Biology of Change or Emotional Hurricanes
Written on March 28st. 2009 while digesting a hardcore break-up - corrected and posted December 1st. 2013 while writing a screenplay about love, fertility and water.
We are linked to the soil of our planet by an amazing umbilical cord, which has fed us our entire life. Our mother has eaten the food grown from this soil, which has nourished her body and soul, allowing her to breath, to open her eyes, to wake up and walk, to grow and learn, to fall asleep and dream. Nutriments of the ground have grown her to be a toddler, a young girl, a teenager and a young woman. This food has fed her eggs, future us. Our dad has roughly taken the same path, roughly. And one day, these two amazing, lucky living creatures have met to love each other and create the super lottery winner, us! The food she ate grew the embryo we were, gave her magical strength to push us out of her womb and produced the milk that has fed the newborn we became. Dirt to wheat to bread to human's mouth. We have grown, following the same path, yet sometimes forgetting we're an extension of our mother, of our soil, hence our mother earth, all a perfect chain leading to lucky us. We're babies of the earth. "Humanity" comes from "humus" or soil, and means "earthly beings".
Like our mother soil, we recycle ourselves every minute, every day, every season. Every seven years, our cells are entirely regenerated. We're going through winters and springtimes like any other beings, mammals and else. In winter, a soil is hibernating, resting for a few months in a state of sterility to regroup and wake up stronger after a harsh yet necessary nap. What about us? How do we take our winter break and grow again in the spring? Have we, in the modern cities, lost our ability to know our natural cycles, which were perfectly understood in other cultures?
Some human beings still have their feet on mother ground, and understand nature's cycles by observing their environment: the width of tree rings, the number of onion skins? There's no such thing as a nature separated from us. Nature is one, we are her, she is us, by the umbilical cord. Could we be "in" nature again in modern city time 2013? Can we anticipate disease by tuning in to our organs, like the farmer anticipate rain by looking at the shapes of the clouds in the sky? Can we understand nature better by smelling lilies, kneading a dough of bread, brushing a friend's hair, or looking into a lover's eyes while climaxing?
The circle of nature. We take and give, we eat and expel, we produce and consume, we learn and teach, and we live and die, back to the original soil. We are recycling organisms like our mother earth. Like the good mother she is, she shows us that the more we give back - nourish, repair, replenish, cherish - in short, the better the recycling, the happier the body and soul. Maybe it's where nature exists, even if less visible in the cities, in the healthy process of recycling, in the "eco-nomy" of things, material or immaterial. Each part of us has a function and place. Like Cahuilla Indians of California summarized so well: "Things have to be right" (meaning in accordance with nature).
So. Valuable lesson: to prevent an irreversible "life" food coma, we shall carefully avoid the waste. The more we eat, the harder it is to digest, obviously. Excess are human but digestion should be processed consciously. As fat, painful, sad or dirty as they are, emotional or material wastes should be carefully observed, smelled, understood, loved and reintegrated into something creative, new and alive. Pollution is less the issue than the acceptance of pollution and the healing process of it. Dirt isn’t dirty, nothing is wasted and everything is impermanent.
By nature we change, age, die. People who fight growth claiming an artificial stability, usually accumulate toxicity and end up sick. Let's see, how could a soil suddenly decide to stop growing plants, refuse to get dry, wet, frozen, polluted or eventually die? Isn't it more stimulating to see us as evolving, grounded creatures then immaterial, disconnected beings floating above ground? Do we want to be flimsy creatures that break under cold, melt under sun and rot under rain?
But what happens when a cycle of life is terminated too abruptly? What is nature doing when a sunny day at the beach turns into a tsunami? When something more painful than the coldest winter day, happens out of nowhere? Some events are endured like a life abortion or a painful planned delivery. Death of a love one, abandonment, betrayal, lies, accidents, unbearable wounds like hard break-ups are just our personal hurricanes, wildfires and earthquakes. Our own natural catastrophes. We painfully deny them as we feel that the change is unfair, or too soon. Not now, please! The story isn't over! My fruit isn't ripe yet! I need more time, more life, more love. It's way too soon to fall off the branch. If it ever dies, let the fruit be plumed, laying in the green grass, bitten by a happy mouth.
Yet, as unnatural as they seem, catastrophes ARE natural. Like the fever expels the disease by raising the body temperature, earth is shaking off her diseases by trembling, flushing, and heating up. Personal or universal disasters are little deaths giving us the chance of a clean slate, and in time, the best fertilizer to grow happiness with. Because when the shock is so hard, the survival mode kicks in: a cocktail of phenomenal hormones, natural medicine produced by nature, allows the healing (adrenaline, coagulation or fertile ashes post wildfire). And sometimes a total shut down is diagnosed by earth (a coma or a sterile soil). Imagine a tree fighting the hardest winter of its life. It gathers all it strength to fight the stress of the exceptional cold and if the tree doesn’t freeze too long, it should live even stronger, knowing its furthest limits, surviving its deepest wounds.
Like most Japanese do, we could use a goldfish to warn us of an emotional earthquake. Awareness, anticipation, along with a real connection to our roots, in other words to our planet, in other words to ourselves, can allow us to always keep a little goldfish in the back of our mind. My personal catastrophe: a hard break-up, has started by purposely ignoring the little goldfish I always carry in me. I saw the tsunami from day one but I had to stand still, stay on the beach and wait for the scary wave to take me. The whole experience was schizophrenic. I was suffering but I had to go through it. I ended up calling it my dive into the "bucket of shit". The deeper down the bucket, the smellier the shit. Yes, I hit rock bottom against the smelliest crust of shit. Why didn't I run if I knew the wave was going to hurt so bad. Why didn't I listen to mister goldfish? Well I did actually, and he told me the two sides of the story. He said that if I'd run, I'd never know why that flood was hitting my life so violently. That if I stayed in a comfortable routine, up in the coconut tree, observing the wave from a distance, checking my demons from above, I might never have a real access to my deep bucket, my deep shit, my deep life. I needed a change, to digest something very heavy, unresolved for years, rotten in me. Hibernation and winter weren't enough, I needed an earthquake in the form of a dark man, the sexy shadow in me and face it, like the wild woman does when she finds herself in the dangerous edges of the Special World, in the very dark cave, the underground of her psyche.(Thank you, Pinkola Estes). Facing the wave of water was the same as standing at the entrance of my cave. So I dived in, I really went for it. Dark, scary and delicious, I owned this love story and loved my torturer more than myself. I never turned my back to run until it was completely over. I fucked, I cared, I loved, I craved, I lacked, I was humiliated, I was hurt, I felt like shit, in the bucket of smelly shit and I cried, cried and cried more. I excessed and "intoxified" on love and then granted, I had to detox, which was the hardest part. Lack of breath, lack of sleep, lake of life: a little death. But nature and a nasty email from my demon lover came to rescue, I got angry. Very angry. Heat formed a ball in my throat and flushed my cheeks up, I was ready to fight back. Not directly with the demon who didn't deserved any of my energy at that point, but against manipulation, perversity, injustice, false indifference, moral abuse, nastiness and cruelty in love. Fire fight was the first sign of detachment from the shadow. Fire was my new light, and my new weapon to sweat it out. One day at a time, I finally digested and shit a very nice amount of creative writing, and a completely renewed me. Happier, cleaner, flushed, recycled.
I'm proud. But I know that sometimes we can't recuperate. We freeze. Is fear the enemy? Does it prevent defrosting after winters and leaves us in a permanent hibernating state? Cold. Rootless. Depressed. Anxious. Bitter. Uninterested that springtime will always come, incapable of dropping our sloughing skin? The animal gets scared around a predator. Fear gives him the strength to fight, to survive. Have we lost the ability to use fear to set ourselves in motion back to life, leaving us petrified instead? I was scared, but fear and pain gave me the strength to kick myself back up when I hit the very bottom. Fear is another precious gift of nature. An alarm: a temporary a state with a chance to motion.
And sadness? Can we drown in our own tears? Well, everything gets sad at times, everything gets wet. Mammals grieve the loss of an offspring. The river flows under the rain, the ocean moves under the storm. I like to say: “When a mermaid cries, it only makes more water”. It's just water: cleansing, flushing, changing us. It happens and it passes, like all parts of life, no matter what. A lot of waters, a lot tears meet in the ocean. The function of the ocean is to give life and to recycle death. It's a recipient, not a dumpster, but it will cleanse everything, and nourish us back. To die a little to live, and we shall try to breath through it.
The last step of my recovery was air. To inhale the wound, into my heart and exhale it out, through my back. That breathing exercise was my yoga teacher's Tara's exercise for forgiveness, which means, "to give up", or "to give completely". The acceptance of this difficult part of my life and the let go of it, through my back, back to the universe. Air terminated the work of my own little catastrophe by creating space and carrying away the pain. It was an ultimate experience of complete loss of control, and a final trust of own cycle of nature.
A wise woman friend once told me: "In Arabic culture, we say: there's onion days and honey days." It's a grey day that makes the next sunnier. It passes. Onion to honey. Always. Winter ends, resting soils make fertile soils, good nights make better days, stinky manure makes the gorgeous rose. Even our emotional catastrophes, our break-ups, diseases and death are part of the seasons of life. Part of the complex eco-system and atmosphere we live in, and call planet earth. Earth, Fire, Water and Air do their work, always. As long as we accept, digest then let emotional hurricanes pass, the energy of life always recycles, always wins, and always thrives.