Some of us face immediate circumstances that require healing.
The paper cut that actually needs a bandage to contain a couple drops of blood and tighten the skin’s connection to re-seal. The sprained ankle that requires rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Some of us face cumulative life experience that benefits from deliberate healing attention. Loss of loved ones that you realize takes decades to integrate. Paths fulfilled that require a marker in time, and unfulfilled, that require ceremony and ritual.
Healing isn’t an event. It’s an attention. And, I want to believe, natural.
The body and the psyche are coded for wholeness. There’s just a few things that are readily available and try to convince us otherwise, and distract away from an inherent resilience.
Well, that’s good. And, healing isn’t about never being sick. Or never being wounded. Or never feeling loss. Life offers these. Sometimes imposes them.
Count it as a gift to have friends that lend support to our respective healing, be they personal and in the moment, or cumulative that come from life lived. Count it as gift to be witnessed, and encouraged to lean into the sorrow and the wound rather than protected from. The existential has always been as interesting to me as the psychological and the physical.
Yes, I would suggest that we can’t be human without knowing a time or two, even collapsing a time or two, in to the nicks, scrapes, cuts, bruises, wounds, and losses that come with this guest house that is human being (thanks Rumi).
Quanita Roberson, has been one of those friends for me, sharing a few key inspirations with me this week as I tend to the transition that is euthanizing my family dog, Shadow, and the galaxy of stories and memories that connect to such a time.
The poem is from Pesha Gertler, a Seattle area poet and teacher, that died a couple of years ago. She was known for bringing poetry to public places, like on buses and in city council.
The Healing Time
Pesha Gertler (Seattle Area Poet and Teacher)
Finally on my way to yes
I bump into
all the places
where I said no
to my life
all the untended wounds
the red and purple scars
those hieroglyphs of pain
carved into my skin, my bones,
those coded messages
that send me down
the wrong street
again and again
where I find them
the old wounds
the old misdirections
and I lift them
one by one
close to my heart
and I say holy