Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Ascent Out of the Valley

The cloud cover on my heart and spirit is lifting. What's strange is: part of me wants to stay up under those dark clouds. It feels comfortable. Being checked out is getting to be comfortable.

However, there is another part of me that is ready to rise up out of the valley. That part of me knows it is time to start my ascent.

As the clouds clear, it is reasonable to expect my thoughts to still go back to what happened. The details of the storm that led to my descent will certainly still come to mind. Surveying the damage after the storm is normal. For a short time, I will be allowed to go back. Mourning what has been lost is natural. Retrieving what can be salvaged is expected.

Then, it is time to vacate the valley because it is not safe to stay any longer. An Authority comes to tell me to evacuate now. The directive is firm but gentle.

As I begin my ascent, I look back over my shoulder to look at the wreckage. It feels surreal. A sadness sweeps over me. Simultaneously, I feel a firm yet compassionate Presence leading me out of the dark into the sunlight.

Micheal Bernard Beckwith talks about three kinds of darkness:

1) Gestation Darkness: When something is about to be birthed from you.

2) Shedding Darkness: When a part of you that no longer serves you dies off.

3) Blinding Darkness: When you look directly into God's light and the brilliance temporarily takes away your sight.

All three seems to apply to my recent valley experience.

As the clouds lift, I am having trouble adjusting to the light. Still I put one foot in front of the other and move towards the light.

My footsteps may be wobbly. My muscles may have atrophy. Yet, I still go forward into the light.

2 comments:

karima said...

i am feeling every bit of this journey.....my father transitioned on august 29, 2009 at the age of 92....i miss him......my sisters and i cared for him for a year in his home......his final weeks were spent in hospice where he was treated like a king....we were with him everyday.....his transition was beautiful.....smooth.......peaceful.....

my "transition" has been bumpy.....i didn't do many storytelling performances while i was his caregiver.....now my timing is off.....i've lost my edge.....and i'm afraid to try new material.....i didn't tell many stories while i was with him but i truly had a good time listening to his.....

i drummed a little....just for me.....not so much for performance.......my social justice work, with prisoners and their families, increased during my caregiving days and my father encouraged me every step of the way as he always had from the beginning......

my program is called PRISONERS ARE PEOPLE TOO.....my father always referred to it as PEOPLE ARE PRISONERS TOO ......i never corrected him because he was so right....people are often imprisoned by money, drugs, bad company, bad thoughts, etc.......it seems i have been imprisoned by a lack of opportunity to practice my art, except in my home or in my head......that's slowly beginning to change now and i'm feeling afraid......lately my scared feelings have prompted other feelings that make me feel sad.....weak.....inadequate....lonely.....angry.....

my social justice work currently has me embroiled in issues regarding our horrible county jails.....on tv and radio and in print, my voice is loud about these issues that involve someone else's pain and suffering......my voice about my own pain and suffering has been silent.....my fault....i keep thinking, "no one wants to hear you," so i start then hesitate, then stop.....

coming out of this valley is hard work, but i'm learning so much about me along the way......

T. Dorsey said...

"Prisoners are people too." I dig your dad. Karima, let's support each other through the journey.

My sisters and I cared for my father as he received hospice in his final stage of life, which came too soon at the age of 61.

My current healing process leaves me unable to perform and feeling uncertain about the stories I will tell when I am able.

I want to hear your story. Please, let's support each other on the journey.

Always Your Sister in the Culture,
TAHIRA