Despite the fact that I managed to get two mid-week posts published this week, Sunday continues to feel like the day I need to get some blogging accomplished. So here I am on Sunday morning with leftover vegan jambalaya in my mug and my old laptop on my knees, and although there is always plenty of wellness to write, nothing stands out as particularly pressing today. Back in the days of my old diary-style blog this would be a day for Maintenance Writing, so named for the purposes of keeping the flow flowing, not falling out of the habit, etc. Maintaining the practice. Most wellness practices are about maintenance; getting up every day and doing the work. Lately it is getting up every Sunday and posting to the blog.
Put the yoga blocks in the basket. Place the basket on the altar. Set the candles on the blocks. Light them. Sit. Listen. Pray. Receive. Drink coffee. Eat plants. Refill coffee. Clean glasses. Write for the week. Just like church, no? Especially since rain finally came last night and continues to fall this morning. We’ve been yearning, thirsting, panting for rain in Mercyburg for weeks. It finally came. We give thanks. We cry for California. We give more thanks. We don’t just sit here and watch it rain and not write.
Have you been wondering if there has been more WooWoo since my yoga post about the girl in the shed? There has been more, in the form of a dream, which has always my strongest connection to WooLand. All the Steeples reading will say Amen. I got up out of bed, wrote down the dream, wrote my questions about it, did some quick research, found the parallels and references, and then wrote the answers. It was a message from WooLand. I received it. WooLand was represented by the ocean in the dream, so going forward I’m going to call it The Deep, because WooLand sounds like a cheesy crowded overpriced fun park. The Deep sounds … deep. The messenger was an orca, commonly called a killer whale. The message was, “You are not listening.” I am now.
Of course, it also bears mentioning that once we acknowledge something supernatural is happening in our lives we start looking for it and seeing it, projecting it, interpreting it when it might be something completely natural or a simple coincidence. Once you think you’ve seen a unicorn you see them everywhere. Like last night, while The Chef and I were watching Netflix. A woman on death row was approaching the final hours of her life before execution in the electric chair. We were seated on opposite ends of the sofa. I was drinking a glass of wine. He was drinking gin and tonic with ice.
Chef: I’ve never heard of a woman getting the death penalty. Are there really women on death row?
Me: There are lots of women on death row.
Chef: I mean currently.
Me: Yes, currently. Right now.
Chef: In the United States?
Me: Yes. Lots.
Chef: But we’ve never executed a woman, right?
Me: Sure we have.
He was skeptical. He googled it. I paused the TV. He held his smartphone in one hand, his cocktail in the other. He found the stats. Read them aloud. Sat in surprise, especially at the number from his own state and since he’s been alive. More importantly, the number that have died since mainstream use of the internet.
Chef: How come we never hear about it, especially in the media? I’ve never seen or heard about any of these. Every time a man dies on death row it makes the news. At minimum there’s always coverage of a protest by people who oppose the death penalty. It would definitely make the news here. Why have I never seen it for a woman?
Me: The answer is in the question. Because women’s deaths don’t matter.
Chef: No, that can’t be it.
And then immediately, I swear on my life, an ice cube in his drink exploded, flew out of his glass and hit him in the lip. No joke. Ask him if you don’t believe me. It bounced off his lip and landed on the living room floor, glittering like a diamond. And it wasn’t a gentle bounce. It was a big jagged chunk. Shrapnel. It pelted him hard. He said it hurt. I stared at his lip and believed him. I also sat in silent freak-out that this might have been an ice-pelting from The Deep. I didn’t say it but I thought it. I also thought, You’ve got my attention. I am listening. And bonus, he was listening too.
Just a coincidence? Just a weird random meaningless accident with perfect timing? Spiritual phenomenon? Who’s to say? He spent the rest of the length of the Netflix show reading about every woman who has been executed from death row since he was born. He did remember one of them from his own state, but only for her conviction, not her execution. It prompted a new question: why he would be aware of her crimes from the media but not her death? He didn’t see it or hear it, or didn’t notice, or he just doesn’t remember. In any case I think the message was meant for him; I was simply present to trigger the release. For once I knew to remain silent and let the magic happen. There was nothing I could have said that would have punctuated the moment better than frozen water hurling itself against him. Wake up, mister.
The deaths of those women — all women — do matter to me, as do their lives, as does the sobering realization that a man can live half a century on this earth and not be aware that women are killed for their crimes the same as men but not receive the same press. Or maybe they did/do receive the same press and he never noticed. Why would he not notice? The answer is still in the question.
I am listening.
I have also lived in this house for ten years and never noticed this before. This is original flooring so this has also been around for half a century. Same room as the altar. Same room where the yoga is practiced and meditation is practiced and writing happens. The room named Place of Devotion. Heavy usage. Daily usage. I’m sitting maybe two feet away from it.
That day I fell out of a headstand and cut my leg on a side table I was practically right on top of it. One way to put it is, I never noticed before. Another way to put it is, the floor is speaking to me.
I am listening.
This week I celebrated a two-month workaversary at my new job. Shortly after I started I admitted to my female colleagues that I have a goddess complex. A huge goddess complex. It was during the getting-to-know-you exchanges. I offered this as a good-natured heads up. A playful disclaimer. Not gonna try to hide it, y’all. Not long afterward I was assured by them that I am well-justified in this identity and they weren’t playing. I made a joke about it and they stopped me.
But you are a goddess, she said.
You are THE goddess, the other one said.
I want to be a goddess, another one said.
Matter-of-fact. And they began calling me this openly and explaining it to the male colleagues. In the parlance of our times, it’s like, not even a joke anymore. The gag Christmas gift I received on Friday wasn’t a gag. They meant it.
Permission for one turned into permission for all. We spent the afternoon discussing who we really are in our minds. Each revealed her own grandiose internal image of herself. No one was joking. It was dazzling at first. Then it was
The smart pretty young mom revealed that in her mind she has aged another 30 years, is overweight, sad, tired, has no life, no friends, severely depressed and never leaves the house. She wasn’t joking either. She really feels this way. Without me saying a word — not a single syllable — the other women began loving her up, lifting her up, propping her up, shoring her up from their own resources. A gaggle of goddesses encircled her and began dispensing medicine, each her own. I didn’t direct. I didn’t coach. I didn’t rush to facilitate or articulate. I was present simply to hold the space, make it feel safe, and trigger the release.
I am listening.
So yeah. My world just isn’t the same anymore. Home, work, relationships, dreams, all enhanced. Woo-ey. Deep-er. From tiny moments to punches in the mouth, there’s extra stuff going on. Unicorns everywhere. This is what happens when I drink a beer on the porch:
I had already decided that I wasn’t going to bother with a Word of the Year for 2018. I felt the practice had served me well in the past but its potency had waned. I really didn’t do much with 2017’s word, agrestal. So I would pass this New Year. All would be well. But just like Christmas to the Grinch, the words came to me just the same. I heard them because I am listening. Listening, I am. Listening, it is. Or just listen.