Home from SF

Posted on 28 October 2004

I just returned from San Francisco last night and am feeling a little overwhelmed. The house and garden are still calling for attention – too much. Rob said our lack of care has caught up to us. And I now have to place all the orders for the store for spring in the next two weeks and I need time to think.

And there are still black bears visiting my sanctuary. Rob caught one huge fellow up our apple tree the other night.

The first night in San Francisco, I felt good in my hotel room, playing with the remote on the television and reading but when I turned the light out, I became dark and gloomy, tossed and turned, turned the light back on several times, wrote in my journal but nothing helped.

I have been trying so hard since the workshop to give myself time to sort out my thoughts and find a clear direction but instead of feeling lighter, I feel more confused. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I am studying Helen Luke and her chapter on Suffering won’t leave me alone. I have read it at least four times, written notes, and still it nags. And this horrible witchy voice inside me keeps telling me to spill the beans, tell all in this public journal, and I recoil. I’m not ready.

Luke insists that we have to uncover our fear of humiliation because from this fear comes a “dead weight of moods and depression.” Guilt is useless. Acceptance of our human condition is the key, otherwise we are saying “I ought to be like God, free of all weaknesses.”

The last day in San Francisco I went to a book store and bought “Adrienne Rich’s Poetry and Prose” and trust me to turn to a section called: “Women and Honor: Some Notes on Lying(1975).” These notes tie in with Luke’s thoughts on suffering. Rich believes that silence is lying and truth is complex and if we don’t at least try to voice our truths we hurt others and ourselves:

“In lying to others we end up lying to ourselves. We deny the importance of an event, or a person, and thus deprive ourselves of a part of our lives. Or we use one piece of the past or present to screen out another. Thus we lose faith even with our own lives.

“The unconscious wants truth, as the body does. The complexity and fecundity of dreams come from the complexity and fecundity of the unconscious struggling to fulfill that desire….

“An honorable human relationship – that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love” – is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths that they can tell each other.

“It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation.

“It is important to do this because in so doing we do justice to our own complexity.

“It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.”

Rich speaks of the kind of fear that I felt the other night, the fear that keeps me silent, the fear that I expect too much from relationships, the fear that I am not good enough for relationships, the fear of some great dark hole – the void.

She mentions that Virginia Woolf called the void “the dark core” and Rich says that out of darkness and emptiness comes rebirth and, to me, this means change.

“The void is the creatrix, the matrix. It is not mere hollowness and anarchy. But in women it has been identified with lovelessness, barrenness, sterility…. We are not supposed to go down into the darkness of the core.

“Yet, if we can risk it, the something born of that nothing is the beginning of our truth.”

I use a lot of quotes here because I have not quite digested all that I must before I can spill my beans and still stand the sight of myself in the mirror. I see also that I have not achieved what Luke calls true “humility.”

Truth is complex.


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