Thursday, January 26, 2012
I’ve often said: “I’ve had the good fortune in my life to connect with people at a deep level and feel what it means to love and be loved unconditionally. Often these relations have occurred instantly and with perfect strangers leaving me to become conscious of a collective reality beyond here and now. We have been journeying together (Creation) for billions of years. You would think we would know each other by now.”
The idea of “knowing” for me stretches to the concept of “sacred knowledge,” a stone; which is recognized as an element in the east of the Medicine Wheel. Two days ago as I wrote my earlier blog entitled Skulls and Bones I came across a news bulletin where a reporter informed the public that archaeologists in South Africa found a site where dinosaurs returned to hatch their eggs and die. As the journalist explained it seems dinosaurs were collective creatures not unlike humans who always returned home to give birth or to die. For some reason tears started pouring over my cheeks as I listened to the news. I remembered how EC, a Passamaquoddy elder, teacher and friend who struggled with bone / generalized cancer in 2002 had begged me over the phone “to make sure she would die at home.” She spent months in the hospital living through chemotherapy until finally there was nothing else to do. She passed away at home, in her bed, that first night back from the hospital. Strangely enough the memory made me sigh…
When people ask me “how do you accomplish such phenomenal feats and how can I learn to do the same thing?”
I usually reply: “They are not feats they are natural occurrences triggered by one of the twelve elements (clarity, knowledge, illumination, love, trust, growth, experience, introspection, strength, renewal, purification and wisdom) which we as living creatures are meant to integrate at some deep level and learn how to use through our life story.”
The phenomenal manifestations; which surround me are not of my “creation.” I simply play a role within the sacred circle of natural possibilities.
Yesterday EM mentioned: “ …. But what if you didn’t take up a role wouldn’t it mean that none of “it” would happen?”
“Perhaps,” I suggested taking a moment to reflect on the question, “and yet Creation always has a plan B, C, D in case….”
A few days ago I received a call from MH, a friend and initiate. She informed me that her mother had passed away. It was an incredible shock at first. GBear wasn’t very old and seemingly healthy. This woman, a Malecite traditionalist, elder, teacher and great-grand-mother managed an extremely busy life. She was always on the go, the perfect picture of a Nomad. She did ceremonies, gave lectures, wrote and cared deeply for her family (children, grand-children, and great-grand-children). As a Keeper of Sacred Sites and a Keeper of the Medicine Wheel -- life took her all over the World and she always humbly brought with her the testimony of a wounded life; which was slowly transformed into medicine. Until her last breath she showed the world that she was a survivor, someone who could handle whatever was thrown at her and make it a lesson, a healing, an amazing growth process… I don’t have to say how important this woman was to so many people. GBear made an impact on the World around her and I have no doubt that for a little while the Wheel of a whole collective will feel an incredible loss.
All day yesterday, I let the tears flow. There was a time in my life when I saw “grieving” as a long, painful and unfair process of deep loss. After being around death so much I had to change perspective. Lets put it this way: “I grew into the wisdom of mourning.” These days when the tears come they are an expression of deep connection and a recognition of blessings. For example, yesterday I took time to remember when GBear and I met. How our relationship unfolded and what it manifested.
I met GBear in 1998. She was giving a workshop on the Medicine Wheel at the same Conference where I was a key note lecturer on Indigenous Dreaming and Sacred Circle Tradition. I think she was curious about me because she was a teacher of the Wheel as well. After introductions it seemed easy to spend time together and have a good laugh. GBear has an incredible sense of humour as I’ve observed most First Nation people do. It’s part of the culture to learn how to laugh at life. It’s a survival tool handed down to us by the ancestors.
Eventually, GBear participated in some of “our” circles and we became close friends. We didn’t talk or visited as often as we would have liked; but when we did it was always powerful. Like I told MH two days ago – the connection was so uncanny that whenever “death” was involved in their family reality I would end up in the Hospital living it along with them. It happened again during the past week. While GBear was dying I was in surgery.
There is no doubt that there is a strong umbilical cord between GBear and I. It seems the mere “knowing” of it has always been enough. What I love most about this woman is how “she believes” and never needs explanations. She understands the phenomenal reality of life the same way I do. In the presence of GBear, MP, EC and MR I always feel the deep impression of sisterhood. It transcends any blood ties. In traditional circles it is natural to call one another brother, sister, grand-mother or grand-father even cousin. The words aren’t about biological relations; but about deep, intimate impressions describing the value of particular relationships. I always encouraged my kids to explore the words “sister and brother.”
“Don’t just take it for granted,” I would tell them as they were growing up, “it may be a given because you were born in the same family as brother and sister; but the words themselves mean something bigger than what you can imagine. Take the time to go beyond blood and touch the Spirit of your relationship.”
Luckily for them and for “us” as a family both my kids reached beyond Western thinking and explored the indigenous perspective of “relations.” They managed to make me tear-up often during the course of their time together as children and teenagers. Some events showed they were indeed spirit relations: Brother and Sister. It’s one thing to be close but it takes effort and will to be ONE.
In the last few days I’ve been pulling apart the different details of my accident. I’ve been giving awareness to the lessons, the messages, the healing and dreaming work hidden through the ordeal of the last week. When I hit the ground after falling down the steps I remember thinking: “I could easily die here, alone in the cold.” For some strange reason I felt like a death gate was open and I literally had a choice. I recall stretching my consciousness through the death realms and verifying whether or not it was “my” time. When I noticed it wasn’t I quickly started strategizing to get back in the house. At that moment I couldn’t identify who it was that was passing on.
After talking to MH I realized GBear was telling me “she was on her way” when I fell down the stairs last week. She was also telling me “not to worry and she was OK doing it on her own.” Both MH and I had a good laugh over some details concerning her passing. We realized that even in death GBear was showing her great sense of humour. There’s no doubt a huge part of my accident related to the “ancestors.” I keep repeating the theme: “Lets honour the bones and medicine tools etc… of our Medicine People”. I was happy to hear that MH committed to her mom’s medicine tools and accepted to walk a traditional path as well. Good for her!!
In closure, I’d like to tell GBear that “it was wonderful journeying with her in the last decade. “ She is a great lady in every sense of the word and she certainly inspired both G and I by her work and through her personal story. This is a woman who went from “rock bottom” to “the top of the mountains” and beyond to the 24 levels of dreaming…
To GBear: I do hope to see you again. I expect to meet you along the way – on the trail to the stars! Love you lots.
To MH: I’ve always considered you as a loved one. As far as I’m concerned you are part of my family. Any time you need me – I’m there. Don’t hesitate to give me call if you need anything. I hope to see you at the Blue Moon – so we can pass the gates together and journey side by side for the next 3 years. Tahau!