That's the observatory at the Air and Space Museum in the background. Nice of the boy to enter the frame at the perfect second, hey?
I tried to watch the film "Downfall" last night, about Hitler's final days. I love Bruno Ganz and indeed he did a fine job playing the part. Also he looked really Hitlerish - except for his eyes. He has the kindest eyes. It was not possible to imagine him as der fuhrer. I'm sure it was a good movie but all I could see were those very kind eyes.
The Sufi acupuncturist told me Hitler suffered from chronic, life-long constipation. That is so apt - belonging in the realm of You Can't Make This Stuff Up. He channeled something very pure; he was a "fulcrum" as Pandora described it. Whatever that toxic energy was that he channeled, it came through his overstuffed, poisonous bowels, not from his heart, certainly. The acupuncturist says you can hear it in his voice (one of the ways they diagnose in Chinese medicine). You can see it in his eyes, too, in those old films. There is no goodness in his eyes. In fact in every film I've seen of him, Hitler appears to be a shell, not even human. I used to think of him as an empty shell, but it's more accurate to say he was a shell stuffed with shit. Good lord.
One revelation I've had in the last 24 hours is that the point of going to the Holocaust Museum wasn't in order to prove to myself I'm brave, or to in some way become a better person or whatever. In fact, it wasn't about me at all! (When will I learn?) I was there for two reasons. First and foremost, walking through the exhibit was a way to pay my respects to all who died in that terrible firestorm. When we entered the museum, Pandora said, "I think we owe it to these people to be here." It didn't sink in initially (I am a very slow processor of information). But yesterday afternoon I finally understood what she was saying. Indeed.
The second reason was to connect with my great benefactor and teacher, and to meet her powerful, beautiful spouse. It turned out to be a wonderful experience having nothing to do with how brave I am. Hmm.
Similarly, the tattoo experience did not in any way show me I'm brave. There was nothing painful or scary about it. I did face my fear of commitment (am still wrestling with it - should I have done it? Is it too big? Should I have just had line work? Is the color wrong? etc etc etc etc), but I also faced a whole set of cultural stereotypes that were dead off.
The tattoo itself is not decorative. I thought it would be, but it isn't. It's powerful and surprisingly personal. The luminous Mrs. Lipp took some photos while I was receiving it - beautiful pictures that I knew immediately were too intimate to post publicly. I had a friend take a picture that I posted on Facebook, but I was so uncomfortable about it, I finally deleted the picture. It was as if I had posted a picture of the inside of my heart. Having it out there on the network was so wrong. Very interesting!
Many thoughts and revelations are rising into consciousness about my two days of ordeal, many of them revolving around what I thought I was doing versus what actually went down. As of today I believe I was spontaneously initiated during those days. Into what I can not tell you as I didn't ask for an initiation and did not plan the ritual that simply unfolded of its own accord, or so it seemed. Pandora, her spouse and Fernando were my initiators, inadvertently perhaps. I even received a new name - that's a classic piece of an initiation.
My mind is always the last to understand. Hence, I'll be thinking about this for awhile.
Life is good and I am grateful, even when I don't get what's happening, which is often. Shalom!