Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Guardians of Dreams

Photo by David Tipling.
In the beginning, every night, I had horrible dreams, induced by the heavy drugs that kept me in the coma, induced by the sheer fight to survive, and induced by the awakened demons in my psyche. I have always had a vivid and memorable dream life. It was nothing compared to what I experienced those first few weeks.

I needed help.

I asked friends of mine who also did dream work to act as guardians for me, in my dreams, to break up the horrors I was experiencing. We came together under the banner of the owl, a spirit totem for me, and a symbol of crossing from life to death, as well as dream workings.

Men were chasing me through the woods. I could barely walk, let alone run. They were almost on me and I broke a clearing onto a lake. My heart sank. If I was healthy I could lose them in the water. But I could hardly move my legs. They were right behind me when I saw a friend in her leather hat staring at the water. She looked at me and nodded and the dream shifted...

I was sliding down the stairs, pulling my useless legs behind me when I slid into a friend's living room. She and her family were all sitting around, drinking hot tea and coffee. Their laughter was infectious. I was so tired. The dream behind me shattered and they told me it was okay to sleep...

They were going to kill us all. I couldn't move my legs. I turned my head to see another friend crocheting snowflakes and throwing them into the air to cool it down and the landscape around me changed. I was outside. We were outside, her and I, and she was still crocheting snowflakes...

As I fell asleep each night, I breathed into the silence of the owl in flight and followed her into dream world, going in on my own terms. Our connection to nature is how we learn to navigate those spaces in between us, between life and death, between breath and not-breath, between water and fire.

Between awake and eyes open.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

To Drive Away the Dark

When darkness finds you, the only way out of it is through it. You have to breath it in and push it out.

I've been talking a lot about love and forgiveness and interconnectedness, and all of that stuff is what I am bringing out of this darkness.

But it was still dark. I woke up on a vent and didn't remember what happened to me. And then in the next second I did. And I didn't want it to be real. I wanted it all to go away.

I woke up in the middle of the night in a darkened hospital and the drugs that kept me alive had me living the strangest, horrible things... One night I was on a leaky cargo freighter that was about to explode. I could hear the water dripping and I felt the damp splashes on my skin. I smelled the rusty metal and tasted the salty brine. I had ten minutes to get off the ship, only I couldn't move my legs! My heart was racing... I worked up a sweat swinging the unusable appendages over the side of the bed...

And then a nurse was patting my hand, reminding me that I promised not to try to get out of bed again, and I kind of remembered that, but I'd never seen her before and I didn't know if she was really a nurse or not. The night terrors filled me with a new appreciation for what the word 'terror' means and I hope none of you ever discover it. I held tightly to the call button each night, as the scene descended and I held onto the images of those I loved who were safe in their homes, thinking of me...

Every night was a different horror. Not that the day was better. Dressing changes meant five people pulling and flipping and debriding me as I tried not to cry, getting pumped full of fentanyl every ten minutes just so I didn't scream. And then they would want me to get out of bed on legs that didn't work and I couldn't believe them when they said it would come with time.

But I had to. I had to find faith. To get through.

At night I played Bach's concertos for the cello, as performed by Yo Yo Ma. I know each note intimately, using them to weave a tapestry of light, and I focused instead on building new skin cells, each a tiny filament blooming in the room and covering my skin until music and flesh created something new.

And the day came that I walked again. I am still walking out of the darkness, but every day the light I go towards is brighter.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Love is the Answer

It's so simple, it's often hard to grasp. Isn't it funny, that life's like that. The simplest things are the hardest to learn. But when I was in limbo, sustained by the heavy drugs and simultaneously tortured by the demons inside me, the only way to protect myself was to fall into love.

Who do you love? Who loves you? Who do you love so much that you hate them? Who have you pushed away that your heart aches for?

Because it's not too late. It's never too late.

Love wins. Love sustains. Loves heals. I'm going to be a broken record about it. In the aftermath of this horrible accident, I have watched love ripple out. Families have come together, and not just my own. People long separated have reconnected. Friends from different corners of worlds have met. Past hurts have been discarded in a choice to move forward... because the love was always there.

Love is the last to leave. In my darkest time, light is swelling and pouring out into the world. I carry the fire that tried to burn me and I have become that light in the world. Find your own way to be a light in the world. It's easy.

If you can love, you can be a beacon. You can be a change. We can all make the world a better place to live.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


I stood, an edgewalker, one foot in the living, breathing world, and the other foot in the unknown mist of whatever comes next. Some of you will know what I mean, because you've been there. It's a terrifying and powerful place.

I wasn't alone in my hospital room. Luminous beings gathered around my bed. They took turns touching me and praying... and guarding me against the demons created by the heavy drugs that were keeping me alive.

I wasn't alone, through the pain. I wasn't alone, in the foggy aftermath of seven surgeries. I was never alone, because we're never alone. This isn't just work I do. It's real. If you want to ascribe it to the drugs, feel free. You don't have to believe.

I saw their hands touching me while my parents worried over me. I saw them trading places beside me while my wife sat vigil. I was never really scared, because I was never alone.
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