Being 'single' on Valentines Day. Most people would say us 'unlucky' folks who are not partnered, just want someone to love us. I disagree, I yearn for someone to give my love to... I yearn to love well and and love deep...
11 years ago was another beautiful Spring day...
Our deepest wounds often begin in childhood. These places of woundedness create a groove or a place of damage in our psyche and when something similar occurs, the new experience flows easily into the old groove, just like a river through a canyon. Over time, they frame our own personal belief system about life and inform us of what we believe about ourself. As they originate in wounds, these inner beliefs are often distorted and unhealthy. A river flowing takes the path it knows best, continually carving the grooves of the canyon ever deeper.
(Part one, click here)
The death of a Beloved life partner or any ‘broken Heart’ is trauma attached to love. While I am speaking to my experience after the death of my husband, many relationships end in trauma not associated with death. One partner ‘walking away’ can also create trauma. This trauma can contribute to post traumatic stress, or what I call Love Traumatic Stress.
My late husband Joe always wanted to go to Burning Man and for a variety of reasons never did. My first Journey there was to leave the last of his ashes to burn in the Temple of Transition. That was 2011 and my experience was profound... The moment I first walked on The Playa... I knew I was hOMe. I will return every year. I will return every year to serve The Temple. I will return every year to serve The Temple Guardians.
As I tend to do, I jumped headfirst into the deep end. Beginning last year I am now one of the core organizers of The Temple Guardian Camp, we host the Guardian trainings and are a gathering place for the hundreds of Temple Guardians. I am also on The Temple Guardian Council. This work, this service, is my clearest answer to: Why do you go to Burning Man?
Who are the Temple Guardians? Here is the magnificent answer: 'Vision Weaver', Ian MacKenzie a film maker and Temple Guardian, created a beautiful short film... A love letter to The Guardians. It touches my soul and gives profound voice and vision to who we are.
I watched the film several times through heart flowing tears, before I realized the person in silhouette, walking in front of the burning Temple of Whollyness... Is me. It is simply one of the most profound images of myself ever captured. Profound because of all it represents... Profound because of all the places it touches me so very deeply... Profound because it gives me a clear message from The Divine: 'You are on the right path'.
The Temple burns Sunday, the last night of Burning Man. Ten's of thousands of people sit in a huge circle, watching in silence. Hundreds of Temple Guardians and Black Rock Rangers create a perimeter to keep people safe. We tend the edges. They crouch down as the fire burns behind them, watching the crowd in front of them. Watching not the burn... Watching the burn reflected in the firelight of faces... The firelight of Hearts pouring open as all of it is released.
Last year I was training as a 'Burn Quadrant Lead'. We are responsible to the Guardians and Rangers in our quadrant so during the burn we walk our quad, much closer to the fire, watching. That is what I am doing as I walk with fire in this film. Walking between the fire and the people. Walking between the fire of transformational release and of the human Heart, flowing wide open. Walking my path of spiraling Spirit.
In Black Rock City, many people go by a 'Playa Name'... Setting foot on the bright white of The Playa, reveals everything. While many would give a different interpretation of what a 'Playa Name' means, for me, it reveals the clearest expression of my soul. On The Playa... I am Greywolff.
In little over a month (August 31st) 'The Temple of Grace' will burn after seven days of receiving what ever 60,000 people choose to leave there. I will again be walking a quadrant... Greywolff Dancing, my path of spiraling Spirit. Heart. Open. Wide.
I invite you to watch 'Dear Guardians'. He released it one week ago and it already has over 90,000 views. Sending huge gratitude to 'Dream Weaver', Ian MacKenzie for this love letter... To us all.
Screenshots of me, from the film: 'Dear Guardians' by Ian MacKenzie
Burning Man 2011. My Beloved husband Joe always wanted to go to Burning Man and for a variety of reasons never did. He died of cancer in my arms at our home. The experience of Last Breath with My Beloved, still my greatest teacher.
I placed his ashes in a beautiful gourd bowl that he grew, cured and finished. I scattered most of the ashes in special places but kept some with the intent that someday, some of my ashes would be mixed with his to be scattered. Then I arrived at the place where keeping some of his ashes in the gourd, which was in my china cabinet, seemed wrong. I knew he would not want that. It was time to release the last of his body.
The empty cedar chest.
My dad died 20 years ago of a sudden heart attack. My fathers death was difficult, he was only 61. It was like a storm blowing through uprooting everything. Then, as now with my mother, I tended the details. It was surreal. He died the morning of December 23rd. I lived on Kauai at the time and was at my parents house for Christmas. The memorial decisions had to be made that day because the funeral home was closing for Christmas. So it was only a few short hours between my dad being alive and me sitting in an office having to make the inane decision of what to put on the cover of his funeral cards.
For the last 2 years I have tended my mother’s life through her advancing Alzheimer’s. Since she transitioned while I was in India a month ago I have been going through and releasing the ‘things’ of her lifetime. My dad died 20 years ago (tomorrow) so this includes his things that my mom kept. And of course my life as it is woven with theirs. It is a powerful Journey of memory and discovery. Honoring. Witnessing. Integrating.