It's Sunday afternoon and it's raining once again. Hard cold drops that crush new flowers. The thunder is heavy; the voice of an old man who hasn't spoken in years. I am between skins. I have been sick for almost five weeks. My appetite has declined to barely two meals a day. My energy level is some days 2/3 of what it used to be, some days 1/2. I've been to see my teacher, Cain, and we've done extensive body work. We've pushed through "new old" crap that continues to resurface. My beautiful friend and massage therapist gave me Thieves oil to mix with water and drink. Each day I feel better, and each day I feel more out of sorts.
I would be more concerned about this if I didn't know what it was. I know exactly what this is. What I don't know is how long it will take to work through it, or what will be waiting on the other side. Yesterday, I conducted a day long workshop with my favorite students from Phoenix. I was thrilled to work with them, and I am so proud (as close to mama-proud as I'll probably ever be) of their work as writers and their work with each other. But I found myself watching myself talk to them about qi gong, about food choices, about shaking, shaking, shaking until the patterns of stagnation fall away. I am using energy to teach with that is coming from a storehouse of energy, not from the flow of each moment. I am rebuilding myself, cell by cell. Right now, I fit in neither place.
I am shaking. Shaking, shaking, shaking. Whenever I think I have shaken it all free, there is more. I've been shaking for almost a year now on a daily basis. When I first started shaking, I was fierce and angry, hissing at everyone, impatient and passive aggressive. Then I became sad, and then, after a month or so, I felt clean. I felt empty -- I felt that there was space inside me for each day rather than each day having to compete for space in such a crowded place.
I know what this is. I have only cried once since we got back from North Carolina. I need more space for it. I don't have a weekend free again until Halloween. It's always this way when the semester starts, but somehow this time I am unready, or unwilling, to be at work completely. I will go. No one but the very observant will know I'm not there 100%. My bones are tired. My eyes are dry, but my body is full of water -- I'm a tidal wave that hasn't struck land yet.
I am working on a young adult novel now -- The Boy in the Walls -- that literally flowed into me when we were in my childhood house in North Carolina. I think I let it go. I am wrong. There is more. I think I let it go. I am wrong. There is still more. Still another book. Still another little girl to reach out to and welcome back home. If the energy in our Charlotte house had been a wall of water, I would have drowned. As such, I stood in the middle of it and let it move through me, dislodging memories and dreams that I had indeed forgotten -- and the ones I had not forgotten I have tried for thirty years to erase.
I remember my dad, almost dead, in the hospital. I remember an acidic smell on his body once he was back home with us. I remember a bed set up in the living room because he couldn't lie down. I remember looking out the window in my bedroom for hour and years while everything changed, and I felt in August of this year, the shock of the shutting down that occurred in 1976. I remember the freezing in my body. One of the participants in my workshop yesterday talked about freezing to not be seen. I could relate completely. I thought of the bunny about to be caught -- how it freezes, heart beating faster than its breathing can keep up. How I know how that feels. How I know what happens when the heart beats faster than the breath.
When I went to visit Cain a few weeks ago for internal organ massage, he released my diaphragm. I had pulled it back up into my body after being in our house and I couldn't figure out how to release it on my own. Once I could breathe again, I began to feel better. But there is more to move. There is more of the girl I have hidden swimming in my veins.
Today, I watch the rain and feel the tension in the air as the water comes. I drink my tridosha tea and am grateful for my home, my job, my body. Grateful for the awareness and the space to notice what is waking up. Grateful to have my writing. Until whatever is sleeping wakes up, I am out of balance. I am too tired and too awake. Too hungry and too full. Too indifferent and too concerned.
Integration is bumpy. It takes an awful lot of shaking to dislodge a storyline that has been the foundation of my life.
Much easier,to pretend that everything is fine. But even when I tried to tell myself that everything was fine, I knew, in that way that you know before you learn to lie, that I was lying. Much easier to not keep pushing further, further, further, until I find the root of it all and cut it away.
But truth, slippery as newly-caught fish, always shimmers under the unrelenting gaze.