I have found it difficult to write, or even do much at all the past few weeks. It is a familiar space. I think of it as “melancholia”- a familiar dark space that is not quite depression, but pushes me to stillness and sadness and sometimes rage. I have often thought of it as the proud badge of Irishness- but also as a thing that was “wrong” with me. I usually have ignored the whispering of my soul and just powered on through whatever tasks and demands presented themselves.
So I have found myself quite critical of my behaviour and apparent aimlessness this past few weeks. Unconsciously critical, because not only is it from me, but from our culture: the dark is Hell, it is bad to let our feelings be in control (especially if they are feelings that are also considered negative)……………………………….until a few things have happened.
I dreamt that I was at full term pregnancy and in labour with a beautiful fully grown girl child. She was serenely happy- joyful even. She died in my womb. I woke with the echoes of the contractions and a welling grief – strangely combined with peacefulness. I don’t know what it means yet, some small guesses are occurring, even as I write.
I am dreaming a lot.
Last week I was carrying my 4 year old grandson (it felt like a dream, but we were all awake)- walking the 500metres with my daughter to the hospital. He was burning with fever, and his hot little head was pressed into my neck. At one point, he turned and kissed me gently on the cheek. A surprising and wonderful act of love. A few hundred metres later, he chuckled into my neck and proceeded to shove his (not very clean) hand into my mouth (open because I was panting with exertion). Another surprising and wonderful act of love. Perhaps not as pleasant as the kiss. Both things happening make my heart fill with love to bursting.
Yesterday, I was reminded of some facts by 2 beautiful women who are my friends. As I bemoaned my state of almost misery and un-motivation, Sally reminded me that it is Winter. The time of the dark, of going down and within. And perhaps I should just allow that. Stay warm, live in the dark womb of creativity, tend my seeds under the earth. Ishwari reminded me that I am in the autumn of my life and that I am preparing to journey to France to help hold the space for Dark Moon Gathering and the Descent, the stripping bare, the reflections, the letting go and the re-creating that this involves. Other things make sense. The lovely astrologer Mikailah Gooda telling me that last year, I have entered a dark moon phase of my life that will be for several years. And Diz saying to me, is it depression? And me thinking- no, I don’t think so.
So- although it is only a few days from Full Moon, I have come to know that the light of this full moon will shine on my darkness. And possibly, paradoxically, make it more dark. The nourishing dark mulch of the next part of my life. The Full Moon will impart the strength to just let this be. And eventually allow the birthing of the next.
I love this little bit from Susun Weed’s book “New Menopausal Years:
“Dear Woman”, sighs Grandmother Growth tenderly. “I see that Change has thinned the protective layers hiding your anger, your fears, your grief. Yes, I see your hidden feelings and secret desires exposed a little more with each hot flash. You may think your feelings are out of proportion, too sharp, quite irrational, possibly insane. But, I assure you, they are only raw from neglect. Receive them without judgement, nourish them and your “uncontrollable” feelings during the menopausal years will lead you to the deepest heart of your own secrets.”