Sunday, November 2, 2008

November 2nd, 2008: I’ve spent a lot of the day in bed, reading and napping. Not a lot of energy, but not exhausted either. Feeling quiet and inward; pain is under control. I’ve been reading Marion Woodman’s Bone, a journal of her plague year when she was treated for advanced uterine cancer. Given Woodman’s attention to her body, her dreams, the physical world around her and her various inner persons who are wild, terrified, free, maternal, etc. and with her deep experience as a Jungian analyst, the book is a stunner: full of insights and a great model of how to honor the multiple parts of the psyche.

Then, late afternoon, I took the following trip to my healing spot. My pain medication blurs clear visualization. To focus, I’ve been listening to a CD where my friend, Bob Kudrna plays Tibetan crystal bowls. Nice hums to the music. Today, I started by cleaning out my chakras, running energy through my body, grounding myself, doing a bit of repair on my etheric body. Then, I traveled to the magic redwood tree and went through its trunk to my healing center. My soak in the turquoise lined tub was brief, but for a long time, I simply lay on the soft marble stone, listening to sounds of the natural world, and watching the sky. I felt open and offered to the world. “Here I am,” I could feel my body say. “We’re all together in the same world.”

I also began to sense energy on the other side of the gate, an urgency to get into my healing space. After the usual question “Are you here to help heal me?” and the affirmative, the gate opened and a man leapt into the garden wearing a huge carved African face. I’d say the mask was two feet or longer and clearly made of heavy wood with eyes so wide they were concentric circles. Long gouges filled with white and red pigment stretched in V shape across the face. I was startled. It was like the masks in Picasso’s Le Demoiselles d’Avignon: aggressive, primitive, confrontive. “How does he wear that heavy thing?” I wondered. But then, the shaman came over and brushed his hands over my abdomen and pelvis, nodding the weighty mask over my body. Plunging his hands into my pelvis, he extracted the tumor, quickly and without a moment of pain. Both of us watched as he raised the tumor high into the air over my body. What happened next will be with me for the rest of my life. The tumor let out a scream of rage and fury. “Aughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!” The sound was so unrestrained that it took me a while to realize that this was my voice, but as I’ve never let it out. This was the voice of my self from four to seven when I was being molested by my father, “Don’t tooooouch me!” “Go awaaaaaay!!” This was the cry that I never cried. Instead we froze in our family roles: father molesting me on whim, mother denying everything, me leaving my body a lot while knowing that if I told my mother about being molested she would confide this to my Dad. I screamed as any child would, but the sound did not come out of me…until today in my healing garden. The cry became louder and deeper and wider, truly deafening and oh, the pain in that voice. The masked healer would not put the tumor down, and the cry increased until I couldn’t stay separated from it. Finally, I became a part of the cry and this tableau endured—me on the marble table, tumor raised high over me by a figure masked with bulging eyes—for a very long time. And then, with a quick drop of the arms, the shaman returned the tumor to my pelvis, turned the mask full toward me and leapt backward out of the garden.

1 comment:

Karen Hogan said...


I wrote to you earlier that it was unbelievable to me what you were about to endure. The courageous way in which you are confronting your dis-ease head on I find, ironically, comforting. I find myself wishing that I could take this all away from you -- this gauntlet of uncovered pain you find yourself walking through. But then, I remember that that is beyond my power, and would be a disservice to you anyway.

Please know that I hold your young self in the heart of my most nourishing parent; the one that provides you with a safe place to feel the hurt of absence and betrayal and having the integrity of your own body be violated. I'm so sorry that you had to endure this.

Faulkner wrote that writers create from the materials of the human spirit something that didn't exist before. You are doing that with your own life. I so admire your courage.