I generally stay out of discussions about God and religion, but with an atheistic husband, I tune in and see if I can learn something new.
The topic seemed to be about organized religion as child abuse, something I've never thought about. I'm from California! Eternal damnation is not discussed in the grocery lines as I imagine it might be elsewhere. And though I come from a line of quasi-baptisty-types, I've never actually been threatened with going to hell, even for the worst of my misdemeanors.
So the idea is that when little children learn about Hell and how you can get in there and not get out, and how very, very hot it surely is, it can be very frightening for them. I reckon they might envision the judgy "Hangman God" as Elizabeth Gilbert describes Him, sitting up on an ornate throne beyond the gates personally deciding the fate of naughty little children and slashing the heads off of thieves and such. I'd never thought about it, but this sounds really fucking nightmarish! I've never thought about what a child must think when they are threatened with eternal damnation.
Another weird thing that I didn't know was that atheists or those who question religion (i don't think he meant spirituality, mind you) cannot be elected to public office. Is this true?? Maggie, I know you will be able to enlighten me here. (Please note that I would have linked Maggie, but I keep getting redirected to some weird page with a dog and a scanty Santa on it.)
I'm on fire with the topics these days, but I'm just itching to see what you readers think. Could organized religion be considered child abuse? Go!
While I sat in this circle of deep-feeling women, so in touch with their sorrow, anger, shame + immense joy, triumph, and gratitude, I felt very blessed to have this in my life. I sit with women on a really regular basis and it saves my life almost every time. I am surrounded by women well versed in sacred ceremony, feminine ritual and healing. How in the world did I get here? I suppose it isn't a mystery at all, but it does seem a lifetime away from my life in the city six years ago.
In our circles, we do a round of sharing first (after ritual smudging & prayers), which used to be really difficult for me. Being vulnerable has been a problem for me until the last few years. The mistress of ceremonies had built a fire outside and in the new year tradition, we all brought along something to burn up and let go of. I actually brought four things! One woman wore a snakeskin printed shirt and pants over her black leggings and top and when she spoke of what she would be letting go (her grown children as well as the shame of many past events) she peeled off the garments and tossed them on the altar. So cool.
One of the aspects of gathering in sacred ceremony that I like best is journey work. Shamanic healers use journeys to travel to other realms of consciousness to bring back tools and wisdom for the tribe. We typically use it to locate help and then, in sharing about them, give that information to those sitting with us to ponder as well. Helping oneself evolve is also, to me, of great help to the near and dear ones to us. As I see it, everyone benefits on this path of growth and healing.
Journey work is not always easy for me. My mind gets in my way, so I'm often nudging it off the path to try to be more open to the vision. Sometimes the process whizzes along like a dream, others limp along until a spark ignites and I can get to work.
In this particular journey, I met a guide whom I have never travelled with before, the giant tortoise. I think of turtle medicine to be about slowing down, so I was dazzled when I rode this giant reptile as he plodded along steadily, without being slow at all. His giant, elephant like feet clomped and I splayed over his shell, admiring the colors and striations as the events of my life passed along beside us on the blue and sandy evening landscape. I was in no hurry to get anything done, a huge lesson in patience that I need in this realm bigtime. I experienced some other unfamiliar sensations that don't happen often for me, also, with shapeshifting. My neck began to scale over as I lay my cheek on the shell, and I felt his medicine come into my body. We conversed about meditation and how reconnecting each day, each hour-to be exact, with my intention is what I must do in order to see that intention manifest. He also offered me some pink jasper for earthly assistance. I have this thing about clutching rocks, which the turtley friend in my unconscious was obviously privy to.
Tortoise medicine is a reminder that we will succeed in time over the burdens and changes occuring in life. They also tell us that we never face anything that we can't handle. They point to primal senses, rhythms and using skills appropriately. They ask us to focus on life's essential needs when we feel overwhelmed or hectic.
When the drumming callback arrived, I was still dialoguing squawkily with Mr. Tortoise. As I scurried up the rabbit hole and back to consciousness, I heard a horse whinny. The house mistress had put her beloved Sundance down on Wednesday, and I do believe he was galloping across the valley of my journey as I returned to her living room.
Wishing each of you all of the tools required for you to see the magic waiting for you in 2007.