Saturday, August 12, 2017

Labyrinth

I’m apprehensive as we crawl into the cave, cool and dark.  A stark contrast to the bright heat of the dusty Mexican summer outside.  The curtain swishes closed, and there’s silence.  Just the breathing of strangers like pulsing spiders on the walls.  Women I didn’t know just a few days ago.  Our challenge?  Pure emotion.  No stories, no spinning.  Just let the feelings flow through us without holding onto them.  Spontaneous chanting starts like a low hum, vibrating somewhere deep in my core.  Some are singing.  One woman lies plastered flat on the dirt floor.  I’m aware that tears are streaming down my cheeks as a gut wrenching sorrow envelopes me like delicate fingers.  I’ve seen this look in my eyes before.  Somehow the darkness reflects it back to me like a mirror.  LOSS.  An emptiness in my belly I’ve learned to ignore swells outward until I feel I might burst.  My skin pulls tight like the rubber on an inflated balloon, like stretch marks.  And I realize, I’m back in Angelito’s country.  Though his tiny body is buried under an adobe floor high in the mountains of Oaxaca, his spirit can still find me here.  It permeates my whole being.  I’m not done grieving.  I can hear my own hollow voice crying out “Why did you take my baby boy from me?”  The intensity of my plea startles me.  But before I succumb to the familiar tug of heart ache, I hear a calm voice, “Story.  Stay in the sensation.  Where is it in your body?  Let it pass.  Don’t cling!”   Then it rushes like water, washing over me from a deep underground spring.  Fresh and clean.  Peace.  My legs spread, knees high, palms open, head tilted back on the cool earth of the wall holding me.  Ready to give birth...

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The bell sounds, and we tumble out into the abrupt glare of sunlight.  Pour ourselves into a labyrinth carefully designed with stones and crystals.  Stumble upon carved faces staring up at us along our path, pick our way past ant hills and wandering turkeys.  One by one, we make our way, lost in our separate worlds.  Now we let the stories unfold…  Follow the unwinding threads… “I’m not worthy to be a mother.  I failed my son.  If I blink, let down my guard, mess up in any way; I might lose my children now.”  FEAR.  “I was being punished for leaving my spiritual path.  I lost my way, cut myself off from my source…”  Hmm... a creative miscarriage?  Ahhh, that’s how this is related…my writing.  “This is how we keep ourselves from flying!  It’s such an old story.  I can’t believe I’ve fallen for it!  Samsara smoke.  Take away our stories, take away our power.  This is why I must write!  Give us back our voices!”  ANGER.  “Why have you been complicit in keeping yourself subjugated, subdued, submissive?”  PAUSE.  Wait.  That’s another story!  You are still beating yourself up, judging, tearing yourself down.  COMPASSION.  This goes deeper than you.  This is a long, deep HIStory of denigration, my HERitage ripped from me.  A systematic GENDERcide.  Stop the cycle!  Retell the story.  Pick up the pen.  Reclaim your space. It’s TIME to let Eve off the hook.  She’s been the scapegoat long enough J

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I am the earth in which you bury your seed.
My breast nourishes the young.
You take and don’t replenish.
I grow tired and listless in your depleted soil.
It’s time to gather my strength.
Call in my power.
Feel the ground tremble,
The sky slice open.
It’s time to reclaim my sisters, my daughters, my MOTHER
Feed the earth with our laughter as well as our tears
Hand in hand we grow strong
Dance barefoot around the fire,
Match its energy so we can walk across hot coals unscathed.
Relish the soothing cool of the wet grass.
We’re coming home.

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Now for clarity, TRUTH at the feet of Guadalupe.  Integration.  You must know pain to truly know love.  Must be broken to be healed.  None of this was a mistake!  You are being molded exactly as planned.  Each spiral, each revelation, just closer to center.  There are no detours.  Just training.  I can feel the energy swirling up from the earth rejoicing as prodigal daughters return to their rightful place in the sun.

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Last stop.  Set your INTENT.  I write LET GO on the wooden shaft of an arrow and again on a block of thick wood.  Hesitantly point the sharp end of the arrow at the soft indentation of my throat.  Shaking, I look for reassurance in my own written words on the block and then lock my sight in the blazing determination of my new TEO sister’s eyes.  They are gathered around me, giving me strength.  I lean into my intention.  It is time!  From deep in my core my whole being cries out “Let go!” and I hear the arrow snap as I fall into the arms of a new me. 


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