I haven't quite processed through the reality that DoveStar will be closing its doors... in precisely a week, actually. A place that has been "home" to so many will cease to exist on this physical plane, ready to have its own death and rebirth, yet those, that are left behind (like any other death), to both celebrate and mourn, are cradling the memories, perhaps in excess, so as not to let go, fully, or to forget. I know that's pretty much what I am doing as well.
I remember, clear as any other memory, of walking through the door in search of learning Reiki. It was there that the infamous words "I only want to learn Reiki, that's it" that emerged from my mouth to be met with laughter by the director who said "yeah, you're going to be a lifer"... though deep down I had known, to some degree, that was true. A lifer I would be, in its process of both good and happy memories to the challenging and deeply difficult ones.
I walked in ready for change, eager for a renewal beyond what I had been experiencing, and what led me there was spirit driven, just as what is closing its doors is, too, driven by spirit.
I went there last week, in hopes of saying my own goodbyes, but realizing I couldn't go into every room, for practical and sentimental reasons; that I couldn't walk the perimeter and watch in slow motion the movie that played in my mind of the many wonderful and difficult moments of my life. It felt too soon, too soon to say goodbye, too soon to watch a place that was home, where I "grew up" become something else.
Yes, the adage that when one door closes, another opens rings true, sure, but for some, like myself, it isn't about what comes next. I don't want to live in a world of "what's next", but rather be in the moment of "what's now"... the door is closing, I want to honor the closing, not brush it aside out of hurt feelings to see what awaits in eagerness to replace an open sore in my heart. I need to feel the loss. It is a loss, like any other loss that I have experienced this year, it is a loss, and it deserves the mourning, but more importantly I need to mourn it.
I was a student there, eager to learn, eager to bring in a different layer to the energetic perspective that my Pagan journey was already on. Little did I know that I would, soon, become an instructor there. Hearing the call of the teacher, yet terrified to actually teach... the fear of what to say to eager eyes and ears that awaited, despite knowing the material, the fear that sat centered in my throat.
My "throat chakra issues" were prominent there. They were safe there to emerge and reveal themselves to be scared and frightened, for others to help hold that space of love and light, free of judgment, so I could purge. And purge I did... on so many occasions, like many before and many after me, to just energetically vomit what no longer served, and yet still be loved for the demons that emerged.
Still be loved.
I was loved there. I learned to love even deeper there. I learned to truly embrace people as divine beings, and I let myself be embraced in return.
I found my voice there... upstairs... in a past life class... I can remember the exact placement of the bed I laid on, the people in the room, the temperature, the way the sun hit the side of the house, the way the tears came roaring out and the space I was given to release them.
I had a voice. I brought it back.
The healings that occurred... physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually... it was continuous. You almost couldn't walk onto the property and not feel it. Even in the parking lot... oh the parking lot... a place that housed many memories as well. The front steps... hours upon hours sitting there, talking, listening, loving, laughing, crying, hurting... these are all physical aspects of a place that we (collectively) immersed our energies into. We branded it ours -- both individually and collectively -- and we shared that with others, to be witness to and to experience their own love and loss as well.
Every room has a memory... from funny moments of spilling tomato sauce on the library rug and the laughter that ensued (though the rug was later, thankfully, replaced, haha), to hard moments of secrets revealed... the Amber room...
Yes, each room has its memories... we all left something there... we all took something from there... it's strange to think that it won't be there, that there won't be this familiar representation of a place that contained our memories. It willingly cradled them for generations, from students to instructors to clients -- it willingly gave of itself to be that container.
I remember tasting "cheese" for the first time -- not physically, and even still I simply can't explain it or due the memory justice in this simple blog. Scraping my ankle and not mouthing a word as I sat with the silence the retreat called upon, though mouthing "ow" like a silent film star. Or to tell the story of meeting a former past life daughter, or, the deeper story of a man who was once a former student/teacher/lover/destroyer from another lifetime... no, my personal journals cradle those memories privately.
Though it had, slowly, stopped being what it was, it was still a place to be, even when the quiet took over, it was still an entity of love.
Saying goodbye is another layer of the journey. Yes, we hold the memories within, yes, it will live on in our hearts, but I'd rather not be so quick about getting to that place. As I said, it's a loss, a loss to those of us who grew so much being there, who shared in the growing process of others -- the amount of heart-felt thanks for my participation in someone's healing process is one that I tenderly carry in my heart with much gratitude. I remember those people who held my hand through my own process, who were there in the late hours to talk, to listen, to hug... being able to give back in that capacity there was a tribute to Kamala's vision. The place simply isn't DoveStar without her. No matter what the differences were, no matter how many times we may have stood on separate sides of the road of the same issue, she loved you unconditionally, and one can't deny what she created was a beautiful masterpiece of connection.
I don't maintain all of those connections in the same way anymore, though I hold them dearly, for they were once a major chapter in my life. This chapter is closing. I know what awaits on the other side, I've seen beyond the door, but I want to enjoy the momentum of beauty that this door held for so long, as well as tend to the sadness of its passing.
There is the common understanding that things "happen in three's"... for this story, this is the third ending. It began with Gryph's death, which had shaken me a bit. It took his death for me to understand what he offered me, and how I allowed myself to be clouded by the judgment of others and didn't fully appreciate it, or him. He was there to create that safe space for my voice retrieval. He did it without agenda... he did it because he recognized the cries of a scared little girl, and he knew that I was more than the fear I carried. I never really got to thank him in this incarnation for that gift.
When Kamala passed... it was the beginning of the end. Those who knew her, who really knew the school and the land, knew that it wouldn't survive. It couldn't survive -- not in the way she had envisioned, because she no longer carried the torch. There were other brilliant people to help carry it, but there was so much of her there that it was only natural that when she died, so, too the land would begin to wane. It wasn't about upholding the vision, because, realizing the aftermath of the closing doors, the vision is being upheld by those who carry it on for her. A great many people, myself included, who shared a common goal and lit our own torches from hers.
Now, as the announcement says, "an era has come to an end", it becomes real that it has. It is the final phase of the dying process. It has lived, it is dying, and soon, in some fashion, will be reborn again. It doesn't make the process any easier, for each of us who loved it, who were loved by it and who were there, individually, exactly who we needed to be and who we were meant to be, without judgment, without agenda, without fear... we are saying goodbye to that physical piece, the physical land, the physical remembrance, the symbol of our container of memories... yet we each carry a piece of the Dove with us, forward, into our own journeys and adventures, to carry out the vision in other ways, unified by a womyn who believed in the sentiment that "healing the planet begins by healing the individual"...