The Spirit of snow
highlights the love of line
the loving grace of trees in winter
bare and spiritual
the horses a gift of color
in otherwise black and white
Feather trees whisper a blessed new year to you all!
“The Cloud of Unknowing”
A beautiful Christmas to you all!
Peace Love Joy
When Kavanaugh was confirmed yesterday, my husband held me and let me sob the pain out of experiences from long ago. His care, his love is so pure, I think of it as sacred. It brings me to God and gratitude. I am profoundly grateful to, and for, him. These are very dark times and it is hard to see God in the current state of the country. But love surpasseth all. It is my husband’s birthday tomorrow and I will strive to give back to him, in my own imperfect way, all he has given and whatever I can add of my own.
Meantime, apologies. I am sorry my gut spoke out. And to those of you who wrote in despite that, a most profound thank you.
Yes, I am Bipolar. But as well I was sexually abused as a child from age 3 to age 6 or 7, and, at that time as well, emotionally abused. The sexual abuse was incest with my “upstanding and outstanding” grandfather. I adored him. I idolized him. Everyone in my family did. No one knew my secret. Along with everyone else I worshipped him all my life. I listened to Grandma say, after Grandpa died, how he had always been faithful to her. I bit my tongue because he had been unfaithful to her with me. Grandpa wanted me to tell his story. Not THIS story. A story about all the good things he did in his life. He worked as a lawyer for a VA hospital and helped many veterans. I have no doubt that he did. He carved the Lincoln Gettysburg address at the Lincoln Memorial when he first came over from Sicily. He was written about in a psychology textbook as an example of motivation.
Grandpa didn’t rape me but he did sexual things with me. Things I knew were wrong. Things that damaged me for life. I tried to tell my grandmother but she didn’t understand what a child was talking about, asking her if she was jealous. She laughed. I realized to tell her would hurt her. I never told anyone until later, when a woman in a gay bar told me she was abused. Then I realized I had blocked it out of my memory for years. All my life I lived as a doormat, letting everyone hurt me and walk all over me and I said nothing. Just like with Grandpa.
With Dr. Christine Blasey Ford coming forward I am struggling, like many women abused in all sorts of ways, with an anger coming out that I never felt I had. I loved Grandpa very much. I thought that love could forgive what he did. That is until now. Until I heard Christine Blasey Ford speak. Now I am furious. Fortunately I have a very understanding husband who worked as a therapist. with mentally ill medicaid clients. He totally supports me. I should be happy with that. I am. But I am struggling with people who do not understand. And the profound injustice of Ford’s case.
As things progress, anger is morphing into despair and the deepest disappointment with our country. My doctor, a male psychiatrist, was caring, went overtime with our recent session and said my anger was justifiable. But he tried to make excuses for my grandfather. This was, and is, devastating to me. As are glib, dismissive statements, like “we have all been abused.” I am sick at heart and in my gut. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I would venture to say that these two weeks have been traumatic for all sexual crime survivors, and, as I learned from a younger friend, for survivors of emotional abuse as well. It has taught me a lot. It has taught me to treasure my husband even more. I always did, but now it is profoundly visceral and flows through every vein in my body. My husband is the only one who “gets” the whole story.
I hope Christine Blasey Ford’s husband can help her. I feel SO badly for her. She was a hero and look at what it got her. A sham investigation. A probable Kavanaugh confirmation. A Trump parody of her answers, perhaps his most perverse remarks ever. That same friend of mine, who suffered emotional abuse, tells me there is a silver lining to this. That women will use their power and mobilize. That young people will see the horror of mistreatment of an innocent victim of a sexual predator, a sexual predator like our president. Not being the most optimistic of people, I only hope she is right.
And THANK YOU Christine Blasey Ford! Take pride in your moving bravery. You have helped countless women. You are a hero for all of us. My heart goes out to you.
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
Bible verse from the King James version of the Bible, 1 Corinthians Chap 13 verse 12
And the guru who is my eyes right now is Kamlesh Patel, known as “Daaji,” and his disciple, Joshua Pollock in their book “The Heartfulness Way.” See below. I have read it twice and will reread it again. It is the No. 1 Bestseller in India right now and it is chock full of insights and directions to follow the path of “Heartfulness.” It is the path of love and the heart. The path of Raja Yoga. How could I resist? Daaji does not charge for his teaching. He has a network of trainers available on the Internet. The key to Raja Yoga is the transmission you receive from the guru, from the trainers. The path of Heartfulness is leading me to peace. And as I am in the midst of withdrawing from a major tranquilizer STILL (a long process that will continue for months), peace is MAJOR. I am not there yet but I see light at the end of the tunnel of Maya. “I see now through a glass darkly…”
I awaken to moonlight– it is at that particular slant that lights up the front yard at 3 AM. What really has awakened me is my husband’s breathing. It is labored like he has just run up a flight of stairs. At times I awaken because I do not hear his breath and some alarm goes off in my head to check him. And if I can not hear him breathing I put my hand lightly on his chest so as not to wake him to see if I can feel the his heart beating. Feeling it pulsing in my hand I am reassured once more. I am not alone in this. My sister-in-law confides in me that she wakes up at night to listen to my brother to see if he is still breathing. My first-grade friend says much the same. She does a breathing check on her husband. Our husbands are relatively well. They have diabetes, heavy smoking and drinking, a delicate frame among them, but they are not on death’s door so far as we know. And yet we are plagued by morbid fears.
In the wee hours of morning fears loom large. My husband’s heartbeat, a mere flutter, seems so delicate. I am reassured that it is beating just as I am reassured that he is breathing. But the breath itself is so fragile. It scares me awe-fully– the fragility of the breath, the fine line between breathing and cessation of breath.
I prowl the house. Through the skylight the stars beam brightly along with a shining half moon. A clear day tomorrow. But it is already tomorrow. It is so still my ears hum. My husband, who knows so many interesting things, tells me the humming I hear is the sound of the nervous system. Our bodies hold such mystery.
I look out the window, now hearing my neighbor’s dogs barking quietly. I look for coyote thinking that is what they are barking at, but see nothing. The moonlit grass on the lawn is whitish silver, looking almost as if it had snowed, and the water in the marsh sparkles in the moonlight. The deep woods behind are pitch dark, the home of many a creature. Nothing stirs. It is too early for the birds. The house across the way is always dark; it is up for sale. And in the other direction, at this hour, no lights shine in the driveway of the house down the road.
I am reminded of a line from a poem by Tagore “Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.” I am at my most faithless at 3 AM.
Along with the supreme beauty of Tagore’s thoughts, a frivolous line from an old song runs through my head: “There ought to be a moonlight savings time…” and the line continues so there would be more time for loving. But moonlight in the middle of the night also brings with it intense dreads.
Now chilled I finally go back to bed. An owl hoots in the distance– a reassuring sound. My husband is breathing freely now. His body is warm in the bed and I am filled with love for him as he lays in a heap, so trustingly in the arms of sleep. Our marriage a wonder. Unexpected. An endless source of ever increasing love brimming not only with joy but also the dread of loss. Perhaps all wives check their husbands for breathing. Perhaps there is an army of women out there prowling the wee hours of the night, at times by moonlight, checking on their husbands, their children, their animals to see that they all have that breath of life flowing.
“There is one way of breathing that is shameful and constricted. Then, there’s another way: a breath of love that takes you all the way to infinity.” Rumi said that. And it is breath of love that I must master.