You need more meat. Beef. Rimpoche says your body will benefit with more meat.
I look at the translator and then back at Rimpoche, who is holding my right hand and whose eyes are wrapping around mine, his light brown flesh surrounding my pulse, thick fingers and soft palms. Rimpoche grabs me, pulling me in, watery browns, speckled with blacks and yellows. He holds my inside, but it’s not spell-like, no sorcery or control. It’s a soft hold, a hold that I walked into and then fell softly deeper into until I was flat on my heart. His clutch is of that one trueness I can always recognize, that one love that is unmistakable.
I look back at his translator. Meat? Really? I wrinkle my nose. I don’t really…
Rimpoche says something. His translator speaks to me.
He says we all kill to survive. Everyone of us does. There is no difference in a thousand souls of the slugs that give their life as the greens are harvested or the one cows soul that can feed your family all year long. Thousands of insects, the root of a carrot. Something always dies for our survival. No soul of any living thing more important than the other, that is why we give thanks. Eat more meat. You will feel better.
I ask him more questions about my health. Tell him about my tension, the lower back giving out every other day, the expanding energy that pulses between my ears and feels like it will burst into 10,000 little pieces if I allow it to (he advises me to allow it to). I tell him of my sleepless nights alternating with ten hours of sleep and still not being able to open my eyes in the morning. And I tell him about the fear, the fear that has allowed itself to plant and spout in the inner most vessels of my soul.
He looks as me deeper, then farther inside. I can feel in my gut. My liver. My kidneys. My ovaries. he draws out the tears to the surface, mines me until I let them go and then he speaks words from low in his own belly and the translators says to me You have good health. You are very tired, but your spirit is alive. Yes? You create, you continue to create.
I nod. Not sure, but figuring he must be right, I want him to be right.
Rimpoche digs through his trunk. Inside it are hundreds of little plastic dime bags filled with unevenly round balls. They vary slightly in color and size. The whole trunk smells like an essential oil distiller, a swarm of sandalwood and rose and pine, and astragulus, and musky mossy smells from the base of illuminated mountains. I gasp it all in, hold it, it smells so damn good, like the peace I crave.
I was told that each individual appointment with rimpoche was by donation only. I could give something or nothing at all. I was going to give something, not a lot because my personal health is not really configured into our meager budget, but 20 bucks we could spare and that 20 was in my pocket. I fingered it, holding it, ready to pass it out to this pass in great thanks; a small amount for this nomad of Tibet, this healing Buddha, this regular guy, the owner of eyes that I never, ever want to forget. I wished that 20 was 200 but I knew that it was enough, it had to be.
I was also told that the herbs he prepared which he hand rolled under auspicious moons and chanted Tibetan mantras of healing while love was manifested into each little ball, would cost some money. I was not under any condition obligated to buy them, but if I did they would be about $150 for a month supply, and three month supply was suggested for results. As much as I wanted those mysterious herbs, all packed away in little plastic dime bags, filling his big wooden trunk, I knew that I could not, would not be spending the money on them.
Rimpoche was still digging through his trunk, fishing out bags, sorting through them, bringing each one closer to his eyes, examining their contents, putting some back, setting some aside. Each bag was unlabeled. Some bags he held close to his heart to feel what they were.
He finally finishes and hands me five bags.
He says something and the translator says to me.
Take three from the first bag after breakfast. Take two from the second bag after lunch. Take three from this one and seven from this one after dinner. And at night, take three from this bag before bed, nothing in belly afterwards, and take these ones with a shot of whiskey, an offering to the deities.
I nodded and thanked him. I scribbled down his instructions with a sharpie marker he gave me on each little bag. I gulped. Freaking out. How was I going to pay for these? How much do I owe, I asked them.
The translator asked rimpoche. Rimpoche answers. The translator looks confused. Rimpoche nods at him.
Rimpoche will not take your money. You are a mother. Three beautiful girls, very health because you are a good mother, they are strong. We look over at my three girls, who are sitting quietly (!!??) behind us on some meditation cushions with big smiles on their faces, arms around each other. It is Rimpoche who is thankful to you and gives you these herbs. You should pay nobody for anything, you give the world it’s greatest gift, children who are loved, who will continue to love. It is the most important gift.
I takethis master’s hands, both of them, in both of mine. I hold them and keep holding them sending electric shocks of love through them. We travel inside each other this time. We pay respect to each others work on this earth. My tears have no container and they spill at all four of our feet, a pool of knowing the sameness, that we are all the same. The children, all of them, all of us, we all need so little but this kind of love, this love. It really is the answer.
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tonight is a full moon. It is red. It hangs, teasing my life blood out of me, telling me my uterus is thankfully not full baby. I have been gathering magic in a basket all week with the girls and visiting friends. When we walk outside we borrow something from the Earth; a bundle of chamomile, some ladys mantle, a white rose, kale, a poppy here and there, some berries of course. I gather my strength from a spot directly under the gravenstein tree. It is where you will find me sitting when I don’t answer my phone, a baby hanging off my boob. Tension is release inside the secret raspberry patch. Muscles detoxify up the dirt road where the water pours over the rocks in the shape of a fall, washing them smooth of their history. A past a bit rougher and tougher being polished soft by the glacier movement, the emotional waters cleansing even the toughest boulders. Now they are smooth enough for us to sit on and feel the water run under our bare butts.
Tonight I might see the moon pudgy and round, complete, through the thick summer storm clouds and it will remind me of the protection and blessings that never cease to amaze me. Or maybe I won’t see it whole, just a blurr of light behind the thick air. The sky is relentless here when it wants to be and these clouds linger and the wind blows reminding me who is the boss all night long as my open window invites it inside. Regardless we will feell this moon, it is our guiding light in transitions. My girls will feel it. They will toss and turn, the energy to large and bold and exciting for them to pass right on out under their hand sewn quilts. I will give thanks with them, sing a song, remember the grace of our evening reflection in the sky, the mirror of our own light and mystery, la luna. The one who tugs and pulls at the sea and has tugged and pulled at me, three times over. Delivering me perfect feminine slivers of it’s ripe and mysterious life force; my daughters.
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our home still continues to be our home even though it’s not our home at all. We take in offers, hoping the bank will agree. I run myself ragged searching for rentals. We will return to the city, once again, being part of the community, the larger one, the faster one, the one that gets me out and walking and pulls me to people, tosses my car in the driveway only for long trips. My ass will tighten, my heart will open to people once again. I have spent over a year communing with the plant world, the quiet and I have been bedfellow. I have taken on the hermit card and enjoyed every bit of, fully knowing it would end. I always knew it would. Every teacher I have ever had has said to me more than once: you want to hide in the hills, a top the mountains, on a deserted island, being alone with yourself. But you can’t. You need to be with the people. This is your work. People inspire you.
This is the heart of my story, of course. The title of this blog perhaps curses me. Wanting to be one person and knowing I am another. And at the same time the title of this blog reminds me of who I truly I have no Home, I only have this sensual and electric body which houses the light and no house or town or community can turn that light on or off, so it doesn’t matter, really, lost and found, it’s never home and it’s always home. I spend these days enjoying the last moments of country life, reflecting on why we landed here, a gift for a short time. And the gift, the reason, I think, is still about the learning to let go, to release and be unattached to the idea of what a dream looks like. To walk away from dreams or perhaps begin them over and over again and find new ones, modify the old, whatever. I can honestly day in this, I feel blessed.
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I recently experienced death for the first time since my grandfather died when I was 15. we put our beautiful and noble dog and most photogentic dog in the world to sleep, on our living room floor, last week. We held him, whispered to him, kept the space sacred and private. Told him stories about the adventures of the past 10 years we guarded out family; Idaho, california, new york, nevada, california, arizona, washington and a million places in between including Mexico and Canada. He laid below an alter we created for him and pass one, but only after spending his last adventures camping with us in the Methow River Valley and Olympic Peninsula. We refused to bring him to a vet to put him down and found a country vet out here who quietly walked in our home, gave him the drugs and quietly walked out. We looked at him in his eyes for those last moments they were open and we watched his look go from fear to peace. I am writing something about it but until then I must say something. Death matters, how the space is held an how we allow others we love to let go matters. Life matters. Birth matters. While witnessing Thunder’s death, I was even more confirmed in my belief that birth matters so damn much, that how we enter this earthly space, preferably an undisturbed journey, matters just as much as how we live our life, how we leave it and how we choose to return. He may have only been a dog, but he was as large as Thunder and his presence as well as his absence offer us continual gifts of wisdom.
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I have been quiet on this blog not because I am so busy. Not because I hate it here. Not because I am so sad I can’t even write. Part of the reason is that we have no INTERNET at our house STILL, which I love and hate simultaneously. It takes s a lot of planning and timing to get the space to write and blog post without the immediacy of the internet. I am learning to write slowly, daily, bits and pieces and then maybe coming into town, like I am now, at the brew pub, drinking a strong and thick scotch ale, and spending the online time needed to post. But the real reason is I have been obsessing. And writing. And obsessing some more. And then writing more. And it’s nothing to post on this blog.
I am slightly shy. So it’s hard for me to talk about. But since February 7th I have been writing something else. Something completely fiction, sort of. And it’s not a book or anything like that. I finally finished it to a place I was ready to share it with professionals and now it’s in the hands of a few people who I hope hold it as gently and lovingly as I have for the past six months, who I hope don’t tear it to shred and cackle like the mean little goblins those professional folks can be at times. I am about ready to scream. Can you hear me? Screaming? The scotch ale I am slurping down and the excitement I have over the project, the longing to write about the process of it, how these characters just flooded through my system like some kind of elixir and how the spirit of each of them channeled every idiosyncrasy they possessed through me and out my fingers onto the page. Shit. Uncontrollable creation. Every chance I got I drooled over the computer with a vigor I never knew I had. Hair colors and the vocal cords and preference in jewelry and the mixed drinks and what position they like to fuck. What art was on their walls and what music they played while driving along PCH and what kind of shit pisses them off and what makes them leave their lovers. And at the same time, they were all people I knew, intimately, like a collage of amazing spirit guides all glued together to form these new, pretend characters. Anyway, it’s not a book. And that is all I will say. Even though I am SO wanting to scream every last detail out there to you, I just can’t. Not yet. But thank you, for just believing in me, for those words you always write. There is no storyteller without a listener.
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