Inciting Epiphanies

Hello, and welcome to Lauren’s Blog!

 

Yesterday was the Twelfth Day of Christmas, or Epiphany.  For Christians, Epiphany marks the day the Wise Men finally arrived, having followed a star, to behold theChristChild.   It is, in essence, a “making real” of the event.  After the rather homely beginning in a manger with shepherds and barn animals, and after the rest of us respond by staying home from work, singing “Silent Night,” and “Away in a Manger” lullabies, and celebrating with our loved ones, the Magi arrive and up the ante: “This baby is a big deal.  We need to protect him and there are repercussions for us all!”

 

It’s a good story on its own and symbolically, there’s a LOT here.  I am arriving in these first days of the New Year feeling so grateful for the ways Nature pointedly guides us through the final days of December – the DARKEST days of the year (Northern Hemisphere native, that I am) – and provides a transition plan so that we might receive the increasing length and brightness of the Sun (or Son) in the days to come.  I’m obviously not describing yuletide practices as instructed by mainstream media, but if you’re reading this, you’re likely not either.

 

In short, Epiphany seems to me a great season to go *live* with my blog.  This entry and the one before it (Dec. 31st) mark my own movement from 2011, through the Solstice, and into the beginning of a New Year.  I would be beyond pleased if even a morsel of something written here incites an epiphany for you, or someone, somewhere:

 

epiphany [ih-pif-uh-nee] 

1. an appearance or manifestation, especially of a deity;

2. a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or
essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple,
homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.
(dictionary.reference.com)

 

 

More importantly, as you live into these first days of 2012, may epiphanies happen!  Plain and simple.  May they happen within you, in the lives of those you care about, in the lives of those we do not know, in our communities and throughout the world.  A new day dawns….

 

On Aug, 27, 2011, International Space Station astronaut Ron Garan used a high definition camer to film one of the sixteen sunrises astronauts see each day. This image shows the rising sun along a path between Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Image credit: NASA

 

Happy New Year and thanks for reading!

 

Acknowledgements: This blog has been loooong in coming.  I would be remiss if I didn’t offer gratitude to those who nudged and pushed me along in its creation: Dad-lee, T. Taylor, A. Brucker, M.M., CMK & the EOL community, C. Morris, “V.P.K.,” B. Arnall, Davemo, M. Abed, A. Lattanand, M. Himel, and the students at ChI.

Performing Salah: Bowing to 2011

 

“People who have not been in Narnia sometimes think
that a thing cannot be good and terrible at the same time.”

-C.S. Lewis

“I want to tell you about love… Even the word, ‘love,’ is not adequate
to define the force that wove the fabric of space and time.”

-Drew Dellinger

 

“Asking good questions is half of learning”

-attributed to Muhammad

 

When 2011 began, I made some plans and I set an intention.  My plans included concrete things like moving out of the shed where I’d lived for 11 years (a great story, but different blog) and meeting a great man with whom to share my life.  My intention was to actualize these plans (and others) while trusting fully in the practice of grace. Grace?  For me it means trusting that I don’t have to, “make it all happen,” or be, “in control,” and that, quite possibly, by asking for help and being a bit vulnerable, Ease, Synchronicity and Confluence ably offer a better picture than the limited one I would’ve created on my own.

 

I think we all agree: 2011 has been busy.  Grace-filled victories reminded me throughout Spring and Summer that, even in the more stressful moments, I was learning to trust life in a new way.  It stretched me!  It felt good!  And then, I got my heart broken.  With no explanation, a story I was loving just stopped and like a science fiction movie, part of the universe opened-up and pulled me into an abyss of blackness.  I hadn’t felt grief this painful since…oh, right.  Since the last time was heart was broken.  Tearfully, stubbornly, I refused to let go of the grace….

 

A week later, during the closing ritual for the Islam module at the school where I work, I was invited to participate in the Muslim Call to Prayer – an embodied submission to Allah that happens 5 times a day.  It was in the act of dropping to the floor and submitting to, “the Other,” when it rushed in and shook me to the core: “I do not WANT to submit to something else!  Have we not been through this?” I bellowed to my inner cast of characters.  “So many years of grappling with, defining and RE-defining my relationship with the Who or What, ‘Out There,’ for whom I must prostrate and bow to!”

 

Tears of recognition.

 

Grace.  I am bowing to grace!
I am bowing to all that I cannot control
and I am bowing to that which I cannot radically accept: being rejected and being unable to ‘fix it.’  I am bowing to the no guarantees
and life’s uncertainties.

 

Myself.  I am bowing to myself and I am bowing to
my ego’s wish
that everyone else were more like me.  I am bowing to my tendency
to compare my path to others – particularly those
who never seem to need
to bow
to anything much
at all!!!
I am bowing to my fear that they may know something
that I should know
too.

 

I am bowing to the seduction of fame,
and a latent panic
that my life and work will not amount to anything
world-changing.

 

I am bowing to my alienation from the All.
I am bowing to Everything,
and I am bowing to No
thing.

 

I am bowing
and thrashing
and sobbing.

 

I am bowing to the Powers that always win
and I’m bowing to the
possibility
that we will discover another way; a different way;
a better way.

 

I am bowing to my ambition. I am bowing to a sometimes-wish I feel to,
“check-out” and to let others
carry the load – YOU be the do-gooders for awhile!!!!

 

I am bowing to my desire to know love and wholeness,
and I am bowing to the place in me
that may forever hunger and thirst simply so I might bow again and again and again.  I am bowing to my contradictions.  I am bowing.
I am bowing.

 

In a mother-to-be’s womb, the amniotic fluid is changed every 3 hours, or 5 times every 24 hour cycle.  This is one reason Muslims pray 5 times a day.  Each day, we are invited to tend our wombs: to grow the seed of the Divine within, to labor with the Divine as we give birth to and celebrate our True Nature. Gracedidn’t promise I would get to choose; grace promised to hold me in the process of all that is.

 

I bow to the answer not-yet-found, the direction not-yet-known, the hearts of others not-yet-ready.  I bow to the possibility of NEVER knowing.  What else can I do?  Thank you, 2011, for all that you have been.  I bow to you.