Sunday, 27 January 2013

40daysbefore40 day 34: prayer, ritual of descansos, and letting go

 descansos...symbols that mark a death

am sure you may have seen, on the side of roads, here or in foreign lands, a marking point, perhaps heavily decorated with flowers, photographs, or gold, or as a simple gesture, a plain white cross, or a name painted on a rock...these mark that at that exact point a transformation had occurred, a loss, that a journey has been halted

'descansos' means 'resting places', and usually they are concerning the final resting place, the death, of a loved one...and yet, their potent symbolism can be used to mark the small deaths, 'las muertes chicitas', and the big deaths, 'las muertes granditas' that have been experienced up til this point of our journey through life

i have became fascinated by these beautiful powerful forms, and all that they, in fact, back in 1945, was the day that auschwitz was liberated by soviet troops, known all over the world as 'international holocaust remebrance day' seems quite a strange echo of synchronicity that i unknowingly had woken up this morning with the idea to create my own memorial pointer...not to honor those that died in unfathomable acts of inhuman suffering (and im sure that my family will have been affected somehow), but to honor those dreams, hopes, seeds, and paths never allowed to blossom...i guess in some way, the healing and releasing which i held as prayer, will also ripple down into the echoes of my ancestral line...blessings for my loved ones and for all those that were changed forever more from that horrific time in history

within this ritual, and that is how the last few hours have been held in, the arms of ritual and intention, i was starting to say goodbye, to hold and feel, to let go with an offering, to shed tears for, and to free as much as i was aware of, all that had been lost over the last decade

clarissa pinkola estes, jungian psychologist and author of the wondrous dipping into the female psyche known as 'women who run with the wolves', has this to say about the need for, if you like, emptying what needs to empty, before stepping further on one's path:

''there is a time in our lives, usually mid-life, when a woman has to make a decision, about whether to be bitter or not...women often come to this in their late 30's or early 40' may be the last straw!...their dreams of their 20's may be lying in a crumple. there may be broken hearts, broken marriages, broken promises...if a woman will return to the instinctual nature instead of sinking into bitterness,she will be revivified, reborn...return to wild grow. but first, there has to be a cleansing''

 now bitterness may seem like a harsh word, but perhaps the old hurts never felt, grievances still held on to, endings with lovers unclear...perhaps all of this builds up within us, creating a poison that runs through our subtle being, turning the fruit of our actions, thoughts and words, into the strange taste of bitterness...what is not cleared, or let go of at the time, for whatever reason, has a habit of hiding away within us, sneakingly putting a metaphorical spanner in the smoothly operated works of our life

so i sat, and i called in as much as was ready, all that felt unfinshed, all that had been lost and never wept for, and all the ways i had hurt others and my own precious self...i grieved for, and said goodbye to, with heart and love, songs that had never been sung; wailing that had been denied its cry; all the words that my mouth had never spoken...i cut ties with ex lovers, some of the feelings still present surprised me!...i held more, ahem, mature, endings with those that had never been honored...i said farewell to the old beliefs that had held me in fear, around being supported, allowing love in, of being enough...i said sorry to my body, for abandoning it when cut open for a hernia operation a few years back...and i asked it for forgiveness for only just beginning a friendship with it, after so many years of living, seemingly, estranged...i wept for the sorrow that my womb holds, for not creating life here, for growing a child, and for never giving birth (something i had and still have, a fascination, bordering on awe, about)...and i let go of keeping my feminine power at bay, of not trusting the soft strength that a woman holds as her light

there will be other feelings, stories that my body holds, aches from my heart and words from my mind, and callings from my soul, that i will continue to offer, at the feet of this descansos, as the week unfolds (and lets face it, i will never be empty, never fully cleansed, my body never perfect, my soul incomplete...its all part of the journey called life, and thats fine by me :-)  )

but to face those place that were too tender, too denied for far too long, feels a warrioress step to take...and i take it graciously, for my self, my parents, my ancestors and for the bloodline that runs through me




  1. I found this really moving Heidi, the power and blessing of your ritual shedding comes through in your words. <3 Elaine xxx