The Killing Jar

Image“Enter into direct dialogue with the Life/Death/Life nature by listening to the inner voice that is not ego. Learn by asking the Life/Death/Life nature direct questions about love and loving and then listen to her answers. Through all, we learn not to be misled by the nagging voice at the back of our mind that says, “This is silly…I’m just making this all up.” We learn to ignore that voice and listen to what is heard beyond that. We learn to follow what we hear -all those things that bring us closer to acute awareness, the love of devotion, and a clear view of the soul.

It is good to make a meditative and daily practice of untangling the Life/Death/Life nature over and over again. When we are untangling this nature, it would be good for us to sing something like this: What must I give more death to today, in order to generate more life? What do I know should die, but am hesitant to allow to do so? What must die in me in order for me to love? What not-beauty do I fear? Of what use is the power of the not-beautiful to me today? What should die today? What should live? What life am I afraid to give birth to? If not now, when?

If we sing the song of consciousness till we feel the burn of truth, we throw a burst of fire into the darkness of psyche so we can see what we’re doing…what we’re truly doing, not what we wish to think we’re doing. This is the untangling of one’s feelings and the beginning of understanding why love and life are to be lived by the bones.”

~Clarissa Pinkola Estes~

Photo by Michael C. Mendez

http://www.saatchiart.com/art/Photography-The-Killing-Jar/71626/1232482/view

*title for today’s post comes from the title of the photograph

Crow Brothers

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Hidden in bare branches 

A crow cawed out his sorrows

He glided down to the water’s edge

In protest to greyish, white seagulls

Bobbing in sunlight sparkle

No one listened, or turned a head

To Mr. Crow’s cackles, lost

In the cold, brisk wind

So off he flew

Back to brothers 

That he knew.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2014

Artist: Beverly Brown

http://www.beverlybrown.com/home/

Brittle Arms

“Be still, my soul, be still; the arms you bear are brittle, Earth and high heaven are fixt of old and founded strong.” ~A.E. Housman~ It has been my experience that through brittle fragility, I have consistently found the courage … Continue reading

La Loba, The Wolf Woman

 

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“Over intellectualization can obscure the patterns of the instinctual nature. So, to further our kinship relationship with the instinctual nature, it assists greatly if we understand stories as though we are inside them, rather than as though they are outside of us. We enter into a story through the door of inner hearing. The spoken story touches the auditory nerve, which runs across the floor of the skull into the brainstem just below the pons. There, auditory impulses are relayed upward to the consciousness or else, it is said to the soul…depending on the attitude with one listens. Ancient dissectionists spoke of the auditory nerve being divided into three or more pathways deep in the brain. They surmised that the ear was meant , therefore, to hear at three different levels. One pathway was said to hear the mundane conversations of the world. A second pathway apprehended learning and art. And the third pathway existed so the soul itself might hear guidance and gain knowledge while here on earth. Listen then with soul-hearing now, for that is the mission of story.

Bone by bone, hair by hair, Wild Woman comes back. Through night dreams, through events half understood and half remembered, Wild Woman comes back. She comes back through story.”

La Loba

There is an old woman who lives in a hidden place that everyone knows in their souls but few have ever seen. As in the fairy tales of Eastern Europe, she seems to wait for lost or wandering people and seekers to come to her place.  

She is circumspect, often hairy, always fat, and especially wishes to evade most company. She is both a crower and a cackler, generally having more animal sounds than human ones. 

I might say she lives among the rotten granite slopes in Tarahumara Indian territory. Or that she is buried outside Phoenix near a well. Perhaps she will be seen traveling south to Monte Albán in a burnt-out car with the back window shot out. Or maybe she will be spotted standing by the highway near El Paso, or riding shotgun with truckers to Morelia, Mexico, or walking to market above Oaxaca with strangely formed boughs of firewood on her back. She calls herself by many names: La Huesera, Bone Woman; La Trapera, The Gatherer; and La Loba, Wolf Woman.

The sole work of La Loba is the collecting of bones. She collects and preserves especially that which is in danger of being lost to the world. Her cave is filled with the bones of all manner of desert creatures: the deer, the rattlesnake, the crow. But her specialty is wolves.

She creeps and crawls and sifts through the montañas, mountains, and arroyos, dry riverbeds, looking for wolf bones, and when she has assembled an entire skeleton, when the last bone is in place and the beautiful white sculpture of the creature is laid out before her, she sits by the fire and thinks about what song she will sing.

And when she is sure, she stands over the criatura, raises her arms over it, and sings out. That is when the rib bones and leg bones of the wolf begin to flesh out and the creature becomes furred. La Loba sings some more, and more of the creature comes into being; its tail curls upward, shaggy and strong.

And La Loba sings some more and the wolf creature begins to breathe. And still La Loba sings so deeply that the floor of the desert shakes, and as she sings, the wolf opens its eyes, leaps up, and runs away down the canyon. 

Somewhere in its running, whether by the speed of its running, or by splashing its way into a river, or by way of a ray of sunlight or moonlight hitting it right in the side, the wolf is suddenly transformed into a laughing woman who runs free toward the horizon. 

So remember, if you wander the desert, and it is near sundown, and you are perhaps a little lost, and certainly tired, that you are lucky, for La Loba may take a liking to you and show you something—something of the soul.

~Clarissa Pinkola Estes~

Imagepaintings by Susan Seddon Boulet