Ereshkigal Revisited

from my journal for June 6   

I worked on two blog posts: “Professional Psychotherapy Client” and goodness beyond goodness.  The first one was about how I had missed out on a lot of what life has to offer because of severe clinical depression, and because I put so much energy and time into trying to find out the truth about myself, and trying to heal.  “Trying” is the wrong word.  Continually finding new depths and dimensions of myself, of my life, and working on healing the early wounding.  I am coming to understand that people who can get what my life is about are few and far between.  Lynelle and Erica are the ones I’m closest to.  And Karen.  And Jalaja — “the depths to which you are journeying.”  I am also seeing that, even though people don’t get it, and can’t value it, my life’s work has been a significant part of the larger — the huge — design.  In a traditional culture I would be valued as a shaman, one who has traveled into the depths of the human spirit.

Jalaja Bonheim    The quote is from her comment on my blog.

In reading my blog, I came to the post about Ereshkigal.  It was first written during a guided meditation in 1993, and posted to the blog in June of 2012, reposted in December 2018.  Looking at it yesterday, I saw a profound truth.  “This is what it costs” — pain, and misunderstanding by people around you.  The reward is bringing truths back from the shamanic realm.  This is a worthy thing to be doing with my “one wild and precious life.”  I have been living a wild and precious life without knowing that’s what it is.

Ereshkigal is the dark sister of Inanna.  When Inanna “casts her ear to the Great Below” she begins her journey to the underworld.

Doing Tong-len for the earth.  That also is a worthy task.  What did Kevin say?  My life is a severe practice.

Lately I have been feeling a lot of grief and pain for the Earth.  When I really got that my pain was not about me, it was about the Earth, it became easy to do Tong-len for Her.

Kevin Frank is an amazing bodyworker in Holderness, NH.  His wife is Caryn McHose who was my trauma therapist for many years.  They both work with the mind/body interface.  See their website for more information.

3rd cup of tea.  I went back and read the first post about Ereshkigal.  It sounds like I wrote it in my writers group in Franconia.  I went from there to “about Jenny” and then to the alternative version.  A lot of the alternative version was written on a retreat with Deena Metzger in 1998.  In some ways it’s confusing to read because the time sequence isn’t clear, but it also blew me away. blew me away.  I can see the bones of the shaman shining through the rags of the writing, sometimes clumsy, sometimes brilliant.  What a wild, crazy, deep, astonishing life.  And I sleep-walked through it, bored, tired, unhappy, unable to see my journey underground as more than severe clinical depression, “hurt too badly to live.”  Unable to live a “worthwhile” life on the surface, and failing to see my exploration of the realm underneath as a valuable contribution to the Whole.  I did have a sense, earlier, when I tuned into the goodness beyond goodness and found affection/love, that the political, social, environmental madness that’s destroying the ground under our feet, is totally superficial, doesn’t touch reality at all.  The people who are suffering are part of reality, part of the work of changing the — foundation? — reality? the work of changing reality, and their lives are not wasted.

Deena Metzger is a novelist, poet, teacher and healer.  She is a magical person.  I have done several workshops and two week-long retreats with her

“Hurt too badly to live” — The thing that scares me the most is that I will come across an animal who is “hurt too badly to live.”  What do I do?  I can’t heal it or help it, and I can’t kill it.  At some point I realized that, for a long time, I had felt that I had been “hurt too badly to live.”

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