Monday, January 23, 2006

Descansos

i just mailed out my answers to the church's questionnaire on the ex's petition for church annulment, this morning. basically, i wrote them that i've said all i've needed to say, wish to be informed of the progress of the case, but don't wish to participate in the proceedings anymore.

on one level, i feel relieved that the last of the vestiges of an unhappy past is done and over with.

on another level, i am bleeding all over.

even if i did not answer the questionnaire in detail anymore, but just attached my personal response to the Court that i sent the Court in february last year, for the civil annulment proceedings, the researcher and writer in me still had to re-read the response to the Court one last time, to check for typos, etc.

sigh.

re-reading all those sordid details from the past got me down.

i am feeling more than sad. i am beyond rage and fury even.

maybe the time has come to fully grieve, all those little deaths, all those little blows that almost spelled the final death of my own spirit.

ive been weepy the whole day.

i come home now and look for comfort, but my usual sources of comfort cannot do enough to bring me out of this darkness again.

i am reminded, though, of my woman's bible, the one that got me through all those horrendous last years, Clarissa Pinkola-Estes' Women Who Run With the Wolves, that well-loved, many times-read and reread book occupying a special place in my bookshelf now.

i turn to the only chapter i hastily read through before, as it was the only chapter that i couldn't really get in sync with before-- Chapter 12: "Marking Territory, The Boundaries of Rage and Forgiveness".

i am rereading it again now, and am reminded of descansos, an old Mexican ritual for marking deaths along the road or highway with small white crosses.

i weep as i read, as the words resonate to the core --

Descansos are symbols that mark a death. Right there, right on that spot, someone's journey in life halted unexpectedly. There has been a car accident, or someone was walking along the road and died of heat exhaustion, or a fight took place there. Something happened there that altered that person's life and the lives of other people forever.

Women have died a thousand deaths before they are twenty years old. They've gone in this direction or that, and have been cut off. They have hopes and dreams that have been cut off also.

To make descansos means taking a look at your life and marking where the small deaths, las muertes chiquitas, and the big deaths, las muertes grandotas, have taken place. We mark where there were roads not taken, paths that were cut off, ambushes, betrayals, and deaths.

I encourage you to make descansos, to sit down with a time-line of your life and say, "Where are the crosses? Where are the places that must be remembered, must be blessed?" In all are meanings that you've brought forward into your life today. They must be remembered, but they must be forgotten at the same time. It takes time. And patience.

Descansos is a conscious practice that takes pity on and gives honor to the orphaned dead of your psyche, laying them to rest at last.

Be gentle with your self and make the descansos, the resting places for the aspects of yourself that were on their way to somewhere, but never arrived. Descansos mark the death sites, the dark times, but they are also love notes to your suffering. They are transformative. There is a lot to be said for pinning things to the earth so they don't follow us around. There is a lot to be said for laying them to rest.

***

i guess it is time for my own descansos now.

wish me healing. wish me wholeness.
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