21 Jun A Summer solstice – and sojourn
The longest day of the year. I think I have had others that have felt longer. But the sun promises to shine longer today than any other day. Maybe I will rise to the challenge and join it. Maybe not. Two sips of coffee in without enough cream to make it just right, I say, it’s too soon to tell. I will certainly enjoy the last few flushes of a modern toilet as I return to Flame whose toilet is, once again, on the fritz. Thank God for Shirley Septic and my now semi-permanent portapotty. I don’t mind it so much during the day (when no workmen are milling around) but those middle of the night pee times that have become status quo of my mid 40’s, well, that’s another story. Pledging to keep the leaking tank empty for our next professional opinion, I will stumble through the dark to my plastic throne – or I may just squat along the way. It’s hard to imagine all of that as I sit on my plush hotel bed a mere eight feet from a fabulous flush. And, yes, one more standup shower for this girl before I return to the seated bird bath. How different tomorrow will be from today. Did you just say ‘at least you are writing regularly again’? I think I heard you say that…
I watch my roommate pack her bag for her return to England. A wild-child entrepreneur at 25 with a shock of blond hair and a sweet soul, Jo Westwood was the perfect roommate. We met virtually, on the Facebook page for the course and skyped for our first meeting. We have mostly passed in the night but our interactions have been memorable. She is launching into the stratosphere with her social media business and already is working for our fearless leader, Christina Morassi. It’s because of my commitment to be Jo’s roommate that I came – and it’s because of Christina that I even considered it in the first place. The promise to Jo kept me driving east to the airport as I railed and seriously questioned just why I was about to jump from one silver bullet to another and hurtle through the sky before I felt ready. I even wondered if my PTSD might suddenly escalate into a full blow panic attack on the airplane. It didn’t, I slept.
I met Christina at a workshop last fall. Impressed immediately by her extreme full self-expression on stage, I said ‘yes’ to the offer of a laser coaching session. Christina is beautiful, sassy, full on woman, and fricken real as shit. She drops the ‘f-bomb’ from stage as ravishingly as she wears her full length ball gowns that are her signature style. Sometimes I don’t actually listen to her words, I just watch with awe at her full embodiment of all of what it means to be a woman. Also quite brilliant, a former fashion photographer, turned healing professional with shamanism and other energy modalities sprinkled in, she brought an alchemical reaction to her gifts and morphed into a mega success in a short time. She is magnetic – and a true inspiration. At this point in my journey, I would not have flown across half the country for just any old workshop. Early in my adventure, Christina and I had a few sessions. Hers was the first voice that insisted I not ‘jump to form too quickly’, that I shouldn’t hurry my process – I have taken those wise words and run with them. Thank you Christina.
For those first few hours among ‘normal folks’ in the workshop, I felt like a leper. I didn’t belong or fit in among these shiny (and clean) classmates. Yes, I had bathed but the stain of ash still remained on my feet and in my heart. I couldn’t not talk about the fire as we shared why we were there and what we wanted to get out of the course – but the words were stuck in my craw. I chose a few steady souls and asked them to go first. Without drama, I then shared my tale. It began to ease. Christina is far from a ‘normal’ workshop leader so she brought all sorts of expressions to our sharing. We even danced our response to our partner at one point which was one of the most lovely moments of the workshop. I noticed myself to be more free than usual in these things I might normally label as queer. And, I also took breaks. Normally a ‘good girl’ and a ‘good workshop attendee’, I don’t miss a minute as I don’t want to miss THE thing that will make THE difference and alter my life FOREVER. Instead, this time, I let myself be in the room when I wanted and out when I felt the need. Then, yesterday, I stepped way out of the room. A chance opportunity to have lunch with my college roommate who just happened to be in town led to a lovely meal, then a long stroll around most of the cute shopping districts in the area. I wandered all afternoon, asking for a few pointers from shopkeepers to know if I was heading in the right direction. The perfect California weather was my companion with that cool ocean air and a warm sun. I changed clothes as I went, shedding my workshop outfit of my leopard wrap dress (sans tail for your faithful readers) and fortunately low slung heels, morphing into flip flops, burnt orange corduroy cut off shorts, and one of the best bell sleeve hippy shirts I have ever owned.
A few times panic arose as I was playing hooky. I am a bad girl! Then, I would inhale deeply, and choose to be where I was. I needed this break. I needed to be outside wandering in and out of shops. I didn’t hurry. I let go of the story that I was missing something. I connected with strangers – and met one of the most fabulous dogs ever. First, I glanced at his rear as he gazed out the window. When I finished my loop around the store, I caught site of his mastiff face curled against his ladies leg and I had to stop. Turns out, she found him at a shelter. At 2-ish, he had spent most of his life on the street. Yet this was one of the biggest babies I have ever seen – and he adored her. Rolling around her feet like a cat, belly in the air, then raising his massive head for a lick on her cheek, he stole my heart. How lucky they found each other. She lost a love of her life dog shortly before finding him. With the LA lifestyle, this big baby gets to go to work with her daily and has no desire to run for the open shop door. If I could have gotten away with stealing him, and if David wouldn’t divorce me for bringing home a third dog, that honey would be in my hotel bed with me right now.
Today is the last day of the workshop. I will be amongst my entrepreneurially minded peers as we soak up the last day of Christina’s wisdom and love on each other. Then, I will board another silver bullet that hopefully will stay in the air for as long as we need it to then return to my very own silver bullet on my charred land.
Early on, after catching my tears and holding my pain, Christina asked me to stay in a place of wonder. Just for today, on the solstice, I can commit to that. And, because sometimes things metaphorically tie themselves up into neat little packages for a moment before they are blown apart by our next human reaction, I quote myself in the last line of my book:
And I am restored to wonder…