Carving with the Feather
My first full day on the trail, I awoke so excited for my day. I climbed the number-number hill, and enjoyed the view and included the Land Honoring Song in my morning ritual. What a gorgeous view. The river below, winding through the wilds, with flat-topped lacy trees perfectly spaced in the bush, lit up with a golden gauzy light that may only exist in Africa as far as I can tell. Resplendent. Glowing. Mystical. Amazing.
As I was trained to announce myself to any sacred land by my indigenous earth wisdom mama/teacher Maria Yraceburu, I used my fingers to create a small circle in the chocolate silty soil, and scratched my personal symbol with a twig, set prayers into the circle, and finished my “hello” with a small drop of my spit, a part of myself that holds the codes of my DNA, and the value of my moisture in a dry place. I sent my consciousness down into this soil, then, connecting with the minerals here, with the bones of this land. I beamed my love into this land. My gratitude. My honoring. And I asked again for what I wanted – please, Mama, help me to fully embody in this body, to love myself here as I am, so that I can contribute, serve, and love without distraction. My intention looped back as a big blessing feeling, and I knew the land agreed.
We walked again, with some extra weight in each of our packs, as one of our sisters was struggling with back pain. And I felt grateful for my big strong body – for my long legs, for the heartiness of my digestion and my spine. It was not lost on me that the sister was experiencing excruciating back pain had a “perfectly shaped body” according to my girl-training. So here is another reflection… my body is an instrument, not just a decoration. I am healthy, strong, stabile, resilient in my body. There is so much to be grateful for.
We walked and enjoyed so many animals. Kudu antelope. Wildebeest. And we learned more about identifying the tracks, the dung. Everything here works in silent brilliant harmony. Symbiosis everywhere. And we were walking as a pack. As we walked, single file and silent, the animals could see us as one strange big beast, and this helped us stay safe.
Stopping for a short sharing circle, it was revealed that more than half of our group were now experiencing body pains – pounding headaches, deep sadness, a sore foot, bad back pain. And as I listen and respect my sisters for holding themselves through these challenges, I reflect again – my body feels great! And so I am able to serve.
As we stop to eat our picnic lunch, my eyes are drawn to a long black feather sticking straight up from the ground, maybe 30 feet away. It appears to be glowing, calling to me. What is that? I walk over to this area, a bit closer to where the baboons are having their own lunch, pulling up grasses and seeds from the ground nearby. And yes, a single long glossy black primary right wing feather is on display, calling to me. I retrieve it, and remember how when I first began with the god-given gift of energy healing, I was often called to use such a feather as a sort of etheric scalpel to cut away dense energies, to extract and remove blocks and intrusions from people’s energy bodies, to help them feel better.
I put the feather to use. My sister who has the headache is now in emotional misery as well. Once we arrive at our next camp, I approach with the feather, and clear her field as Saida gives her expert touch to her neck and occiput. Her mood lifts. Her pain releases. She is feeling free and clear. I flick the feather a few times to clear it of any lingering dense energies, and then I use it to cleanse and clear myself. I realize that the wilderness guides are tracking this, curious.
“We have healers too. And prophets,” Zondi shares in a private moment later. This work that bridges the worlds is held with reverence here, but it is not seen as strange in this circle. It is a part of our natural instinctual abilities, our gifts, and our contribution to the community. I feel received, seen, and of deep use. Again, my body is a tool, an instrument. And there is deep beauty in what pours through me.
That night, I sit in my evening contemplation, and I write in my journal, “Can I see that my sisters whose bodies I most envy are feeling pain today? Can I release my critique of my body’s current size and shape? What pins it to me? Am I embarrassed that others may judge me lazy, ugly, repulsive? Do these little rolls and jiggles make me less valuable, less noteworthy? Less beautiful, special, loved? I’ve always needed to be the most physically alluring. It somehow meant “safety” and I don’t know why yet… but I want to understand and release.”
I know it’s insidious, and so common. There was one friend who occasionally made comments, referencing little things about the shape of each of us, especially those of us who were not thin. She spoke it matter-of-factly, not in offense, but rather with kind regard. And yet it triggered me. And I realized she was a bit obsessed too – even though she was fit, thin, petite… she shared her own insecurities, her own need to be sexy, her fears of any fat on her body… her desire to be wanted, and perhaps like my old training – the need to be the “most” beautiful. Oh yes. This is such a mirror for me.
I could feel my grief about the loss of natural habitat for the wild creatures we were seeing, and simultaneously I was grieving a similar intrinsic loss in my culture. I feel my grief and frustration of the loss of body-confidence-habitat of all of us powerful women. What would the world be like if women lost all self-brutality about our bodies? Would we be as harmonious, playful, relaxed, and deeply present as the wild creatures around us?
I took this question to my source, and here’s what came through.
Feral. Unconditioned. Mellissa.
Elementally Fueled – Breath, Water, Orgasm
Moving from impulse and pleasure
Deep reverential respect and pleasure of and with this now body
Take the spiny bra off, the heels off, and CUM
Gushing truth without apology
This is no young girl’s coquette beauty.
this is Raw Real Fleshy power in earth-quaking potency embodied.
Soft, warm, wet and strong – in that order.
There is much space for Gentleness in this wild.
It is the injured WILD that seems rough, pushy, reactive, dangerous.
The Whole WILD, the integrated WILD – is gentle and inviting, connective and kind.
Even the hunting and predating is a balancing force – calling those in pain to feed the leaders.
Not bossy, pushy, controlled
But guided, open, inviting.
This push for sex, attraction, sexual validation – it is a BIG distraction for me. Whether others find me sexy is none of my business. My pleasure and orgasm are not according to a size chart.
I took my feather and turned it on myself, carving away everything that was not in alignment with this channeled statement of Truth of Me.
Muscles in shoulders sides and hips are talking to me, but I feel strong. I’d forgotten how the exertion of hiking clears my mind. Last night on the baboon ledge, I talked with my wild.
That’s what my son Collin said I have that time, in this poem he wrote for me on Mother’s Day a few years ago… and he is right.
I can’t fuck up my beauty.
“What if you let the humans adore you for what you ARE – the power of Her Truth?”
The Beauty of my Soul
To embody this as I wish. None other.
My mom, gorgeous as she was, didn’t always know how to embody her effortless apology-free beauty. How many models do any of us have for this, in this culture? Of course it is harder without a model. Ironically perhaps, I have been told I serve as that model of body-confidence for some others. So me chasing external ideal is not just silly – it’s counter productive to my path!
Now we are washing pots and pans with moist chunks of elephant dung and sand as scrubbers.
Can you imagine big balls of fibrous dung, the size of big melons in a pile?
Did you know hyenas eat bones and turn them into calcium supplement poo for the other creatures to ingest?
Did you know elephants take trees down to eat the roots, creating habitat for others?
Did you know some seeds and pods have to be pooped by elephants or burned in fire just to germinate?
Isn’t that beautiful?
That giraffe carcass, with head and hooves and half skin still on – that giraffe laid down and died here of natural causes, on the top of this perfect hill.
Isn’t that beautiful?
What if the stinky earthy poopy parts of us are also beautiful?
Oh look, a herd of seven stocky zebras, blowing and grunting, just 50 feet away. Oh look “another” giraffe. This beauty is becoming expected. Easy to take it for granted. We don’t even stop to gawk.
This cohesive Garden of Eden is becoming expected, normal, run-of-the-mill. Perhaps this is what re-wilding re-earthing re-membering looks like. Allowing ALL of it, so that we can experience the true Beauty of Cohesive Natural Harmony.
More to come…