Grief sauce and the Deep.

Posted on May 15, 2012


Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That’s how the light gets in.
~Leonard Cohen

There are two places in life that I wager we all have visited once or twice. The first I shall call the grief wave and the other the deep. They juxtapose and don’t. They reflect one another, and don’t. They exist, and don’t … … …

The grief wave is the churning, overcoming experience that follows loss. Loss of love, loss of self, loss of another in one’s life.

Just loss.

For me the genesis of the grief wave is in my upper belly beneath my diaphragm, cupped by the heart shaped part of my ribs. It burns there, and when it is lies dormant, it is the fuel that ignites my passions and my ability. When it is triggered – it drowns me in a current of …well….grief. I could explain grief I guess but really telling you where it lives is just as good. The body knows grief as well as it knows the touch of a lover’s hand.

Soul Cloth.

I wear my heart on the outside of me. Not even my sleeve – it’s like my skin holds nerve endings the tie directly into my compassion center and I am slathered with feeling. I’ve been told that I radiate when my gypsy self comes out to play and I am centered in the universe – It only makes sense that when I hurt. I hurt. When I grieve I grieve in swelling waves and I allow the waves space to break against the sides of my heart and spill out along the edges…not that I have a choice in it. As with love, Grief is a beast of its own and pushing it back down into the deep and ignoring it is as disingenuous to the self as allowing it to fully take control of one’s life.

It is a delicate tightrope walk and it is as such because with grief comes the deep.

The Deep is the place where grief or serious introspection (on a mountain top or river basin or some other such place) takes you. The deep are the crevices in the soul and the psyche that grow the garden of beingness. When we experience the leveling waves of grief or pain, we also experience a self-inventory. A space where we look at our garden and think…fuck….there are weeds. (Unless of course you are enlightened and then …well I guess there is nothing but calm grey and the word fuck wouldn’t even exist.) The deep is where soul work happens, where growth happens, where respect and love and development for and of the self happens. Khalil Gibran (as provided by the Grand Chu the other day) explains the pairing of grief and growth exquisitely:

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain. And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy; And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields. And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.” – Kahlil Gibran

Joe Campbell my ever-present companion has continually reminded me that there is a pairing of growth and pain and also the paring of growth and promise of the light:

The way to find out about your happiness is to keep your mind on those moments when you feel most happy, when you really are happy-not excited, not just thrilled, but deeply happy. This requires a little bit of self-analysis. What is it that makes you happy? Stay with it, no matter what people tell you. This is what I call “following your bliss.”

and here –

 People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That’s what it’s all finally about. – JC

So. For now just those things to consider. How they come together. How they fold apart. How they become a prayer or a curse.How love and light and shadow move into one another.

Love and burritos.


Posted in: Lessons, Life, Philosophy, Yoga