Monday, July 11, 2011

sweeping up the heart

i was reading about water in The Healing Wisdom of Africa yesterday. about tears, sadness, grief, anger, rage and frustration. about keeping things inside. not properly grieving over lost loved ones. or about failure and loss.

Malidoma Somé calls for water rituals to address this pent up grief. water brings balance and realignment. it counteracts the fire that can rise and rage within us if we don't grieve. if we only move on/away from loss and keep busy.

i don't know about his rituals. not for me. but there's wisdom in his insight. and his comments on grief hit home. he wrote something i recall telling Rama once myself. reflecting my refusal to express or deal with emotion because of the fear of losing control.

according to Somé, this is symptomatic of our denial of grief's social component. we deal with loss and failure alone. but in doing so, we don't really deal with it. it's kept inside. it's pent up. it grows and swells. one day it will burst.

the flood gates will open, and Somé says that's not so bad. i'll quote him on this, then quote Emily Dickinson. her poem speaks for itself.

"I have heard many times people express their fear of grief because they feel that if they even begin to release it, they will be overcome, eventually drowning in their own tears. Indeed, this is how it feels, but this is not what actually happens" (p. 220)

"You cannot truly grieve within and remain composed without. Emotion is an extroverted phenomenon, and it cannot find its much-need release if expressed only internally" (p. 220)

"The end of the domination of one's life by such emotions requires an outpouring of liquid" (p. 220)

The Bustle in a House
The Morning after Death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted opon Earth –

The Sweeping up the Heart
And putting Love away
We shall not want to use again
Until Eternity –

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