45. Sacred Action: Spirit Inside Flesh (Join Saturday’s Storytelling, Flamenco Guitar & Spanish Tapas Event!)

Blog 45: December 9, 1998—Struck by these lines from The Last Temptation of Christ movie I watched almost 20 years ago, I wrote them down:

“The dual substance of Christ—the yearning, so human, so superhuman, of man to attain God…has always been a deep inscrutable mystery to me. My principle anguish and source of all my joys and sorrows from my youth onward has been the incessant, merciless battle between the spirit and the flesh…and my soul is the arena where these two armies have clashed and met.”

This struggle between spirit and matter were deeply tied to the hip pain I experienced back then, when I lived, at age 30, with my parents in New Jersey. In this country of materialism gone rampant, especially back then, I fought to hear my soul’s voice that had become so distant after my family and I had moved from Spain to the United States during my middle school years. My hip injury in my late twenties had granted me the permission and urgency to reawaken this part of me—and my novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, became a way for me to express this.

Today, as I prepare for a local Storytelling, Flamenco Guitar, and Spanish Tapas event tied to my novel, I can see more clearly how this battle of spirit with matter, and the ultimate merging of these has become my life’s work. The other day, as I rehearsed with Ronaldo Baca, Flamenco guitarist and singer, we spoke about this energy, and how deeply it is tied to “duende”, the essence of my novel.

The Spanish Poet Federico Garcia Lorca once described “duende” as a work and battle, where we wrestle those demons and dark places of our psyche to uncover, to awaken, to become an artform longing to be born. This “duende,” he said, is the spirit of the earth “one must awaken in the remotest mansions of the blood,” and it is only in doing do so that duende “announces the constant baptism of newly created things.”

Aren’t Lorca’s words similar to that of Nikos Kazantzakis’s words of The Last Temptation of Christ? Isn’t there a battle we all engage in as humans (if we are willing to be honest with ourselves) of merging spirit with matter, of becoming this invisible life force of “duende” that moves through our visible, limited physical reality?

As more people wake up to this life force within themselves, how do we engage in this righteous battle to become most fully spirit within flesh? (I see examples of this in our recent history: at Standing Rock in the Dakotas, the Sioux Nation has been protecting the waters by standing up against Energy Transfer Partners, an oil company building a pipeline which is intended to transport 5550,000 barrels of oil a day to maintain our comfortable lives. Since the U.S. presidential elections, others have taken to the streets in protest of the results, and it seems, so many of us are waking up, realizing we can’t take our freedom and democracy—or what there is left of it—for granted any more).

At this time of immense change and upheaval, how do we take this essence of “duende” and be the conduits through which life can—through sacred action—fully express herself?

How have you become this spirit inside flesh most authentically?

*This Saturday, Ronaldo Baca and I will be offering a journey inside this essence in an inspiring evening of Storytelling, Flamenco Guitar, and Spanish Tapas. It’s this Saturday, Dec. 10th, at 4p.m. at Awaken to Wellness Center, 1704 Moon St NE, Ste 9, Albuquerque.

My recently-published novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, may also make a great gift this season! It’s available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Child-Duende-Journey-Michelle-Adam/dp/099724710X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474233011&sr=8-1&keywords=child+of+duende  or at www.michelleadam.net

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44. Giving Thanks to Divine Unity

BLOG 44: November 24, 1989—It was Thanksgiving, but 18 years ago, at my parent’s house in New Jersey. My days and nights were filled with dreams, wide-open dreams and experiences that revealed the magical possibility of our humanity inside a deep purging.   

My body—in its pain and opening—had become a vessel through which ancients truths could emerge and awaken. I was in bed, unable to fall asleep on Thanksgiving night because my body was speaking to me. I could feel intensely that my reality was a memory of shapes that move, shift, and change like reality shifts into dreams and dreams into everyday reality. I had never experienced this before…that all was malleable, that everything was fluid, that the physical and emotional were all the same…that we are a kind of liquid of sorts, and that if we could see that, we could experience the potential of magic.

During those days, I had also been reading a book by Lynn Andrews, and it prompted me to dream about and reflect on a character in her booked named Agnus, who carried a “marriage basket.” In my dreams, she represented the Virgin Mary, and the marriage basket was the “Holy Grail”, the child within her that is the “Unity of All Things.” Mary gave birth to Jesus, but more symbolically, as all women do, she gave birth to the feminine and masculine within herself. In doing so she created a child that was in the image of God, and she, in essence, through giving birth, became, the unity of all things.

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Those days 18 years ago offered some deep reflections that, in this simple blog, may be hard to fully express. But what I saw then, and I see now, as we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving—a holiday first shared between native Americans and North European settlers who gave thanks to the native people for showing them how to grow and harvest corn and other crops to survive in new lands—is that we are so much more than the extreme masculine energy of competition and winning, and the extreme feminine energies of pity and plight, and that it is time for us to give birth to the magic child within us, the unity of all things.

In the past months, so many of us have felt the fear, pain, and horror, of change as the extreme masculine has reared its ugly face during the elections and at Standing Rock (where thousands of native people and supporters are fighting to protect the waters, as they are brutally attacked and their graves and that which they hold scared are desecrated). We have also seen people speaking up with more courage and heart than ever before to protect each other and the earth.

And now, as we all come together with loved ones during Thanksgiving, and we give thanks for that which has blessed us, it may also be a time to plant a seed for the spring—a seed that gives birth the unity of all things. Maybe this time of upheaval is a chance for us to look at the separation we have been living—the extreme masculine and feminine energies we have been carrying—and to give birth to the divine unity that we all are. Maybe we are being pushed to see who we truly are: fluid, divine beings with malleable colors and shapes that we can creatively rearrange to create a beautiful painting and landscape we can all celebrate.     

*My recently-published novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is a story of coming home to this divine unity. Check it out on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Child-Duende-Journey-Michelle-Adam/dp/099724710X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474233011&sr=8-1&keywords=child+of+duende  or at www.michelleadam.net