Saturday, March 28, 2015. I discovered this, one of my all-time favorite books, in 1989 as I blazed through my art therapy graduate program at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque: Eskimo Realities (1973) by Edmund Snow Carpenter. In its pages I found a description of a world view reflected in language and in art creations that resonated within my own heart of hearts.
Carpenter described in this book how the Eskimo language of these arctic-circle people has over 200 words to meticulously describe snow, and how wind is described not in terms of where it blows from but rather by where it is headed and what influence any particular wind might have upon whatever lies at the end of a wind’s path.
I see wind as being a mystery within a mystery:
“Consider, how the wind, faithful to that which God hath ordained, bloweth upon all the regions of the earth, be they inhabited or desolate. Neither the sight of desolation, nor the evidences of prosperity, can either pain or please it. It bloweth in every direction, as bidden by its Creator.” — Bahá’u’lláh. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1990, p. 346
I do not remember wind from the early years of my childhood before we moved from Los Angeles to Alaska a month before my 6th birthday. In fact, I don’t think I ever noticed wind at all until after my 7th birthday when we moved up to our mountain to homestead.
From that point forward wind alive along the valley and across the mountains captured my attention.
I had no words and therefore no ability to think about the horrors of the abuse I had suffered from my (mentally ill, psychotic) mother from the moment of my birth. I had no words, no thoughts about my experience of suffering. When awareness of wind, when wind itself came into my life I finally had an experience that I know now was about wind being a reflection of how I felt.
The sum total of how I felt, of my feelings as they had no words and were invisible to everyone including myself. Feelings came and feeling went. When I was being screamed at I felt scared. No word for that. When I was beaten I HURT. No words for that. When I was next put into solitary confinement I often cried and cried – as quietly as I could – often for hours, hidden alone as I was.
No words for that.
Suddenly there was WIND and to me the wind was the FEELING of the earth, the stone, all that grew upon it, of the clouds, the melting glacier rivers, of the beauty I recognized everywhere upon that mountain. Wind was life itself.
Wind was the feeling of me, of all the feelings of me, in me, through me. All the feelings I had no words for, no names for. Wind and me were silence given force and sound.
The feeling of the wind was a “one thing” to me. Not consciously, of course. Not in words. Wind does not need or ask for words. It has its own pulse, its own rhythms, its own sound – whispers, sighs, moaning, roaring — as it shoves and pushes, twists and turns, sometimes invisibly dancing past everything in its way. Wind has its own effects. Sometimes it meets itself coming and going.
Wind is a feeling. Wind found me. Wind adopted me.
In the present moment………………..
I am in the middle of the one day per week I take for myself. My me day. My quiet day in between the days I care for my young grandsons.
On this day I am again with the wind.
Last Wednesday evening my ex-husband (I will call Frank) telephoned me to invite me to a dinner that took place last night at a Golden Corral buffet restaurant as we were joined by two of his brothers and their wives, along with my daughters.
Frank and I separated in 1984 and divorced in 1985, at which point his entire family that I had been a part of for ten years also divorced me. Abandoned me? I had had not seen or spoken to Frank for 30 years until I returned to this area (North Dakota) October 2013 to help with my grandsons. At this point Frank was divorcing his wife of 30 years who he could not be free of me fast enough to marry – way back when.
I had not seen or spoken to any of these four extra ‘exs’ since Christmas 1983 until last night when I joined them all for dinner. Why the invite? Why did I go?
Because the wind blew through my life yet again on a pathway strange to me. I certainly had some rocky moments from the time of Frank’s call until Thursday evening when I decided to go to this dinner simply because I was asked to.
The experience was pleasant enough. Frank paid for my dinner. I ate too much along with everyone else. The whole event felt like it was taking place in a time warp, to be sure. And today? The aftermath for me?
I am yet again among the uncountable times I have trusted in the connection I have with the wind simply working to let it all go. Let it go. Let it go.
I believe in God. I believe God has purposes and plans, reasons for things that happen that will remain mysteries to me until I get to the next world where I hope for SOME explanations. At least for some things I have lived through because there sure have been – and continue to be – some rough ones.
Sometimes I suspect God lets us finish difficult things at one point of our lives because we have done all we can do and even all God expects us to do, wishes for us to do. And we can move on. I moved on from those painful divorcing years. Thirty years later I am back here and VOILA!
Maybe God sometimes hands our “school papers” back to us down the road as if saying, “Here! There is more for you to work on here. There is more you can learn. There are some more steps you can take here to improve the strength and goodness of your soul.”
Well, I sure had another school paper returned to me to work on last night! I cannot avoid having feelings. Yes, some certain sadness at how “things” turned out. These are all good people. Salt of the Earth people.
I just did not belong!
But then, I know now and this realization came to me very strongly and clearly when I put my key into my apartment’s lock last night and stepped inside my so-temporary home here. “No, I did NOT belong in that marriage. I did NOT belong in that family. But, then, I know now I really do NOT belong ANYWHERE. I never have. I never will in this lifetime.”
I am passing through. I am a traveler. I wander. I am a wanderer. My perennial image of my current phase of life resonates with Mary Poppins (who will become Mary Poppout come next September when I hope to return to the high desert borderlands of southeastern Arizona).
I can’t see that I ASKED for the life I have lived on many significant levels. I believe God gives us two kinds of destinies. One belongs to Him and is irrevocable to be endured with dignity and grace. The other kind of destiny is one we CAN influence by choice.
And last night? I claim to myself that I believe in trust, faith, love, grace, forgiveness. That dinner almost felt like a kind of “last supper” to me. It was not easy. But, then, perhaps the most important lessons of our lives never are.
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