How many times have I driven by the tree leaving the bank? At least twice a week for three years. And yet it was only yesterday that I saw the woman in the tree.
Can you see her in the photo above. Her legs, her belly button, and one breast off to the right. Her reaching armpits. Her jutting left hip, the slight twist to her torso. She becomes all tree after that, her many arms branching towards the sky.
It makes me wonder what else I haven’t seen.
Yesterday afternoon I had acupuncture for the first time in about 10 years. I went for the aching joints in my elbows, toe and thumbs. I laughed when I told Shawna, the Acupuncturist, they were sewing injuries. All that repetitive motion.
But what I’ve really been thinking about is how I’ve felt so disconnected from my body lately. Since come back from India really.
I feel like I’m getting a grasp on it intellectually. It’s as if by going to India I stepped so far out of myself in so many different ways, the “me” I was before the trip hasn’t caught up with the reality of this new expanded me.
Sabina, an anthropologist, wrote to me about the Rites of Passage. Remember your initiation dream, she wrote.
The Rites of Passage has three parts. There’s the rite of separation, where a person leaves what is familiar. Liminality is the next stage. The threshold, that marks the passage from one stage to the next. Then there is the postliminal stage, where the person incorporates her new self back into society.
Usually there are ceremonies that take place around these rites. Religious ceremonies when an adolescent becomes an adult. Or secular ceremonies such as graduation and going to college. Traditionally there are elders to pass on the wisdom and structure of moving from one stage to another.
The idea of the Rites of Passage has helped me make sense of what I’m going through.
But I still feel off. And I think it’s because, now, I need to embody what I know intellectually. My mind may be in the postliminal stage, but my body is still in liminality.
Because it’s our bodies, that hold the stresses, our muscles and cells remember when our mind doesn’t want to.
And I can see it’s true, because I’ve been having a hard time with my body. Inertia has set in. Keeping me from doing the things, that keep me connected and in tune with my inner workings.
I’ve only done yoga a handful of times in the past month and a half. And I’ve been meaning to get a massage even longer. But something keeps me from acting.
Two days ago I found some Gabrielle Roth and The Mirrors and made myself move to their music in my studio. It felt so good, but also made clear how long it’s been and how disconnected I’ve been feeling from my body. Like seeing the woman in the tree for the first time. There all along, I could hardly get closer, yet I was so unaware.
I had plans to get a lot of work done last night when I got home from acupuncture. But I was so dreamy, after eating some roasted vegetables for dinner, I feel asleep on the couch. It was one of those deep healing sleeps. Jon work me a few hours later, a little concerned. It’s not something I usually do. “I haven’t blogged”, I mumbled. Then got up and went to bed.
This morning I feel relaxed and less achy in a way I haven’t in a very long time. I know the acupuncture rearranged something inside of me.
“The needles touch the pressure points which release Chi”, my friend told me years ago when she was studying acupuncture and practicing on me. Picture a stream with a log jam and the logs suddenly releasing, the water running freely.
I’m picturing it. I’m feeling it. And I have every intention of fully occupying my new expanded mind and body. As much as I sometimes feel like running and hiding from it. I’ll do what ever I have to, for as long as it takes.