The nearly free birth of Forest (part 2)

The facet of freebirthing that was most compelling to me was not being “checked” to see how dilated I was, or being told when to push, or any other externalized reference points along the Journey of Laboring.  Instead, the birthing woman is totally undisturbed and able to experience from the INside-out.  (I’m imagining that some readers will find this perspective audacious.  Like “WHAT??? YOU CAN’T POSSIBLY KNOW HOW TO GIVE BIRTH WITHOUT A TRAINED PROFESSIONAL TELLING YOU WHAT TO DO AND WHEN.”)

Well guess what?  You CAN.

Except here’s where I lost connection with my inner authority:

Expectations…. I imagined that the second baby would be easier.  It was taking waaaay too long.  I was in waaaaaaay too much pain.  When would I feel the fucking urge to PUSH???

Night had swallowed day, candles danced wiggly, golden light about the dim ambiance of my pink bedroom.  I finally felt a mild urge to push.  I guess I texted my doula friend Karen in California… and asked her…. something.  She video called me on fb messenger.  As Grace would have it, she was about to give a chiropractic adjustment to three mamas (two of which I had known for over a decade).  Suddenly I was being supported by FOUR women from across the world.

Mostly this was soothing and helpful.  But in retrospect, the call lingered beyond its expiration date.  I lost touch with the inner authority that had been the coveted treasure of my freebirthing quest.  I was lost in the wilderness of pain… Vulnerable and reaching outside for salvation.

The call sprawled on for over an hour.  Contractions.  Pushing.  Lioness roars.

I asked Karen if breaking my own bag of waters (which was still intact) would accelarate the process (I had heard this in other birth stories…) She said go for it. When I reached inside, I could feel the bulging bag… At first I was tentative about breaking it with my nails. But after three or four tries, it burst. Gusssssssh….

Nothing changed, save the manky bedspread, which was now cold and wet.

I felt inside to see if Forest’s head was at the door yet. I felt SOMEthing…. But it was not very “head-ish”… It felt like two squishy peaks, with a valley in between. WHAAAAAT??? Not a foot. Not a head. Too small for a butt…. Was there REALLY a normal baby-shaped person inside me??? Or just some random, alien scraps, all smashed together….

When my waters broke, Karen said “He’ll be out in two pushes.”

My inner authority flew out the window and I placed the weight of my salvation in this statement. Time bled on…. My concern mounted as my endurance dwindled.

Now, please allow me to pause and comment.

My writing style is especially feminine. Rooted in and informed by feeeeeling. Decorated with poetic metaphors. Striking, abstract imagery. Frivolous, philosophical meanderings. Bursts of unapologetic raw-ness…

And then there is Athena Grace writing about BIRTH.  Exponentially feminine. I notice a voice inside who is critical of my “failure” to walk a straight line of “chronology”. Well, I am going to grab my ovaries and overtly affirm– FUCK THAT SHIT. I am a WOMAN.  I have a woman’s (heartful) mind, and I am sharing my Woman’s Voice. I never really identified as a “feminist”… because I’m not into raging against the machine. But it turns out that at heart, I AM. The world held hostage by our severely crippled systems NEEDS women’s’ voices to resound boldly through the Collective, heal the heart of ALL, and purify the waters.

This story is a wild, bucking spiral montage of images, mOMents, feelings… and of course a juicy climax (or three). By the Power Vested in Me, I declare that this is RIGHT and BEAUTIFUL and perfectly natural. Not to negate straight lines. I reserve the right to ride those tamed beasts as I please.

At the start of this account I forgot to mention that as during my labor with Serena, it was increasingly impossible to pee. I was hoping this condition would not recur with Forest. Frown.  I had to squat or sit on the toilet for a million years of discomfort before a pathetic trickle would dribble out. Not being able to release deterred me from drinking too much. I was hot and sweaty. I needed fluid. I drank sips and tangoed with the terror of bursting my bladder.

I also forgot to mention an essential, terrible (and retrospectively comical) thing about Giordano’s role during my labor. If I had a nickel for every time the man asked me “WHY”…. I’d be one rich bitch.  MEN— Listen. When a laboring woman makes a request, DO NOT ask her WHY.  Fucking never. Each time he did, I told him this. But obviously, it didn’t go IN. Because his WHYs fired off like a machine gun, driving holes in my peace and sanity.  WOMEN— if your man asks you WHY while you are laboring, send him to me and I will personally rip his over-active head off. And for anyone who finds themself asking “WHY not ask WHY?…”

I’ll tell you.

BECAUSE. It engages a part of the brain that should NOT be active while a woman is in such an intense, intuitive, altered state.

And NOW, back to our riveting story.

I didn’t feel that I was progressing. (I WAS… but not in an outwardly measurable way, like I WANTED to be…)  Karen said if Forest wasn’t out in another half an hour, I “should” go to the hospital.  Eeeeeeeeeek. This would be a major MESS. It was after eleven pm. Would they cut me open? Give me a hodge-podge of horrific interventions? Give my baby antibiotics and injections? Burn me at the stake for birthing outside The System? There was nothing bright about this proposed path.

Except the survival of my child and myself.

Giordano became anxious. Ugh. Just what I needed. He did NOT want to go to the hospital…. Which was actually a surprise to me. I thought he would be the first to subscribe to conventional protocols.  But at this point, he was scared of all the same shit as me. Only more so… because dude tends to expect the worst. But actually, I was impressed by his ability to stay grounded and “calm-ish”… given where the current was carrying us.  In the end, he didn’t lose it.

Through brutal contractions and involuntary baring down, I made a phone call to Manuela, who was holding energetic space for us… and told her that I thought we should go to the hospital. She said “Be wise.”

I forgot this part, but apparently I had also texted Benedetta– “HELP”, at some point.  (She reminded me of this a few days ago, and I had a good laugh about it.) She said she awoke to my text and freaked out. She had become a contact point for a slew of people who were eager to be updated about our progress and wellbeing. She said she called me. I vaguely recall trying to speak to her through excruciating contractions and pushing. Haha. It sure is funny now!

Then I pulled on my beloved, well-worn Berkeley Police sweatpants and a WHITE TANK TOP (what was I thinking???) and attempted to walk. I had to stop every couple steps and breathe and puuuuush.

I HAD TO.

How in Fuck’s holy name would I survive a twenty minute car ride???

 

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The Riveting Glory of Impermanence and Failure!

You know how “They” say to live each mOMent like it’s your last… It’s a totally cool idea.  But mostly it doesn’t work. (Haha, unless I need an excuse to be super impulsive with money!)  In my default mode, I imagine the Journeys I am inside of will sprawl on forever. (Oh, except for the PTSD I’ve developed around sudden loss of people who matter the most in my heart…)

But suddenly, the taste of Impermanence dances on my tongue.   

I have eleven days left here at Ananda.  On the twelfth day, me and the two most important men in my life (little bro and baby daddy) will caravan outa this spiritual utopia, cars and truck brimming with “stuff”.  (As a cosmic gypsy, “stuff” mostly occurs like a boulder in my Ugg boot. But I’ve ditched my art supplies and then suddenly been accosted by the NEED to make art.. And then had no choice but to blow my cash wad on a fresh set of eyeball burning colors of acrylic paint… enough times to feel slightly more sober about what I choose to slog along on my semi-intentional Walk About on Planet Earth.)

Ahem, so in twelve days, mine and Serena’s entire World will change.  I’ll probably hear traffic through my bedroom window, and I won’t be able to see every calmly seductive star in the multiverse, when I step outside in the deep, dark morning.  

For two and a half years, I’ve cried myself to sleep, missing the vast, wild, melodically roaring Ocean.  But yesterday at the Yuba River, I realized that in twelve days, I will have no fewer (figurative) tears. The River had pervaded my soul and I will ache in Her absence.  If you’ve never met Mama Yuba, She is evocatively bracing, steadily singing, rushing crystaline aqua Love. Endlessly generous, she tirelessly resets your cells to their natural state of reverberating Hallelujah.  She suckles your worries, concerns and delusions, as if they were the sweetest milk, ecstatically sweeping them to the winking heart of Oblivion.

I want to run to Her and throw myself IN.  Merge with her wild beauty and stay Forever.  I can see why my Dan chose to die at the streaming hands of a River….

But now salt and sand and crashing waves will be my Salvation.  Negative ions drenching my aura and making me drunk and Restored.  

I confess that I groped for the EXIT the entire time I was here at Ananda.  Feeling confined and isolated. Wait, am I speaking of my time at Ananda, or my whole entire Life?  (It’s interesting to exist in the time of smartphones, because emojis have pervaded my alphabet. I think not only in letters, but also goofy little faces.  I had an urge to insert the smiling face with squinted eyes, squirting tears.)

How come it takes me so fucking long to get to the Meat of my heart and thoughts?  I guess because I must pierce their Skin first. The Meat is that I cried at family kirtan on Friday, because it finally hit me what I was about to lose.  A few years ago, a bunch of souls decided to incarnate together and meet up at Ananda. Serena was one of them. They’ve been together since day one. And even though I have felt to be an Outsider, the Ananda families have embraced and cared for us through very challenging times.

Even though I don’t feel free to spit and swear and talk about sex with *most* of the other moms, I love them and they love me.  

And now I shall burst your bubble of endearing naivety with sobering news:

LIFE IS TOTALLY IMPERFECT.  

Can I just totally jump tracks?  YES, Athena, this is YOUR Queendom of Concealed Heaven, and you are free to express anything and everything!!!  Oh cool, because I really need to confess and digest my recent webinar! Overall, I’m totally proud of myself. It was my first EVER and I gave it my ALL.  

At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about…

Giving it ALL.  

Even though tragedy struck and Zoom suddenly demanded money, right the fuck NOW and then cut me off twenty minutes before the scheduled hour was complete, I still came away with a feeling of exhilaration and healthy pride, that stayed with me the rest of the day.  I was SURE that I had made it into the territory of Light That Possesses No Shadow.

But then, when the webinar guests didn’t show up in the secret facebook group that I created as a space for everyone to share a three minute video revealing where they have been hiding…. My party bus crashed into a glistening desert mirage.  I posted a vid first, to open the way, and model the culture of raw, joyful authenticity. Only my dear friend watched and commented. The other three women blinked out of existence, and I was left to sit alone and feel through the underbelly of my pride and invulnerability.  

In my video I shared how “up until now” (insert mocking emoji face), I had been easily stopped by Perfectionism.  But stepping into leadership, webinars and circle facilitation had opened a portal into newfound freedom to be a beginner, fuck up, and be at the bottom of a massive, mountainous learning curve.  

Interesting to watch myself.  As soon as I realized that (almost) nobody gave a fuck what I had to say, my inner Perfectionist swooped in to “save the day”.  Meaning shut me down, so that I wouldn’t have to feel through unsavory emotions such as shame, humiliation and the deep vulnerability of being accountable for my Passion.

Juicy, right?!

At first, I was EN FUEGO to schedule and plan my next webinar… but then, said dark emotions and thoughts swooped in…. old familiar voices began to resound in my head… The militant dictator, fondly known as “Royal Fuck It”, started to take charge and bark orders.

Oh.  My. Goodness.

Naturally, the only option is to KEEP MOVING FORWARD.  Though it certainly IS mighty gracious of Her Holiness, Royal Fuck It, to be so invested in protecting me from unsavory feelings. (insert batting eyelash emoji)

Maybe it’s time to hit the Tony Robbins channel.  Awaken the damn Giant within.

I’m growing.

It’s actually quite pleasant.

I’ve gotta wrap up for now… but maybe next time I can share with you the strange, simultaneously unsettling and relieving, cumulative disappearance of my spiritual identity.  

With Abundant Love from Graceland,

Athena

Wrastling Gators in Dripping Dungeons

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I’m scared to touch my fingers to keys this morning, because it has been so long, and I don’t feel like a writer anymore.  Plus, I have been navigating some rugged inner wilderness these days, and I don’t want to spew negativity upon the page.  My friends who Know, oft remind me that words are powerful; words are spells.  I grapple with this… because on one hand, I only want to cast the most palatable spells… and yet, I also have a deep-seated thirst to expose the full spectral complexity of my human experience… rather than carving it up into lovely, horrifyingly perfect topiaries that barely hint at the raw essence of what it really feels like to be me.

Upon the completion of a deep breath, I remembered the years upon years that I’ve given myself to this process of writing out the tangles of my unwieldy Existence… because my life depended on it.  And magically, the process of getting my life, mind and emotions out into single file order heals me.  Heals as in “makes whole”.  Not that I’m ever anything besides whole…. but it feels like it, as the jagged shards of my disparate selves and contradictory motivations whiz around in here.  When they line up in well-behaved rows and march out upon the page, the jaggedness turns smooth and round and almost glamourous.

The oh-so-creamy, featured flavors recently have been “Luscious Loneliness” and “Irresistible Isolation”.  (I was imagining artisan ice cream… just to spell it out for those of you who are not so quick… I didn’t want my cleverness to slip between those those cruel ravines that slice between our minds.)  For a while, I was happily distracted by doing some copy writing (hit me up if you need words to sing your mission and gifts into existence in a professional domain!), which occupied many of the fleeting and sparse moments of my spare time.  When those jobs completed, I poured everything into my new website (!!!) for my “Sourced Circles”– rad online women’s video circles that I have been facilitating for years now, and fine tuning into a gorgeous six week experience of intimacy, community and empowerment for women who hunger to burst free from status quo and embody our wild, wise, liberated, embodied, powerful selves.  I’m passionate about it.

I think the plummet into darkness officially occurred when my beloved Web Master (Ed) published the website… and I imagined women would rush forth in DROVES to sign up for this fabulous six week ride on the alchemical love train.

Nope.  Not a peep.  After all the love and care, passion and creative juice I’ve poured into my new baby.  Somehow the Yoniverse is like, “Uh-uh”.  I dunno what that’s about.  I’m pretty damn certain that these circles are my dharma.  It’s clear that my God(dess)-Given-Gifts are meant to heal and uplift the lives and hearts of women, and hence the Planet.  But…. as of this illusorily linear mOMent in the seemingly stiff squiggle of my Life, there is a hiccup in the full-throttle flow of my said dharma.

Is it because I have more work to do on the INside?  Fuck, Universe, if I wait till I’m perfect to share my heart and voice and passion with the world, I will surely be DEAD.  Fuck that.  Is it that I need to market harder?  I am personally repulsed by the current marketing model… of appealing to the pain and suffering of others.  This capitalism in New-Age clothing.  “Healers” who stand up in their expensive goddess clothing and opulent jewels and look all “together” and be like “I used to be fucked up like you… but then I found this thing, and if you give me tons of money, I will give it to you, and then you’ll feel better about yourself.”

I feel embarrassed saying that, because I imagine that all the business savvy peeps who read this are gonna say, “See Athena?!  And you wonder why your business is failing!!!  Put on your most expensive and flowy clothing and shiny jewels and PLAY THE GAME, Bitch!”  And the truth is, part of me wants to.  At least the part about wearing delicious clothing and lovely jewels…

But God…. can’t we play a new game where NOBODY IS BROKEN?  And we don’t need to be motivated by suffering?  Just pure Desire and Passion and Playfulness?  I mean really… are we that remedial as a species?

Sigh… I guess pain and suffering still motivate me.  I’m a visionary with a fierce drive to transform broken systems… and yet there is still unresolved cellular debris and ancestral junk in my body that is working itself out… and there remains an impending resolution in my own being.

And NOW for an entire paragraph dedicated to cool shit!  The “old me” would have given up at the first sign of challenge.  I would have uttered weak and muffled cries of defeat, “Fuck it.  I quit.”  I woulda crumpled my half-painted masterpiece and hurled it in the trash.  I’ve testified to this before, but I must sing it again!  When I gave birth, I gave birth to MYSELF.  It changed me.  I have become someone who doesn’t quit, and knows the Divine Power within me.  So I forge onward, prepared to learn and grow as I go.  I don’t have to be perfect or “get it right”…. I just have to keep calling on Source within me and giving the best I know how in each blessed mOMent.  I think I there was some other cool shit that I wanted to exclaim in this designated paragraph, too… But it slipped my mind when I got up to pee…. maybe it was just a celebration of the extreme pleasure and relief I am feeling as my fingers make love to these singing keys.  At once, I am whole.  I am hOMe.

I have been putting all my creative energy into my “important-assed business”.  But this blog, Athena Graceland, is the exalted queendom of my inner child.  And she does NOT give a fluttering fuck about being “Important”.  She just wants to PLAY.  I have been wandering the desert.  Eat your heart out Mister Christ, cuz I’ve been trudging along WAAAY more than forty days and forty nights.  It’s been over TWO YEARS.  It’s insanely isolating to be a single mom of a baby/toddler.  I’ve heard that even moms with devoted partners feel isolated… but fuck that.  At least they can get out once in a while and go to a yoga class, or a women’s circle or….  I feel tethered to my frigid dungeon.  Shhhhhh….. listen…. can you hear the slowww drip, drip, drip, as rhythmic water sings down upon the slimy, dampened stones?

This avalanche of words, and I didn’t even touch on my Man Troubles.  Partially because I don’t want to create extra conflict, and partially because as my Priestess ally QuynhMa says, it’s a “red herring”… and there is a deeper issue.  My work right now, is to dig to the ROOT of the issues I am encountering.  With men, when I seek the root, it’s a feeling of starvation, desperation… A reaction to the loneliness and isolation I am feeling my way through.  I want to blame Ed, push him away, punish him… and then grasp for him when he is about to slip away… and get high on the rush of relief when we return to connection.  Meanwhile, I want to grasp for Giordano… because he represents some false sense of freedom.  I want RELIEF from the pain inside.  But the deeper me knows it is not to be found in a man.  I am working within to transmute and transcend the need to grasp onto a man for security, safety and survival.  I am (gruelingly slowly) learning to resolve these feelings and urges within myself, to create my own wealth, abundance and nourishing community, so that Partnership is born of freedom, choice and empowerment.  But I’ll tell ya, this initiation into my Priestess Power often feels like being tossed into a muddy pit full of gators and wrastling myself into exhausted submission and elusive victory.

Lately I’ve been wondering why in the fuck I chose such a grueling Path…….

But I know deep down it’s because I’m a total Badass and it’s making me INVINCIBLE.  And everything I find in here will ultimately be YOURS.  Because my Life is for Humanity.

And she loved happily ever after.

Poetry Muse Strikes Again

Committing specific chains of words to the page… where does one begin when there is so much inside?  Where does one begin when one has not had a nourishing swig of uncontrollable laughter in too long to mention?  Yeah, that’d be me… Yesterday I realized I haven’t had a good laugh in way too long.  I have laughed.  That’s some consolation… but not the kind where I get an ab workout and feel divinely empty and blissfully spent afterwards.  Please, All Pervading Funny Bone, come take a swim under my skin.  I beg of Thee!

I guess I’ll tell you that I went to the Lake Meritt Farmer’s Market yesterday to serve as the Poetic Muse again!  But I felt extra shy.  Honestly, this new and uncaffeinated rendition of myself feels very tender and sensitive like a fresh hatched dinosaur.  (OMG, can you imagine how adorable that would be… to stumble upon a boulder sized egg, just in time for it to crack open from the inside and reveal the most shiny, tiny, slippery little tyrannosaurus rex!?  To me that sounds profound!  Which reminds me suddenly of a dream I had last night that I was in Disney Land on a Saturday night and all my friends wanted to go on dates.  I didn’t.  So I got left behind… and I was really bummed, because I wanted to go out and play, but I was not so moved to step out into the vast, dark amusement park on my own.  I didn’t want to be alone.  I was afraid of getting lost and of being bored.  I think I just stayed home and watched a movie starring Steve Carell instead.  (But even the movie was scary… in one scene he was walking through dark caves with blood dripping from the walls.  The only reason I could handle it, is because it was Steve Carell and he makes any situation more than palatable.)

Anyway, what a BRILLIANT metaphor for my experience of Life!  Alone in a vast, dark amusement park on a Saturday night!  Touche, I say to my own divine psyche!

Well, I sat on the wall with my typewriter for a while… But I after not too long, I just couldn’t bare the sensations of so many people walking by and making intentional effort not to look at me.  It was excruciating.  I flirted with the idea of heading home.  But I decided to take a lap around and get my vegetables and hopefully load up on some courage and inspiration while I was at it.  I asked the young, handsome though tortured tamale salesman with open-sky-blue-eyes to typewriter sit for me.  And while I was at it, I asked him for some words of wisdom and strength.  He’s adorable, because he’s got this kinda mopey demeanor juxtaposed with a deep engagement in the moments we share… it puzzles me beautifully.  Like a good breathing poem should.  I felt stronger when I left him to hunt and gather.

Speaking of hunting and gathering, I have discovered these Japanese cucumbers that are SUBLIME.  They are so sassy and snappy like cool, submissive ice cubes.  The skin is thin enough not to be a bitter, dense hassle.  (And who likes bitter, dense hassles after all?)  I BOUGHT TWO!  This was a first… buying TWO entire cucumbers just for me…  You gotta try ‘em while they’re peaking.  If you know what’s best for you.

I’m in love with the man who works at that particular veggie stand.  Nothing fancy as far as love goes, but very mutual nourishing.  We just both savor the brief, simple moments of overlapping existence.  He’s a tall, slender black man who I bet has like ten pounds of dreadlocks, but he keeps them all neat in a big, black knitted hat.  He’s got the right kinda soul for me~ old, well seasoned, deep.  Honestly, we don’t even need to speak a single word to dig eachother’s groove… we just do because… it’s the American way.  (Actually, now that I think about it, there is no shortage of soul to be imbibed at farmer’s markets in general…)
I shared my conundrum with him of simultaneously wanting to run away and hide and to stand boldly committed in the face of my discomfort.   I said, maybe I just needed to find a different place to sit.  He grunted and quickly stated that there ARE no better places to sit.  As I hoped he would, he ordered me to march right back to my original perch and take the power back.  After I had an overflowing sac of vibrant, rainbow colored gifts from the earth, that’s exactly what I did.

Thankfully, because I connected with two very awake souls and wrote them pretty kick ass poems if I do say so myself.  I only have the bandwidth to share about one though… Jim.  He was all decked out in cyclist gear.  He approached me and shared that his wife was a poet also.  And an amazing renaissance woman.  As he spoke of her, he spilled with deep respect, admiration and devotion for this woman.  Honestly, she DID sound about like me in another quarter of a century… Which rings these here bells, since I’m all about aging and ripening.

This man, Jim, talk about a wellspring!  Lately I have been consciously collecting Lovers of Life… Because that is something that I am fostering in myself.  After so many arduous years of feeling depressed and suicidal, I am SO ready to love life.  And since we are the company we keep… But back to this particular slice of passionate humanity.  Jim shared himself with me unabashedly.  After sharing about his wife, I offered him a poem and asked him what was in his heart.  This question stirred something in him.  He told me that not so long ago he had had some heart troubles that may have been precursors to heart attack.  This had changed his life.  After surgery, he actually FELT his heart in a whole new, profound way.  He quit a job he hated.  I mean *REALLY* hated.  It had been sadistically sucking him dry of life for a long arduous walk through the soul’s desert scapes.

I just have to say… that I have met so many people who have been freed and seasoned by life threatening illness.  In fact, I think that should be a top criteria for being the president.  You must’ve had a brush with death in order to be in charge of our county!  Ahem.  So Jim… His amazing wife was a total support during this massive transformation.  And now he is a passionate cyclist.  On his rides, he sniffs out fascinating, liberated humans and makes a connection with them.  Then he blogs about it!  Sounds familiar…

He told me that on a recent ride, he met a woman riding a unicycle with a mountain bike tire, up very steep hills.  She said she was training to ride through Mongolia, where none of the roads are paved!  And he met an old hippy freak with a long beard and a Hawaiian shirt who it turned out was a WORLD CHAMPION gambler!  And… He met me.  He said he would blog about me.  He took my photo as I plunked out his profound poem.  (One thing I forgot to say about Jim is that he was wearing these red lensed sun glasses… so I could see his eyes, but not fully.  In retrospect, I realize that the whole time we were connecting, this was passively driving me bonkers.  I just wanted to bask in the unfiltered light of his soul as is my proclivity.  Just for the record…)

So he has already written the said blog.  I discovered it last night and it made my heart dance like a drunk!  I loved being able to see my offering from a whole new angle… and the rippling impact that it has on the world.  Check it out:

http://flashblog2011.blogspot.com/2010/07/athenaa-goddess-of-poetry.html

The last thing I’ll say about Jim is that I was so inspired by his dedication to being present, receiving the moment as a miraculous gift.  I have been practicing that lately and it is absolutely stunning what characters, situations and shades of aliveness that the One graciously offers at our Holy Feet!  Thank you, oh All Pervading Bestower of Winking Profundity!
Amen.

How Do You Know When To Let Go?

We stood, eyes locked in a tragic gaze, at the mouth of the Metro in Paris.

“How do you know when to let go?” E* asked, his words strewn with sincere confusion and constricted love.

“How ‘bout now?” I said, knowing that it was either now or three clingy, desperate nows from now.  I turned away from this tall, devoted partner, hardening sheerly out of necessity, and climbed back up the steps into the light of Parisian day.  Half way up the steps, I turned back to make sure that he had followed my lead and allowed himself to be swept into a new current, an underground current that would lead him to Pizza, Italy, home to the bay area and then on to an outdoor training adventure.  His eyes, saturated with heavy, clear compassion spoke one final goodbye before he turned his back and disappeared into subterranean darkness.

There I was.  Alone.  On the streets of Paris.  Twenty five years old.  When this reality struck me, I flooded with dread.  It was a stronger concentration of the same feelings that flush me when the sun slips behind a cloud, and the world I see is suddenly ominous and dark.  Tears came fast, but I didn’t succumb to them.  Paris is demands much more restraint.  Instead I wandered into the health food store near the entrance to the Metro station where I killed about a half an hour in a state of less than blissful distraction.

Can you guess the moral of that autobiographical snip of a story?  It’s the letting go piece.  Letting go.  Why is it so hard?  Our illusions of scarcity, I suppose.  Well, I am pretty fucking certain that I am ready to let go of M.  But every time I look in the mirror and face the music (face the music in the mirror, I love that!) I flush with guilt, fear and denial.  Any one of those three feeling experiences on its own is enough to pickle a few livers, but when they join forces in a less than holy cocktail, LOOK OUT!  Guilt, fear, denial.  This is why I keep trying to pretend myself free from my inner knowing.  Sometimes the inner voice seems to be something to fear.

Why is that???

Anne Lamott, the writer, talks about how some writers’ writing process is reminiscent of driving through thick fog.  You can only see a few feet in front of you, but you trust that more road will be revealed if you just keep moving forward.  I would say I write this way for sure… but what I am driving at, is that this is LIFE.  Our limited perceptions can only see so much.  I believe that God can see a whole lot more and that is why trust is essential on this Holy Pilgrimage.

What I am grappling with now, is how to distinguish the voice of God from the voice of the ego.  What is this inner knowing that is compelling me to let go of my relationship with M?  Is it the voice of God, or the voice of my ego?  I could sit and deliberate on this all day long… but… what would that serve?  The bottom line is that it is what I feel, deep down.  And at this stage in my unfolding, this gut feeling is as good as it gets.  So, my question stands~ How do you know when it’s time to let go?  And my answer, too shall stand~

How ‘bout now?

Now can I get some comic relief?  Because I feel so heavy.  Where have my bejeweled wings gotten off to?  Has anybody seen my bejeweled wings?  I should make a MISSING poster and plaster it all about my neighborhood.  REWARD for any information leading to my not so suddenly missing bejeweled wings.  If I had them now, how would I be different?  Would I fly away from the human messes I’ve strewn about this life of mine?  Tempting… but no.  If I found my bejeweled wings, I would use them for only for Holy Missions.  I would use them to bless.  I would know my strength as God’s strength.  I would fly Home, to the unconditionally Loving arms of the Ultimate Dream.  But don’t misunderstand.  Flying home does not mean abandoning ship on this silly, sinking world of illusion.  No, it just means a soft though potent shift in perception… Like a frown that melts into a warm, holy smile.  And suddenly I remember.  I remember that God is always my Guide, and I am That.  I remember that the True me is never threatened, cannot die.  Cannot be broken by tragedy or dreams of fear and separation.

With my wings, I am courageous.  With my wings, I am a divine servant.  With my bejeweled angel wings, I only see as God sees.  When I fly, my wings sprinkle a wake of shimmering treasures upon this world.  Treasures born to elevate, inspire and remind.  I will find my wings.  I will find them, because I have not lost them, only forgotten.  Any second I will remember.  I can feel it.  I can almost hear my wings beating just behind the imaginary veil of darkness in which I have become accustomed to identifying with.  They sound like birds singing in bellish voices.  Or bells singing with birdish voices.  They sound like smoldering flames, like benevolent warmth.  When they beat, tropical breezes, heavily pregnant with floral scents are born to elevate the minds of the masses.  When they beat, you remember your home in Peace.

I say this to soothe all of myself.  I say this because this is the expression of sincere yearning from the heart of a saint in training.  Perhaps a saint is just One who has remembered their wings… Perhaps letting go requires trusting that it is my Destiny to fly.