Sunday, September 13, 2009

Light, Peace, Circles of Energy and Mystical Things...

"When he left Amanda moved to the exact center of the room and resumed her posture. Her arms became very heavy, then lighter, then very light. What a peaceful place, she thought, feeling the room all around her. She smiled at her hands, concentrating on imagining the circles of energy. Amanda was a very good person to teach something mystical to. As old as she was she could still talk herself into believing anything she wanted to believe."

~ Ellen Gilchrist ~
The Annunciation

Circles of light, of peace, of mystical things...

When I began to write this piece, as I always do, I meditate and make notes about it for a few days, and then I find myself drawn to the book that has just the quote I need in it, and I really seldom know what that quote is when I hold the book in my hands. This is a very special book to me, and Ellen Gilchrist is one of my favorite writers.

A funny thing happened some years back. I had read and reread and taught Gilchrist's books to my students, and when I was able to go to a writer's conference that she was going to be at, I was elated, walking on air. As I arrived, over coffee and breakfast bits, I spilled something on my blouse, a silk ruffled blouse, one of my favorites, and I thought, "Oh Lord, I'm going to hear Ellen Gilchrist today, maybe even get a chance to see her up close, and now look what I have done."I was upset and near tears at the very thought.

I went into the Ladies Room to use a paper towel and water and tried to get it out. I heard a woman say, "Here, let me help you." I said "Thank you," and when I looked up it was... yes, Ellen Gilchrist herself. I nearly fainted and was sure I uttered some kind of nonsense, falling all over myself praising her books. I was in my 30's and I think I swooned. She kind of laughed, and was very kind.

Her talk to a large crowd was so inspiring that I took notes, and cherished them for a long time. I shared them with my writing students. Sadly, they are long lost, or packed away with tons of paperwork and old teaching materials, but I will never forget that moment, and she was light, and full of peace, and there was a mystical energy about her, both as she cleaned the spot out of my blouse, and spoke to a vast crowd who hung on her every word.

There is something about her novels and short stories that are down to earth and yet hold a kind of magic. She writes about a lot of the same characters in different books at different stages in their lives and different sets of circumstances. You get to feel that you know these characters, and I was changed forever that day. That mystery does exist, in her writing, in her life, and in the circle of energy all around her. I learned a lot that day, and though it was long ago and I don't remember much that she spoke about, I have a feeling when I think about it that makes me tingle all over.

Last time I wrote about being in a fugue state. It waxed and waned for a long time and I was not able to write here. I have three blogs. This one, which is truly the work of my heart, very sensitive, comes from deep inside of me, and none of the pieces can be written quickly or often. The other two are lighter, more fun to write, and I can conjure up those pieces much more quickly. If I write less here, the writing goes fathoms deep, and as it swims to the surface it has the quality of the Magic 8 Ball I had as I child. You asked a question and turned it upside down, and up from the murky depths you would slowly see an answer. Yes, No, or Maybe. And the way it worked was that it came up so slowly you couldn't even see the answer at first, and then as it began to rise it was blurry, and finally it came to the top, just under the glass, and you could read the answer. I was mesmerized by this.

I have come to see that fugue state as a Magic 8 Ball kind of time. It is a time of uncertainty, a time where there is are unanswered questions, things unknown. It can be frightening and make one feel as though they are losing their footing. I was acutely aware that my Circadian rhythms were all askew and I fought it at first and then let myself slip peacefully into it. I stopped feeling guilty about sleeping so much, and just let myself float, drift, dream, and let the answers rise. When I first started coming out of this state it was like the 8-Ball, the answer was coming from the murky depths, and couldn't be rushed.

I lie almost asleep and when I was very still, my breath having slowed to that even, peaceful place, I felt circles of energy around my body. I thought what a mystical sacred time it was. Instead of being afraid or depressed I began to feel a portal opening inside, and I finally realized what was happening... my body needed to shut down to prepare for the crossing of the threshold of new experience.

My mother is very bad this weekend, and when she passes there will be dramatic changes in my life, most of them very good, but at 55 I will have to take on responsibilities I never have had to do, and it is scary. I think part of me was trying to shut down, and part of me was in the cocoon time, resting, preparing, wiggling my way out of my old form, sitting too naked and wet to leave the cocoon. I am not, yet, all the way out, but I am drying out, less afraid, stretching and moving about and learning about my new form. I am getting ready to cross through the portal and take on the mantle of my new duties and responsibilities, and sometimes it makes me breathless, and at other times I feel a bit of excitement fluttering in the pit of my stomach.

The thing is, these changes will not happen until my mother passes and when I feel those flutters, I feel guilty. I don't want my mother to die, but I can't stand to see her in such pain, weakening, turning toward the place of reality that I'm not sure she even realizes but I have felt it in our last conversations. She sleeps more than she is awake. Just as I am coming out of my fugue state, I believe she is moving into hers. She, too, is getting ready to walk through another portal into a land unknown. She is a woman of deep faith, she is not afraid to die, but still nothing can prepare us for what lies on the other side, and we won't know until we get there.

We are both, my mother and I, preparing to cross our own thresholds, moving toward our own paths that are both scary and uncertain. As my mother moves toward the sleep that will take her to another land, my Circadian rhythms are normalizing and I am beginning to wake up. I've barely taken a nap this week, writing all day and making lists and doing internal preparation. It is a time when we will both launch into flight, passing each other as we move in opposite directions, or so I imagine, and I hope, for a single moment, we can touch fingertips as we pass. My mother is dying, and at 55 I am moving toward a kind of awakening and beginning to fully live in a way I never have. At the same time it is almost too much, and yet I come closer and closer to being ready.

We are both, my mother and I, circling around the time when we will will float toward the turning time, like a turn-style going into a building. One of us is going out and another going in and I'm not sure which one of us is going in which direction, but I know that there is movement now, and that the time is almost here.

I feel a glow like candlelight, a gentle light, soft, so as not to hurt my eyes. I squint and try to see through to what is on the other side, but it is too soon. Closer and closer I come and I feel my human form, changing and nearly ready, begin to circle and prepare to land, like an airplane approaching the runway. As I land my mother's spirit will take flight into a place I cannot know.

Watching my mother in her final days, though I am heartbroken to see her so sick and in pain, knowing that she is tiring of being so ill all the time as she said on the phone today, and yet knowing that she is ready and preparing herself to take that final step, I become less and less afraid of death, both hers and mine. But watching her near this point, it makes me realize how quickly time passes and how we can so easily squander the life we have been given. At 55 I feel more alive than I have ever been. I am getting lighter. I have lost 40 pounds. I am changing in so many directions at once I don't even have words to explain it, and it is far too private a journey to share. I have shared the outer journey, things like looking for a house and a car and preparing for life's necessities in the time ahead, but the inner journey and how it will manifest in the time ahead is the most important part. I shall not share it. It is mine alone.

And so my mother and I are in a time of preparation and grace. The time is coming near, and I believe we are both almost ready for our journeys, changed forever, and exactly where we should be.

Be not afraid. We are guided toward that perfect light. Life is illuminated by a mystical cloud of unknowing, but soon we shall both know, and we will both arrive on opposite sides of the threshold. Fugue states will come and they will go, but I am no longer afraid of them, for I see them for what they are, times of deep transformation.

I am ready. I am ready.


PJ said...

the journeys we all take at different points in our life tend to be dramatic ones. i remember when my dad was fighting cancer. he fought for many years. the radiation, the chemotherapy, the deterioration was awful. this big strapping "tough" man was losing the battle that he fought so hard for many years. it broke my heart every time i would see him and feel how much pain he was in. he had already had his voice box removed and he was at the stage of being fed through a tube in his stomach. i remember on one of my visits praying for him to be released of his pain. i knew he didn't want to live that way. i knew he was ready to go. there was so much sadness in that pain. it wasn't too long after that, maybe a few weeks and he passed. i didn't want to let him go, but then realized that he is always going to be with me and lives on in my heart. he's at peace. that has been the hardest thing in my life up to this point.

your words are soulful, real, and very enlightening. thank you for sharing some of your journey with us.

i found this and thought of you. i hope you don't mind...

A Friend’s Passing

by Ron Bissell

A gentle breeze caressed my cheek
I felt my heart take wing.
It came from beyond yet very close
a breeze that astounded me.

How gentle and kind
its content was,
it gave me warmth inside.
I felt – I knew it was full of Grace
a Grace that made me whole.

I thought for a moment,
understood its call,
and knew my world had changed,
for within that touch was a fond farewell
a farewell from a loving soul.

I knew at once whose call it was,
I gave a quiet sigh.
How gentle a breeze
how small its touch
yet deep inside I felt,
a gentle soul I knew so well
was quickly passing by.

If I could just hold on I thought
and never let her leave.
I thought for an instant
I could control her path
since her journey was not complete.

I knew at once I must let her go
to complete her passage home.
I said goodbye,
and felt her go,
with eyes filled full of tears.
I said, “God speed”
as she left this world
for she was sure of her final goal.

Alone again I could feel my heart
sad and empty it became,
but then as quickly as I felt its loss
it filled with joy and peace.

I knew whose soul had passed me by
for I knew her gentle smile.
That smile – that gift was all she had
it lit everything it touched.

Then quickly as she left this world
I heard a quiet sigh,
She said, “farewell my journey’s done
I’ve nothing more to give.
Just give my joy to all you meet
and light their inner flame.

Remember me as you go your way
and impart love in countless ways.
Improve your world,
become the way,
spread love to all you meet.
For within you lies your Creator’s gift
a gift for all to see.

Simply hug your children as I have done
and allow them to feel your love.
I will live within each hug you give,
before gently moving away.

It is within that brief instant in time
that you will honor me.
To love, to hug, and give joy to all
is my gift for eternity.”


Split Rock Ranch said...


You are going to make the most incredible and beautiful butterfly.

Warm hugs,

Shinade aka Jackie said...

Walter has just left and the house is quiet. I had time to truly absorb this piece.

I do know this place you're in as I too was my mother's care taker. I like you lost weight which was positive as I needed to lose it. But the loss was more from exhaustion than a need to get healthy.

My mother was blessed that she only really suffered a great deal of pain for the last few months. She was actually in a nursing home in the Rehab wing, after being discharged from the hospital. She was there for therapy and strength building in preparation to come back home the following week.

My sil at the time, and my very 1st grandson Noah, then just a toddler had just brought her pizza and a t.v. so she could keep up with her favorite shows.

they were both standing there talking to her and she took a bite of pizza, chewed and swallowed, took one last breath and slipped quietly away.

I had been with mother almost every single day for 2 years. I cannot begin to tell you the guilt I carried for so long for not being by her side.

When under a great deal of stress I tend to show it physically, in my mouth, of all places. I had been very ill for 3 days just prior to her death. My nerve endings were inflamed in my mouth. It feels as if every single tooth you have is infected and makes a normal toothache something you would pray for. The pain is excruciating and it requires very heavy medication. Even then, my pain was merely eased a bit.

So with the Dr.'S reporting she had 2 more years and she would be home in a week. I stayed home trying to get myself healed and she left us during that time.

The nurse told me that often times, they will choose to leave this world when the one that is the closest of all is not there. They fear that one most special person will not be able to handle it. And with my mother this probably would have been the case.

We had been so co-dependent all of our lives that it truly was lmuch more than just losing a mother to me.

Nonetheless, I survived and will get back to your topic. When all was said and done the hardest thing for me was the realization that I was now the matriarch of the family!!

I was only 37 and it was so very difficult for me to accept that all that had lain behind me all of my life was now gone from this world.

I was now the one in line to be the one that remains behind all of our children. I only have those in front of me now.

It was quite scary. Mother for better or worse had always been there for me. I had never breathed a moment remembered without mother.

I like you now am in my 50's and i find it a wonderful age. I do so wish you all the best Maitri!

I know you are strong and preparing yourself but please know I am always only an email away. You are always and ever in my thoughts as I have shared what you are going through right now.

Love, blessings and a great big warm hug for you!!

Shinade aka Jackie said...

Maitri! Totally unrelated and don;t publish if you don;t want to.

But, i know you are striving very hard for 2nd income money.

Why don't you start a blog and teach writing? I know I would pay to take a class from you!!

I think others would as well. Don't ask me where this or why this popped was just floating through the universe and landed in my head!!

I hope you think about this. I love to write but have no grammar skills whatsoever.

Love and hugs!!

Mee mOe said...

you are pleasantly charming in your writings, writing from your heart, brilliantly...thanks for sharing ...
God Bless !!!

Nairobian Perspective said...

going through some difficult hurdles in life sometimes gives us meaning and an opportunity to ponder on the all important question: What is the purpose of life and do we have to die? and what is death,and what happens after we die, I have found the pure unadulterated truth found in Gods word devoid of religious dogma, doctrine or tradition to be quite comforting! perhaps if you are interested i would love to share it with you!

writing from your heart has earned you quite some following, keep it up!

Shinade aka Jackie said...

Thinking of you and I adgetized you too!!

Hugs and love always and ever!!

Victoria Hart said...

This is really powerful! thank you for sharing.

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