Saturday, November 5, 2016

Surviving Year Two: Week Lucky 13

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This is Week Lucky 13 of my Surviving Year Two Grief Project. Details about all my Grief Projects, as well as Grief Resources can be found here.
Halloween has come and gone. I survived the first of a series of holiday bombardments. Next up is my late husband's birthday in a mere five days. I have nothing planned, but hopefully will see a friend the following day. This friend, in a very surreal synchronicity, happens to share my husband's birthday.

I am currently re-reading an old Marion Woodman book, Leaving My Father's House: A Journey to Conscious Femininity. It's essentially a book about rising up out of the chains of the patriarchy and re-connecting with the deep, powerful wisdom of the conscious, mystical feminine.

My favorite "character" in the book is artist & writer Rita Greer Allen. She was a sculptor and wild mystic and she shares her real journal pages in this book. Her thoughts and feelings are expressed with such an admirable depth and honesty, while still being playful and completely hilarious. Her words and journey to mysticism through her art and life is so inspiring to me. From her descriptions of having hot sex with her husband (they are both over 60!) to her ever blossoming feminism, I find her words lifting my spirits on very dark days.

I just read one of her journal passages about firing and smoking two large, sculpted wings in her kiln. She raku-fires her sculptures, and it is a very risky process, where you must hope it comes out how you want, but you must also let go and let the outcome be whatever it is going to be.

She had already gone through a harrowing experience firing the head of this angel/guardian and she is starting to fear that the wings may be ruined. I now quote from the book:
"Why put them through the danger of the fire?" and then, I heard, as though it spoke, the voice of the guardian-head: "Each piece must go through the fire. The cowl, the wings, the pneuma, the source, the flow. All must go the way that I have gone. Each may crack in the process, as I have cracked. But look, the crack has healed. I did not break. Without the fire, the piece is untested, unlived, raw. Each must go through the fire." I fired the wings, first one then the other, and each emerged with some shading from the smoke in the most beautiful way. Whole. Complete. (Rita Greer Allen, September 17, 1985)
I resonate so deeply with this process. I feel like I have gone through the fire and cracked, and yet I am also healing. I have cooked in the fire and my heartbreak and loss has made me that much more whole and complete. It is a very empowering way to look at grief.

Thank you for witnessing me. See you next week.

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