Like a worried glassblower trying to refigure his clear and shattered heart, I have cut myself on all that I was, surprised at the wisdom hiding in the edges.
—from The Way Under the Way, Mark Nepo
I am still Transitioning 2016/2017 with both water and fire moving together for the work I am being called to.
The whispers in my ears, return to origin, return to source, light a fire, in the old indigenous way, re heat the fire in the belly, as the Bushmen do – !num.
As we came to the close of 2016 I was still very much in the water of that year, ( A water year in the Dagara tradition) and understanding that to keep it close, these waters is essential to enter into 2017 a Fire year. And at the same time understanding that dreams and visions that have been manifested can only continue to unfold if I let go of the reigns and wait for the wisdom that hides in the edges to reveal what lies inside. I see this in all that I have touched deeply this year, Return To Origin, the work I have identified with and my relations with young and old and those inbetween.
The truth is it’s not what has shown itself but how I meet what has been revealed. The mother lets go of the child to find its own way. Its that time, and like many parents who face a life without children once they have left home, it is that time. We provide the foundation from which to leap and then let go. Even though my short burst of motherhood culminated in just that, what it really was about was letting go of a part of my childhood and now as an elder returning to that same place the beginning except hopefully through what has shaped me I can find the fragments of the wisdom gained along the way and write my story, leaving a legacy for the next generations. My brush with motherhood lasted one month and it went so deep I am still reeling, and healing.
A teacher, Mark Nepo, I return to from time to time teaches me this, his wisdom resonates at times so deeply leaving me speechless and laughing. I am sent back to the stream to plunge in and see whats there for I may have missed many many beautiful wonders in the clarity of a low tide or the erosion and cleansing of a high tide swell, knocking me over from time to time, lest I fall asleep.
Again I am forced not by some tradition of New Year Resolutions that now has a ring of failure in it but by lived experience, that another round of letting go is required its almost the final one in a human body that I sense is being called upon, an opportunity to enter into waters so deep, fires so alive, it can either take one out completely as in drowning or overwhelm or, keep you swimming in only the safe comfortable waters where little is accomplished except safe and comfortable or you rise up to the surface of understanding after diving so deep through the murky muddy unclear and unchartered path that to give it all up to the greater purpose is the only way.
Interestingly I also feel I am talking about fire! Stepping into the fire, turn up the heat, get closer to spirit, become the fire, that we are inseparable from, leave what we no longer need, surrender completely and burn to ashes and rise up or burn down the house in rage and anger, or keep it burning as an ember that our spirit our life force is so depleted, depressed, we no longer know what we are supposed to be doing here, the walking dead.
Instead we could just eat the fire. Because this one is not just any fire, it is the sacred fire.
Well I have been to all those edges and ended and began the year on a truly astounding and deeply healing edge. I say edge because I dont know where its all going to end, except back at source, I have to return to origin. There is no other path at this point. The only thing that keeps me here is my body and until I understand that-I still have to be here. There are times when I consider and understand that my experiences are all my work, that in its moments of either bliss or excrutiating pain, it’s all the same, and to be given the body in the first place is why I am here for all that, and until that changes, I still have work to do.
So there are no pat answers about fire, we know that element and its purpose its power and we have to treat it as with every element with the deepest respect, lest it rage out of control and burn our house down. Never work with fire without the element of water close, not to put out- but to douse. I know the Bushmen light a fire before they begin. Its where they talk, dance, eat, play, sleep and pray. In a way it says, back to the beginning first, and that’s how I understand whats next.
Each moment is an opportunity for evaluation. Each moment is a paradox, a contradiction, an oxymoron, and just like the elements they can either burn us or heal us, take us out or save us, beat us down or lift us up, erode us or build us up, contaminate or cleanse, deplete or ignite.
The water year ended with standing rock and the indigenous peoples voice still loud and clear. Where I live in South Africa, 2017 started with bush fires, raging fires apparantly started by a fire bug. January sees the start of one of the most powerful seats in the world being filled by someone who works in the underbelly of the fire, that burns, rages, wars. And yet we allowed it to happen. Use this opportunity to re ignite your fire, return to source, your passion for life itself, human rights, justice, to burn down the old structures that no longer work, the old stories that no longer need to be told. Go into the underbelly and darkness and shadow of your own world if you are not there already as many of my friends have been and still are, my self included and fire up your world with a flame so bright it can only light up the shadow, and there- in lies the paradox. We are being shown the shadow, it has its purpose and its not about taking it out, it’s about lighting a fire in the center, the place of origin, where our survival is primal. To embrace this wisdom and understand that to reconnect the next generations with their origins and these indigenous knowledge systems will contribute to the survival of humanity -feels like a good way to go.
Eat the fire, inflame your passions and light a fire with the love the old ones left behind.
May all worlds bless and protect you always.