Tag Archives: rebirth

the cultivation of a new life

DSC_0083The last six years have been mired in suffering:

Marital strife. The illness and death of my mother. The drug abuse and addiction of a loved one. The uncertainties of grad school and a new career.  Financial stress. Infertility. Miscarriage.

My life looks nothing like the life I thought I would have.  I’m 33, twice divorced. I am staying with my cat in a home owned by my parents.  I don’t have a couch, or a television. I don’t have a garden. I don’t have a husband.  I don’t have a baby.

The past six years may have taken away my dreams, my home, the woman who was my best friend.  But in all that I have let go, I have cultivated the gift of personal truth.

This may not be the life I planned on, the life that was expected of me.  But it is mine, a tender seedling nourished by solitude and the relentless beating of my heart. I feed my reborn life with crimson blood, honoring my truth by making it my own. I travel. I plunge into the wilderness.  I take big bites of the foods I love.  I listen to great songs twice, and then I listen again, but only if I feel like it.

Are finer things beyond the horizon? I don’t know. It is by some strange grace that I can I open up my eyes and appreciate that today, despite grief and uncertainty, is actually pretty wonderful. I’m healthy, with strong legs that carry me to mountain peaks and canyon depths. Legs that stroll the banks of sacred waters and skip along Manhattan sidewalks. Perhaps as months and years pass, the seedling of my life will transform into a wizened old oak tree, all craggy and leafy and deeply rooted. But at this point, there is too much uncertainty. I don’t know the direction my branches will ultimately point. But the missteps, the pain and the loss of the preceeding years have cultivated a new start, an opportunity to discover what to do with this one wild and precious life. I know this much is clear–

I am the flurry of beating wings at takeoff.

I am the unfinished symphony.

I am the unexpected breeze that lifts your skirt.

I am free.

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the loosening and the rebirth

This brilliant blogger wrote today:

“Resolve” originates in the Latin resolvere: “to loosen, undo, settle,” a seemingly paradoxical combination of the intensive prefix re and solvere (to loosen)… I wonder how the same word can mean both becoming settled and becoming undone.. Isn’t that also what the process of grief is?  I have become undone by it, but it also has settled into me, not necessarily always for the worse.   It has given me the resolve to do what I feel I must to honor Jim in this new life without him.

Yes. Grief has loosened me, settled me, created me into something new. I gaze with wonder at what grew in the wake of that fiery blaze, the green tendrils of life that appear among the smoldering ashes, reaching towards the sun.

I’m only human; I flinch away from pain and seek out pleasure. But if I look beyond simplistic judgement of suffering=bad and pleasure=good, I can embrace the new beginnings, the wisdom, the joy that sprung forth from the losses in my life.  I still want my mother with me, but the pain of losing has birthed (and is still birthing) something totally new into existence in my heart. This new way of being is still developing and I’m only beginning to understand how I have changed. I probably don’t seem that much different on the outside, but there is a shift in my core.  I linger longer when admiring a soaring bird or blooming rose, I laugh deeper, I am happier being me. Her death taught me how to live, and today I can it better- with more gratitude, more hope, more joy.

Like our mother’s suffered in bringing us forward into the world, our grief can unravel that which no longer serves us, burn the barriers we have built around our hearts down to a grey, crumbling ash, and allow us to be born into a new life. I have resolve- to both let go and to settle, to be rooted in my self and trust that on the wings of my suffering I can fly, in the charred remains of what was I can bloom again.