Joy Abandoned

Taken from a FB Q & A yesterday:

Joy left in November and only shows her face briefly. Holding it together doesn’t seem to allow for joy. How can I invite joy in to my life again and trust that it will come?

Joy doesn’t leave. It’s not the emotion’s responsibility to show itself to you. And, it doesn’t have a singular nature of, say, showing up in a high or grandiose action or activity. It’s there. There’s no need to ‘trust that it will come’; it doesn’t abandon or retreat or hide behind the couch waiting to jump out and surprise you. Why are you not seeing it? If you want to, all you have to do is look and allow yourself to feel it, that’s your responsibility. You can start with the mirror.

 

Saying What?

It’s been nearly two years since I first heard my Beloved crew collective shout “SPEAK” to me. As I watched coverage of the Charleston church shooting at Melynnda Button‘s house, that command rolled through my head and heart and I shouted right back, “WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT ME TO SAY?1 DON’T KILL EACH OTHER!! THEY FUCKING KNOW THAT!!!”

Then I stomped into the kitchen for coffee, the universe opened up and the Old Ladies rolled in to get my ass to Sundance. But, still, that command rattled the head and heart. Say what, exactly? To whom, exactly?

A month later, at a burger joint with a friend–gorging on burgers and fries and her awakening experience–Black Elk joined the fray and said to her, “Ask her. She knows.” In the ladies room, no less. What.the. FUCK DO I KNOW!!?! said in return, quietly because this time we were in public.

The Old Ones came down from the hills of York, MT (again, while there was burger eating happening) to say, “Speak, child. Speak.”

My big-ass, burly Wankiyan interrupted comings and doings at Standing Rock last autumn to say, “WE TOLD YOU WHAT TO DO ON OCTOBER 4, 2013!!” And, of course, he interrupted someone else to pass this nifty, angry nugget on. At least it wasn’t in the ladies room this time. My response was only to shake my head, wonder about how I could be fucking up something so simple, and head to the only way I could find what they were talking about–to my blog and here on good ol’ FB (because, God forbid, I actually write all this shit down.) And, I found it: https://www.facebook.com/groups/442500839195758/?fref=nf And, I shrugged with something resembling shame but had no outcry b/c ‘what the fuck do I have to say?’

Two weeks ago, another lovely of the invisible persuasion, entered into (blessedly, a willing and unafraid friend) to say, “Grab a pen.” And, she did. And, among other things, said, you guessed it, “Speak.”

And I asked again, much more quietly than two years ago, “What the fuck do they want me to say?” There’s been a progression of anger, incredulity, shame to regret. Regret that I only know what I know when I know it. And what I do know and it’s expression of it hasn’t been enough.

At one point I thought by sharing here interesting and inspiring stories from others was the way to share/show the blessing that surround us. I don’t know if others felt the way I did when I read with fascination, interest or awe those things that the artistry of science, sculpture and movement of bodies–human and non–, gifts four own natural state and the nature around us. But I shared hoping that they’d survive in the heart weather than be lost in the chaos and cacophony.

I’d previously given up on sharing my own explorations and unfolds because there didn’t seem to a healthy response that I felt I needed. But as they keep pleading and demanding i speak, I keep stumbling. I thought that last summer’s public Clarion Call (https://godatthekitchensink.com/2016/06/16/clarion-call/) would be enough or that this past March’s speaking myself into existence (https://godatthekitchensink.com/2017/03/13/before-and-again/) was enough. It’s apparently not.

I no longer wonder who I am or why I am. Those are clear to me. The how of it is not. I thought that others who can see would share that in a way that would help The Voice not feel so lost or alone while the throat burns and chokes. I mean, it must be right here, right? It is electric, it’s begging to be released and I don’t know what to say. Sometimes it feels like it’s merely a case of the glasses on top of the head or keys right there on the dashboard–so close and yet so far away–and other times, like now, it’s nothing but a mass of confusion. How to be that which has been prayed into existence but not believed? How to say what has already been said in a way that will be met without fear but with hope? How to speak softly enough to inspire conversation, not add to the cacophony? These are the things I don’t know.

I do know that if I don’t engage somehow, I’ll wither like those who’ve come before me who, in their fear, refuse to be who they are. Their bodies and brains begin shutting down as their heart-fire begins to dim when it’s their time to shine. The fiery pinprick in the throat will morph into its own version of dimming if it’s not given voice. I just don’t know what to say. Except: I love you. Maybe for now that’s enough.

Speaking Silence

The waters wend

their way around me,

Wrapping around my legs

with a ‘shhhhhh….

Speak.’

Snake and otter stand

on end,

Hood open and head cocked

waiting…..

‘Speak’.

Ancient echoes and memories

course through veins,

entering others uninvited

saying…

‘Speak.’

 

Old Ones come from the hills

with a gentle plea to

‘Speak, child…

Speak.’

 

The throat burns

yearning to know

the words to

‘Speak.’

 

This thing, these things that

the heart burns with

 a knowing I must know

somewhere these the words to answer

‘Speak.’

 

With something more than silent love,

to speak those things for which there may be no words

but they are waiting to be heard again.

 

Hiding Places

Tucked away

beyond the reach.

Reaching out to give

succor and safety.

Only momentarily, though.

We were always found.

 

Now, we need to be found again.

Seen.

For ourselves.

To replace fear with love,

Pity with compassion;

To air out the dark corners

and step into the peace we are,

the peace we bring.

Be found. Be seen. Be loved. To love.

There is no longer any need to hide.

Rise.

Come out from behind the hiding place.

Shine, love.

Love. Shine.

How a Non-Deist Dances (or does the dishes) with God

When I was in the sixth grade, I saw an angel. At least, that’s what I called it. It was in the sky, it was alive, and not a bird or a plane or Superman. Not even a super-something else. It just was. And pretty as it just was. I told my mother who commemorated the experience with a poor concrete facsimile that confused me to no end. Because that wasn’t it and it wasn’t quite right in my adolescent mind. I don’t know if I ever thought again of that beautiful being I saw until we were reintroduced to each other in August 2015.

I never did see God, though. As an atheist it made complete sense. Out of mind, out of sight.

Until. Until one day in the spring of 2007 while I was washing dishes, I felt it. IT. The thing that other folks have described as God. This coalescing of something bigger than me but not definable, fully there and not-exactly-finite at the same time. Big, but fitting into the kitchen with me. I put down the salmon pan, walked to my then-husband in the living room, said out loud, “I just met God”, and walked back to the sink. Because, apparently God and other invisibles don’t do dishes. No other word was said. None needed to be. It was neither disturbing nor interesting. I didn’t ask any questions because none needed asking. I didn’t tell anyone else until years later.

I also didn’t tell anyone when God came back. I mean, what or who else could that big, infinite, yet finite beingness at the kitchen sink–again–possibly be?  This time, again while my hands were in the suds, it said one thing: “How will you define yourself?” That’s it. No winning lottery numbers. No “Here, I’ll dry”. Just “How will you define yourself?”

Neither of these experiences were met with a response more than nonplussed curiosity. Nothing more than a measured, ‘huh’. Although at one point in my non-religious evolution I was taught that God was fearsome and to be feared, I didn’t believe he existed at all, especially in that way. In fact, I never believed in him as his existence was explained by anyone. Except when that it-that-can-be-nothing-else arrived, I knew. Just knew.

In that moment, I just knew that fear was unnecessary, that worship was unnecessary, reverence was unnecessary, and there was no room for confusion or revelation. It just was. Not from ‘above’ but not from within. Not from somewhere ‘else’ but certainly something else, something other than my mind’s capacity for imaginings or desire for a holy dishwashing experience. In fact, there was nothing particularly holy in the whole thing. The clouds didn’t part, angels didn’t sing and I didn’t zing with the energies I often feel while with things of the ecstatic nature. I didn’t drop to my knees as I’ve done in grief and gratitude; I just heard him. There was no reassurance, demand for obedience or plea for belief; just one simple question.

While I was as unconfused and unawed as the first encounter, the second annoyed me. I knew the who of it and the what of if but, A) I still had to dry the dishes and, B) I’ve got other shit going on so what the hell kind of question is that for God to ask someone like me?

I had no idea then that the me I was would shortly no longer be. I had no context for the question and no understanding that there was anything beyond a definition of “I’m just Ingrid.”

Ten years into thisness, I’m well into not-just-Ingrid and I still don’t know how to define myself. And, I still don’t define that God-thing the way others do.  I thought if I’d define myself in my own way or the way I’ve been asked to the last year by those ones of Creation that got me into this mess, I’d know how to be this whatever-I-am. Notsomuch. God hasn’t come back to ‘splain all that, either. Or help with the dishes.

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy and Merci on Me

 

Mercy.

noun
1.
compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.

or: a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion

We most often associate Mercy with someone else. I suggest that we show ourselves a little mercy. And give ourselves a little Merci.

Mercy and thanks for not having it all figured out; for feeling ungraceful and ungrace-filled; for floundering; for all the goodness that we know is there but can’t feel it in the funk; for our beauty within and the beauty that surrounds.

Mercy and thanks for the capacities that have brought us this far; the capacities for others to help us grow farther; for the calamities that remind us of our strength and courage, our gentleness and compassion, how we bring Grace to others.

May the mercy and thanks we give to ourselves be given unto others as we are reminded there is no Other.

Mercy.

Merci.