Friday, April 13, 2007

When the bones take flesh

During this past week, I've been confined to home with a head-cold - the type that makes thinking, reading, anything involving left-brain concentration difficult. I've spent much of the time in a floaty-dreamy, not-quite-here state of consciousness, and the results have been interesting. It's been in some ways like a retreat. I wouldn't have chosen to spend days on end alone, or to avoid reading and other activities with which I normally fill my days. What I found I did want to do was to spend time with my SoulCollage cards, browsing Seena's articles on the website, listening to a couple of the audiofiles on the Kindred Spirits site, and at some stage during the week, I made a new card: My "La Loba" or "Singer over the Bones" card. This card is inspired by the story toldy by Clarissa Pinkola Estes in her marvellous book "Women Who Run With The Wolves", which is retold by Seena in the introduction to "SoulCollage"

Having made the card, I found myself writing about it in my Morning Pages the next day, and still in a dream-like state, I mused which, of the cards I'd made recently, had permitted me to finally make this card, and began to see a 'chain' of cards going back to the first cards I'd made. Yesterday, still musing on this - the way that La Loba represents the bringing together of the many disparate pieces of myself, I wondered if I laid out my deck, would I be able to see this flow from one card to another... and so I planned a ritual or ceremony of viewing my entire deck.
There was a problem, however: The missing cards. Should I leave them out? Should I print them out and create new versions of these cards? Should I create one composite card showing the four that "gave themselves" to my 31st March workshop? I wasn't sure. But before I came to making that decision, I had a few bits of correspondence to see to prior to my ceremony, and at my desk, searching through a folder I'd last had in my hand on 26th February, there I found my four missing cards! So, now my deck would be complete: All 90 cards would be present.

The details of how I laid out the cards went like this: I began with thinking "that belongs with that...", but soon found myself moving about the room, placing cards in a fairly random, intuitive fashion, and finally, they were all arrayed in a "sunburst" radiating out from a central grouping of my Source, Soul-Essence, La Loba, and a new card I was calling "Going Into the Dark Places", but which I think I'll be calling "The Hero's Journey" now. When the last card had been placed on the floor, I sat back, and contemplated the picture arrayed before me. The bones were gathered. And there was life in them. There IS life in them. Some cards, like ligaments and tendons, support other cards. Some fall togther in natural groupings, like ribs or vertebrae. I found my journal and pen in my hand and I wrote:

..... And the time came, when the woman saw - these are the pieces I have been gathering, and each piece has its place, and each piece holds another piece in its place.

And the woman saw that there was no 'wrong' or no 'late' or no 'slow' in her path. The time it took to gather the pieces was the time it took.

When she came to the place where she was ready to sing life into her bones, she was ready, because she had learnt to sing, learnt to breathe and to weep. She was ready to go down into the dark places and emerge again, because she had been able to see her own heart, because she had become ready to take away her mask, because she had taken the time to witness, because she had known the death of love, the loss of love, because she had learnt to love.

.....And so she came to the place of life, and she saw that her doubts and her pain were sisters to her joy and her dance. She saw that the gifts of the universe come in prayer, in fun, in ancient wisdom, in the guardianship of an angel, in sisterhood. She saw that she was held in the palm of God's hand. She saw that she was held by the love of many, by the gifts of musicians and artists; she saw that the Children's Fire is protected by the fire-carrier and the mystical child. She saw that all time is Now. There is this present moment. She saw that she has been blessed. And she was grateful. And she wept.

When I had spent a long, long time sitting with my cards, the music I'd had gently playing in the background turned to something very rhythmic and I just had to get up and dance. So I danced my cards. I danced la Loba. I danced the bones together, and sang them, and it was good.

I have been three-and-a-half years gathering these bones. They are not all of the bones of me, but they are of a piece. I was glad to see that each card has a resonance, each one has an energy I can identify in myself. I was glad the time came to do this. I was glad of my enforced retreat. I found myself so thankful for the mysterious process that is at work when we embrace SoulCollage.

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  • Wow - right now that's about all I can manage - I'll be back!

    By Blogger Caroline, at 12:21 PM  

  • Just started with SoulCollage and got a link from the KaleidoSoul yahoo group. THANK YOU. You are powerful and inspiring! I struggle with the why's and the length of time my journey takes and yet I know I will one day be at the point you are now of appreciating it all in it's place - the connections and the reasons.

    By Blogger clairity, at 4:28 PM  

  • Imelda this is so immense - its amazing - you have been on a wonderful journey - I'm really glad you found what you needed to do whilst in that strange state. Its wonderful to see someone following their intuition so well!

    And that dancing at the end - you really danced it into your bones!

    By Blogger Caroline, at 11:04 AM  

  • Wow...what a sacred experience. You are an inspiration. I look forward to doing this beautiful exercise to welcome, honor and except the many parts of myself too. Thank you!


    By Blogger Cheryl A Finley:, at 1:19 PM  

  • This is so moving and so inspirational. It is a lesson of hope, knowing that it all goes together. It is a lesson in trust and a lesson in love. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience. You have truly inspired me to look deeper and to capture all the different facets and to know that even the ones which may be difficult to face will also be worthy of celebration. Dance Girl! Dance!

    By Blogger Lisa, at 4:45 PM  

  • How wonderful!

    By Blogger Robin D Owens, at 8:25 AM  

  • Ohhh what wonderful enchanting soulcollage works! Great job!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:38 PM  

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