how did i get here?

my husband, my beautiful Dragon, died suddenly at 12:03 AM on 9 February 2009. there was a cold, lovely full moon and 3 feet of snow on the ground. i "slept" for the following 10 months and "woke" to the physical and emotional pain and torments of deep grief. i "woke" to find i had moved the day of his funeral and that i am lost. i am looking for me while i figure out the abstract, unanswerable questions that follow behind any death. my art has evolved. his death changed that as well because i am forever changed and will forever bear the mark of losing the only man i can ever love.
there is alive and there is dead and there is a place in between. i am here wholly in my heart for my children, but i feel empty inside at this time. i miss him. i have not gotten very far in my grief journey. i make no apologies for this.
this is my place, my blog, where i write to tell the universe that i am still here.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Soul Widows Spiritual Retreat ~ One ~ Friday, the Arrival

Bunny is me and i am Bunny. there is so much to say about this weekend. the whimsical side of me who always speaks for Bunny in third person is backing off, well, unless it pops out, but these next several postings will be me writing in first person though it is Bunny in the photos.

but never doubt this. i really was there. me. womanNshadows. and guess what? i came out of the shadows a little bit ~ enough that i was seen and heard in a very monumental way. i found a song that speaks to me personally about my weekend. i hope you hit play and listen even if you do not play the rest of the list.

when i got into the car of the woman ~ i had thought of her as friend but now i can do so out loud and officially ~ i know ~ right there the weekend could have ended for me and it would have been well worth it ~ i admit i had a bit of a nervous stomach about it. i had put so much hope on what i had been told to expect. i had read and re-read the Soul Widows website; over and over, and i had fantasized about what it could be.
we left the city. i talked in the car. a little bit. my friend driving and the other woman, now also my friend, sitting in the front seat, knew i was there and included me in their chatter. but i admit, i was a little quiet. i was me. i watched the city fall away into the countryside. leaves are changing, of course, but it is subtle down here. in New England, it can be a Mardi Gras of color explosions. up north, it is like the maple says to the oak, "i am wearing maroon with vibrant hints of my younger green and one wild touch of orange flame at the top." and the oak returns with, "okay, i am going total yellow but i like the idea of a green here and there left alone, to remind folks of the summer past. and i am going to have orange rain through my left side and spiral around here."

here, this is belt of America, it is quieter. calmer. more of a transition than an overnight decoration of the biosphere for a riotous Autumn celebration.

and then i saw the rising hills and mountains. we were staying rural. it seemed we were staying away from the noise and concrete and giant plate glass that blinds and burns with the sunlight. i wondered how large the town we were headed to would be. would we round a mountain and see tall buildings and concrete and too many cars? had someone stuck a cesspool i all this beauty that was epochs old? would there be noise and bustling, pre-occupied people with technology hiding their view of the world and jammed into their ears so that they can ignore what little bit of nature was allowed to be left?

no. Tryon, NC is rural. it is a small town with eclectic architecture that is tucked into a small valley that still has elevation to it. the air is clear. the mountains that rise up to worship the heavens embrace the little village with ancient ground and trees and rock. i had to roll down the window and smell the air; crisp, clean with the random passing hint of someone's wood smoke. dogs have it right. roll the windows down. we do not use our noses enough.
driving through the town, i was in such awe. unique characters were walking the little streets. yes, they had places to go and people to see, but they also sat on the chairs that were liberally sprinkled in front of the big picture windows of shops and cafes housed in historic brick and wood structures. i saw wood scrollwork on the eves and brick designs in the walls. most of the buildings in Tryon were constructed with architecture meant design and beauty and art.

one man sat and listened to another play the guitar. we were stopped at a light and i got to listen for a brief time. there was no cup for tips. he was simply sharing his music with the world in a small town where you were lucky to find him. you had to be a seeker of the quieter beauty that humans offer up to each other. his music meant something to him and maybe it was his way of speaking. there are so many ways to communicate.

and then we were there. we were at Marilyn's Melrose Inn Bed and Breakfast. beautiful trees lifting there branches up to the sky surround it. the sun was shining down on the softly beautiful and entrancing orange and yellow leaves. in remembering it now, the feel of the sun's warmth in the crisp noon air was foreshadowing to the weekend i was to have.
the two women i rode with and i gathered together for the first of many photographs from the weekend. we had arrived. we were in a small village tucked between mountains at a historic ~ 1889 ~ b&b with a small group of women hoping, wishing, wistful for something to connect them to each other. wanting nothing more than to belong to something again after our worlds have been ripped apart by the death of our husbands and taped back together wrong. a piece to the photograph of our lives is missing and we feel it in our minds, our hearts, in our souls. it is on our skin like an almost transparent garment, widow's weeds that shimmer with our tears.
we know that piece is gone but we also know where it is. we can go to a cemetery and stand in that garden of granite edifices where our last words to commemorate a life that is too big for such a small space are literally etched in stone, or the mantle where an urn resides as part of an altar gathered together from the small yet powerful remains of a life that should not have expired before ours, or a sacred place where ashes have been freed to settle or whirl and twirl and become part of other more ancient ash and dust.

life or fate, or something that cannot be known or named, has taken the snapshot of our happy lives and torn them up, and, like an evil collage maker, has put them back together. but they did so maliciously, and oh, so very wrong. and now we women, 6 of us plus one small woman with a quiet serenity and the fire of her own power that has been forged through her own sorrows and grief to facilitate our coming together, are meeting at this place in the mountains. one more will be coming on Sunday. she will be the veteran of our common pain. she will bring her own torch to join the one her partner in their counseling ~ what do i call it? service? that seems utilitarian. group? an overused word. sisterhood. i will call them the teachers of the wisdom of this particular branch of the sisterhood. the veteran, the matriarch will come on Sunday to share and hold us close and to continue and finish up for the weekend what her partner/sister has started. teaching us to make and keep lit our own torches; our own fire to light the way when the balance of pain and darkness to peace and light goes out of whack.

we arrived and were greeted with warmth from the sun, the eclectic charm of an old bed and breakfast, and the deep pain and longing we see in each others eyes.

this is the start of my spiritual retreat. and i have not even crossed the threshold to go into the inn. the unique magic to this scene i have tried to set up for you, dear reader, is that the tribe does not even know it has already started to link arms around the fire.

2 comments:

sacred journeys Hawaii said...

I have read this post lots of times but I'm still being touched by the words. So full of emotions.

eco ecospiritretreat said...

Really feels glad to see your post on spiritual retreats. It is the little bit inspiration for us

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