Kuan Yin

Kuan Yin

This morning I woke up at 7am.  I stumbled to the bathroom, still exhausted from a late night of giggling and horribly executed pool with a group of women friends.  I climbed into the shower, turned on the water and soaked in the warmth.  After drying off with one of the fabulous Egyptian cotton towels Juan and I had acquired as newlyweds, I put on my favorite brown pants, my favorite green tee, my favorite dzi beaded necklace.  I then threw open all the windows in the house and propped the doors open wide and waited for Pat.

After the whole racoon incident this spring, Pat and I agreed that I needed to do some sort of space clearing.  But between our mutually crazy schedules, a house that was far too chaotic to bless, and my lack of focus on my feng shui studies this summer we couldn’t get it together.  After much back and forth over the last two months Pat and I had finally arrived on today as the perfect day to do it.

With Max out of the house on a sleepover, my dear housemate, my friend Pat and I were able to work together.  We lit candles in each room and went through the ancient Chinese ritual with seriousness of purpose, lightness of spirit and a great deal of laughter.  We rang bells that boomed and chimed, announcing to all the neighborhood that something sacred or blessed was happening at our place this early Sunday morn. 

I am leaning heavily on ritual this month.  Chinese rituals, Jewish rituals, Jen Lemen rituals…you name it,  I am all over it.

As a girl without much of an organized church, I am craving things that help me make meaning out of our world–out of this transitional space I am in.  To make some sense out of the waiting place where I sit.

With my divorce agreement signed, but the court date not yet set I am in divorce limbo.  I have decided I want to date again, and maybe even fall in love, but I have no idea of how this will happen and so my heart is in limbo there too.   

I can’t help but think that I am a traveler, hanging out at the airport, waiting for my connection, with no idea when it will arrive.  The longer that I sit in this place, the more I anticipate getting to my final destination & the more anxious I become.  I know that I will not always be in this space but this feeling of being stuck somewhere along the journey is maddening. 

So the rituals are soothing.  They remind me that all is as it should be.  They keep me calm.  They also give me a sense that by asking for help I have some sort of control over whether and when my journey will get moving again and I will move out of the in between place. 

Its as though I am wandering over to the ticket counter to check on the status of the delayed connecting flight–and to remind people who have the power to help that I really do want to leave this spot.  I know my ritual of checking doesn’t make it happen any sooner but it gives me a sense of control AND because I ask so gently and politely I may just win over the staff who can actually do something nice for me.  And having gone through the ritual-I can rest and relax some–talk to the people next to me, wander off to the bookstore, get a chair massage, take a nap and make the most of limbo. 

And this relief, this permission to keep living, keep exploring even when forward motion seems virtually impossible…isn’t that what it’s all really about, ritual anyway?  Its the thing you do to give you the freedom to find the most unexpected magical chocolate shop, the one you would never have known was there but for a long long layover on your way to sweet sweet dreams.

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