stay current with their grief —
they see their tears as medicine —
and grief a kind of generous willingness
to simply see, to look loss in the eye,
to hold tenderly what is precious,
to let the rains of the heart fall.
In this way, they do not pass this weight on
in invisible mailbags for the next generation
to carry. In this way, the grief doesn’t build
and build like sets of waves, until,
at some point down the line —
it simply becomes an unbearable ocean.
We are so hungry when we are fleeing
our grief, when we are doing all
we can to distract ourselves
from the crushing heft of the unread
letters of our ancestors.
Hear us, they call. Hear us.
In my dreams, the elephants stampede
in herds, trumpeting, shaking the earth.
It is a kind of grand finale, a last parade
of their exquisite beauty. See us, they say.
We may not pass this way again.
What if our grief, given as a sacred offering,
is a blessing not a curse?
What if our grief, not hidden away in corners,
becomes a kind of communion where we shine?
What if our grief becomes a liberation song
that returns us to our innocence?
What if our fierce hearts
could simply bear witness?
Fragment of a poem by Laura Weaver
You realize that the person you became at birth and will cease to be at death is temporary and false.
You are not the sensual, emotional and intellectual person, gripped by desires and fears. Find out your real being.
What am l? is the fundamental question of all philosophy and psychology. Go into it deeply.”
Inherited rage and suffering is a ticking time bomb in our culture. Buried injustices and cruelties reverberate down the generations. We somehow can’t be frankly ourselves. We are waylaid by inherited wounds which we refuse to claim. We throw them onto any passerby, especially if they look or speak differently. The last thing we want to know is who we are under our cultivated veneer.
Dividing the world up into races and cultures, with some approved and others rejected, based on our unquestioned conditioning, is how we make sense of our world. Our unhealed hearts make the world into a war zone. Our festering wounds make us small because we are always trying to hide them. Psychotherapy often wants us to conform ourselves to the world as it is. We have few ways to reach peace with ourselves.
There are personal wounds that must be healed, but underneath those are ancestral lines of losses and injustices. Now we are grieving a disappearing world of natural beauty. We are destroying our God Given paradise. We are so overwhelmed with grief that we are creating more things to grieve.
We can’t seem to halt the rage that is making us suicidal. If it truly is impossible to stop and look inward to find the source of our wanton destructiveness, I’m afraid we’re done, finished. Our culture is veering off into the swamps because we refuse to be human. We close the door and try to carry on “normally.” We need traditions of healing like indigenous peoples have. We have dispensed with age old lessons in how to be human.
We think we know. We think it’s simple and we can continue to focus on controlling the external world. We downgrade the inner world as if it has no importance or relevance to our lives and societies. We are psychological primitives with big guns. It’s a dangerous situation.
If we can face ourselves, including our inexplicable grief, we will finally take the first step toward healing the world. We can’t heal the world without healing ourselves.
- Anima Fire is my pub.