Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Turn, turn, turn



Final Verse from Chapter 38 of the Tao te Ching

So the sage only looks at what is really real
He doesn't just look at the surface
He blows away the dust and drinks the water
He doesn't just go for the flower
But also for the roots and fruit

Blow away the dust, now:
Come to the living water.


I'm really beginning to get it - that summer solstice - for me at least - is about heartbreak. Yesterday I took some time to look at old journals, read old blog posts. It's fascinating, in a sad way, to see that every year at this time, I suffer a huge loss. What is up with that?

Last year it was Jake, the very worst thing that has ever happened to me. The day he died I came straight home from the vet and wrote a beautiful post about him. I'm still amazed I had the wherewithall to write that post. I was such a wreck that day and for months afterwards. This year I'm suffering another loss. Even an ice pack on my heart and a stiff drink after a serious sweaty cathartic walk did nothing to alleviate the heartache. And I'm writing writing writing. I'm powerless, apparently, to stop the flow of words.



I was thinking this morning about the sacrifice of the King, the old agrarian story of summer solstice, in which the king must be killed, his blood sprinkled on the ground, in order to ensure a good harvest. In the San Francisco spiritual community I was involved with, we built a wicker man at summer solstice from highly flammable materials, decorated him with all kinds of things: bits of old candles, roses, leftover spell workings and such. After a plunge into the FREEZING ocean, we lit the wicker man, watched him burn while singing or perhaps dancing around (you see, old habits die hard, hence my crazy shamanic dancing whenever I sense a flow of energy). At the end of the ritual, an archer shot an arrow, attached to a lit sparkler, out over and finally into the Pacific Ocean, as a salute to Brother Sun at sunset on the longest day of the year.

It was a beautiful ritual, though I'm thinking in some way I have taken in the concept of sacrifice perhaps too deeply. All the themes of solstice fun, you know, like a midsummer's night dream, frolicking in the woods, drinking honeysuckle necter, hanging out with the fairies? Doesn't resonate with me at all.

At summer solstice, I grieve, I do. Last year was awful. This year? Awful, too. As much as I detest the winter holiday season, it's clear that winter solstice is a much finer time for me. Bring on the shorter days, please? All this abundance is killing me!

26 comments:

Reya Mellicker said...

Should say: I'll be OK. I've been through many times of loss in this lifetime. Thank you for letting me cry on your shoulder.

jinksy said...

I can't help wondering how you manage to have so many shiny, car reflection pictures on your blog.Is it because of a life time quest to seek out the cleanest auto on the planet? Mind one of your tears doesn't spoil their shine...Here, borrow my handkerchief! :)

Eternally Distracted said...

I hope those shorter days come round soon for you...

Reya Mellicker said...

Jinxy, DC is FULL of cars. Lots of people wash their cars on a regular basis. Add to the equation me, walking around all the time - so yeah I seek out the cool reflections from clean cars. Doesn't seem like much of a life purpose, does it? But the images are cool.

Thanks Ms. Distracted. Just a few more days to go. I think I'll wear sunglasses around the clock from now until then!

ellen abbott said...

Sorry for your heartache sweetie. I have a friend who goes through the same sort of thing in December every year. It passes. The wheel does turn.

John Hayes said...

I'm sorry you're having a hard time, & will try to send some positive thoughts your way--this may help me in my own heartbreak situation--very interested in what you said in this post: have been dealing with a very painful loss three Junes in a row, which all hearkened back to another loss over 20 years ago--also in June. My therapist is working with me on grief issues--I'm beginning (very slowly) to see that I may be holding on to the grief because I feel as tho it's all I have left. Thanks for your thoughts--they're always inspiring, even when you're in the doldrums.

Lynne said...

Love the look of your new digs! What a cool looking house! Can't wait to see more pics once you move in.

Lately I have no energy and I am feeling very depressed. I wonder if it's the solstice?? I really don't have any other reason or excuse for the way I have been feeling.

Paul C said...

I always thought I was a bit odd for thinking about winter cold on June 21, the inexorable march to the shortest day. I appreciate your post.

Reya Mellicker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reya Mellicker said...

Paul - YES. Are you by any chance an Aquarian? One of my favorite astrologers, Rob Breszny, says for this week:

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): When I was growing up in Michigan, playing in the snow was a great joy. As much as I loved the arrival of each new spring, I endured a mourning period as the ground's last patch of dirty sleet melted. Once in late March, though, I talked my mom into letting me store five snowballs in the freezer. It wasn't until my birthday in late June that I retrieved the precious artifacts. I was slightly disappointed to find
they had become more like iceballs than snowballs. On the other hand,
their symbolism was deeply gratifying. I'd managed to invoke the tangible presence of winter fun in the summertime. I urge you to attempt a comparable alchemy, Aquarius. Figure out how to take a happiness you have felt in another context and transpose it into where you are right now.

Everton Terrace said...

I'm so sorry for your loss last year. I want to read the post but feel it would be better if I wait. My own dog, also "Jake", has not been well, we are in the process of trying to figure it all out. What can be done to fuel this energy drain? I always assume it's the Phoenix heat of summer that does it to me. Hope you are feeling better soon.

Linda Sue said...

Your body has memory at a cellular level- when you experience trauma of any sort , your body's calendar remembers and reacts to that which is not happening now but what happened then- it loses it's power (memory) over time.
Your photographic talent just sends me into raptures, I swear! Love how you SEE!

Julie said...

Reya, I sympathize with your loss. I'm giving up my hair (which may seem minor but added to other recent losses, it doesn't feel MINOR!) In preparation for the news, the Universe is asking us to give all those things that NO LONGER WORK FOR US. Old belief systems, relationships, careers, geographical locations—all need to be reevaluated and let go if no longer working for us. Argh! Takes guts.

Nancy said...

Interesting how this time of year affects you in this way. Geeze, we need to have a phone call sometime. Are you still going to head this way? Hope so!

The Pollinatrix said...

It makes sense to me that the time of most natural abundance would be the time that highlights loss the most. Huge things are afoot in our world.

I love your wicker man ritual!

Angella Lister said...

Oh Reya, what happened? I am sorry for your heartbreak.

If it helps, you have lots of company. Summer is the saddest season for so many of us. All that sunshine seems to mock the dark places within, making it so hard to embrace them. And embrace them we must!

I hope you feel better soon. In the meantime, rock with it, whatever it is. Someone once gave me that advice, and for some reason, it helps.

karen said...

oh, Jake. I can hardly believe it is almost a year already... winter solstice coming up for us, and I'm excited about the fractionally longer days to come! Been catching up on every post as usual - exciting news about your big move coming up! Absolutely awesome photos as ever, too x

Mrsupole said...

So sorry that this time brings bad memories but time will heal them. I think there are so many of us who miss Jake but I know it cannot equal your loss. Just know that we are there with you in spirit.

Spring and summer are the months of new birth and renewal and I used to love this time of year, but ever since menopause and my inability to handle heat, I just love winter and fall. That too could be part of your problem. The heat just makes it so hard for me to want to do anything. The only thing I do like is the longer days since it takes me forever to do anything at least if I am lucky it is still daylight for me to get out and smell the roses.

Hope you feel better and just light a small candle to burn the King in spirit and see if that helps.

God bless.

Reya Mellicker said...

Polly, Linda Sue, Angela! Wow. Thank you all. YES Julie, old patterns, almost set in concrete, are splitting into a million shards. I know the best response is to just relax and go with the energy. I'm trying!

Steve said...

Reya, I'm so sorry you're going through a rough time. What on earth happened? I'll be thinking of you!

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, Steve. I'll be fine. No worries.

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Like the others, I find it hard to believe Jake has been gone a year. I remember being so touched by his story and think about him from time to time -- even though I never met him I guess he was once not that far from me in San Francisco. Maybe we crossed paths and didn't know it. Your story of his loss and saying that his "energy" did not stay around is an image that has haunted me several times over the past year.

Barbara Martin said...

I have been reading a book by Brett Bevell where he comments on a quote by Carl Jung, about how the darkness is made conscious. That by shining a light on those dark places of one's life they are awakened and released into the spiritual light of the universe. A shedding of the old to make way for the new.

This is what is ongoing now, Reya, for everyone. The Cardinal Climax on July 31st is going to produce a powerful effect upon the world and its inhabitants by retuning the collective consciousness. Mega bout of energy for the good of humanity.

Tessa said...

I felt a deep sense of melancholy when I read of your aching sadness at this time. Even though I don’t know you in real life, I feel that I’ve known you for many aeons. You seem to have a presence in my life..…perhaps you do in the lives of everyone who delights in your blog, your words, your photographs and your spirit?

I’ve tip-toed in from time to time recently to meander happily, musingly, mutely through your posts. And of course, I see you most days on Face Book. Life has not been throwing strawberries in the air for me for a little while so sometimes I feel feeble, both physically and mentally. But finally I’m slowly beginning to learn to live with the monster who has decided to invade my body. It is what it is. Kwisha - finished, that's it! Life twists and turns….but the dance continues so I enjoy the music and the rhythm every single moment. I hope, very much, that you can too. Salani kahle, hamba kahle – stay well, be well.

Moonroot said...

Sorry you are hurting right now. I'm sending you a big hug across cyberspace.

Was very interested in your thoughts on Summer Solstice. I have noticed in my life August is always a time of Big Change. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always BIG 'The Tower' (tarot) type change. Am wondering what this August will have in store with all those powerful atrological happenings thrown into the mix...

Washington Cube said...

Well, Reya. Once again on the same cycle. Crying for days over old "stuff." And...photographed honeysuckle yesterday and pulled the blossoms to suck them. How...odd.