Monday, September 7, 2009


As a child, my mother and other family members accused me of being a bit "airheaded." Not unintelligent, but having a tendency to drift and not have my feet on the ground. There is some truth to that. I feel like I have too much "air" going for me and not enough "earth."

But it's more than that. Lately, I've felt like I am in the middle of a huge change with no way of knowing what is going to happen at the end of it. I'm floating along in a tunnel, the air is pushing me forward, and I have no way to put my feet on the ground. Aaron and I watched "The Descent" the other weekend--very disturbing, if you haven't seen it--and in some ways the events of that film remind me of my life at the moment. This group of women go spelunking in what they think is a known cave, only to find out they are in an "unexplored" one. They end up confronting creatures that seem part human but which have evolved or devolved into blind and vampiric creatures of the underground. And apparently others have been there before--and haven't escaped--as these women later discover.

In many shamanic traditions, the underworld is the subconscious mind, where we confront our ghosts and demons and might find ways to heal ourselves. I feel like I am undergoing my own initiation into something I don't quite understand at the moment. I am able to notice sometimes how I am reacting to things, and the person who is reacting and the person who is observing the reaction seem very different.

But I'm also floating along in this "underworld" at times, trying to find a way through it, and quick, even though I know that won't be the case. I've been here before. But the challenges are just a little bit more difficult each time I return. Strange, I'm really drawn lately to "big science": quantum mechanics, astronomy. I've been looking at Hubble telescope images, reading about dark matter, wondering about the possiblity of life elsewhere in the universe. At the same time, I am tethered even more fully to this life, sifting through some dark moments as of late. But it's led to a long series of poems, or a long poem--not sure how to define it yet.

And I hope it helps me to become a better person in the long run. Because at this very moment I feel a little unsure about everything. But that may be where I need to be.

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