It’s 4 am.
I’ve been seeing lots of sequential numbers on the clock these days….2:34, 1:23 particularly. When I woke up this morning, it was another 2:34, and it reminded me that everything is a process, an unfolding, according to it’s own time. Step-by-step, things are revealed.
Today we should hear the results of the needle biopsy they performed on my daughter yesterday. The doctor’s office called her first thing, and without asking her to come in and chat, they sent her straight for the test. A needle was inserted through her side, under her armpit, and into whatever that thing is on her lung. I say “on” it because they didn’t have to puncture the lung to get to it.
Whether that is a good thing or not is up for grabs. For now I’m counting it as good, as putting a hole in someone’s lung doesn’t sound like agreat alternative.
I’m nervous and calm, all at the same time. Taking care of my grandson helps…picking him up to bring him here for the night was something I could do yesterday that would make things a little easier on her, so she could rest. The procedure was very painful.
It also helps me. Keeps me busy. Keeps me from thinking too much.
I’ve noticed something interesting about how I am managing myself through this trial. I haven’t had a single cocktail since receiving the news almost two weeks ago. That’s huge! Not that I’m a big drinker, but I’ve been known to toss back a few under times of stress…or celebration….or anger. All emotions I’ve felt great levels of at certain points in this journey.
I also haven’t used any oracular tools, except that which is inherently inside of me. The word BENIGN has been washing over my mind ever since she told me of the mass. It comes and goes throughout the day and night. I sometimes awaken thinking it, and often fall asleep meditating and praying for it. It is my mantra. My vision. My lifeline.
While our little guy sleeps blissfully unaware in the room next to me, I’m resisting the urge to pull out one of my decks to take a sounding on what we will learn today. Thursday of last week, I found out My Girl was being tormented with the same nightmare every night, and had been for a month… before she learned of the mass. A nightmare where she under went surgery for a “tumor”, and experienced all kinds of things. The nightmare didn’t always have the same ending, but it was so powerful and felt so “different” to other nightmares that she couldn’t sleep, and actually journaled about it…something I think in and of itself is unusual for her. She told me that in the back of her head, she has a very bad feeling about it all. Since doing some battle in prayer, and giving her some counsel, the nightmare hasn’t returned.
I’m taking this as a good sign. And I’m hoping she has a better “feeling” now.
I also haven’t smoked any weed as a way to cope. In fact, for some reason, I got up in the middle of the night not long after getting home from Vegas, and threw out what I had left. I’m not sure why I did that. It must be some supernatural act of Grace that decided I could…and would….traverse this road stone cold sober. And I have, without freaking out (too much) or stressing to the breaking point.
Who da thunk it???
But I have been praying like crazy. Back in my 20s I underwent some sort of spiritual infusion that left me with a language that bubbles up from somewhere deep inside of me when I am in a situation where I don’t what to pray for. It’s not English or even of this world, that I can decipher. But it strengthens me when I use it. The Tongue of Angels, I call it. Very weird, but very potent. So my mind checks out for awhile when I use it. So the fuck what? My head isn’t all that in times like this anyway. It can be a battleground of fear and TMI and doubt.
I’m feeling tired again. Writing helps. It purges me so I can rest. Even though it’s already 4:15, I can grab almost 2 more hours of sleep (maybe) before Little Man wakes, and we have to get ready for our day.
I know You hear me. PLEASE let the news today be good.
The older I get, the less important certain things have become.
There is a grace to this, because some of those things – take sex, for example – where powerful driving forces/compulsions/obsessions in my life. Sex motivated and animated so many of my choices for so many years. It was a major component in my self expression, choice of partners, activities and self esteem. So experiencing a major downgrading in that arena, through the alchemy of menopause, has been a huge relief. A very welcomed one, frankly. It’s made room for so many other manifestations of my energy which have their own unique qualities of satiation and satisfaction and soul esteem. And it’s helped me understand something very important:
I am not my body.
Another area that has become unimportant with age is “being somebody”. Well into my 40s, I had this idea that one day, I would “be somebody”: A famous author. A charismatic and wise teacher and guide in the religious tradition I was a practitioner of. A powerful social activist that would negotiate programs to bring relief to those in need – the homeless, the disenfranchised, the forsaken.
And while I have enjoyed small glimpses of those things over the years, none of those ideas of who I thought I would be when I grew up have come to pass, in spite of having been energetically encouraged by those in my immediate circle – and a LOT of “trying” on my part. (I’d like to apologize now to my 5th grade teacher that told me that one day she’d see one of my books on the shelf in the bookstore. Sorry, Mrs. Engel. Ditto to the “prophets” who, over and over in various ways, “foretold” that I would be leading and ministering great numbers of women, or holding high office in our national political system. Um, I don’t know if I screwed things up along the way or if you were just lost in your own imaginings, but it ain’t gonna happen.) This has helped me to understand that:
I am not my Ego Identity.
Conversely, other things that I once took for granted have become much more important. Personal health immediately comes to mind. Having been a very healthy person all my life (the healthiest in my family of origin), advancing age has brought other kinds of “gifts” I’m not nearly as crazy about, but must deal with if I want to keep on keeping on. Skin issues. Weight issues. Energy issues. But that’s ok. These things have reinforced the truth that:
I may not BE my body, but I require a good functioning one if I am to fulfill my destiny the way I want to.
And I do. I do want to, very much.
But of all the things that I place great value on these days – health, creative expression, friendship, service – nothing feels as important as the well being of my children and grandchild. It’s not that I haven’t always valued this. It’s just that when you’ve circled the sun as many times as I have, you gain a deeper understanding of how fragile life really is. Long gone are the days of my “bulletproof” mentality. I’ve born witness to bad things happening to good people – seriously horrendous things, in some cases. Yet, by the Grace of the Divine, my family has been spared those things thus far. Sure, we’ve experienced our share of challenges. We have our wounds…our scars. But we are all still here and going strong.
Which brings me to the “real” point of my post:
We received some extremely positive news on Friday regarding my daughter’s health. While we’re still waiting for the results on that “lung mass”, I am ecstatic to report that extensive testing has revealed that there isn’t a single sign of cancer in her thyroid or any other organ in her neck!! Her surgeon isn’t sure where the tests showing cancer came from, or why, but it isn’t there. Whether it was the result of administrative fuck up or Divine Intervention, we may never know. What we do know is that she has thyroid inflammatory dis-ease, something very “easily” treatable by medication. NOT cancer!
I was sitting in my car in the parking garage at work when the call came. I wanted – needed – to be alone when I heard the news because I wasn’t sure what it would be. When she told me, I started laughing and sobbing at the same time…deep belly laughs that quickly overtook the crying, and that came straight from my spirit.
Two days later, and in spite of more waiting, my family is celebrating and I’m feeling so much lighter. Still a bit exhausted (it’s been a long month since the initial cancer diagnosis, with much happening in between), but definitely lighter, less stressed out, and more hopeful than ever!
So I wanted to say THANK YOU to all of those who offered up prayers, light, love and blessings on behalf of my family! I am forever grateful. While I won’t pretend to know why praying works some of the time, but doesn’t seem to affect the outcome at others, I believe with all of my heart that all of the healing energies sent her way made a huge difference. YOU made a difference.
I would also like to thank Jesus, the one I am most intimately acquainted with as Healer, as well as the Angels and the Divine Mystery that is The Great Mother/Father of us all. I honestly don’t know how this all works, but I do know that there is a power greater than me that is real, that created me, and that has an active interest and participation in my daily life. In my children’s lives. It is LOVE Unconditional and Everlasting. Long gone are the days when I thought I had to “be” as certain way to gain it’s Favor. I can’t earn It’s love, nor can I be separated from it. It loves me in all of my humanness and divine-ness, in my goodness and waywardness, and through all of my days, dark and light.
Blessed Be The One. And Blessed Be YOU.
Last week, I took a road trip to Las Vegas.
It’s not a long distance – only 500 miles round trip. Since I’m in Vegas 2-3 times a year for work, it’s a no-brainer – an easy drive that includes a couple of favorite stops along the way that break up the monotony of long stretches of uninhabited desert. They also give me a chance to pee.
This trip was different. A big rainstorm had rolled in the day I arrived, and for the first time ever, I was going to have some weather going home. In fact, it was so foggy the morning I wanted to leave that I waited a couple of extra hours to take off. It was seriously weird to look out my hotel window and not be able to see the huge buildings across from me. But the rains had stopped, fortunately, and when I felt good to go, any concerns about flash flooding were gone.
By the time I was to State Line, the desert skies were vast blue and clear. Clear, that is, until I was about 15 miles out from my first stop – Baker.
The speed limit on this part of Interstate 15 is 70 mph. I tend to cruise at about 75 mph, although if a particular song is playing, my foot inadvertently gets a little heavier. So there I am, cruising along and trying not to *think* too much (having received The Call less than 24 hours earlier), when suddenly , out of nowhere, things changed.
I could see it in the distance. A thick, dense cloud was sitting on the road in front of me, completely obliterating it and the hill I was climbing. The word “Whiteout” comes to mind, although I don’t know if the term applies to fog. Anyway, I immediately started to slow down, and began tapping my foot on the brakes. I wanted to do what I could to alert anyone behind me that Something Ahead was of concern.
Within the space of a few heartbeats, my car was swallowed up and I could barely see the road directly in front of me. The visibility was so bad, I thought about pulling over to wait it out except (a) I couldn’t see the side of the road, (b) I was afraid I’d get hit by a semi truck and (c) I had NO idea when the fog would lift. And while Baker may be the home of Alien Fresh Jerky, the only hotel in town looked like the Bates Motel.
I was having none of that. I needed to get home!
So I had 15 feet – about two car lengths – to see by. 15 feet…on a highway notorious for the number of semis that use it, and accidents involving drunk and disorderly types leaving Sin City. Suddenly I thought of the two boys in my son’s senior class who were killed on the very highway I was on. They were snuffed out in a head on collision as they were heading home. I wanted none of that, either….as in, on HELL no!
So I inched along, seeing nothing but white in front of me and white in back of me. “I have to be close. I must be close. If I can just make it to Baker, I’ll be alright.”
I don’t know what you do when you find yourself in a tense situation, but I go into Hyper Alert Mode. First, I can’t bear any noise – so I flipped off the music. If I couldn’t see, I needed all of my Hearing Superpowers. Then I began taping the brakes, hoping against hope that anyone barreling up behind me would see the lights in time to avoid smashing into me. My hands held the steering wheel in a Death Grip, and I strained forward in my seat, chest against the wheel, squinting – trying to see anything…..literally, ANYTHING…through the windshield.
I saw Nothing. For several tense minutes, I was driving blind.
And then, there they were! Two tiny, red flashing lights appeared out of the Nothingness in front of me. Oh, thank the Aliens! Another driver was on the road and they seemed to know what they were doing! I carefully pulled in behind them, leaving enough space between us that I could stop suddenly if needed, but not so much that I lost them. One foot..a mere 12 inches…. in that pea soup made all the difference. Not that far, but far enough.
Right about then, a road sign emerged from the Void and slid slowly by the right hand window: BAKER – 11 miles..
OK, so I had maybe 10 minutes to go. In Scary Time, that’s an eternity. But I felt better. I could make it 10 more minutes! I wasn’t alone and I was following behind someone who was already where I needed to be – even if it was only a few feet from where I was.
Let me tell you, me and those tail lights became Besties. They were two tiny red blinking angels showing me The Way, and I didn’t take my eyes off of them for a second. I knew that if I followed carefully behind, forming our own little two car caravan, we could – WOULD – make it the 11 miles to Baker.
For several minutes (or seconds) we crawled along. It was super surreal, like we were on a different planet. And I remember thinking that I hoped they felt safer, too, with me behind them. Not so vulnerable. Not so UNSEEN.
It wasn’t long before a couple of bright white lights appeared in my rear view mirror. Headlights! Another car (NOT a semi , thankyouverymuch) came out of the fog and stayed just the right distance behind me – not that far, but far enough – and linked up. I don’t know if anyone was in front of the car ahead of me, or in back of the car behind me. In the blinding whiteness, it seemed we were the only living things in the world. But together, although it was only three of us, we felt like enough – enough to make it another view miles up the road. And safety.
Then, just like that, as if a door had instantly opened, the fog lifted abruptly. Another mile and the exit for Baker came into view, and I was able to pull off the road where I took a minute to regroup and gather myself up.
So…what does this story have to do with anything? Well, it struck me this morning that my experience last week on a foggy hill outside of Baker, CA was a good road map on how to navigate The Voids of Life. You know The Void – that place that we suddenly, unexpectedly and unwillingly find ourselves in. In the Void, we can’t see where we’re going. There aren’t any signposts or landmarks to navigate by, and we feel alone and vulnerable. It can be a really scary place. BUT, we aren’t helpless. We can do somethings. Like:
- SLOW DOWN – Speeding through The Void can kill you. When you can’t see, slow is best – so you don’t find yourself in a pileup, or in a ditch along the side of the road.
- ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS – Find that Quiet within. Tune out and Turn off the noise of the world so you can “hear” and focus.
- FOLLOW THE LIGHT THAT YOU HAVE – Even the smallest light is enough to break through the dark to guide you
- STAY CLOSE TO YOUR LEADER – This could be God. It could also be a mentor or “guide” who has already been where you are going. This type of person is invaluable. Just one good one will do.
- KEEP ON THE LOOKOUT FOR SIGNS – The Universe WILL let you know you’re being watched over. Direction will come. Believe!
- DO WHAT YOU CAN TO PROVIDE LIGHT FOR ANOTHER – Give, and it shall be given
- STICK TOGETHER – Find a small group of like-minded people, and share the journey with them. I’m not one for large groups. I keep the number of my intimates small. But whether it’s 1 or 100, don’t try to navigate The Void alone if you don’t have to.
- TAKE IT STEP BY STEP – Don’t try to go too far, too fast. One day – one moment – one decision at a time will do. It’s all in the Present. The Now.
- HAVE FAITH – The Void doesn’t last forever, even if it feels like it. As quickly as it appears, it will go away.
- TAKE TIME TO REGROUP – Navigating The Void can be stressful and draining. When you’ve made it through, take time to rest, recover, recharge, and renew. Stretch and get your bearings.
And eliminate anything that you no longer need.
“Awakening is not a thing.
It is not a goal, not a concept. It is not something to be attained. It is a metamorphosis.
If the caterpillar thinks about the butterfly it is to become, saying ‘And then I shall have wings and antennae,’ there will never be a butterfly. The caterpillar must accept its own disappearance in its transformation. When the marvelous butterfly takes wing, nothing of the caterpillar remains.” ― Alejandro Jodorowsky
I have one tattoo. I got it around my 49th birthday, and it’s a beautiful butterfly. There’s a long story behind her, but for now let me say that I got it done during a very pivotal time in my life. She acts as a reminder. A milestone. A marker.
Butterflies have always been a presence in my life, not only for their beauty, but for their message. Most of us are familiar with the transformation process of a caterpillar. We *know* that caterpillars undergo a massive liquification within the cocoon on their way to becoming Something Else. We’ve learned that trying to alleviate the struggle a newborn butterfly must go through to get out of the cocoon is actually damaging, not helpful. And many of us have actually invited Her transformation into our lives because we long to be free, to be beautiful, to be more. We want to become a better – the Highest and Best – version of ourselves, and leave the ugliness of being a dirt crawler behind.
At least, I have. I’ve been there before.
Funny how time has a way of minimizing the memory of pain. When I was in the middle of a personal metamorphosis in the past, it was brutal. It was dark and uncomfortable and scary as hell. I felt lost and abandoned by God. Abandoned by people. Abandoned by my self.
The relief of leaving that phase behind was enormous, and I was so grateful I made it out alive. My life was better for the change. I was a better person. More conscious. More compassionate. More connected.
But time passes, life goes on, “routine” sets in and I face the Cocoon again: Sometimes involuntarily, and sometimes by Invitation. Silly me. Even knowing that the transformation can be intense, I still think: “I am” going to do this…I am going to transform…I am going to become a butterfly…. because I forgot. It is the nature of Nature to help us forget the intensity of pain. (Otherwise, a lot of us would never have more than one child.)
It occurred to me a couple of days ago that it wasn’t all that long ago that I was spouting off about wanting to be changed. I wanted a changed life, a changed direction. What the fuck was I thinking???
When I said those words…those prayers…what I had forgotten was that
(a) the Gods are always listening and always ready to assist in any request that serves my Highest Good and Purpose and
(b) in the fires of alchemy, there is a complete undoing that must take place. As in a total, irrevocable, absolute undoing.
Of my Self.
I’m scared. I’m feeling powerless. I’m facing something I don’t really want to deal with, frankly, or know how to deal with. There is a huge part of me that is begging for my life back. This is absolutely unknown territory for me. But I’m finding comfort here anyway. I know that it’s a part of my Soul Contract to go through this dissolving at this time. I can’t think my way out of it. I can’t negotiate or argue or bargain my way out of it. In fact, resistance is futile and all my ego based strategies for managing life and “coping” are pretty much useless in this place I now find myself in.
All that I can do is surrender. Surrender to the Greater Forces at Work in my life, to the process, and to The Plan. And surrender unconditionally. I have been set out on Poseidon’s Sea to experience a complete breakdown of who I “think” I am, and who I think the Divine is, so as to move me more deeply from the head to the heart.
This is not just the season of life that I find myself in with my daughter. It’s also the global season we are in, with Neptune in Pisces until 2025. Pisces, the last of the 12 signs Neptune must travel through to complete it’s 165 year cycle. We are at the End. And the Beginning. That in and of itself is comforting, because nothing is accidental. I was born for such a time. We each were.
And we are each being initiated.
When this is all over, the “I” of today will no longer exist. I will have been dissolved. Yet I am full of hope because I believe that this breakdown will lead to a breakthrough. A mystical breakthrough to Soul.