BAM … I am pulled from the fire
BAM … The surface of my being is shattered
BAM … I feel the meshing of known into the unknown
BAM … The non-essential falls away
BAM … The blood rushes to the surface
BAM … I scream in surprise and rage
BAM … My skin mixes with my bones
BAM … My insides reach for the sun
BAM … She molds me and tears me apart
BAM … All that I am falls into the darkness
BAM … I am yours to temper, yours to change
BAM … I surrender to the shaping
BAM … The edges give way to the core
BAM … Make of me what you will
BAM … Soak me in your waters
BAM … Heal me with your flames
BAM … Brid … I am yours.
Submitted by katrina on Tue, 02/01/2011 - 3:55pm.
I had one of those moments the other day. One of those moments that clarifies the rift between reality and perception. And this time I had the privilege of getting to sit on both sides … at the same time.
Several weeks ago, I met a man while shopping in the hardware store that recently opened in our area. I had shopped there a few times before and this time I was returning to get more keys made. The man that helped me was about my own age and was also a DC native – a rarity these days.
We reminisced about the old days and bygone fixtures of our generation. And we were hitting it off just delightfully. As I paid for my keys, we exchange telephone numbers with the promise of coffee and further conversations.
As I walked out the door, he followed me out. Then it happened, the first anomaly. I turned toward him to say goodbye, and he said something rude and crude. I was in shock. What happened to that wonderful man in the store? Where had my generational and geographical kinsmen gone? In 15 seconds, he had wiped away all the good will and rapport we had built together in the store. What the hell?!!?
He turned and walked cheerfully back into the store as if nothing had happened. He left me a single message in my voice mail, and I have not called him back
When I spoke of the incident with my mentor, he thought maybe the man had interpreted my “tough upbringing” as synonymous with having no boundaries or standards. But that statement was my second anomaly. That was not how the men in my life had ever spoken to me, it was what men yelled out of cars and construction sites; it was the language of sexual harassers everywhere in my experience.
As I recalled, the men of my generation and older were respectful and careful with their language when talking directly to a woman in which they had a serious interest, and quite frankly would watch their language around older women always. So why would anyone think otherwise? Not just to engage in the behavior but to also equate it with *my* “tough upbringing?”
I came head to head with the reality of my upbringing and the perceptions others have of it along with my perceptions of my standing as a middle age woman who grew up hard but made a success out of her life and the reality of what it really meant by today’s standards.
Now clearly that man was just acting inappropriately and Dr. Conforti can only infer what my childhood might have been like by looking back on his own tough upbringing. But there was a message within this moment for me. I needed to reexamine my assumptions about how I presented myself to the world – a reexamination that was long over due.
As I turned this over in my mind, I remembered other time and places where how was treated seemed not only inappropriate but also demeaning in many ways. At the time, I had just filed them under the category of bad experiences.
Clearly I am out of step with some of the realities of today’s world. Because either my story about succeeding against all odds was not working for me, or worse it was even working against me – even though my story was both true, and noteworthy.
So is there something in my story that seems to provide a license for folks to behave badly or worse, to not take me seriously?
Am I contributing to the field of oppression by overemphasizing my source culture while deemphasizing my education, my experience or my skills? And where else might I contribute to a devaluing of my core worth?
And finally, how do my stories inhibit my ability to see the world or myself with anything approaching clarity?
I am going to sit with these questions a while and let it settle within the container of my practice.
But as I ask my students, what stories do you tell yourself? And how do they help or hinder your development and your evolution?
Submitted by katrina on Fri, 01/21/2011 - 5:55pm.
Shakmah WinddrumShakmah Winddrum has passed beyond the veil and I am at a loss to truly express my sorrow and my gratitude. Thankfully, my dear sister, T. Thorn Coyle has written the very words that resonate within my heart.
We within the Order of Elemental Mysteries are officially in mourning. We stand with our sisters, brothers and warriors of the New Seed Sanctuary and their sister tradition Light Haven in love, light and ultimately in grief.
May She return to the Mystery that borne Her and may Her name resound loudly through the hearts of all who walk the path She carved out of sheer Will and boundless Love.
Shakmah will be remembered, and she will live on in our hearts, in our minds and within our work.
Ashe! Blessed Be! Amen!
Submitted by katrina on Sat, 11/27/2010 - 11:43am.
Talk about being knocked off my foundations, I feel like I am in totally new territory and my compass is spinning wildly. Whoa!
The last half of my life has been defined by my continuing struggle with my workaholism. I struggle to find time for myself, limit my [over] commitments and even set my watch to remind me to look after my physical needs. I felt like I was sparring with a ravenous beast. And this beast compelled me to work, work, work … all the time.
But today, my mentor suggested that maybe it is not workaholism that drives me. That maybe instead I am being driven by a need for validation, acceptance and acknowledgement – desperate to be seen for who I really am.
Growing up “East of the River”, as we say it here in DC, leaves a mark on you. I have met others who had similar marks. Growing up on the wrong side of town, the wrong side of the tracks, the wrong religion, the wrong gender, the wrong ethnicity, the wrong abilities, etc., marks you not just as an outsider, but also as deficient in some way.
And so I wonder if I am pushing myself in order to prove my worth as an individual to the world. All these years, have I been working my tail off to prove that I wasn’t a token, an affirmative action hire or a stereotype?
So I am sitting with this feedback.
My mediations occur within a cloud of a single question – “Who would I be if I had nothing to prove?”
Submitted by katrina on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 1:47pm.