Saturday, September 18, 2010

The baby, the bucket, and the bathwater


After listening to the recent Coast To Coast Broadcast, our very dear friend, Dianne Arcangel, shared with us that she was especially touched by my (August) relating a childhood memory of my grandfather, who was the village's dowser. When somebody needed to find water, usually to drill a well, and sometimes to avoid costly digging into underground streams — my Granddad would be called upon to locate the water's source and movements, which he did with a forked stick. While many dowsers are known to rely on only a certain kind of tree for their dowsing stick, Granddad would take his from any tree on the site he was dowsing. It's my understanding that somehow the tree was connected to the water by virtue of its growing there, and gave Granddad a certain vibrational connection with the living energies of the water he was dowsing.

My particular memory goes terribly far back, perhaps one of my oldest, yet most vivid, perhaps because of its nature. It was a very hot, bright, summer day, and I was at my grandparents' house with several cousins, who all lived nearby. Altogether, along with my brother, there were five of us. I would guess the oldest of us was maybe 6, and the youngest 3. I've no idea why, but Granddad took us all out to the field behind his house, and cut dowsing sticks for each of us from some tree that was growing next to the grapevine hedge. He then set out about half a dozen zinc buckets full of water at various spots throughout the field — which had just been mowed of its straw — and demonstrated to us what he wanted to do. Eyes closed, he seemed to wander randomly about the field at first but then suddenly walked straight up to a bucket of water, and the stick was bent downwards at the water. "Now you all do it! Close your eyes, no peeking!" I'm quite certain not a one of us was successful at finding water his way, other than walking into the buckets and knocking them over.

I remember feeling frustrated and kept insisting I would get the hang of it, but I never did. My abilities were of a different nature, which my Grandma recognized and supported in her own quiet ways. She came from a large family with many sisters, and they were all known for their special ways in the arts of country magic; I suppose they were considered witches but nobody used words like that; the people in those Appalachian mountains were very private and very reserved and respectful of any rare ability that was useful. It was in my grandparents' small dining room where I remember seeing Risen relatives sitting against the wall, watching us eat and talk, but never joining us. They were also rather solemn, but sometimes would wink or smile at me. There was often a realness to them that felt more comfortable, and well, more real, than the people who sat at the table eating.

And so then — and now — I've never felt alone or lonely in my entire life, the way I hear other people describe what being lonely is like. Well, that's not true -- maybe a few times, whenever I allowed myself to be cut off from the near-constant presence of the Risen who watched over me and kept me company. Usually it was some deep anger or resentment that I gathered and manifested into a temper tantrum or a "snit" (as my family called it) that made me feel disconnected from the greater Spirit Reality I normally felt part of. The deliberate unkindness of others towards me also made me feel cut off and horribly alone. The eventual descent into my own hell of alcoholism also tore my spiritual connection asunder, piece by painful piece; it's no wonder I describe my instantaneous remission into sobriety as the greatest spiritual event of my life. But until then, I did get a sense of what others meant when they shared how awful loneliness was, and how they would (and did) go to any lengths to end it. I would rather not try to imagine what it must be like to feel this cut off from the all-loving and sustaining Universe all the time, as many people apparently feel. In fact, imagining or worrying about loneliness will begin the process of manifesting it. We must be ever-aware and watchful of the portals of our mind, which is the same Mind of Creator Source.

My initial grief over Tim's transition also cut me off in the same way, until he found his way — with Risen help — back to me, which triggered my "on switch" back from "off" . . . and awakened me back to the realization that he wasn't gone or far away, but actually closer than ever, because we could now truly share minds and finer, deeper spiritual senses and feelings. Once the grief was allowed to follow its own process, its own transition, I changed in spiritual ways; otherwise, staying and feeding the grief would have kept me stuck, unable to move through the pain.

This is what we wish for the readers of The Risen, that they somehow come to this same experiential understanding about Greater Reality, of which they are an inseparable part, just like the tree my Granddad used for his dowsing that was inseparable from the earth, water and sky around it; all are of the same Ground; all are connected; none are alone or lonely, and never need be. The baby, the bucket, and the bathwater may appear separate, but they are not separated — they are each part of It All.

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