"STAY OPEN TO EVERYTHING, ATTACHED TO NOTHING."
~ Dr. Harmony
This post is from the Gypsy Mama Travels series and is part of the co-created Dance, Community & Social Connection Research Project.
January 12, 2019 ~ Flagstaff, AZ to just North of Alberqueque, NM
Two and half hours into my journey, some 80-100 miles away from the San Francisco Bay Area, I get a text that reads:
"Hi Holli...Looks like the shutdown is going till next week and we won't be traveling as we had hoped. You are welcome to stay here Saturday night as we talked about before. What works best for you?"
So the way that I was going to afford a couple of months to digest my life of almost 20 years in Cali - while figuring out the travel plans - was to house & pet sit.
This was to be my first pet/house sitting job on a website called TrustedHousesitters.com with a couple and their kitty just North of Alberqueque by about 15 mins, and South of Santa Fe by about 40.
I HAD PLANS for my biz this week. I had been making a LONG list of things-to-do for Movement Medicine...none of which I will bore you with here.
"So now what?" I asked out loud to a car full of my belongings.
In my host's defense - she had shared 2 weeks ago that this could be a possibility - but NEITHER of us foresaw such a long Government Shutdown.
We had talked earlier that week and debated about the stay. Yet, I could tell she wanted the security of me heading her way JUST IN CASE the government got their sh** - I mean act together and things opened back up. I too needed the movement in that direction - otherwise, I just might try to stay longer in the Bay Area.
Again, neither of us foresaw this thing would go ANOTHER WEEK!
Yet, here I was 2.5 hours into my trip out of Cali - into a new life...and my first week of knowing where I would be - just thrown to the wind like a bunch of dust on the Playa during the Burn. (Okay, I have been in New Mexico now for almost 2 weeks. The dust and the wind are getting to me!)
As I drove down Interstate-5, my mind was too tired to really think through alternatives. I pulled over for the bathroom and looked through the website again to see if there were any last minute jobs on my route. Or even in SoCal. I had wanted to dip into San Diego on my way out anywho. Yet, this would be way off track, I would lose money on hotels and the possibility of spending that week in Santa Fe instead. It felt way too hard to even think about shifting directions now.
So I continued down the 5, towards Barstow. Towards my planned exit out of Cali the next day - hearing the words of my current mentor ring in my ears:
"Stay open to everything, attached to nothing."
~ Dr. Harmony
If I hadn't been so darn tired and worn out from the crying, I would have been totally curious and excited about this shift in plans.
But I WAS extremely tired...and so only a minimal amount of curiosity was stirred in me at that time.
Now, two days later though, having had decided to follow the threads the Universe had thrown in my direction, I am full of curiosity and intrigue as to what this next week will bring me. See, I did take the opportunity to take this gift of time and head up to Santa Fe. I figured it would give me a chance to check out this town I had been at for just 2 days this summer. A town I don't feel like is my next home - yet there is something there for me. Some kind of Soul Key or Keys perhaps - definitely a thread to follow.
But first, I am to head over to the home of my first job to spend the night with them. I am super excited to meet them - and have an opportunity to talk with them about their experience of working for the government in a time like this. I am curious as to what I will uncover with them - and how it might, most likely have seeds for me to incubate on for my work with Movement Medicine and the social movement I can see coming out of it.
February of 1991 ~ Munster, IN
I'm in my refuge, my little 10x10 refuge - my one place I feel safe. My room.
These walls - they can hold me anytime I need holding.
My little stereo system is spinning the CD of U2's "One" - blaring as loud as I can without being told to "TURN IT DOWN!"
"It's too late, tonight... to drag the past out into the light.
We're One...but we are not the same.
We get to carry each other, carry each other...wooooooo"
I disappear into the rhythmic lul, the deep sadness and longing and knowing I hear in Bono's voice. They all match me, what I feel inside of me, brewing but having no outlet for escape.
My eyes sting from the crying earlier in the day, and now.
Pam. One word - Pam.
She makes me so confused, so angry - so hurt and sad. I just want to scream at her one moment...but I have no words, no way to speak back to her to share with her how she makes me feel. And no certainty that she will care one iota about my feelings.
Most of all, I just want this petite-alcohol-smelling woman to wrap me up in her arms and love me like my mom used to do, minus the alcohol.
Yet she won't. More than that - she can't. For some reason, I seem to pull out the worst in her. At least that is what she says. We can sit and watch Oprah and have deep philosophical discussions - but when it comes to mothering me, she blames me for her own son's lack of motivation and drug problem.
"How do you think it makes me feel when my son comes to me and says, 'You must be so proud of her.'?" she asks me as I am pinned against the wall, in the narrow walkway in the garage to the fridge - having come out for a Dr. Pepper.
She goes on, "This is why I just cannot love you the same, Holli. Because you are not my own flesh and blood."
It felt like a knife piercing my very heart. I had done nothing, asked nothing of her. We had just had some little argument - so I thought.
So this is how she truly sees me. A burden to her own kids and thus herself. So why the HELL did she take me in...what good was I to her if all I did was excel in my own life and thus make her kids feel like...well less than? Was that MY FAULT? Did she think I was going to stop being a good student just to make her kids feel better about themselves? Stop improving in my swimming, stop my quest to make varsity by my sophomore year?
I'm on my bed now. This is my oasis of comfort, my cocoon. This bed has seen the worst of me, my fears. It witnessed my cry for help when I shattered the glass light shade next to my bed ~ rocking, rocking, rocking it until it hit the wall making a brilliant sound as it rained down glass all around.
I had taken a piece of the shattered glass to my wrist and lightly dragged it across, seeing the slightest amount of red pop to the surface. "Ouch!" Just that little bit really hurt. "How does anyone go thru with this?" I questioned quietly.
I knew it wasn't what I wanted. To end my life. But I was desperate for a change...I didn't know if I could handle another 4 years in this house...with her.
It was at that moment that something deep from within stopped me. A voice, a longing...a whisper of hope.
It is this voice that I could feel somewhere around me again now...whispering a promise. A promise that my life, this shtuff ~ this really hard and unfair shtuff I was suffering through and had suffered through - that it was meant to bring hope. Hope not just to me...but to those that might, just might be helped by me. That somehow, some way, I would be able to use all this pain and heartache, loss and depression to help others - someday.
I hear this voice not as a spoken voice in my head. Yet, I KNOW I hear it somehow, someway.
I hold onto this message of hope for dear life.
What other choice do I have?
September 2010 ~ Mountain View, CA
I'm peering out of the window above my kitchen sink, the garbage and recycling cans in my line of vision - tho I am not seeing them. I have taken my wedding rings off, placed them on the windowsill so I could wash the dishes, allowing the water to warm up - when I hear a voice pierce through the darkness into the deep woods that have become my life.
To Be Continued...
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