64. My Unpredictable Summer of 2000

BLOG 64: June, 2000—My summer, 17 years ago: weathered New England roads; a two-hundred-year-old-plus farmhouse that was once an old milk farm; an elder poet, Jean, who held poetry workshops every Monday for the past 25 summers; her granddaughter, Emily, and Emily’s mother, Cassie, who spent weekends with us; Jean’s cat, Tristan, handsome, black, and both elegant and wild; a swimming pool; open fields of mowed and wild grasses; dozens of creative, eccentric visitors, including Jean’s two son’s John and Larry; arable land for growing vegetables and herbs; and a nearby creek.

My summer of 2000—akin to Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69″—would be unlike any summer I had ever had or ever would again. What began as an agreement between Jean and I—I would help her in the house and drive her places (she used to say I was “driving Miss Daisy”) in exchange for soul time in her home and on her land so I could heal my hip—turned out to be time living with Jean’s family and many eccentric visitors, celebrating life in all of its greatness and challenges.

I had already begun my daily ritual of walking meditation in the woods and meditation in the mornings and evenings when Emily and her mother, Cassie, arrived at the old farmhouse in Brentwood, New Hampshire. I was slowly becoming familiar with my poet f1308e701ca3ff87135070d529836a11companion, Jean, who had invited me to join her Monday group of poets outside under the shade tree. I began sharing segments of my Child of Duende manuscript, and listening to other poet’s poems. But meeting Emily posed quite the challenge at first.

This thirteen-year-old girl seemed the epitome of a true teenager: a better-than-though attitude; a tendency to put me down even though she didn’t know me from a hole in the wall; a moody disposition; and a great capacity to manipulate her mother and get all the attention she needed. To add to that, she moved into the room next to mine, with a door between us that provided easy access for us to connect, for better or worse (I later discovered the real person she was).

Unfortunately, my first impression of her reminded me of my father, who had also been good at putting me down and making life miserable as I had tried to heal. And here I was, determined to heal from immense pain, yet having to deal with a moody teenager next door! Fortunately, my intention for the summer was clear, and Emily or anyone else wasn’t going to stop me from healing.

While I negotiated the family situation I had moved into, I visited my shamanic teacher and Reiki Master, Denise, for healing sessions. I had already begun studying the Medicine Wheel with her (she was a student of Alberto Villoldo, who had learned indigenous, shamanic teachings from the Q’ero people of Peru), and was now seeing her for private Reiki sessions (hands-on energy healing) with one goal in mind: I would heal my hip by the end of summer.

Without getting ahead of my storytelling of the Summer of 2000, I can say that that summer I learned how important it is to hold intention and trust in the gifts of the universe that don’t come in clean, predictable packages. I learned that, in actuality, these gifts arrive inside unpredictable and chaotic moments rich with healing and life.

A recent gift for me—a relationship that a9e0c8f4a29fc802cfb351a7243d6757has also proved to be anything but clean and predictable—offered itself to me earlier this summer. It arrived as the bold red flowers of the Mexican sage plant outside my house offers its nectar to my fluttering hummingbird friends. Sweet love, tender, passionate, alive, is what it has been. But it’s not what I could have predicted. This relationship has had its own reality filled with human limits and frailty, and has required I receive this gift while honoring my own intentions and truth.

But this summer and that of seventeen years ago have clearly shown me the importance of staying true to our heart and intentions, even if those gifts that show up do so in ways we don’t expect. . . that just because something doesn’t fit our perceptions or vision of what is good and right in that moment, doesn’t mean it’s not a gift for us to receive with great love.

My Summer of 2000 didn’t turn out to be what I had envisioned. Truth be told, it was much more than I could have ever imagined—with all the eccentric, unpredictable, and chaotic energies dancing together to unravel great love and healing. Maybe, just maybe, that will be also hold true for this new relationship and many more of life’s gifts . . .

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is about discovering life’s gifts. It’s available on Amazon at Amazon Page  or at www.michelleadam.net. It can be ordered at a local bookstore as well. Also, watch a brief video on “duende”, “the spirit of the earth”: YouTube Video

 

62. Unchartered Pilgrimage of the Heart

BLOG 62: June, 2000—I arrived with my friends Carl and Molly at the colonial farmhouse that would be my summer home—my three months with God, the earth, and my broken body and spirit. The old, dark brown house stood only inches away from the cracked, New England road that epitomized what I loved about this part of the country. And on either side of the house were open fields, high wheat grasses on one end, and a large lawn and soon-to-be-tilled garden on the other.

Jean, the owner of this summer house, appeared by the driveway to greet us. Almost 80 years old with formal blazer, short grey hair, and cigarette in hand, she reminded me of the great novelist and friend of Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein. Only thing was that Jean, a poet herself and one of the first women to establish a publishing house for women poets, carried an unusual combination of Boston formality and an unusual earthy “I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks about me” look.

My eyes were drawn to her cigarette as she led my friends and I into the old farmhouse that seemed rather dark despite two floors of rooms with ample windows. Who was this woman I would live with and help out during my summer of healing? I asked myself.

jeanp
Jean Pedrick (A photo I took long ago. Beauty!) 

After all, we had never met—only spoke by phone before her son and I met in New York City to scope each other out and make sure his mother and I would be a good fit. I had never thought about there being cigarette smoke wafting up along dark walls filled with ghost-like photographs of times gone by until it reached the room I’d live in or the ancient bed made of actual horse hair I’d sleep on!

I remember looking out the window, toward the road it faced, where my friends drove away after helping me unpack the few items I had. It felt as if my parents had just dropped me off at camp (not that I had experienced this before in my life!) and I was alone in a dark house with a stranger who smoked and seemed rather aloof as Bostonians could be.

I feared I had made a mistake in trusting divine grace to bring me here, yet I eventually fell asleep to the sweet sound of cicadas surrounding the house and trees. mondaysatskimilk3-940x467.jpgThe weeks to follow were the beginning of magic, though, of discovering what’s possible when we show up with clear prayer and intention, and leave the rest up to God. Jean, who died several years later, would become one of numerous angels offering me retreat from the chains of pain I had carried for far too long.

Since those days with Jean and her family, I’ve learned that the grace of God shows her face when we finally surrender and hand over the reins of our limited longing—and when we’re truly ready to receive the gift that awaits us. The form it comes in can be deceiving—as Jean did with cigarette in hand and serious disposition—but it comes, ready to give of itself to the unchartered pilgrimage of our soul.

20170720_191044About a month ago from today, after arriving back to New Mexico from Buenos Aires and our family’s honoring of my recently-deceased father’s life, I met another angel of sorts in man’s clothing. I met an Argentinean man who appeared to me without cigarette in hand :), but with an embracing heart, passion, and laughter. Together we exchanged mystical love poems; shared—with my father’s spirit, it seemed—Argentinean songs he and I both loved; held communion on a moon-filled mesa that whispered of the infinite until early morning; and danced and laughed inside the light-filled rhythm of our newly-discovered bubble.

It’s not every day that life’s holy orchestra offers a song like this one. But it did. It came quickly, weaving these otherworldly energies with mundane realities that soon introduced their challenges to this budding relationship. It forced me to ask myself how to navigate this place where the divine and physical intersect…where tension and beauty lie and give us choice on how to proceed?

This past week, during which time I wrote less, and struggled with overwhelm and 20170720_190824poor health, I battled this reality of receiving divine grace within the limitations of this earth journey. And while I tried to contemplate, analyze, feel, reflect, and be with the tension that built knots inside my heart and that of this relationship (quite a different energy from the heart-opening magic of weeks prior), it seemed to only create more tension, more struggle.

But today, as a double rainbow spread across the sky, and stayed with me long enough to expand my heart’s awe, I felt what I needed to do. As with Jean and her cigarette, dark house, and initial formal and cold demeanor, there was more to this gift than I could see. Much more. What if, when we’ve given up trying to figure things out, and we’ve given up our limited, frightened expectations, we actually hand it over to God, to spirit—this place from which the gift originated? What if, in this case, as in the past, I give my heart much needed space and peace of mind to listen, feel, and be with what this beloved gift is here to offer—and what I am here to receive—on my unchartered pilgrimage of the soul?

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is also about an unchartered pilgrimage of the heart. It is available on Amazon at Amazon Page  or at www.michelleadam.net. Also, watch a brief video on “duende”, “the spirit of the earth”: YouTube Video

 

 

 

       

60. Time for Divine Love

BLOG 60—April 28, 2000: “There is no beginning, no end,” I wrote in my journal at my parents’ house in New Jersey 17 years ago. Why? Because I had moved there to heal my hip, and expected to stay for no more than a year before continuing on my life’s path.

“So much time has passed. It’s all become a drawn out affair,” I wrote. “I’ve almost forgotten what I started with…the passion that led me here and hopefully the passion that leads me out of here.”

I had gone out West to discover and invent my life, without limits, and yet I got the wind knocked out of me—got injured—and in my early thirties was living with my parents. “I feel little me wondering if I can do it—can I make it without throwing myself down hard again?” I asked myself.

The irony of life is that, shortly after writing this, a new door to my life opened. I had traveled with a local friend up to New Hampshire, where I had lived years earlier, and where my friend Carl had suggested I take a Shamanic Class studying the Four Directions of the Medicine Wheel. What happened there was nothing short of a miracle.

After class, I had let other students know that I was looking for a place to live in exchange for house-sitting or something similar. I couldn’t afford rent, but I needed a refuge, a place to be with God, so I could finally heal my hip after three years of excruciating pain.

A day after the class completed, and I was already in New Jersey, one of the students overhead a group of poets in a café saying that all they needed to do was find someone who could live with a woman named Jean. The student approached this group and mentioned my name, and soon Jean and I spoke by phone to see if she and her farm house in New Hampshire would be a good fit for me.

a07a67815507524254e67324f69e0d9bIt’s all timing, I say. I still felt incredibly fragile, scared to trust that I could truly walk again as I had years earlier. I was dubious that there was such a thing as divine support in my life. I had lost faith. And yet that’s when this miracle of perfect timing, perfect alignment of everything occurred.

Tonight, as I walked down my dirt road here in New Mexico, I felt sadness, or longing–that “something” I couldn’t quite pinpoint, yet felt throughout the day. It’s strange how that is…that feeling or sensation that chases us all day long…that often chases us out the door, running all over the place, until we finally get back to ourselves. But as I walked, I could feel it, feel its origin.

I returned to the house, and with a glass of wine, sat outside my home, listening to the silence interrupted by soft chimes signing their loving song in the breeze. I reflected on my father and my relationships with men in my life—on the challenges, on the long journey of coming into my own, of becoming the diamond of a woman that I am that was carved out of all the breaking and polishing of that which once was rough, hidden inside harsh stone.

So much of my focus for so long had been on polishing, healing, learning to love this diamond that I was slowly becoming. I h81b442e8291c28a4ad7b50d124503e5aad given so much of my love, my longing to be loved to my father. I had searched so hard for that love in other men that would fill that hollow space that had been inside me.

As I sat below the night sky, open fields in front of me, I sensed my beloved, my life’s partner, bowing down, big, in the field before me. There was an honor, a deep love, an immense respect for my worthiness standing before me, loving me for the diamond I had become. It was humbling to receive.

I cried tonight a cry of love because I could feel this space inside my heart that has held back from finding and being with my beloved. Since my last long-term relationship had ended with immense pain, I had focused on healing my heart and my relationship with my father. And since then, was with my father as he slowly left this world.

But tonight, I see that it’s time. I’m ready. It’s just me that needs to open my heart, to trust, once again, in divine support…to believe that what I have longed for my whole life—to be in a relationship with my beloved partner—is ready to dance her beauty, her divine love into my life.

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is available on Amazon at Amazon Page  or at www.michelleadam.net. Also, watch a brief video on “duende”, “the spirit of the earth”: YouTube Video