Thursday, June 17, 2010

Precipitousness


The Francis Scott Key bridge and my dear friend the Potomac River. Oh. And a kayaker.

I am standing on high ground, on a cliff close to the house where I live in dreams. I watch in horror as a tsunami sweeps over the landscape. All the lights go out and I am standing in total darkness. After that I'm in the house, trying to clean up after the flood. There's detritus everywhere, as well as the lackadaisical anonymous dream people who are (as always in my dreams) just sitting around, oblivious. There are also dogs, all of whom need walking. None of the dream people are the least bit concerned. I get mad, real mad. I open all the windows and start tossing things and people out. Wake up with my jaw clenched hard.

After that dream I was ready to launch into my shamanic dance of dispersal, the first step of soul retrieval, that is, until my spirit guides explained it is too soon for me to begin a massive campaign of healing. Some wounds must bleed for awhile, they tell me. Hmmm. When they know I'm hurting, they often pat me on the head, or so it seems. I really wish I listened more carefully to their advice. So, OK, I'll "bleed" for awhile. Bleed and clean out closets and cubbyholes, listen to music, cry some more. They have never steered me wrong. I think this time I will take their advice to heart. Why not?

It is true that pushing anything away too fast can create the boomerang effect in which whatever I was so eager to get rid of comes back to slap me around. Also true is that there's still another month before I move, so I will be living with stacks of things all around me for the next few weeks. There is no point in throwing them out the windows, eh? The anniversary of Jake's death is the 30th and though I would love to pre-grieve, you know, get it over with, apparently this is not possible.

Hanging out with great sadness, (as opposed to pushing it away) is an act of devotion. Enduring sadness with grace and compassion is almost what the sufi acupuncturist would call "saintly." Pema Chodron has taught me that the best approach to difficult emotions is to "soften" around them, rather than clamp down, get mad, or try to throw them out the window.

OK, OK. I see the path of devotion unfolding before me, and with respect for the big themes of loss and change I'm embodying, I will put one foot in front of the other. I'm no saint, oh no. God. No way. But I will try.


This is my friend Renee, "listening," in the center of the labyrinth at Georgetown Waterfront Park.

28 comments:

ellen abbott said...

Oh, I get it now. Your grieving the loss of your home and way of living. You are losing that, starting on a new home and way of living. I know exactly how you feel. When we first started this move I was so excited about it and also so sad. Leaving this house I raised my children in, leaving my children and grandchildren, not being there whenever they wanted to pop over (daughter and g'kids live next door). It was so hard and sad. the transition took us a long time. We're all used to the new way now, but it was tough getting here.

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

I still miss Jake too. Mixed in with the sadness, don't forget to celebrate his life. Go barking!

Reya Mellicker said...

I think I will do a little barking, Nancy. Thanks for the idea!

lakeviewer said...

Lots of changes in your life, changes you want and welcome; yet...

Reya Mellicker said...

Everything is a frickin' paradox, eh?

ewix said...

Change is so very weird and everything gets all churned up.

Yes, yes, celebrate Jake like mad.
He was a super duper dog.
Buster would send karmic good thoughts but he does not know about death and change.

Sending lots of love your way.

ewix said...

Change is so very weird and everything gets all churned up.

Yes, yes, celebrate Jake like mad.
He was a super duper dog.
Buster would send karmic good thoughts but he does not know about death and change.

Sending lots of love your way.

Jo Floyd Lucas said...

As I was telling a friend just yesterday, loving is never wrong,even when it comes with a good dose of heartache. This experience has somehow provided great benefit to your soul.

There is a purpose to everything, ESPECIALLY love. ONLY love. What is the purpose of this love that also brings pain? Each of us is obliged to seek our own answers to that question.

I'm glad you're not pressing too hard right now. We all need to experience the cleansing of bleeding before the healing comes.

Wow...'lackadaisical dream people.' Love that image!

Reya Mellicker said...

I love the word "churning."

Jo you are my guru, as you know. To be absolutely, scrupulously honest, I am not feeling too friendly towards love at the moment. I'll get there, but at least today ... I'm feelin' mighty bitter.

This, too, shall pass.

Jo Floyd Lucas said...

You aren't finished bleeding yet, sweet friend. You have every right to feel shortchanged and angry today.

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

So I guess maybe I won't punch a hole in the wall even though I am so tempted. (big breath). Thanks, Jo.

Dan Gurney said...

Your talk of bleeding called to mind Grandmother Earth's life-threatening hemorrhage in the Gulf of Mexico.

Calling it an "oil spill" hides its meaning and its truth.

Grandmother's bleeding/suffering/sadness is so great that I'm struggling to soften around it. But we need to bring healing energy up.

willow said...

I dream of flooding when I feel overwhelmed. Just go with the flow. I love "Some wounds must bleed for awhile." I'm writing it in my notebook. So true.

Butternut Squash said...

"The lackadaisical anonymous dream people who are (as always in my dreams) just sitting around, oblivious." There are a few of them haunting my dreams as well. Who are these people? Why aren't they paying attention?

Moving...I've done it too often lately. We spent a lot of time today sorting through boxes from last summer's move. Things we should have tossed. Well change happens, you just go with it and use the opportunity to get rid of as much as you can. You need the empty spaces for whatever is coming next.

Linda Sue said...

What doesn't make you stronger, kills you...I like that bleeding thing- it is so true- a sort of purge and cleansing, That's why I keep this jar of leeches by my bed side...just in case...Want some?
Change is always challenging and always IS.
Know that you are loved, Dear Reya- we be watchin out for you!

Reya Mellicker said...

Linda Sue you are soooo funny.

Butternut - yeah who the hell are they? I get so mad at them in dreams. Love your new profile pic.

Willow I AM overwhelmed, totally overwhelmed. Hoping that will shift after the solstice. Fingers crossed.

Barbara Martin said...

Reya, you are absorbing too much of the energy around you, especially with the healing. This is the reason you feel overwhelmed. You need to shut it off for awhile to ground yourself.

The move of your household is adding to these stressors. Take each day as it comes and be only aware of what is transpiring around you. You'll be fine.

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, Barbara. One day at a time!

steven said...

reya i've moved seven times in my life and each move has either brought about or been accompanied by the next phase of my life and some times it's been obvious and other times i've seen it long after it's started up or even finished. i sort of appreciate the suffering you're feeling in letting go of a place with associative connections. each of the places i've left - because it's been my growing place - has had a hold on me that has made me feel some rawness and then too the giddy euphoric joywhirl of making the new space my space and cluttering it up with the detritus of my life. patience reya. steven

Ronda Laveen said...

After reading this post and yesterday's, it seems that your bleeding at solstice does give renewal to the rest of the year. In some traditions, this is the end of the year rather than winter. Maybe your DNA is just surfacing. And dancing hard is such a great wake to shake out stuck energy.

I love the photo of your friend, Renee, listening in the center of the labyrinth.

Reya Mellicker said...

Patience?? Not my best thing, but I will try.

Ronda you would love Renee. She's awesome.

Karen said...

Just a quick note to say I'm sorry you're hurting. Be gentle with yourself. Sending a big, soft hug.

Karen said...

Just a quick note to say I'm sorry you're hurting. Be gentle with yourself. Sending a big, soft hug.

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, Karen! xx

Pam said...

Thank you Reya for the words...
"the best approach to difficult emotions is to 'soften' around them".
I didn't realize how often I said "I can do this" and "I have to bump it up", until my daughter pointed out that it wasn't as necessary,( or things not as daunting,) as I was making them out to be. I had a 'bracing' concept in mind, when really softening is the much better action and not half as exhausting.

C.M. Jackson said...

reya--I am sorry to hear you are hurting--I hope the coming days and move bring you peace--I miss Jake too! c