never not broken

These are strange and psychedelic times, sitting in this liminal space between what was and what will be, a crossroads within both the micro- and macrocosms.  I have been feeling a deep internal shakeup in the way that I always do when met with something much greater than me, bringing lessons of my insignificance and an opportunity to shapeshift.  There’s been less than glamorous insights into self; meeting places of deep tension between my compassion and intolerance, my flexibility and rigid worldview, my humility and my desire to be right, my longing for and resistance to change, where I remain open and where I shut down… so much friction between what feels like split personalities living in this body.  And, in the way that friction does, it’s making many little fires in me that need tending, so as not to be snuffed out, or burn me right down to the ground.

I find the demand for a return to normalcy unrealistic and at the same time a frightening prospect. We are writing new stories now, there is never a going back to ‘the way things used to be’ – we are forever moving, fluid, changing, a constant state of flux.  At the same time, normalcy in the form of the broken systems we have been living in are itching to regain their footing.  But our job is not to fix a broken system; it is to turn in towards ourselves and towards each other and dream a new one into being.  To summon other powers and worlds and ways into reality.  

I am trying to loosen my grip on sense-making and searching for meaning about things that I will never fully understand within the limits of being human.  I am trying to approach my beliefs with a light touch.  I am resisting my urge to rush towards a sense of certainty.  We are human, animal, plant, mineral, bacteria, virus, ancestor, stardust.  Where do I end and you begin?  With an entire universe in our microbiomes that have the ability to affect our moods and psyche, with every ancestor in our bones, with the complex web that entangles each and every one of us with each other and the worlds around us, who is to say that any thought, idea, feeling or sensation is my own?  We are constantly trying to explain what is going on in ways that are human-centric (even when humans are cast as the villain), but who is to say we aren’t pawns in a game being played by apples or starfish or bacteria?

I hear the call of many wise teachers and elders singing similar instructions; slow down, get quiet, be still, listen.

What if slowing down and finding stillness has nothing to do with movement or speed and has everything to do with being completely broken and not trying to pick up the pieces too quickly?  Rather than striving for a greater capacity to hold more, aiming for total incapacitation and surrender instead.  Perhaps it’s a good time to venerate Akhilandeshvari, Goddess of Never Not Broken; I hear her asking us to sit with the wreckage and feel the sharp pangs of loss and grief.  No expectations of the future, no instructions for how to move forward.  A time to hospice ourselves through a good death, and the long slow process of composting our former selves.

What if getting quiet has nothing to do with turning down the volume, and more to do with a subtle attunement towards finding the sacred amidst the noise and chaos, or amidst the mundane of the day to day?  A deep awareness and presence with humans, the other-than-human, and the many sensuous occurrences happening all around us.  

Perhaps this is the time to call on the trickster – put out some good meat for Coyote, pour libations for Loki and Eshu.  Invite the power of disruption that shakes us up and disorients us, that opens portals, seducing us towards the in-between spaces and to dance in the wild unknown. To see creation and destruction as necessary for each other’s survival, and the inherent violence in what we have named nature.  Let us be students of alchemy and mischief, and to think and act in unorthodox ways as the wise fool. 

Perhaps this is the time for courtship – writing love letters to stones, singing ballads to the morning sun, reciting sonnets to your own wild twin.  Lean in a bit closer to the trouble and wax poetry about what we find there, while we drink whiskey around a campfire.  Create art, seek pleasure and bewilderment, pay attention to your dreams, make love, play, dance, find the holy in unexpected places.  Offer prayers to the old gods and as we walk through this initiation of mythic proportions.

Perhaps it’s time for deep remembering and reclamation.  Finding wisdom in the old ways and old stories, while allowing them to breathe and change form in the world as it is, in this ever-shifting moment.  To collaborate simultaneously with our ancestors and children.  To sit with the many troubles of being alive, to let go of reaching towards any sort of arrival, victory, or stability, and meet each other in our differences.  Let’s stay shattered a while, and let ourselves spill up and out of the many containers we have confined ourselves to; never certain, never permanent, never alone, never not broken.

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