Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: December 2014

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Flutter

In reflecting on 2014, I've tried to go back and make a timeline of all the things that we did. But none of it seemed to stick. Nothing seemed particularly newsworthy, at least as a year-end reflection anyway. When I went a bit deeper, I realized that the only thing that really had any import--to me--the undercurrent that informed much of my year ended, without ever having truly begun. Her name was Pilar. She came to me in a dream, a voice, little signs and symbols revealed over time, letting me know she was on her way. As a woman in my 40s, it's not unusual to want a child. A wish held over from younger years, a dream deferred by heartbreak after heartbreak, or perhaps just a cultural conditioning never quite left behind. Still, after marrying late in life, the idea began to knock on the door of the heart, again. But more than knock, she announced herself. And my husband and I, we listened. In fact, we welcomed her with prayers and songs and lots of fun trying. More than one person approached me asking if I was pregnant. One person even called out across a crowded room, "hey mama!" And Pilar herself, kept communicating, kept making contact. Meanwhile, we continued praying and singing and trying. Then the flutter. I felt it. I knew--over and over and over again. Every month. I knew I was pregnant; and then, I wasn't. Until finally in September, the flood. The flutter had been stronger than usual, that's true. But I was so accustomed to its monthly turning in my womb that I didn't really get my hopes up. Nothing had happened yet and Pilar's voice, once so insistent, had grown silent. Or had I simply grown too busy to listen? Anyway, one September evening, the flutter became the flood and I realized I must have had a miscarriage. Looking into that overwhelming red stain, seeing that edge of white membrane, I understood it was over. I knew it was done. We wouldn't keep trying. I would never be a mother. Pilar had simply been a whisper, a voice of pure love, an experience of deep healing. This isn't to say she wasn't real; it was all very real. And yet, there is nothing to point to and say, look, this is what happened to us, to me, this year. When I told my mom, she said, "Are you okay?" And I realized, maybe for the first time, that perhaps I'm not. I haven't been able to cry, really cry, for months. Like something inside me knows that if I start, I won't stop. And yet, at the end of the day, life is good, sweet even. It's just this ghost I'm living with.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Age of Innocence Lost

I realized as I opened up this page that it had been nine months since my last post. I could have had a baby by now--but I didn't. Instead, I went on a couple of tours, taught in a few teacher trainings, saw my niece and nephew both begin their families, and lived through the loss of a few animals. It's been a year of great hardship for many people; and a year of blessings for me. It's also been the most traumatic year for children in recent history, which is why I opened up this page to put down a few thoughts. More than 500 children were killed in the siege against Gaza this summer; 200 girls were stolen by Boko Haram in Nigeria; and yesterday, yesterday more than 130 children were killed, execution style, in their school rooms in Pakistan. Meanwhile here in the states, children are killed by the Police, regularly, or by guns in some horrific act of violence, just infrequently enough for us to forget to do anything about gun laws in our society. Last night I witnessed my husband weep as we chanted and sang and tried to come to some kind of grace, some kind of understanding, around what had happened that morning in Pakistan. My husband said innocence--how could they kill so many innocents. And then I understood in part. Innocence is about the future; and it's the antidote to shame. When one is so filled with shame and rage because of innocence lost, then destruction is the only path. I know this from my experience as an alcoholic. My destructive behavior was fueled by my loss of innocence and the depth of the shame I experienced because of that loss. My redemption was found in the words of Guru Gobind Singh, "Wahe Guru ji ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru ji ki Fateh". My innocence belongs to God; my victory belongs to God. (this is just one common translation) And in those words, I understood my innocence was not my own to keep or to lose. And in that realization, I reclaimed my innocence and began the path to a profound healing that continues even today. When an individual, or a society, targets children, it is targeting it's own shame; it's own loss; it's own future. It's acting from a hidden agenda that is so deep and so destructive, our teacher, Yogi Bhajan said, it's best left to lie dormant. But somehow we have awakened this beast--here and abroad--it is raging across the landscape, tearing out people's hearts, destroying people's hope. What kind of vanguard is there against such a monstrous rage? What kind of medicine could possibly be the remedy? Hope, of course, and an innocence renewed, a vigilant and irrespressible dedication to the future. Cherdi Kala! There is a mantra that Yogi Bhajan gave to restore our innocence. Let's practice it together for the next 40 days and invite a renewed sense of innocence within ourselves and hopefully, ignite a light that will spread around the world. Sat Narayan Wahe Guru, Hari Narayan Sat Naam Sat Narayan Wahe Guru, Hari Narayan Sat Naam Sat Narayan Wahe Guru, Hari Narayan Sat Naam Sat Narayan Wahe Guru, Hari Narayan Sat Naam Sat Narayan Wahe Guru, Hari Narayan Sat Naam Sat Narayan Wahe Guru, Hari Narayan Sat Naam Sat Narayan Wahe Guru, Hari Narayan Sat Naam Sat Narayan Wahe Guru, Hari Narayan Sat Naam