The shadow dance

I am dancing the dance that isn't unfamiliar to me, but the steps are ones that are being taken so gracefully, it's as though I am, indeed, the ballerina to the Shaman's song... the darkness rises, but its an ally, one that has been hidden deep into the shadows, waiting for me to peel away those mucky layers, and now, as though the test (of this level) has been achieved, I am... swimming.  The bridge is up, the water is clear, and I am swimming in the ocean of mysteries... I laugh to think where the road takes you, where you, yourself, journey on that road, and how it returns home, in its multi-layers, it's home again... much like Chad's song, the lyrics that have been swimming in my own mind:

"The person I was could go by another name
He's a stranger to me now
Amazing the difference a few years will make
You don't realize you've lost yourself until you turn around
I keep coming back here to this place
Where it's lonely and cold here without you..."

It's funny -- hearing this song again is like a welcome home present.  I can remember how often I sat through a live performance, how it became too much, though deeper than that, it hit too close to home, and I wasn't ready to dive in that deeply.  It is amazing the difference a few years will make... I don't think that I've lost myself so much as I've reclaimed that which has been hidden.  It was never lost, my shadow self became an obsessive hoarder, keeping all parts nearby, just buried.  Don't throw away, for fear others will have access to hidden gems you, yourself, aren't ready to acknowledge or even recognize, but instead keep it cloistered away, breathlessly motionless, and come back again, dusting it off, ready to look at it with new eyes...

"I'm sorry for all these things I've passed to you
I remember thinking I was invincible to them all
But they say there are a lot of these things that everybody goes through
And I thought I was different
But I've learned that I'm not

This song, these lyrics, beyond some amazing nostalgia they bring for me, it takes me back to that darkness, to that time of deep pain, of deep confusion, of the shadow's battle with what I perceived as being control over, but instead was simply the battle of release, and I wouldn't let it go.

I've been flipping through the pages of the past decade.  Seems like a bit to go back on, but it's been necessary.  This emotion was closed off because of that... that happened then... then was brought on by this... this was a manifestation of when... when was discouraged and hopeless... that hopelessness was buried in fear... the fear became the controller... the controller willingly allowed itself to be controlled... this crazy, insane maze that goes back back back... back to a particular time?  No.  I thought it did.  I was damn near convinced that I could identify that *one* aspect, that one moment in time, that one turning point... and granted that one turning point held significance, but oddly, it's gone.  Well, maybe not gone... maybe it's simply healed, and it hasn't gone anywhere, because its existence was illusionary, and where does the illusionary energy go?  No where.  For it's no-thing. 

I spent this past October free.  I can't express it beyond that absolutely simple word, but it's where I was.  The shadow self came out, nodding its respectful nod at me for a job well done, and we prepared to dance the dance of the shadow.  No one leading, no particular steps to coordinate, just dance.  How strange to spend all these years, all this time in a perpetual state of fear, to keep diving into the (seemingly) bottomless ocean of it, and come back up again, shedding the layers, only to realize that, much like the Matrix's reference to there being "no spoon", there was no ocean... and I sit here smirking thinking of the line from "Birdcage" where Agador says, frustrated, "I made it up... I MADE IT UP!"

I made it up.

It doesn't make it any less real, the experience, the emotion, the pain -- no, that was very real.  I made it real.  But in the span of that busy October month, I wondered to myself daily: where does the story go?  When it ends, when you decide to either close the book or decide that the story really isn't worth anything anymore -- where does it go?  Does it continue to exist, because we gave it life once and could easily return to it if we chose?  Where does it go?

In a deep discussion with my spiritual mother we came to the conclusion that it transforms in the Ether.  Beyond that, beyond that discussion of how and where and why, I can't elaborate.  It was all spirit-channeled anyway...

The interesting piece... the thing that I haven't been able to say, pretty much ever, the thing that I'm completely in awe about is: I am not scared.  That paralyzing fear, the one that has been carried over, building in force because of the power I gave it... it's just... gone.  I can't seem to articulate it better than that.  I'm starting with a blank canvas, and yet, somehow, I don't, necessarily, have a desire to whip out my paintbrushes and get to work.  I like the rawness.  I like the reality that I am the storyteller, and the story doesn't need telling right now.  The storyteller is preferring the role of the bard and the tastes of the song than the story itself.

This year begins another dance with the shadow into the Shamanic realm.  The dance I did in that realm several years ago kicked my ass.  Completely.  I have such immense gratitude for that ass-kicking.  I do.  It put fear in my face and the call of the Dark Goddesses came, and I listened.  This year is no exception, as another Dark Goddess has come and asked me to do the Great Work with Her.  I'm not foolish to think that nothing will come up -- just because that layer of fear feels gone doesn't mean that I won't be addressing other deeply layered fear, or even that same one.  The difference is, I just don't feel scared about addressing it.  I feel quite ready, in fact.  A good friend had said to me "it's because you're not afraid to go there", which sounds like an oxi-moron; being afraid of the fear but being brave (or foolish?) enough to dive in head first.  Maybe a little of both.

And, like the song goes:

"Did we learn at all from what we were taught
And after all this time?
This is me now..."

I feel like the learning has intensified.  It has taken on a new dimension.  After all this time... sounds so funny coming from someone who hardly identifies with linear time.



Kimberly Sherman-Cook said…
Your words are spoken with such inner light, such truth and so they ring out for so many to read and feel. I deeply respect that you shared these beautiful thoughts with the world, allowing their rawness to ring out gracefully into a world where there are so many others who still may fear to dance with the their own shadow. Thank you for this! Your words strike a cord in my heart.

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