It’s crowded in here, my head full of too many people, too many voices. Too many feelings, snippets of lives moving in and out of my consciousness, or sometimes just in, to set up camp in my head and stay a while. These souls haunt me still, these people I knew once and think, maybe again someday, because I still feel them, I still send them light and love and hope when they pass through. We have conversations, communions, spiritual therapy sessions of sorts, untangling knots.
Always their knots, not mine. I don’t know who can help me untangle anymore. My husband is supportive, audacious, enterprising and exciting, but not a therapist. I suppose I have to hire yet another one, the what, fifth? sixth? Depends on who you count, I guess – I go through them eventually, reach the end of their usefulness or insights. Outgrow them as they tell me I could be a therapist, I should be one.
And am left on my own again with the voices of the past, broken records playing, once more with feeling. So this is my therapy, finding my own voice among the din.
We are children, waking to find our parents’ divorce ripping through our pristine lives like a tornado, tossing illusions aside, scattered into the screaming winds.
We are heartbroken, cast aside lovers, anguished to see our beloved merrily traipsing through daisies, holding another’s hand, while we languish in despair.
We are destitute spouses, bereaved and bereft when the banks come calling, demanding payments on debts never discussed, kept secret until now.
We are a nation in chaos, traveling through harsh terrain with the world watching every misstep, every protest, every internal battle laid bare.
We are an entire country stuck in transitions in time.
I’m not where I wanted to be by now. I wanted to be settled, to have a house for the next 25 years, to already be a full professor, to have an established life that would stretch ahead of me like a smooth, untroubled stream into the distance.
Thank God I don’t.
Thank God I still have much to strive for, that I haven’t yet fulfilled all of my grandiose dreams. Thank God I still have much to learn, even as I’m proud of how far I’ve come.
…is haunting me, filling my head still with the feelings of transition and loss and nostalgia and hopefulness for this new year.
But it doesn’t make any sense, unless you accept the idea of “priestess.” That there are some women on this Earth drawn to spiritual places and groups because their soul’s charge and purpose is to be the light and life of that community. In eons past, they would live within the walls, spend every waking moment tending to the spiritual lives of the faithful. They are found in every house of every kind of worship, in every culture, throughout history. And my soul is one of these – I know because I came alive when I walked into my temple.
Last night before bed I learned a fellow priestess had moved on, had decided our community was no longer her path. And when I slept, I dreamt her dream.
All the welcoming features of the building itself were gone – warm mauve deepened into dark blue, stained glass windows turned into walnut wood walls, easily accessible gently sloping aisles stretched upward into high stairwells and narrow halls. And the spiritual leader had become unrecognizable, not just a new person but a farce of another faith’s stereotypical paradigm. And a woman she knew and loved (who is now gone) turned with rage twisting her face and declared, I am SO angry with you!
A dreadful place indeed, and who can blame her for wanting to leave? But my fellow priestess, you may travel on, but remember that your sisters still know and cherish you. In the end, dreams may help reveal our hearts, but you have to open your eyes to see.
I am here, about to receive my new keys to my new kingdom. And the power they have invested in me is humbling. I have discretion, they say. I hold the possibility of a brighter future in my hands for hundreds of lives that I will touch, who will come to me for guidance. And if I just believe in them, maybe, just maybe, they might continue on in confidence and pride to do amazing things with their lives. On this first day, I feel the responsibility. And I am beyond thrilled to be here at last.
…means leaving LA. Leaving my community. Leaving my adopted home. And as excited as I am about this new chapter, the truth is I love it here, and I’m truly sad about moving, even to step into my long-awaited future. The spiral is turning again, and I have to retread my old steps with new intention, learn what I missed before. Journey with open eyes this time, seeing what I missed in my past incarnation. I’m going to live a new life in an old space…being present this time instead of dreaming of another life entirely. God help me. Help me continue to hear your voice and see your patterns. Help me love as fiercely as I do now. Help me keep myself whole. Help me find true friends for our new life. Help me do good, and not just do well. May this new chapter be the beginning of a great new story, filled with love and light. Amen.
I miss my husband, the man who used to loll happily on the couch with me, discussing the day’s events. I miss the man who knew more news than me, who was connected to the universe. I miss his easy smile, his gleeful insistence that yes, he could do that amazing stunt we just saw or eat that disgusting thing in one bite. I miss his surety that he would succeed, if he just kept trying. I miss him stepping outside for a one hour conference call, at 10 pm or 10 am, didn’t matter. I miss him reaching for me in the dark, holding me close.
I hope that man comes back to me someday, after a long road and a hard journey. I’ll try to hold on to that hope through this long, lonely night.