Sunday, May 12, 2013

Bat Medicine

I left everything familiar to be in this land of passage in the Owen's Valley with people who are ferrying me in a way to this shore of serving women who have lost or will loose their children. I have been living in a place of solitude, service and watering. I am a walking practice of keeping everything alive. It is that simple, what I water lives, what I don't water dies...and yet and yet. 

The bats have arrived and each evening as the sun drops behind the Sierra Nevadas they put on the most spectacular ballet above the pond. We pull up two lawn chairs, put on hoodies and recline as they swoop right past our faces... incredible.  Bat medicine is re-birth. I am a walking practice of that too. 

Big things don't happen because we are playing small. Big things happen because we are being asked to grow bigger. And when time moves those big things into a place of past, it is still past-now and an invitation not to leave them behind but to make offerings to their death so that we can re-birth them. The prefix "re" means  with respect towith reference toin connection with. To re-birth is to mark my commitment to how the past is emerging through me now. So as my friend Ivy Ross Ricci so eloquently shares I am able to continually "serve with my story" as I am connected to it now. 

It is Mother's Day today. Whether or not we have had children or lost children all of us mother. All of us have cared deeply for things that we have lost and have stories.   May today be a day of re-birth for all of us. A day that offers us the vision of potency and power that has awakened our heart's longing to be and stay connected to this way of caring and mothering life. 

Mother's Day and Master P asks, "Heintz, do you think Max misses you?"
My response. "i think so, who doesn't miss their mom"

Saturday, February 16, 2013

my story is not unique

My story is not unique. Everyone has a Max Story. Everyone has a moment where life throws down a wild card of “what the f%c#?” A moment where nothing makes sense and life according to how you have been living it is no longer the paradigm. 

My particular story is a love story where death showed up. No one invited him and still he bellied up to the card table. I begged him to go away and instead he upped the ante.   I gambled everything for my son and death still won. Some have unabashedly called it “God’s good will” that i lost a child.  Others have told me that “everything happens for a reason”. Others throw our "Karma" or even "Lila". 
I just call it bullshit. We like to have reasons for things because we don’t like uncertainty. Death has taught me that uncertainty is my ally.

Death always wins. That bastard always trumps. The question is not why death shows up. The question is how fully are you going to show up for death? How awake and alive are you willing to be when those cards get thrown on the table? Because when you see what you are up against you have to decide: am I going to stay present and open or am I going to withdraw and collapse? Am I going to be a hero at this particular time and place in my own life or am I going to be a victim of circumstance? This isn’t just about you. This is about your children too and their children and your parents and their parents. How you decide matters. And you know that no one else can make that decision for you.  You have to make that decision. You can not, not decide. Not deciding is not an option. 

This is not a pep talk. This is about choosing a particular path, a path about loving fully even though you know you are going to loose it, a path about choosing to rip wide open, a path that follows a bloodline of sorts that inevitably leads us back to the source from where we began. 

I know that millions have walked it before me, some of them giants. I have yet to find the proper route for such a journey. But I have never been all that interested in proper. The pressure of being proper prevents us from really grieving. And grief is what makes death bearable. What a gift grief gives us to be able to hold ourselves in that place where life and death meet, to be on the floor with our heart ripped open, to be in a place where rationality feels futile and all we can do is feel. Rare are the moments when love is that beautifully mad.