Family Matters! Last post until the weekend

Expansive Jupiter transits through Cancer, sign of home and family, YES!

My son Sean and his little family arrive from Massachusetts today, so this will be my only post until sometime this weekend. Meanwhile, I plan to put everybody to work in the GANG garden, plus have nightly potlucks with younger son Colin (of the Garden Tower Project), his partner, and other friends. Thank God for Colin’s constant presence in my life! He moved to what I call “InDiana” from Massachusetts four years ago. Of course, I’m trying to persuade Sean and Sue to relocate here, too . . .

However, they love the beach . . .

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And grandkids Kiera (left front) and Drew (right front) also love the beach . . .

308928_2410693072195_1788158_nThinking about this little family of mine engulfs me in gratitude. So long a journey we have traveled to get where we are now, full of love and fun and camaraderie. Leaving my sons when they were five and seven years old to their equally-dysfunctional-as-a-parent father was the most painful decision I ever made, and in order to do it I had to go numb. That initiated over a decade of desperation and denial until I finally woke up and realized what I had to do to dissolve our mutual despair — that’s a story for another time.

When I was in my 20s, I longed to be free, to not be immersed in the dailiness of diapers and snotty noses and whimpering. Longed to finally live my own life. Not cut out to be a mom, I thought, and still do. But there I was, a good Catholic girl who got pregnant, and so of course, got married to a man who was equally unconscious. A real ’50s marriage, though enacted in the mid-’60s — until of course, all hell broke loose when Uranus/Pluto conjuncted and I jumped into the zeitgeist maelstrom along with millions of my peers.

Now I look at who I would be without my adult sons and my two grandchildren. How impoverished my life would feel, how small. New life flows through the lineage with each generation. New life primes the pump for creation over and over again. I feel so very fortunate to participate in this ongoing munificence.

Meanwhile, with the exception of my little family, others in my immediate local sphere are suffering, so much so that I was prompted to put up on the blog yesterday an old essay that I hoped might help at least some people go through their own.

Original Sin as Original Blessing (2004)

If you don’t want to read the piece all the way through — it’s long, a real slog, but worth it, if you have the need for a detailed personal account of how “pain” works in the body, how it affects the mind, and how we can alchemize pain into transformation — at least meditate on the title, “Original Sin as Original Blessing” — (huh?) — what it might mean . . .

This morning I received a long comment from a woman who let me know that this essay helped her! So grateful that Colleen took the time to let me know. Here is her response:

Thank you Ann for this amazing look at your personal pain. Amazing because of how accurately you described that black hole of emptiness and despair that I fell into at age 35 precipitated by moving into an upgraded house with my husband of 14 years and two young daughters. I can’t recall seeing it described so graphically. Back then I struggled to escape this mysterious indescribable but devastating pain by reading anything that seemed at all helpful. I remember Scott Peck’s book, The Road Less Traveled, helped me hang onto my sanity and start to believe that there was something outside of my small mind that could help me. As a devout ex-catholic I had turned away from belief in god to guarantee my freedom from the church’s control over my mind and body. I began a journey that ended my marriage, and opened me to exploring and seeking an authentic spirituality that was helpful in my life rather than crippling. My connection to nature deepened and continually nourished me through the darkest times with my daily walks with my dog in a nearby nature sanctuary. I’m grateful that the black hole led me to therapists who cared, and 12 step groups where I was accepted for myself and not who I thought I was supposed to be, and had miserably failed at being. Just as you describe I had focused completely on my external life and failed to notice that my inner self was collapsing in on itself and taking me down with it. As dark as those days were, I couldn’t possibly have imagined all the crisis and darkness we’re confronting today. I think I’m able to take it in because I’ve already gone down deep and come through alive. I used to believe I’d eventually reach a place of resolution and the end of pain, but the journey continues as I process the loss of a 15 year relationship that I thought would last for the duration. So when the pain comes, I follow your method when I am clear enough to recall that I need to go into my body to go through it, and not try to distract or go into obsessive analysis of what’s causing it. Realizing that it’s not necessarily my personal pain that’s arising is indeed helpful when it sneaks up on me unexpectedly. So grateful you put this essay on your blog.

Thanks so much, Colleen for the affirmation. Of course, when we write our hearts out like that, we do wonder if we are crazy. And yet, all it takes is one other person saying “YES, I understand! I have gone through the same!” — and we know we’re not crazy, we’re human.

Until the weekend, be well!

Grannie Annie

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