Tuesday, September 25, 2007


On my morning walk, I noticed the neighbor’s new lawn, painstakingly scraped of crab grass, tilled and planted about a month ago, now has a stubble of pure emerald lawn, as neat and suburban as you could hope for -- and this morning, there are five ugly molehills, like blackheads on smooth skin.

There were no molehills previously, so I can only assume they loved the softer, tilled dirt, and are having fun in their new playground. For me, it was a perfect symbol of the individuation process -- after a loss, after a shock, the ground is churned up, but we try to smooth our outer veneer, try to “start again” with a nicer persona, maybe with a new group… and in the unconscious, the moles are making tunnels, and overnight some ugly, ancient memory or emotion has surfaced, all the more obvious in the polished outer veneer. The unconscious cares not for lovely lawn; perfect surfaces are irrelevant. The rich compost thrown up by the digging is the essential element, and no dismay on the ego’s part will dissuade the digger. Stamping down on the mounds just pushes it up elsewhere.

Some people do go to extreme lengths -- flooding, poisoning or dynamiting one’s unconscious via substances leaves poisons in the soil, even if it succeeds for a while in stopping the mounds. Trapping (dealing with individual issues) works more efficiently, but it may be that what is needed is simply to accept that we have moles. Or rather, we have the kind of soil that moles love. And is that so bad? Does that not say that our unconscious is fertile soil? Perhaps the solution is to plant a flower garden, but then, I hear moles love flower roots… so… how to live with moles?

On this, my 52nd birthday, after a very hellish year that saw most of my creative outlets destroyed or cut off, I am learning to live with my moles. I feel a bit like a mole coming up for air… hopefully not as blind, but certainly tunneling my way towards something unseen, unknown. Today, in a wonderful affirmation and synchronicity, I will be taking a step toward a new future, tunneling however blindly, toward a new garden. Re-starting my blog is a part of this… the rest remains to be seen.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fall Equinox - Balance

Today, the Fall Equinox, is the day the Earth balances day and night. It is hard, in this culture of artificial light (think of that symbolism!) to be as aware as our ancestors were of this momentary pause, before the dark and the cold sweep in for half a year. Even living in a rural neighborhood, I find myself caught up in new projects, new groups -- the whole “back to school” mentality that contrasts deeply with the Harvest/ pulling-in energy of this season. Of course, in this “rural” neighborhood, apples and pears litter the road and verges, a nuisance rather than a harvest. What seems clear is that our culture has come so far out of balance that we don’t even know where the pivot point is. We attempt balance, but are too far away from center, and we wonder why it doesn’t work. And most people don’t even see why that’s a problem -- our technology allows us to ignore the seasons, the cycles and the environment. Even if we give lip service to them, or mentally acknowledge we are part of the ecology, we have lost the connection that would bring it home on a daily basis. Fall is when the pumpkin lattes are featured; and -- more and more -- when the first Christmas decorations are offered for sale. Merchants shift their products with the seasons, but placing a plastic/gypsum scarecrow on your porch does not alter the psyche. And that is what our environment -- and our psyches -- need desperately right now: a shift, an alteration that puts us back in balance.

But part of that shift is an acknowledgement of death, and that our culture is phobic about. Endings, partings, loss -- we cover it over, make it “go away” refuse to see the many deaths that create the products in our lives, the many deaths that happen all around us daily -- too busy, we say, with our own lives. Until, inevitably, the loss hits us. Even then, we are advised to stay busy, keep going -- rarely do we attempt the descent to the Underworld that is represented by the upcoming season. Those who do find little support or understanding in their neighbors and friends. We call it Seasonal Affective Disorder -- perhaps the problem is that we are resisting our own pull to hibernate, dream, renew? The “depression” could be the gap between how busy the culture wants us to be and our own bodies/psyches asking us to pull in, seed-like, until the next blooming time. Of course, thoughts of suicide are danger signs no matter when they come. But I do wonder if we were given the time to go inward, without feeling like failures, would the process feel as painful and “depressing” as it does now? And would we find hidden treasures in our own depths?

And therein lies the hidden blessing of the season -- if we can accept and reclaim our shadow sides, our darkness, we will find a ground of being that renews, restores and brings us back to the blooming time. We could learn that our lives are in fact a larger version of the same cycle, and therefore aging is akin to this Autumn/Winter but that there is another Spring beyond our perception.