Positive Feedback

(Written in April 2008)
Just now, talking to Nada, I told her her work with the most damaged people (mental hospital in the South Bronx) is helping to change the human energy field.  She said she loved talking to me.  It’s so extraordinary to be valued for who I am and for what I’ve done — building Neskaya, collecting the books — in my journey to heal myself.  I still can’t quite get it — it’s like every time I say or do something outrageous — the outrageous part of me has been coming out without fear since the Bacci workshop — I get affirmed.  Laura & Nada told me yesterday that my dramatic abilities are wonderful and should be used.  What????  “How can this be?” Now I know (or think I know) what Mary felt like at the annunciation.  Maybe that’s where all the energy is coming from.

I had experiences all weekend of people affirming and praising me.  For my generosity, for my collection of books, for my knowledge of so many odd subjects.  I can’t find words for the disjunct — I still expect – the expectation is embedded in my cells – to be made wrong for what they are welcoming and celebrating.  I’m no longer blocking it out, I’m almost able to let it come in.  Told Kevin and he said “I hear you saying ‘Does anybody see me?’” Yes, exactly.   It took a tribe of mature women, who had been seeking and asking, and who had lots of life experience to be able to see and rejoice in what you have to offer.

Karen helped a lot.  She said the reason I couldn’t take in the praise & validation was because I had no framework to put it in.  At least I could hear it.  At least I wasn’t frightened, or ashamed, or in denial, or trying to hide.  But when I try to take it in there’s just a huge blank empty space — no pigeon holes, no structure to help me absorb it.  Not like Judy calling me her “dance-mother”, and then being able to understand that Meaghan is my “dance-daughter” and the women from Virginia who came to DB camp were my dance-grand-daughters.  The kinship structure is in place for understanding what that means, and produces feelings of satisfaction and fulfillment.

We just had the second weekend of Laura Shannon’s training in Women’s Traditional Dances.  It was warm enough the first afternoon — and the snow had melted enough to uncover part of the outside dancing circle — so we went outside and danced around the firepit.  Laura taught us a Bulgarian song, sung by two groups of women so the parts overlap, and we danced a simple Pravo Oro in basketweave.  Just our voices for music and a simple dance and trees and grass and sky.  I entered a timeless realm, and the only words I could find for my experience were “we’ve been doing this for thousands of years.” Later I had an image of a huge woven container, sort of like an oriole’s nest, open at the top. Woven of trees and sky and our arms and voices and all the songs and dances that have ever been danced on Planet Earth.  We are anchored firmly to and in the earth in its long history and open to spirit, to the cosmos.

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