Monday, January 24, 2011

Maybe not

Little by little is something my friend Manuel says often. He is a very determined person who can pretty much accomplish anything he wants simply because he never gives up. I am so in awe of his ability to stay focused, keep his eye on the prize. Wow.

Me? I'm a quitter. OK, maybe I'm being too harsh. Let me say it more compassionately - when I see that something isn't working, my tendency is to cease and desist rather than continuing to bang my head against whatever it is keeping me from achieving my goal. Some things are not meant to be, right? Well??

Sometimes this approach really works. I know people (not Manuel) who have invested years and years of energy into jobs, relationships, situations that never went anywhere. Sometimes you really DO need to know when to fold 'em. When energy is stuck, in many cases, my tendency is to break up that stuckness.

I'm thinking about this today because I have been balking at the idea of watching the rest of the BBC series on Auschwitz. I watched two episodes which I found fascinating. Here on the blog I wrote that learning more about its history "only made me want to throw up once or twice." A couple of days after posting that statement, I was stricken by the stomach flu during which I wanted to do nothing but throw up for two days. The timing of these things feels significant to me, and, too, the body never lies. Did the mere act of touching the energy of Auschwitz make me literally ill? Clearly there was something traumatic about it.

In fact I'm balking at the idea of going to Poland. I'm afraid of how powerful that journey might be, that it might reduce me to jello. I'm experiencing some serious doubts.

I sent out a prayer this morning, a petition for some guidance around this. What came to mind immediately was the voice of Manuel, saying, "Little by little." I think that means I don't have to launch back into the BBC history of Auschwitz right away, yes? What do you think?

Bloody hell, even the preparation for this trip is SO strenuous. If I go, IF, may it be worth all this struggling, please! May it be so.


ellen abbott said...

didn't you hear a voice that the trip would heal you? and I believe you reported that someone who went says the energy is dissipating so perhaps the actual visit will be less traumatic than your preparation. and why the need to 'prepare' by immersing yourself in the horror? perhaps you don't need to prepare by absorbing all that horror, you just need to release.

Elizabeth said...

Reya, it took me two attempts to get to Poland!
One year I went to family in England and wanted to go to Poland. There were horrible floods in Poland that year so I went to Bruges instead. Bruges is a most lovely medieval city in Belgium......I managed to get to Poland the next year.
It was unbelievably hard to get there
and then I only stayed in one city, Wroclaw.
Yes, your body does send you messages.

Re knowing when to give up. I think I sometimes give up too soon.
Have had a horrid week of misunderstandings and disappointments......
things slightly better today.

Think carefully about the Poland thing. I keep talking to Polish people here and they saw Crakow is splendid.
Found an old photo of my grandparents' house in England circa 1941. Asked Aunt who the army officers were. "Two very Polish nice chaps we had billetted on us. Very sad, when one of them went home he discovered his whole family had vanished." Wife and four kids.
I have in my desk the handwritten ms of a Polish man captured by the Germans in 1939 and imprisoned the whole war. Uncle of friend of mine.
Wants me to edit for publication---but not sure who would want to publish it though fascinating stuff.
So many Poles came to England.
Sorry to be so long and boring.
Nothing to do today!
"Oh two very nice

Reya Mellicker said...

Elizabeth you are NOT boring. Thanks. And thanks to you, too, Ellen. yes the voice said Auschwitz would heal me, but even with The Voice, I am always skeptical. I might have misheard, you know?

The BBC series is quite dry and historical with very few of the awful pictures/films and such - mostly re-enactments of meetings by those who built and ran Auschwitz, at least so far!

I'll work more on the release aspect of it all. Thanks.

The Bug said...

Sometimes when I'm contemplating something that might be difficult or scary (deciding to go to Africa for two years) I just jump in without a lot of thought. Process the application. Sign up for the job/class. Just do it. This has had mixed results for me, but mostly I'm glad I did it that way. Because otherwise I might not ever try anything.

On the other hand, I am not as sensitive as you are, so I'm not as affected by missteps.

Cyndy said...

If you go, it will be worth it, although it might be in a completely different way from what you expect.

I'm with Ellen about the preparation. Sometimes I think it's easier to "feel" a place when you can react to it spontaneously rather than building your expectations with a lot of advance preparation. I know that might sound a bit lazy...

I visited the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam without really knowing what I was in for or even planning to go and I'm glad I did it that way. Every situation is different and I think you'll know what to do when the time comes to decide.

Pauline said...

Sometimes thinking about a thing too much gives it an energy of its own. Once you make the decision to go or not go, let it go and see what comes into your line of vision next as a result of your decision...

Vicki said...

Do you think you are pushing to hard at the idea OR maybe this is not the year to go? It seems to me there are too many unanswered thoughts going through your head and heart. Just stop and smell around you and use your gut instinct to find and follow your heart on this. Does that make sense at all? Much love and luck to you!

Linda Sue said...

Darling GIRL- I know exactly how you feel though you are more intellectual about it than I- I am a total weenie- When we were in DC I hid under my coat as the bus passed by the H museum of horror- I could not walk by it- had to walk on the street up from it. I can not turn on the Television anymore if anything even remotely associated with it is on- I am not becoming desensitized, in fact I am getting worse- just telling you this makes my stomach churn and my throat close...BUT , you, with your gift of healing and reckoning - important to you personally and to the geographical location- you gotta go....More like yourself could go at one time and give it a good sweep! Some cleansing- Get some people to go with you - you know the ones...
Your first photo has me all a flutter. What a WINNER! Next time you are introduced to someone as "this is Reya- therapist,philosopher, writer, photographer and artist" You must nod enthusiastically about the "artist" part.You are.

Jo said...

I know this; first, some of the most lovely people I know are from Poland, noble and sharp and SO very smart. A trip to Poland would be worth it to get to know the people, most of whose families (not that far removed) suffered so much.

Second,you are enlightened and sensitive. You know what went on. You know how hideous and dark it was. Would being there and seeing the physical evidence of it help you in some way?

I don't think I could bring myself to experience Aucshwitz. I have a very hard time allowing the dark side of human nature into my soul for any reason, and I question how healing it could be. But I am a weenie of the highest order. I could definitely be wrong.

In the end, only you can know what you must do.

I will petition that you recieve divine wisdom about this issue.

janis said...

How Blessed that you "CAN" go. I say go for it, if you are able.
My niece returned today Israel. She spent two weeks there with a group from college. She was also blessed to study in Germany for one year, traveling much during that year.
I spent a "day" in a Mexican boarder town. I spent a couple of hours in Canada. I haven't even been to many States. Im 48. I haven't grabbed opportunity when able and now wish I had. As new opportunities come, I will try to do what I can to see what I can.

steven said...

i can't face suffering on the scale that war and genocide brings. there's no denial there - i've seen the photographs, the footage, read the books, taught it even. it's a lesson. a learning, a place to go when we think we're all that. i admire you for facing into the wind of its unspeakable horror, for looking straight into the eyes that saw for the body politic, even as you grab the hand holding the hammer that tried to crush the beauty of an entire culture. i admire you reya. of course there are repercussions that you will feel from all of this because you have opened the door to all the dark and light angels inhabiting the space. each person has to find their shadow, name it and then hold it close. i have known one polish woman in my life. she plays virginals on a spinnet. she bakes the most beautiful food. she glows. but most of all, she misses her home. so deeply! steven

Reya Mellicker said...

All of y'all who think you're weenies: you are NOT. Just sayin'.

I'm going to write some more about this tomorrow, why I am called there (as far as I know, or maybe as far as my imagination knows).

I have not made up my mind about any of this. I think you're right, Pauline, that things take on an energy of their own. This trip to Krakow has been in the making for several years.

Linda Sue - you and me, girl, we were in the camps. This is what I'm looking at now, just want to be with it, that's all. Just be with it.

Thanks to all for your insights, wisdom and encouragement. Wow.

Angela said...

Reya dear, you know how I feel about all this, me being a German. I have to live with this history. But what I really and truly admire in the Polish people of today is, they can live with US! They are open and friendly and can talk about the past, it is amazing.
I will wait for your next post to write more. Just wanted to say hi.
Love from Angela

Barbara Martin said...

Reya, you'll be just fine in Poland. The trip will be so enlightening for you. The Archangel Raphael will accompany you...just ask. He's excellent with travel arrangements and safety, apart from healing. There's no need for hesitation when you have angels assisting you.