photograph from Suitcase in Berlin
I stand in the ring
In the dead city
And tie on the red shoes…
They are not mine.
They are my mother’s.
Her mother’s before.
Handed down like an heirloom
But hidden like shameful letters.
The house and the street where they belong
Are hidden and all the women, too,
doll from Modicum
Who wore the red shoes,
Each boarded a train that would not stop.
Stations flew by like suitors and would not stop.
They all danced like trout on the hook
They were played with.
They tore off their ears like safety pins.
Their arms fell off them and became hats
Their heads rolled off and sang down the street.
And their feet---oh God, their feet in the market place---
Their feet, those two beetles, ran from the corner
And then danced forth as if they were proud.
Surely, people exclaimed,
Surely they are mechanical. Otherwise…But the feet went on.
The feet could not stop.
They were wound up like a cobra that sees you.
They were elastic pulling itself in two.
They were islands during an earthquake.
They were ships colliding and going down.
Never mind you and me.
They could not listen.
They could not stop.
What they did was the death dance.
What they did would do them in...
mixed media print from Animal Fancy
Excerpt from Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarisa Pinkola Estes -
The great healer carries wisdom, goodness, knowing, caregiving, and all the other things associated with a healer. So, it is good to be generous and kind and helpful like the great healer archetype. But only to a point. Beyond that, it exerts a hindering influence on our lives. The “heal everything, fix everything” compulsion is a major entrapment….While archetypes may emanate through us for short periods of time….nobody can emanate an archetype continuously….they are ideals not achievable by humans, and not meant to be….one must learn to say “Halt” and “Stop the music,” and of course mean it. So those who are tired, temporarily sick of the world, who are afraid to take time off, afraid to stop, wake up already! Lay a blanket over the banging gong that cries for you to infinitely help this, help that, help this other thing. It will be there to uncover again, if you wish it so, when you come back.
sculpture from Adrien Art
If we do not go home (soul home) when it is time, we lose our focus….I advocate using those methods that require no props, no special location, and that can be accomplished as easily in a minute as in a day. This means using one’s mind to summon the soul-self. In a state of solitude we can assess on a continuing basis: habitat, work, creative life, family, mate, children, mother/father, sexuality, spiritual life, and so on. The measurement used in assessment is simple: What needs less? And: What needs more? Over time, as you practice, you will find yourself designing your own queries to soul. Sometimes you may have only one question. Other times you maybe have none whatsoever and just wish to rest on the rock near the soul, breathing together.
Such wisdom! I'm getting better at taking off those red shoes. Resting. Breathing. How about you?