Having Crashed, learning to continue without rails
Grasping for guidelines with new glasses
No wait, that part is over,
Escaping the narrow tracks, I crash into open space: I do not accept it, and seek another narrow path. A high walled super highway. I crash again. Finally there, which is not anywhere at all, I rest.
Turtle was my old friend. Turtle kept me safe. Turtle learned other stories to carry on her shell. She gathered more reasons to protect.
Inside turtle is an eagle. A crane. A tiger. A young woman.
A young woman following a path.
The time it takes.
Experiences are fleeting. And yet….
To turn the shell upsidedown. To take the very same substance of terror and learn to nest in it.
To nest. To rest.
What a practice--to return to the line, to the path
To regather my life force,
To return home
Before the accident I was marked by the god of small things- not the Arundhati roy novel, but the god herself. Neon green paint chipping on a concrete wall. Chili peppers left in a sink drain. Spanish moss at dusk. The smell of new Orleans. Jasmine. Bike tires cracked from too much sun.
After the accident, I lost god. They said it was all suffering- that beauty was not “out there” but in my mind. What nonsense. My mind is not “in here” nor “out there.” A mental lobectomy that took my small gods, my small and constant beauties. Yet under her was a deep fear. Existential? Sure. Habituated? Yes. Taught? Of course. When the god came off the fear emerged. It had been there all along….and yet this time, I couldn’t slip back in. The shell didn’t fit. Turtle couldn’t make a shell thick enough to protect from the fear within it. Outside-the Devi played hide and seek.
Turtle and I, we journeyed together with terror.
I got to know him as a dark cord. As resistance. As profound grief. I had to see him with the eyes of a child: helpless. (pathetic. Rage.) With no one to blame outside, and no one to blame inside, the fear was naked. We continued.
Many paths. Much time.
What I loved was watching the way people formed around you in the parking lot—the shapes they took, and the sound of our footsteps. You were walking in front of us all, but we were all behind you like a wave, supporting you. That’s so important in healing trauma, having support, so it was beautiful to see that all around you.
Yet I would not have seen that without him. My eyes were in the turtle shell. Too afraid. Unaware of the crest and arc of those behind me. I walked forward, hanging onto a thread. All I could see. And behind me, and to my sides---friends. Teachers. Love.
I can only see it through you.
I can only know this through us.
We entered a mandala I wove out of fabric. We entered a mandala I paper mached onto giant balloons. I wove to represent dependent origination. There is no solid bit there- the perfection of those glowing orbs of wisdom manifest in this relative world- utterly only relational. Made of all of us, who are not even us. Who are a flow. Resting in the nest of us.