Like many people, I’ve experienced complete annihilation in certain areas of my life—the parts I’ve always considered the most important. As far as I can tell, the pandemic is a forced-shift away from the way we’ve been doing things, and towards to a New and Better Way of Existing.
And not just in how we connect with each other, but with the earth, spirit and our ancestors.
I have the blessing of a barter-system. Except for travel expenses, I get to stay in a very remote location in Hawaii any time I want to go. Last March, I decided to isolate myself there for three months. It was the only way I could think of to try to comprehend the incomprehensible.
Turns out, it was a self-imposed walk through the fire.
Each day, I found myself doing things I had no idea why I was doing them. One day, I walked out on the lava and prayed at the ocean’s edge. The next, I went the opposite way to the posted sign that reads “Do not enter, sacred grounds,” and respecting the sign, I prayed at the threshold of the forest. Another time, I felt a strong shove to rake the leaves out from under a tree by the ocean and build a ring around it with the leaves. Weeks later, I gathered fallen palm fronds and made a path into the cove near the ancient wall and said thank you for letting me be there.
Basically, I placed little alters everywhere. And prayed, and prayed, and prayed. And cried, and cried, and cried.
Fear intensified to crazy proportions.
But soon, the ancestors came. And insights and messages filtered in. When I felt most alone, help arrived. Not the people I wanted the most, still, I understood I wasn’t alone. Turns out, the ones who came lit the way towards clarity and healing.
It was scary to dig that deep.
To be without human contact for most of every day. To deal with scorpions, gigantic spiders and poisonous centipedes—creatures come to test my mettle.
Halfway through, and without even noticing at first, I started finding my ground. And deciding that I wanted to be in Hawaii part of each year, I pushed myself to start building a community. I met my neighbors. Went to the Farmer’s Market. Found venues with traditional Hawaiian music and Grateful Dead cover bands, even if those places were 90-minutes away.
One night I found myself doing something I’ve never done in my life.
I drove to the Blue Dragon Tavern at the opposite end of the island. As with most places in Hawaii, the setting was completely open-air. Immersed in the sound, I glanced up at the sky and was so moved by the site of palm trees ringing the rising full moon, that I got up and danced. Alone. Not only that, I had a smile on my face!
It was a good night.
Driving the long-ass ride back in the pitch black, I finally approached the steep winding road that leads down the hill, the final 20-minute stretch home. Turning onto that road felt like entering the womb of the Mother. Ugh. My reprieve was over. Time to get back to work. Continue uncovering this New and Better Way of Existing.
The break made me aware of my progress though. So I delved in more vigorously, and this time, I did it with a happy heart.
On my final day in Hawaii, what needed to surface finally came. I raged. Watch out. When a woman gets her power back, now that is a scary thing!
But man, do the Gods love having fun at my expense!
While I was away, I regained 15 hard-lost pounds—the cutest 15! And not from eating my way to fun—but from not being able to walk 4 miles daily while I was busy with all those other activities—and what kind of bullshit is that?
My plan was to tackle those pounds as soon as I got home, but instead, I’m on Day 7 of Covid. I feel as shitty as Funk’s balls look. Which, let me tell you, is not a pretty sight. Whatever. Like everything else, I’ll get through this too. I won’t do it gracefully. But I’m no victim, I’ll get it done.
Here’s to you for not backing down in the face of all things incomprehensible. Giving up is easy. Toughing it out is by far the hardest. So, rage away. The reward is equanimity. That, and letting the world feel your newfound power. All love to you, to everyone on this site.
The Photo: When the husband is away, others come to play. I caught this “other” and threw him outside and slept in a different bedroom that night.