Last night our son and his wife messaged us on their return flight from New York, their plane was directly overhead. We rushed into the sparkling cold crisp night and watched them flying through the stars. It was magical and mysterious and very real, us on the ground and them in the sky. I felt the universe inside of me. This is what grief does, you swallow the whole cosmos sometimes simply watching a plane carrying your loved ones through the stars. The immensity of eternity gets caught in your throat.
In the morning I prayerfully chose to listen to a particular podcast that has been good for my weary soul, “Turning to the Mystics”. Part of this grief journey has been the identification of and releasing myself from falsehoods I have swallowed from the pulpit, and continued healing and understanding of spiritual abuse and manipulation. It's a lot. Honestly, it’s beyond exhausting. It isn’t a choice though, it’s me finding sanity, security, peace and healing.
While my spirit has been refined, finding deep truth in spiritual teaching has been difficult. I’m so grateful when I find teaching that isn’t bound in coercive words. As I listened, I continued to learn about the writings of the medieval mystic Teresa of Avila who shared her spiritual understanding of the soul, which she describes as a crystal mansion with seven rooms. Apparently, these seven rooms have been compared to the seven energy chakras.
I suddenly feel I am in a conversation, not just listening, but that my soul is being heard. This is exactly where my art is right now, because this is exactly where I am right now.
My husband and I physically experienced energy work years ago. I have been reading again about various forms, meditating and adding to the list of various ways my body can find relief from pain. There are so many different modalities and each one offers a unique sort of relief.
I have no idea if moving my body through the hand positions involved in opening the energy of each chakra will help, but I know it’s relaxing and it can’t hurt. The muscles around my heart have been painfully constricted since he passed. Forefinger and thumb touching, I hold my hand on my heart, the fourth chakra where compassion resides and there’s a connection to touch. It is represented by green. Life, love, physical touch- heart center.
While looking at my almost finished painting, I continue to listen to the teaching, which “coincidentally “ is about the fourth room. Fourth room, fourth chakra, heart center, soundless.
I struggled with the elements of this particular painting. I know it’s a healing painting, and an honest one, but it’s been a painful mystery to unravel.
My grief artwork pours out of my soul. I feel him with me in the process. The words and deep explanations usually come after I’ve finished. Often birthed in the night, they unfolds through tears. When the piece is finished it tells me about the story of my heart, about grief and about love. It tells me who I am, and helps me feel less lost, more grounded and connected to my beloved, more whole in my spirit and comforts my broken heart.
The fourth room is about being in the space of longing for the spiritual and being at peace with knowing there’s nothing we can do to force God‘s revelation
and yet it comes.
Knowing that spiritual intimacy cannot be forced, but our hearts can be open and ready and that is enough. This is humility.
It’s about remembering the sacredness of the spiritual intimacy I’ve experienced and being present and open to what comes next. Knowing we can never grasp or hold captive a single moment or a single heartbeat.
The meaning of my painting unfolds. What my soul knows is given words. I’m standing on green, surrounded and anchored upon the foundation of my heart and it’s open compassion toward myself and others in this grief that extends to my borders. I am holding a sphere, my world of grief and a halo of grief crowns my mind and thoughts. I’m holding flowers, beauty past and present. Beauty is falling from the heavens. I breathe in the golden sacred air which surrounds me.
I feel a tremendous peace. My painting is true. Sacredness of breath and life is true. This moment is true. My understanding is pure. Beauty is true.
My grief is my love for you. This is timeless, and you are here. This meditation is holy.
Breathe in compassion
Breathe in love
Breathe in life
Breathe in this moment
Breathe in peace
It’s time to be here now. Get to work. File papers that have been in a basket waiting for a year. Endless papers which have been far too emotionally overwhelming to consider going through.
I am ready.
I moved files, notes for teaching our kids. Made stacks of Donor correspondence , another stack of three notebooks full of daily notes about hospital bills, re-organizing, legal paperwork, the accident, notes about how to breathe, how to stretch, how to remember to stay hydrated. They seemed written from a parent to a babysitter. I was the parent, the babysitter and the child trying to remember how to live when I wrote them. I opened one notebook and found a poem I had written a few days after you passed.
Then I lifted the basket, and found an Electrical Contractor magazine, still in the plastic dated February of this year. 10 months ago when I mindlessly tucked it away, and today, after this deeply moving experience about mansions and chakras, I decided today is the day to organize paperwork.
There on the cover was a beautiful image of a man, a rainbow of chakras running down his body linked to a profoundly compassionate article in a contractors magazine addressed to you.
"-Three pillars-mind, body, spirit- interlock into a unified pholosophy." the idea of investing in well-being.'
A heartbeat from the stars.
I know you are right here pulsing. I can see your smile, feel the sparkle in your eyes, your laughter at the connection, your pleasure at surprising me, and the knowing of the intimacy we share.
“ Do you know how beautiful and spiritual our togetherness still is? “ You seem to ask.
Yes, it’s mesmerizing, but…..
Please keep showing me
This is STILL so very painful.
These photos were also a surprise find that day as I followed my heart. Christine Dibble Photography