Thursday, May 29, 2014



When I came home from Paris, one of the first things I noticed were all the Hindu deities in my apartment. There was a Ganesh in the shrine, Shiva naturaj in the "fireplace," a portrait of Durga on the wall. I live in a tiny space, yet I had three representations of Hindu deities in my living room.

I asked myself why. I am not a collector of things in general. I am not Hindu. I don't even like yoga! They are fine deities with great stories and I did have a relationship with God through them at one point. That was a long time ago, though.

A friend of mine will come to collect the deities this weekend. They are dear enough to me that I resisted the idea of putting them on the sidewalk as is our custom on Capitol Hill. (Everything you put on the sidewalk is scooped up instantly.) I have a history with these idols, I couldn't just discard them. But they are no longer an appropriate lens for the divine. I haven't related to them in a long time, actually.

Once Ganesh was out of the shrine I realized I also no longer need a designated altar or shrine. Now that is a really big deal! I've had a shrine everywhere I've lived since the 1980s. But as I gazed at my shrine minus Ganesh, it came to me that what I really need is a bookshelf. Hence I will paint the space that was once a shrine, add some shelves, at which time I'll be able to move several stacks of books currently on the floor in my bedroom to a more suitable location.

I smile every time I tell someone I experienced a soul retrieval at the Eiffel Tower because it sounds so funny. But I did! I really did. I feel like I've found a room within me I didn't know was there, a fabulous room, too. My shrine is now internal. This is a monumental shift.

Likewise monumental is my decision to cease and desist with my ancestor work at least for the time being. How does it help to remember their grief, grudges, fear and pain? Try as I might, when I connect with them that's the only thing I can access. I've been trying to locate their happiness and contentment but can not find it in the aether. They suffered at the hands of Czar, during the revolution and of course when they were ghettoed and later murdered during the Holocaust. They suffered terribly, I am so sorry.

My sister suggested I write them a letter - great idea. I did it yesterday morning, as the moon was just about to turn, mailed it to my aunt's old address in Paris, no return address. I wrote on tracing paper, my way of addressing those who are beyond the veil. Here's a pic of the three pages one on top of the other.

I have been very uneven since returning from my trip - though not nearly as bipolar as I was while in Paris. I did that thing I always tell other people to do - let it change you. I am changed for sure. It's exciting and uncomfortable. What these changes mean is still coming into the light. In the meantime I'm releasing a ton of old stuff on every level.

I do not feel lost however. Just the opposite. I feel open and trusting. I feel a sweet emptiness in the space where I used to carry heartache. It's an incredible feeling.



  1. I can't really explain why or how, but I'm getting a lot out of reading about your Paris journey. Thank you for sharing it!

  2. It's nice to feel yourself changing, isn't it?

  3. Nice? I find it unsettling. But it's all for the best.

    Rebecca, I am so glad. Curious to hear how, should the language come to you.

  4. What will be nice is a new bookcase!

  5. I think of my book shelf as my altar or shrine. I love that you have your own built-in one now. That's so cool.

    (You were in my dream two nights ago.)

    I echo Rebecca ... reading about your internal/external journeys regarding the Paris experience and how you're processing them and the new soul bit (what a photo of it returning! whoa!) is personally enriching. Thank you from me, too. Your photo of your letter really moves me.

  6. As I was reading this post I was thinking how much I have changed since my dad passed away two years ago...and feeling the same things you have been feeling since your return from paris...almost a cleansing but oh so bittersweet. I want my dad back but know I can't so have decided to not dwell on the sadness and turn it into something new and exciting...kind of like your bookshelf. I just finished The Book Thief....though I know you don't like novels it was interesting...

    1. I watched the movie and found it incredibly uplifting.