Dear Ones, September 2016
Change is in the winds. Children are off to school. Mine is on the other side of the planet, far away for longer than ever before. I have cried, already missing her, yet, I praise the woman she's become, and cry happy tears! When we talk my heart swells and she makes me laugh, often.
For me, Autumn is a time of rest or wildness, or both. Every autumn, I am aware of my own domestication process, school, learning to contain myself, sit still, follow directions, and hold back expression.
So, I cry more this time of year, missing my wildness. I want to dance with abandon, let tears roll, and laugh until my sides ache and eyes water. Not all the time, of course, but more, deeper.
As autumn deepens, it is a time of decay and dying, to let go of what has finished it’s time. Some of what we let go of, we may need to grieve.
I recently listened to these talks, Grief and Praise by a South American Shaman, Martin Prechtel. His way of speaking is humble and funny. I hope some of you listen and enjoy this as much as I did, at least read my notes here. He reminded me of the medicine of tears (and laughter).
I am paraphrasing some of Martin Prechtel's talk here…
“The ability to weep is a gift. Laughter and weeping are relatives. Praise and grief live in the same house, sleep in the same bed. Weeping is not depression, not sadness…it is lack of grieving. Tears loosen medicine…This is why we feel so alive when grief is done…done properly…there is not a right way, but…you look a mess when you’re done and feel so alive~! Grief brings you back to life. Grief is a form of praise of life, the gift of being alive.
He talked about how important it is to praise young people,... all their ideas, praise them well, all the time, listen to them and teach them how to grieve properly. Let then see you grieve so they will know how..... The ”tough” youth play out our illness, for us to see- they act flat- like they feel nothing....flat. (he tells a funny story in the talk)
When something dies it is important to grieve, or it is as if it was never alive. You can’t deal with it yourself; it takes a community…To grieve properly takes a lot of people, hundreds of people... Praise is better that way too.
When the tears roll you have to listen to the person. Nothing to solve… they are in that place, listen to them, let it rock.. Same with happiness... let it roll... Grief makes people care for each other...We love expression in the village, the people watch out for you. People praise and grieve in such a way that the village holds them up while they do it".
Here is a prayer he spoke in native language, then in English, then explained it's meaning Long Line, Honey in the Heart, tears of Gods, white roads, paved with the eyebrows of the moon, which is sea foam. All color roads, which are paved with abundance, from the tail of the morning star, which is the deer. No evils, 13 thank-yous.