Monday, April 7, 2014
It takes a village
I was spiritually feral for awhile back in the day. I proudly joked about being the weird shaman who lives on the edge of the village, more in the woods than around other people. The spiritual character I celebrated back then is someone people mostly avoid unless they need healing. This was a self image I actually cultivated.
It's so weird to think about now. I'm no longer in the woods, or out on the fringes, hell no. I fully inhabit my communities these days, and have for many years now. Yes I am, for Washington DC in the 21st century, rather exotic. (I wouldn't be at all in other places - Taos, Boulder, Eugene, Savannah, New Orleans, for instance.) Though somewhat off the mainstream in DC, I am accepted, even welcomed by my neighbors, friends and clients. I feel perfectly at home here among these super smart, tough, determined people, even though I'm not like them at all!
I remember distinctly the moment when I realized I was coming in from the outskirts. It was at a Yom Kippur service at Temple Micah, where I studied Judaism for a couple of years after leaving Reclaiming. At some point I glanced down at my feet. I was struck by the shiny new shoes I chose to wear that day, how civilized they were. I knew then that my self imposed exile had come to an end.
It's not without precedent for the mystical/shamanic lifestyle - a period of isolation, wildness. Mystics have always been weirdoes. But I don't remember with happiness my magical mystery tour into the shamanic woods, no I do not. It was lonely, and scary too. I wouldn't do it again.
Lately I've been remembering my return to human communities, which began not long after my last visit to Paris. It seems like such a long time ago.
That was then, and this is now. Life is so good. I am grateful.
I leave for Paris in two weeks and two days! Shalom.