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The Cycles of Grief

July 6, 2016



This is my rune wheel for the year.  It began with the dark moon of November last.


This is my third such wheel, begun in ceremony with Ingrid Kincaid.  Every dark moon we have a reading.


Yesterday I needed to make something.  I felt overwhelmed with the grief of this lunar year.


The losses, real deaths, and the completions of cycles begun long ago.


Art for me is a means to integration.


Writing used to be my primary way to access this synthesis, but now it is only art that gives me the feeling of drift, enchantment, trance.


I drew my wheel large, and cried as I drew, recognizing the things that happened at the beginning of the wheel, the pains opening now.


Yesterday someone posted a picture of me from eight years ago on social media.  I showed it to my husband and he said, look how young you were.


Yes, I was young.


These last eight years have held lifetimes of grief, constant transition, continual conflict.  And yet...


I've grown.  I am stronger and more sure.  My art reflects this transformation from youth to middle age.  


Eight years ago I wasn't drawing, only writing stories.


Eight years ago my children were seven and four.  I'd been divorced for just a year and a half and was getting ready to start my first semester of full time teaching.


Eight years ago I met my current husband after praying in the hazelnut orchard for a whole, reciprocal love.


Eight years ago I could not have imagined my life now.


I feel a tremendous tenderness for that woman I was, for her innocence and, yes, naiveté.  I also feel pain.  I would change nothing.  What I live is my own doing.


But I can grieve for what was lost.  Yes, I can do that.


 Living in cycle means living without a sensation of avoidance.


I can't escape pain, or challenge.  Or loss.  Nor will I remain in it.


Change is the rule.  The last eight years have taught me this much.


And the next eight?  In eight years future my children will be grown.


Beyond that I've learned I cannot see, anticipate or expect.  Only practice, live into the cycles, ask for strength from my ancestors and teachings from divinity.  Root into the earth.  Rest in the rhythms.  Love what is here.


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