So much gratitude this morning for those who came to do the work of spinning gold from the darkness with me at yesterday's grief ritual in Portland. When our hearts are sincere, our hands willing, our minds open and our hearts surrendered, our souls begin to awaken as we remember and reclaim what it is to be a village again.
In the closing circle one participant shared that at their first grief ritual with me last year that they had felt overwhelmed by the depth of emotion expressed at the shrine, but were surprised this time to have experienced a new sense of ease and gratitude, even joy, for the same depth and breadth of grief they had witnessed.
This is why I do this work, so that we can learn to welcome our own and others’ grief, seeing its intensity simply as evidence of how deeply our love has entered the world, as a sign that our souls are truly awake, and as the greatest form of praise. For when we can see the face and voice of grief as something sacred, we no longer need fear it like some strange and frightening creature in the dark.
When we tell of our despair, moving our sorrows out from their hiding places, we are offering our hearts to the one who weaves a golden thread through all that is broken in this world and that makes all things stronger in the broken places. In hearing the cries of the world and sitting vigil with the suffering we can hold each other through any storm.
So much gratitude for Sobonfu Somé who carried the rituals of her village here to the West and urged those who feel called to create sacred spaces for communal grieving, for Michael Meade for carrying songs and stories to inspire and strengthen our hearts, for Francis Weller for his wisdom and guidance in the realm of the dark, and for Joanna Macy whose Bodhisattva footsteps I humbly walk in.