Thursday, September 20, 2012


The Apotheosis of Washington. Looks like he's waving at us, doesn't it?

Anyone who ever looks at this blog understands perfectly how much I adore the U.S. Capitol dome. It is the head of the United States (capitol means head, you know). That big ole iconic head anchors my village of Capitol Hill, orients us, watches over us. It is graceful and intricate and always looks good which is one reason it is featured in my pictures so often.

I love the outside of the dome, but I especially love the inside, the rotunda. It is a magnificent room, a huge room. In the very center of that room, the four quarters of the District come together. Once upon a time there was a hole at the center because they kept an eternal flame burning in the crypt below the rotunda floor. It is covered now with some white stuff that doesn't match the marble floor in any way. On that spot, Lincoln lay in state after he was assassinated, JFK, too.

You would think that with all the powerful, swirling energy, the rotunda would feel crazy, but it doesn't. Maybe because it's big enough to hold all that swirling and coming together, there is a great sense of calm in that room. It's big enough to hold the history. It is so cool!

Gazing up into the dome is always an experience of awe and wonder for me. The painting, the Apotheosis of Washington, is truly fabulous in every way you can image. I stare until I get a crick in my neck, stare some more. I can't take my eyes off dear George gazing down from his perch in Heaven. 

Prior to 9/11, I used to go into the rotunda at least a couple of times a week, to sit and meditate, gaze into the paintings around the perimeter and the Apotheosis and enjoy the serenity in the room.

On August 17, 2001, a group of my cohorts and I cast a triangle of stillness around the center of the rotunda. That triangle crystalized in some way we hadn't expected. All of us involved in that ceremony could "see" the crystal shape filling the dome. It was really interesting. 

On September 8, 2011, the last time I was allowed to enter the rotunda, the crystal inexplicably vanished. Three days later, everything changed. After that, the rotunda was closed to the public except for special tours. My heart was broken - for so many reasons, of course - but including the fact that I no longer had access to my very favorite room.

Since 9/11 I've only been in the rotunda three times. Once with a friend who works for Congress, once on the official tour, and yesterday to witness the Congressional Gold Medal presentation to Aung San Suu Kyi.

I'm in awe of her, her fortitude and conviction. It was an honor to be invited to the ceremony.

But can I be honest here? Far better than witnessing the ceremony was the fact that I was inside my favorite space in Washington, in the galactic center of our city, sending Reiki into the center and up into the Apotheosis, gazing at the paintings, luxuriating in the serenity, feeling the layers of history gently swirling around and around.

God I love that room.

I sat five feet away from the center of the vortex yesterday. It looks like it's glowing, doesn't it?


Kerry said...

Reya, this is positively ahh-mazing. Lucky you, to be able to feel what you do. And how cool to be invited to the medal ceremony of such a person.

Steve Reed said...

Wow, how amazing to have seen the Aung San Suu Kyii ceremony! (And of course, to be back in your favorite space.)

As many times as I have been to Washington, I never actually entered the capitol. Isn't that crazy?

steven said...

whoosh! what a story - what an experience - what a person to be in the presence of reya! so very lucky you. steven

Reya Mellicker said...

Steve when next you're here, we will figure out a way to get in there.

Reya Mellicker said...

Yes I am very very lucky!