Friday, January 31, 2014

wild wooden horses

Sarah and I spent most of yesterday's acupuncture session talking - about creativity, dogs, and Chinese New Year. It was great conversation, and in the frame of acupuncture it was just as healing as the needles. We often have those sorts of conversations.
There was no acu-nap, in fact we laughed so much that I had to keep stopping myself from jiggling the needles out of me. I didn't rest as much as I usually do during acupuncture sessions - it was more like laughing yoga and I came out feeling not only relaxed but rejuvenated in a way I haven't felt for a very, very long time.

Sarah has a very healing way of (doing everything) translating her knowledge whether it is trying to find a way to explain Chinese medicine using English words, or her perceptions throughout our conversations - physically/medically, emotionally and everything in between. These conversations are as powerful as the needles and create a really good energy just in themselves.

I didn't cry as much as I have been during acupuncture lately.

When we got to the subject of the Chinese New Year Sarah told me about an article she had read about the significance of this year of the Wood Horse.

We have just been traveling through [a] void - in two Water years - which immersed us in a descending place of degeneration, dissolution and chaos, a time when our internal world of formless spirit and emotions held total sway over every attempt at external control or order. For most of us, it was an unsettling time of letting go of many things, either voluntarily or forcefully, a time of deep soul searching, with gradual or sudden destabilization in many areas of family and livelihood.
I don't think there is anybody I know who doesn't look back on 2013 as a year of profound change, good and bad - but mostly bad. Massive life shifts, career moves, family's losing and gaining - and losing again. I think about Andy's dad, the awesome Ken Schmidt, who passed away right on the cusp of this massive shift in energies. There are a lot of really incredible people who left us in the last twelve months, and I can't help but wonder if they're all connected in some very special way.

It was just as the second water year began that my mother was given weeks to live, just as the baby growing inside me was making it clear he was a survivor (of pregnancy). Turmoil, chaos, confusion, ...absurdity followed.
Those water years were hard, especially the last, filled with profound loss, but with scattered moments of extreme happiness. Many, many people made major adjustments to life.
It's not just me Sarah and I were talking about - herself, and so many people we know have been though a lot in the last year. I know more people who lost in 2013 than any other year I can remember. Friends (and friends of friends) have been through hell and back with health and life on the line. Lots of people moved too; all over the world, big moves, life changing moves, families blending, families splitting up, new houses, new stuff, new places - coincidence?
Meh, this stuff happens all the time, right?
There might not be a bigger shift of energies
in the entire 60 year wheel of Chinese astrology
 than this one coming up
–the shift from two Water years of deep introspection
to the fast-paced spurt of extroverted forward propulsion
that the Wood Horse brings.
It's impossible for me to not look back on 2013 and not try to find some sort of meaning. I'll be doing this for the rest of my life, I'm sure - sifting through the chaos, trying to understand the absurd (running on a hamster wheel). At the same time I'm desperate to find a meaningful path to follow forward. I've been feeling this strong sense of disorientation for months and need more than anything some clarity.

This feeling I have of being in a new life dominates the days. I'm in a new house, surrounded by things and friends from the past - familiar but new simultaneously, missing some significant people, not quite knowing what to do with myself, not really knowing how to define myself anymore ...I even think I look different (beyond just the expected postpartum changes). My old life ended when Finn died, and I've sat stagnant ever since.
Is this lunisolar event a new beginning, or the start of something? I want to hope so.

The article goes on:
This will be a Promethean year, the Beginning of all beginnings, arriving around January 31st to February 4th, 2014. Full of uplift, optimism and compelling inspiration, we will be guided into purposeful action of the most elegantly simple and powerfully fruitful kind. After two years of feeling every revelation of corruption in the dark as if it was scouring our subconscious insides and wringing us dry of watery emotion, we are ready for this change! Light, hope and clarity of vision gallop in.
We laughed throughout my acupuncture session every time Sarah said, "Giddy up!" like a new mantra or affirmation. It sounds so silly. Silly, but effective (and I suspect a lot of people will be saying it in the coming months). Later in the day Rohan and I laughed at a CD that arrived as a freebie in an order of wool I received - it claims to be music for creativity along with affirmations, which I assume are things like "I am beautiful" or "I am worthy" and other nauseating phrases. I'm going to guess there's no "giddy up" on that CD.
This is a year to follow your inner voice like never before, for it will have a universal cosmic ch’i within it. Higher guidance is with us every step of the way. Reach for the sky, call up your vision, fuel your plans with vision boards and creativity, find a fresh path and pace yourself well.
My inner voice and vision have spent the last few months as a tree, specifically the oak tree that anchors the south east corner of our front yard. In the early days after Finn died Sarah had me use the image of a tree as a device in relaxation breathing - to take me someplace else and be something else, breathing in from my roots and reaching toward the sky, feeling the light and the air, imagining the seasons...all of it. I've used it daily ever since, and always as a way to calm myself before a grief counselling session.
The tree works for me, I've always had a good relationship with trees - from my childhood spend in Wishart's forest to the rows of the tree farm, and of course my affair with the trees of Waverley Park and other urban giants.

Trees are about the only thing that have interested me about our new yard. The garden stuff will come in time, for now it's just not a big concern for me (I imagined myself too busy with a baby too think much about it).
The trees in the yard - and in the park across the street - have actually been quite entertaining. Their colour in the autumn is how I see the blur of those weeks, and their lights are what brought me (and others) a smile at a very dark time (of year and otherwise). The Wild Thing in the park will never be seen as two ordinary trees urban trees, but always with ears and horns looking out on the lake. In the backyard a small mountain ash has the wings of a million birds every day, its berry supply almost entirely devoured already.
It's easy to correlate all this tree business to wood and the symbol of the wooden horse, and if anything I can consider it a starting point - to something..

I'm already on a fresh path, not by choice but here I am; and I have no choice but to pace myself because my body and my mind need to heal slowly. If a little bit of optimism is ahead I'll take it.

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