I intend to go to the workshop my friend is teaching - he’s here on an artist-residency in our spiritual community and I want to show up in support and to hang in the garden writing with tribe. A student drives a couple of hours to me for us to meet before we carpool to the gathering. She gets here and part of the counsel I offer has her realize that more than anything she needs to be home today. She listens to her body and turns back around. Shaken free of my plan of her as my ride, I discover that my energy, too, is moving in a different direction. My greatest excitement has me staying right where I am. I feel a quality of pristine, a state of elevation in my being that I want to nurture and tend well. I feel oddly protective of myself. I'm clear it’s not time to show up til later tonight when we are making community ritual, but I’m worried about bailing. My friend has been visioning this workshop for a while and I said I’d come. I want to honor my word and his great work, I don't want to disappoint him, what if he thinks I don't value him. My stress around not hurting my friend has shifted my glow into a state of physical exhaustion. My body literally keeps me on my floor - now I couldn’t go even if I wanted to. After a while a wave of panic / intense energy kicks in. What is going on???? I get up and get into my borrowed car, not sure where I need to go but needing to move.
Earlier that afternoon, I’d gotten a call from my continuum movement teacher - a wild-woman-hermit-elder who lives in the forest down the road from the student who visited me earlier. She is nearby me today, can I pick up the drum she borrowed ages ago? I find myself navigating to where she’s at, which is around the corner from the overlook where test-drive guy and I sat. She greets me with such delight that all of my fray calms. Once inside, I trip over her oxygen cord. It is the longest cord ever, allowing her to move with ease around a huge space. It’s length is comforting to me, that the conduit for breath and blessing has _that_ much room in it. That our support can be as expansive as we need to well-meet our desired movement in the world.
We talk about ancestors and chocolate. She speaks of cacao as the medicine of our movement lineage and tells me that Emilie, our shared teacher at whose memorial service we met, spoke of chocolate as the substance of love. She talks about cacao mimicing a chemical that we receive in utero in the first trimester. I tell her of my sensitivity to theobromine, which keeps me from ingesting cacao well, but share with delight the cacao essence elixer - Naked Presence - that I encountered at the eco-palace last night and I ordered upon waking this morning. We speak of the Jewish ancestral healing workshop I’m co-leading later this month and of the blessing of rooting in the bright and well ancestors. She shares stories of transforming holocaust trauma that had haunted her always. We part with love and intention to see each other again soon.
Back at home, I ready for tonight’s ceremony at the garden. I’m ready to go except the rust-colored shawl I want - to stay warm and for ritual beauty - got left with my corset in the car of yesterday's ceremony. I search my closet for at least a half hour for something warm and red for the ritual. I don’t find what I want, but I settle, bringing along an extra layer that I don’t actually want to wear. My priestess-swoop arrives in white robes and a lexus convertible with the top down. He explains he’s selling it, in part because it looks more expensive than it really is and people have ideas that spiritual leaders shouldn’t have a certain kind of bling. We talk about what makes something sacred bling, paying homage to Baba, the queen of this. We pull up at the garden and as I gaze through the gate my heart swells. Our sweet deep people, laughing over food and reconnection, readying for ritual and to welcome a new sibling into our circle. I enter the space to hug upon hug from beautiful family with shining eyes and immense joy.
I'm embraced by he who led the workshop and convey my hopes that it was awesome and my apology for not showing up. He smiles big back and says it’s good that you took care of yourself! The workshop was really beautiful and really intense, he says. Oh, I say, how so? There was a drive-by, he says. Machine-gun, 25 shots at least, right at the corner here. I was by the gate, we were in the garden. No one was hurt. But it was a lot to proceed after that.
Wow wow wow. My eyes are wide and I give such thanks that all is well. I file this away to revisit, to keep listening to what my body-spirit knows she needs, to not be ashamed or fearful of trusting what is in my greatest good, to not stretch into something that is out of alignment for me from a place of wanting to please. I give thanks for all that re-routed me today and got me where I needed to be when and not a moment before.
I can’t reflect long on this, because we are about to start ceremony. A student I haven’t seen in months comes up to me and shares that he has something for me - do I want it? Of course! I mean, I don’t know what it is but, that’s so sweet, yes. He presents me with a bag of red scarves for me to gift to whoever in our community I think should receive them, and then - simultaneously shy and glowing - pulls out a gorgeous red shawl with intricate designs that he had intended to sew into vestment garments. He changed his mind about that and and wonders if it could be a ritual shawl for me instead. The exact thing I’d gotten nervous and frustrated that I couldn’t find in my closet to replace the one I’d left in my friends car is now being gifted to me with love and blessing and so much beauty. I give great thanks to he who gives me this gift. Not only because of it’s perfection in this moment but because pretty much anytime I saw Baba he gave me ritual gifts, sacred bling to support and amplify my way. This shawl, from this shared student of Baba and mine, feels as if it comes direct from from his hand.
The time is now, ceremony begins, we kiss the earth and welcome a new initiate - one who has been blessing up this series of posts with comments and shares but who I hadn’t met in person except in Baba’s hospital waiting room and now again tonight. This initiate says a zillion hearty yeses to working to counter-oppression, to living in devotion and toward creating a just world. In a lush urban garden illuminated by strands of blue lights and hearts bright as moon we chant and drum and remember and give great praise and gratitude for being and becoming.