Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sophie's Ginnie's Choice

Don't you love it when someone else's post inspires you to write your own! So thank Linda/Shoreacres at The Task at Hand for this one. In a convoluted sort of way, one thing led to another as I started thinking about what we collect around ourselves when we decorate our homes.

And now that I am packing up what I want to keep of years and years of collecting, getting rid of everything else and getting down to the bare bones of what's soulful to me, I have had to make some choices. No choice was perhaps greater than picking which of these 3 bronzes I would take with me to the Netherlands.

It started in the mid-90s after Mom and Dad died and I had a bit of an inheritance to invest. As a rule, I tend to be more of a saver than a spender, but I decided to make a one-time splurge on 3 Mark Hopkins bronzes that absolutely whispered to my Soul. I can't even tell you how I found them. They probably found me.

The first one I bought was this wolf, called Northwoods. At that time in my life, when I was still in the throes of coming out as a gay woman after a 21-year marriage, the Wolf had become my Animal Guide. She was teaching me about change and adaptation and transformation. She was teaching me to trust my intuition and to embrace the lessons of my life. She really was my guide and I howled with her.

At the same time I was reading...very slowly and deliberately...Clarissa Pinkola Estés' Women Who Run with the Wolves. It was a time of joining the lone wolf that was separated from the pack, howling at the moon, longing for Home.

Then I found Shaman's Vision. I had been teaching a class on "Homosexuality and the Bible" for several years in my church and community. I had previously done the same with "Women in the Church" back in Wisconsin and found the same principles at work, marveling how I had been prepared to exegete and interpret ancient texts. Are women allowed/forbidden by our Holy Scriptures to preach? Are men and women allowed/forbidden by our Holy Scriptures to live in loving, monogamous same-sex partnerships?

In the process of studying this issue from the different world religions, I became fascinated by the Native American approach to homosexuality. For them, a gay man or woman is in "two spirits" and therefore is the most logical person to be the shaman/healer of their tribe, better able to understand both sides of a situation. So when I found this bronze, it had my Soul written all over it!

To be honest, I don't remember if I purchased Gathering Wisdom before or after Shaman's Vision. All I know is that as I continued to read and re-read Clarissa Pinkola Estés' book, I became La Loba, the Wolf Woman, gathering up my dry bones in the desert:

We all begin as a bundle of bones lost somewhere in a desert, a dismantled skeleton that lies under the sand.

It is our work to recover the parts.

So now I ask you: if Ginnie can take only one of these bronzes with her to the Netherlands, which should she take! What is Ginnie's Choice?

It wasn't that hard, actually, when I started to analyze it. The wolf will always be my Animal Guide but, by now, I no longer wander alone. Years ago I joined a new pack and found Home. The same with the shaman. There was a time in my life when I filled that role for many who were struggling, but it's no longer front and focus for me.

However, as regards my Life's Journey, I suspect I will always need to visit the Desert to find the dried-up bones that need life breathed into them. Never-ending. Ad nauseum. From now until eternity. Ad infinitum. It's a process that will never stop for me, I know. It's my Destiny.

So all 30.5 lbs of this Loba Wolf Woman will find their way into one of my TruckPacks headed to my new home in Holland. And that, I realize, is another post altogether...coming up sooner than you think!


As an interesting aside, a gentleman my age came to look at the house a couple months ago and immediately knew it was not the right one for him and his wife. BUT he was really fixated on my 3 bronzes. When I asked him how serious he was about them, since I was planning to sell 2 of them, he immediately bought them on the spot. A man buying a house ended up buying two of my bronzes! He said it was something he had never done in his life...but he bought the wolf for his wife, who is a teacher and runs a daycare center; and he bought the shaman for himself, in honor of his nephew who is a medical doctor in Peru, near where I served the Campa Pajonal indians back in 1969. How's that for breathing life into old bones!

(The Northwoods and Shaman's Vision images were taken off the Internet.)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Adventures or Not!

Awhile back, g'son Nicholas told me that what he likes about his other grammy is that they go on adventures. So when Nicholas was with me this past Thursday through Saturday, I asked him about two of the things we did...if they were adventures.

First, we went to the Cumming Fair on Thursday, which was the opening night this year. We have done it every year in October since he was 2 years old, so this was his 8th time in his 9 years (you have to use your fingers for the math, trust me). Because it was opening night, they had "specials" -- like no entrance fee and only $18/person for unlimited rides. We saved a bundle!

AND Nicholas had no school on Friday (or Monday) because of the Columbus Day holiday. So, we had a blast. All 6 hours worth! We were there by 4:15 and left at 10:15. Talk about tired puppies. Was it an adventure? "Sort of."

Believe it or not, this was the only picture I took of him on a ride because, well, because I rode all the rides with him! I rode the above ride with him (the "airplane" ride) but he wanted to ride it again and I told him this time I would take a picture of him.

We always go to the big barn to see the animals, year after year. The billy goats are the ones who eat up the attention!

We even saw a totally new clown/circus show with pigs and dogs .

And then we ate up the homemade ice cream. It went back-n-forth between vanilla, chocolate and strawberry...until we got to the head of the line and he decided on chocolate. Good choice! One bowl is really plenty to share amongst THREE people, but we managed to finish it just fine.

We had earlier eaten our prerequisite turkey leg (this was the second year in a row that we were able to finish one between us) and corn on the cob. But my hands were way too messy for that photo op.

Okay. That was Thursday night.

Now segue to Friday afternoon when we went on a 2-mile-each-way trail walk in the neighborhood that was just finished a few months ago. Was it an adventure? "Not really."

So, when I asked him why it wasn't exactly an adventure, he said because it wasn't exactly in the woods. We had a defined boardwalk or biking trail the entire way. IT told us where to go, instead of us telling it where we wanted to go. I asked him if our woods here at the house is an adventure, and he said "YES!"
Okay, I'm getting it. Made sense to me.

I think I learned something from Nicholas this weekend about what adventures are! They are NOT clearly defined events or places that are straight-forward or predictable. They are "off the beaten path" and a bit of a surprise as you make your own on-the-go choices.

I've decided that means I can safely describe my life at this point in time as an Adventure!