Navigating the Sacred and Mundane

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Strands of Consciousness

Days of writing in my head, coming through air streams while I drive, or walk, or eat, or shower. Literate strands and seedlings of insight float through in-roads of attention. Truths and tenets, teachings and trajectories, connect by shades of light, and I ponder how to put them all on the same line of logic.

That, perhaps, is reserved for the great thinkers and writers. Those who are able to remain in one incredible state, while all other states weave to transcribe words to match. Can't really do that when you don't stay on any one topic for more than a few minutes. The gift of motherhood. Thoughts begin to mimic minor tasks, a constant picking up of things, bits here and there, quickly, and then the return to do it all again in successive rounds by the hour and day. All your wonderful previous philosophies funnel through like laundry; grand tomes reduced, sadly, bite-size.

But if I may, one strand was about shifting consciousness. Memory wants me to see, serves images, death-like, of crossing over, when it's conscious, into another territory - be it in rising or sinking or expanding states of meditation, or by way of plant medicine, that visionary induction into realms of indigenous wisdom, vast super highways of information - and how if we want to go there we must agree to die, let go, relinquish the egoic grip on the space/time rope, surrender, willingly transform. Or maybe we are delivered through sex. Have to stretch to remember that one. We might also be taken and transported through trauma, a direct and unflinching route. We don't get to watch ourselves shift in that one, we are here and then we are not here. Like that.

The next strand was about language, communication, dimensions of cognition. On the radio today the announcer reports that we still don't know how animals communicate, how birds know where to fly, how ground hogs warn each other, across distance, of imminent danger. I immediately remember years of visionary witnessing, whereby I was shown directly, by a plant spirit, exactly how plants communicate with plants, animals with animals, and how we do so on a completely different (though wired for accessibility) channel. So much of what is confirmed by science is already experientially known by yogis and shamans - they learn directly from the plants and animals. We can, too. But not before agreeing to die.

Gradations of spirit/soul/heart/mind merging with surrounding realms of cognition. I look at all this - look with that eye that remains constant while everything else shifts and changes. This is how life touches me when I'm not attempting to master domestic life. While this comes with ease, organizes itself into rows of internal files, book shelves full and resplendent, a perfect home. That's the internal life.

Follow the lens, view from the moon, descending through the atmosphere to the Pacific NW, down through the clouds above Portland, just south a bit to my house, and you will find me standing alone in my hallway, blank walls, utterly confused about which room to enter, where to begin to clean, just how to clean, just where to put things, just what to do about dinner - this is the great perplexing equation.

And while I stand perplexed, I swivel on the axis which inspires all the heady discourse...

Potentially pregnant, probably not. In between, thoughts of birth and death. I planted red flowers by the front door the other day, in case I'm in that latter boat.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Layers of Life

At the cafe and native flutes drown out the morning buzz. That's a joy, drowning the buzz, watching the lesser vibration synch with the greater one. Sometimes, just to be a part of that is enough. Sometimes that's all I can do. Notice. Witness the movement behind all the movement.

Maple leaves in layers off branches, across the street, something to behold. I'll get a call, take out my headset, say hello, what are you doing?, nothing I say. But what I don't say is how long it takes to get to nothing, and how satisfying and crucial it is for my morning.

A man walks by, crevices across his face - deep rivers and a trail of years. I want to keep looking but I only have a half-second, social agreements and all, so I fill my rolling, open landscape with a glimpse. Now it's his smooth head, paper thin to the brain, so close, and up an inch in scope, maple leaves, layer upon layer.

I paint with color and fill with story to saturation. My aloneness with the one who witnesses, perfect company. Healing the morning disappointments, righting the flight path of my emotional stride.

It's raining more shades of green into the spring light. More flowering than I've ever seen before. Portland.

Every few minutes I wonder whether cells are dividing. We inseminated on Saturday and by Tuesday here, has it taken place? That I don't know is the strangest condition, like never being able to see your own back. How completely odd.

We know and may know, the potential is out of the reaches of our imagination, and yet, simultaneously, it's built in that we don't know, cannot be privy to the most essential information of life, moment to moment.

Right now, tables full of business men, students pouring over pages, cell phones waving, and I'm content to watch the leaves. One hundred percent full-moon.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Branching Woman

In the mirror this morning: wrinkles around the eyes, deeper and I look with shock. Bending over the rail from the road up top, I see the grooves of a dry river bed – it used to be so full and flowing. What happened?

Summer pants from a box in the basement. None of them fit.

I remember young years of hot sun and hours of practice on the tennis court. Baking my skin and running my joints into a future ground that I would not feel into until now. Until now when I cannot turn in bed without pain. What happened?

All that passing age. All that sun so that I would be beautiful for men. What a waste.

I’m turning up the folk song to blast because, god dammit, it keeps in such perfect time with regret.

I look at my three year old – that milky soft skin and those dimply knees. That’s divinity. I cannot imagine sending her out into the world with the message to subjugate her growing to please others. For love.

That we should ever ever ever manipulate our deepest impulses to fit a cultural image - that’s a sin if sin exists.

And what if you’ve done that all your life and now you’re looking into your fourth decade, all the careless signs showing. This may be the first summer that I want nothing to do with being tan and attractive.

I want honest health and real vitality. And I don’t know how to get there from here.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Insemination Nation

Do you ever just drop off a cliff, or is it just me?

Two weeks of flu, hips and back all funky, fertility drug in the middle for psychotic measure, daily temp and tests, blood draws, and the extreme swings of a new home business have me feeling a tad busy. Oh yeah, and my three year old seems to have sprouted taller and older. She suddenly looks like a girl. She corrects, "A wittle garl, mama!" Ok, so she's a little girl and no longer a toddler.

Could this mean freedom? Are we just emerging from the chute, ready for the warmth of summer grass?

Not quite. Instead, I'm walking around town every afternoon, holding my bladder for four hours so that I can test for ovulation. Four days down and I'm thinkin' today may come up positive. That means we inseminate tomorrow. Or maybe we'll inseminate on Sunday?

I never thought I'd be calculating conception. I also never thought I would have to schedule a birth, which I have, indeed, already done with River.

While I'm waiting around for the moment of creation, I'm also dreaming up a life for an orphaned child somewhere in the world. Since I am an official member of the social experiment family club, I'm thinkin that maybe we'll adopt a baby from Ethiopia and give them our Portuguese/Spanish/Mexican last name, Sanchez. How American is that? This white girl, fake blond, blue-eyed mama, will pick up my African American child at school. Negasi Sanchez. Kind of has a ring.

I felt weird growing up because my parents were just old. Ha, I'm older than they were. It's a complete freak show, totally outside the box of what I ever imagined for myself. But it's a conscious freak show.

I've always felt like a stranger in a strange land anyway, a refugee from the midwest, alien to my own family, outsider in my own culture. Why not weave a family from that web and those roots.

Recently, an astrologer explained that the defining phrase of my life could be: Journey to the Oracle. That describes what the stars have in store for me this time around.

No matter how weird, that's all I want to be doing with my days, in whatever form it takes - finding my way to the oracle. Only now the teachers and teachings are not in front of me. Now it's just my own body and the way consciousness spills and forms in the spinning globe of my heart.

Seeds and sun, moon toward full, planting for new life in the weathered soil. Prayer and more prayer for ease in the joints, ease in the mind, and for full song and a shared circle.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Flowering Fever

How long does it take to allow things to be just as they are?

It's takes five days and high fever. Five days of standing in the kitchen, watching cherry buds unfurl. Five days until I am that flower.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Web of Motherhood

When I started this blog I was in the middle of being a first-time mom, and all my energy went into exploring that map, especially as it relates to my life experience with spiritual journey, and those maps.

I remember standing at a car lot with my dad, eyeing a Subaru station wagon, 1983. "It'll be good for groceries and kids," I said. He just nodded, yes that was a good, practical thought. He wanted that for me. Except I was only fifteen.

I'm a Midwest girl from the beginning and, first and foremost, we have kids. Plural. That's inside the equation before you work out any of the math. But that didn't happen for me for another seventeen years. Across that time, the role of motherhood followed all my wayward miles, stretching, opening and, finally, leapt out of that box altogether.

Driving this morning, I unwind it all in my mind and acknowledge that:

1. I am an older first-time mother to a 3.5 year old daughter

2. I am step-mother to a 25 year old woman who doesn't speak to her father

3. I am step-mother to a 19 year old young woman (different mom than the first), whom I help navigate into adulthood.

4. I am a mother experiencing secondary infertility, about the ingest drugs to force my eggs to drop, wondering how ceremony and prayer will work for my husband in the collection room of the fertility clinic.

5. I am filling out an international adoption application for a child with special needs.

Indeed, culture has changed.

I threw my red sparkly shoes over the cliff a long time ago. I don't want to go back to Kansas. What some lament as maladaption and a breakdown of moral fabric, I celebrate with curiosity. I want to be front row to experience just how motherhood is evolving.

Growing up and well into adulthood, I liked to say that my mother was 42 when she had me. The shock! Imagine that in 1967. I was the smallest baby on record, 4 lbs. and in an incubator for a month. Oooouuu, Ahhhh.

A few years ago I ordered her hospital records. She was 39 when she had me. I was so offended. That changed my story. I used that original story to upset myself about being an older mother myself: Jokes on me, now I will die young, too, just like my mother, and abandon my daughter.

Yesterday the fertility doctor told me that I could very well have another child naturally. "But my age! I've already had three surgeries! I'm high risk!" He smiled calmly and assured me older women with more complications have done just fine.

I'm not dying to that story anymore. I am putting that story to rest. Blessings for a safe journey, story of mine. Thanks for protecting me, or whatever you did for my growth.

This is my conversation about motherhood. Motherhood in a web of chaos. In the wonderful, brilliant chaos of consciousness, in a silky, information loaded network of wisdom. I am a woman, spirit in a web of form, and a changing body. Light upon light, belief and will, temporary glue. Breath and light, glue. Broken pieces in a mirror of unity. Constant change, constant repair, constant adaptation.