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lost soles

My nighttime deaths continue with a consistency which brings the comfort of familiarity. I go away for a few days on retreat, releasing pent up toxins and stagnant energies; I sit in amazement at the old stories which need to be sweated out and as I spend many hours in the laconium sauna, I connect with the wisdom of Ancient Rome and how philosophical discussions were intended to be held within the dry, detoxing heat.

I treat myself to reflexology and the practitioner asks me if I have been under a lot of pressure lately. I say no, pondering silently if that is true, realising that these last few weeks I have felt a fatigue I hadn't respectfully acknowledged. She exclaims that my adrenals are fatigued, that my fight or flight response is in overdrive. I smile and say that it must be all the dying at night. She looks up, wide eyed and says 'tell me more, you are a very interesting person'. I chat with her about innerdance and how for the last month or so, I am dying every night, sharing some of the less gory details. We become unexpected allies and as I say farewell and thank you, I continue to marvel at the synchronicity of everything.

A couple of hours before an online innerdance, I receive heartbreaking news that someone I dearly love is dying. Colour drains from me, density grasps my shoulders and I slump. The soundscape I am sharing is about love and death. I feel the session shall be a time of healing for me. And then the old pattern creeps in; you can't show up in grief, you need to be on your own, you need to hide etc etc. For several minutes, I hold firm ground in the present, advising myself that the session is what is needed but this is short-lived and I fall back in to the old way. Instead of turning towards what I love, I turn inward. I cancel the session and hold myself tensely on a sofa eating food which upsets my gut.

Within this suspended animation, innerdance whispers to need to face death, it is time. This is shortly followed by a bursting desire to bring out an oil painting from storage. My darling pablo, my wee pug, died two years ago. I avoid seeing images or videos of him and can only talk of him occasionally; he visits me regularly in the dreamscape and I can feel him with me sometimes. Shortly after he died, I tried to move his bowl from one side of the kitchen to another, only to be met with waves of anguish and so they sit there on top of the microwave, waiting for me to be ready. I take out the painting and I look at it through a stream of dammed up tears. I place the picture in a frame and put him pride of place on my altar. Energies begin to swirl and I can no longer hide from the continuous pain.

I attend an innerdance and within this blended consciousness, I peel off my skin, take a black headed mallet (Pablo?) to my body and smash myself to smithereens. I then scoop myself up and put me into a mortar, grinding myself into dust with the pestle. I take a handful of dust and as I purse my lips to blow the dust away, I am immediately transported to 2001 when I was living in New York City. I connect with the dust we breathed in every day after the 9/11 tragedy. Knowing what/who I was breathing in has always created disturbance within me until this moment where I find freedom.

Loss continues to announce itself with relationships shifting towards organic endings and I succumb to the disorientation which accompanies me when my false sense of reality changes. I sign up for a virtual reality experience about Laika, the dog sent to space by Russia and as I am walking to the venue, shaming thoughts begin to circulate, encouraging me to go small and doubt myself. Energy flows where attention goes, and so I am rigidly located in my own head. When I come to the present moment, I realise I automatically went in a direction which, although will take me to where I am going, it is a complicated route. How ironic and poignant. When I shift from trust to fear and lose presence, my autonomic nervous system directs my feet to take a well-worn path which isn't necessarily optimal. I will arrive where I need to be, it will just take longer.

I enter the venue and I am transported into a virtual world which feels like a lucid dream. I grieve for this dog sent to space to die and as I look back on the earth from sputnik 2, I connect with a silence in me, a sensation of being adrift and alone. I absorb how this feels somatically and promise myself I shall create a soundscape which captures the essence of being out there looking back. Unlike Laika's mission, this innerdance will have a return integrated within it.

So for now, I am lost, whilst paradoxically solid in my innerdance projects and practice. The consciousness is there, holding me so I can freefall. How willing I am is entirely up to me.

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