CHANGING

October 22, 2011

With the changing of the season and the approach of the 10th anniversary of Jenny’s death, I feel something shifting in me, and I have the urge to track it, and then I want to let it do whatever it’s supposed to do: fall away, maybe; or turn into something else.

This year I turned 50, which seems like a significant thing. Half a century on this planet, in this body. I feel strong and fit, creative and sensual, and bold. Last week I handed in the manuscript for GOD OF LOVE. Paul drew out my own most passionate, provocative voice, and Toinette helped me shape every sentence. I feel what we made together was something like a fine wine, and I look forward to uncorking it in April and passing the cup around to the whole world. Now I am crafting the proposal for the next book (a secret for now), and am getting ready to drop down into a new creative project. Darshan with the saints and masters. That’s what I get to do for a living. Hang out at the feet of the timeless wisdom beings. The pay is meager, but the payoff boundless.

What seems to be happening is that my focus is broadening. I watch as it expands beyond the realm of grief and loss—that dark fire in which I have been sitting, those waters of mystery I have been navigating in my solitary row boat, the secret medicine I have been brewing and dispensing—to encompass more of life. When Jenny died and Dark Night of the Soul came out (same exact day, remember?), I learned to bear witness to my own suffering and show up for my own death and rebirth, and to make of this process an offering to others who are faced with a similar transformational loss. I have been faithful to this process, and I always will be, yet other things are beckoning now. The band just came back on the stage from break and started up a new set. I am being asked to get up and dance. Every cell in my body says yes. I am saying yes.

And so this blog will reflect the shift as it unfolds. As with This Beautiful Wound, I will continue to share stories from my own experience, because stories are the universal language we use to understand ourselves and each other. In a world fragmented by misunderstanding, I offer my own stories as a campfire around which my companions might take refuge on their journey through our shared wilderness, and I eagerly sit down to listen to yours. I will undoubtedly continue to share memories of Jenny and the healing path I was carried on in the wake of her death and my grief. But I will also speak of the unifying teachings of love at the heart of the world’s faith traditions, and how we might harvest those fruits and bring them back to feed the hungry world. I’m not sure what will splash from the rim of this new cup. I’m curious.

For those of you who are grieving, please know that I have not given up on you. I continue to hold you close in my heart, and I light a candle for you every day. I am still and will forever be a member of this terrible beautiful tribe of parents who have lost a child, and sitting among you is the most honorable thing I have ever done. I am simply ready to speak of life now, too.

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