Sometimes a wave comes over my body, from where I do not know. It comes quietly, leaves quickly. Time passes, sometimes it comes again, this time more insistent. I ignore it. When it comes the third time, I say: “Okay, I’m up.”
I am learning to listen more closely to this energy. It is an invitation from the not-knowing … an intuition, an angel, a guide, my inner wisdom, my soul, all of these. Often painful to hear, always gifts to bear. They are sweepings from the underground fire, obscured by shadow, dimly lit by a flickering candle. If I am patient, let my eyes accustom, I see the shapes.
My guide is old, grizzled, scarred, blind – I call him Standing Falcon. He urges a quiet and persistent pursuit. He pushes me further into the darkness, towards the broken mirror, what I see disturbs me. If I stay vigilant, willing to stay inside, I am awakened to the simple pain of understanding. I often ask myself if it is worth it … yes.
Some time ago, after working with a man struggling to access his deep grief, my guide asked me: “Why do you push him toward his tears?” I wrestled with the question, pushed it away, he was insistent. “Why do you push toward tears?” Having swallowed my own for years, I know how hard it is to surrender to grief. As a soul coach, I push. I acknowledge that sometimes my sense of worth is predicated on ‘cracking’ a man open. When I finally admitted this, my body softened. But my guide would not let me be. What else is here, what am I missing?
Sometimes I have visions, where images and pictures and shadows bombard my psyche, relentless, unnerving, frightening. A few days later, my guide came calling again, I woke up disturbed. I got up, dressed, had my usual coffee and toast, and met my friend to hike up into the mountains. He is savvy about spiritual and psychic phenomena, so when I told him about my old friend Standing Falcon, and a dream I had. He sat down and listened.
“I felt like I was transported into another time, another life, another dimension. I am the Whore of Babylon, my beautiful face painted in brilliant, iridescent colors. I take a long drink from a wooden gourd, the liquid thick and milky. It spills out of the corner of my mouth, my tongue laps it back up. My eyes sparkle, my lips smack, as I watch man after man deposit his semen into my bowl. I laugh as each surrenders his precious fluid. They are weaker, I am stronger, how foolish they are to be so careless with their very essence. First, I send you off to kill each other, to shed each other’s blood. Then the strongest who return build my monuments with their sweat, and give me their seed. Such fools!
The scene shifts … I am in a church, I am a priest standing at the pulpit. The altar is dark, a narrow shaft of light streams in from the stained glass window high above. Half of me is in darkness, half illuminated. In single file, men proceed down the center aisle, toward the baptismal pool on the altar in front of me. One by one, each man bows his head over the pool, and spills his tears into the water. With each discharge, I touch my heart, a drop of blood appears on my finger. I dip the blood into the water.”
I look up, my friend smiles, we are both silent.
A few days later, reflecting and meditating on this dream, I start to write. I sense there is something primal in men, an innate willingness to offer up our blood and sweat and semen … our precious fluids. Usually for some noble cause, often indiscriminately. Yet our tears we offer reluctantly. Why is this? I have asked myself this question a million times. Maybe our essential nature is less inclined to vulnerability. Surely our conditioning tells us this.
Over time, our emotional body has been systematically programmed out of us. Our feeling function, the ‘feminine’ aspect of our nature, has been conditioned to shut down, right from the crib. We do not even know we’re in pain. We do not even know what we are feeling. We function more above the neck and below the belt. That entire space in between, the vital center of our very being, is numb.
Slowly the unconscious man is awakening. Underneath our numbness, underneath our anger and sadness and shame and fear … in the core of our bodies lies an ocean of grief.