Archives for posts with tag: writing

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Okay, “tear out your hair” is a bit harsh. How about “let loose your hair”? Being a veteran of the chemo process, this being my second go round, I was familiar with the hair loss part of the show. I like this part. Really. I find it fascinating that your hair begins to come out of your head just by running your fingers through it. Bigger handfuls, bigger payoff. The last time I was obsessed with the process and left it out in my garden for birds and squirrels to make nests with. I loved this process of release, of re-purposing. Shedding your past.

It took till the third treatment round for the hair to begin to go. About three days in, you can actually gently pull small handfuls out. It is deeply satisfying, like peeling a perfect sheet of sunburned skin. I am allowing you to peer entirely too deep into my psyche….

After a few days of pulling and combing and shedding, I went to my hairfresser and had my head shaved. I kept a bag of hair and a dear friend of mine put it into an encaustic art piece that hangs in my living room. (See my blog, “ I am not like I was before” https://jodeenrevere.wordpress.com)

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So, as I geared up to fo through this second round, I was secretly thrilled to go through the hair release again. I wanted to have that experience first and then shave my head. I didn’t want to skip any of the parts, and, well, I like it. It appeals to my delight in the sensory. I scare my friends.

On the day of my third treatment it was the full moon and my hair had just begun to release its hold on my scalp the day before. Of course I played with it all day. Observing the color, the texture. The shine of the silver and grey strands, the auburn/brunettey blondness of the bulk of it. Later that night I was getting ready to go to bed, but realized I had not yet seen the full moon and thought I would wait to see it rise.

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It was a perfectly still and warm night, right before we got the 30 degree plummet two days later. I walked outside in my bare feet, padding down the block, watching her slow ascent between the roof lines of the houses and the leafy trees. Breathing deeply of the late spring to summer air. Breathing in the transition fullness. Making my way back to my yard I stood in the grass, feeling the pulse of the earth underneath me and stood still as the moon rose into view. You could almost hear it move through the night sky. As I stood there in the moonlight, all of my witchy DNA snapped to attention and I did the most obvious normal thing. I began to walk the perimeter of my house and mark every tree and shrub with strands of my hair. Combing my hands through, taking a small handful and the gentle tug and release as the hair came out. I draped it over the tree branches, tucked it into the bushes, sprinkled it on the ground and in the flower beds. “This is my home. This is my place of healing and rebirth. I willingly relinquish this way of being for something new, clear and expansive. I say “yes” to the unknown.” All the way around the house I walked, talking quietly to myself leaving a trail behind me. Gifts of me to the night.

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I felt shifted that night. Ready for the next phase. Two days later, before I could look like a Barbie doll who had her hair done by someones sadistic little brother, I went in and shaved my head. The sense of lightness. I felt the last 6 years of my life with all of the over extension, emotional exhaustion, relationship turmoil and not feeling quite right in my body, slide off of me in a pool at my feet. Yes, I have it in a bag in my room and it shall be released into the wild. Duh.

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In many mystical traditions hair is thought to be a source of a persons power and strength. The longer the hair the greater the power. It is an antennae towards the heavens, connection to the ancestors, and a testament to your past. There is a certain duality in that idea (always intriguing) both the cumulative wisdom and foundation that we develop during our lives that we carry with us, as well as the weight, trauma and habitual patterns we drag around with us, that are stored in our cellular body, that are stored in our tissue, our hair.

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As the hair fell to floor I felt the heaviness fall away. Saw my self emerge, my light brighter, even more hi-def (as if that is possible, apparently it is) Although I love my long hair and I do derive a sense of power, my femininity and my sexuality from that expression, shaving my head holds all of the same intensity but from a different perspective. The power of not being stuck in your past, not dragging everything forward, but shrugging off a heavy cloak and stepping out naked into the world on a fresh path. Your past has helped inform who you and will forever be an integral part of your makeup, and now, you can move forward making different inspired choices, not patterned responses. The antennae is turned inward to listen, not outward be told.

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What if my DNA are being rewired through the chemo and I am being enhanced, upgraded for an entirely new chapter of my life? “I am not like I was before”, and why would I want to be the same person I was six years ago, or 10, or 20 or 30 or…..? I am being challenged to shift, to adapt, to see what’s next. When I am complete with my treatment, I will not go back to how things were before. It will be even better, and my life was pretty great before. I don’t know what that is, but it will be fresh and expansive and I am ready to start anew with my sleek aerodynamic self.

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I adore david whyte. love his words, the pictures he paints, the feelings he holds up to the light. the only thing I love more than his poetry, is listening to him read his own work. entrancing.

this poem has been going through my head a great deal lately, and as I was driving back from a yoga workshop in McCall across this landscape, it rang loud and clear. I wanted to share this. hope it touches you the way it has me.

 

the winter of listening

“no one but me by the fire,

my hands burning

red in the palms while

the night wind carries

everything away outside.

 

all this petty worry

while the great cloak

of the sky grows dark

and intense

round every living thing.

 

what is precious

inside us does not

care to be known

by the mind

in ways that diminish

its presence.

 

what we strive for

in perfection

is not what turns us

into the lit angel

we desire.

 

what disturbs

and then nourishes

has everything

we need.

 

what we have

in ourselves

is what we cannot know

in ourselves but

what is true to the pattern

does not need

to be explained.

 

inside everyone

is a great shout of joy

waiting to be born.

 

even with the summer

so far off

I feel it grown in me

now and ready

to arrive in the world.

 

all those years

listening to those

who had

nothing to say.

 

all those years

forgetting

how everything

has its own voice

to make

itself heard.

 

all those years

forgetting

how easily

you can belong

to everything

simply by listening.

 

and the slow

difficulty

of remembering

how everything

is born from

an opposite

and miraculous

otherness.

 

silence and winter

has led me to that

otherness.

 

so let this winter

of listening

be enough

for the new life

I must call my own.”  

david whyte

 

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greetings.  i have not written in quite awhile and wanted to just write to say that i will be writing soon. well, soonish…

i went through a time a little while ago,  when i thought, “no one is remotely interested in your sophomoric, navel gazing ramblings and your stream of consciousness. you delight in your writing and perhaps it is just a written form of masturbation, better left to you alone.”

then i hear from people about how much they identify with what i wrote. how it has helped them negotiate some difficult time, understand something in themselves. to gain strength or perspective. and so i decide to keep writing. it seems selfish not to. and it’s kind of a win/win. creative/emotional outlet for me and somehow, support for others. 

SOOO much to write and just no time to do so. but soon.

mexico. portland. dance. music. surprises. moving. work. summer. babies and friends and teenagers and parents. yoga. workshops. my heart. my health. it’s all headed your way. in chapters. one at a time.

thank you for reading. thank you for your kind, positive feedback. makes my trials feel more purposeful some how. like i have no choice but to share my journey. isn’t that how we all help each other on this planet, is by sharing our stories? knowing we are not alone.

it’s all so life like…stay tuned…