The day the children were murdered in Connecticut was the day my sister and I dedicated my mother's gravestone. We didn't know anything about the shootings, of course, as we were not flipping through Facebook on our iphones while at the cemetery. Good lord, no.
It was a gray day, dark because of the heavy, low overcast that must have been very thick indeed. I remember the gray, but I can't tell you if it was cold or hot, or if Brother Wind was hanging around. I can almost always remember the weather, but not last Friday's weather, nope. I can tell you that, above the weather, the moon was brand new and the sky was well washed due to the Geminid meteor showers the night before.
We were not above the weather, however. We were in the weather. You could even say we were the weather, dancing a moment that was outside of time/space in every way you can imagine - not just for me. My sister experienced it too. Oh yeah.
Above the weather, on my way home yesterday.
I spilled some water on my mother's stone, and on my sister Karen's stone, too, (it's right next to my mother's). I remember my sister reading a beautiful dedication she had written on a folded piece of typing paper. I know I sang one of my favorite chants about spirit and time. We placed rocks on the stone as well as on my sister's stone. Please don't ask in what order these things happened. I can say for sure that the ritual unfolded perfectly, in a decidedly non-linear way.
It was a kind of spooky feeling, lying down on my mother's grave, but I did it anyway. The idea was irresistibly compelling. As I lay there, I let my inner eye gaze downwards, through the grass that's still brown from last summer's severe heat and drought. My point of view followed my gaze, down into the earth, past some bugs and the roots of the grass, past old remnants of weed roots and such, down into deeper ground where it was quiet and black. I couldn't sense the plain pine box or the caftan-like sheath, but I believe I found my mother's bones, felt the resonance of the shared DNA. I became serene when that happened. My living, beating heart became surprisingly calm. It was a beautiful and unfamiliar experience.
I could have stayed there for a long time, but as I have learned from many years of experience, contact with the dead should be brief. It's not good for my health or well being to spend too much time among those who have crossed through the veil, even those I love most dearly. There's a way in which it hampers not only me, but also holds back or constrains the dead. I can't explain how I know this.
Hence I got up, brushed the grass off my coat. My sister and I made our way to the car, drove off into the gray, gray day, inadvertently tracing arcs and spirals as we returned to the world of the living. The last sentence is my attempt to poetically say that after the dedication, we got lost, drove in circles, even while following the google maps app on my iphone. We both know Kansas City like the backs of our hands.
It was funny and it was bizarre. Eventually we found our way to familiar environs after which we sat down and enjoyed a delicious lunch.
It is done.
My friend, Guanyin of the Southern Sea, at the Nelson Atkins Gallery. I've been visiting with her since the early 1970s, whenever I can. She is so dear to me that I have a poster of her hanging in my living room. Here is a link to a beautiful blog post someone wrote about her.