Back from the desert

Ruth and Larry in base campThe School of Lost Borders California Fall Vision Fast was amazing! I was an assistant for the 11 fasters and the two incredible guides, Ruth and Larry. Some people marked their passage into adulthood, and others into elderhood. It was such an honour to witness the courage and vulnerability these fasters showed as they faced the unknown and went to fast alone in the desert.

Base camp with Ruth and Larry was so much fun, with gorgeous weather and very little wind. We were in the Eureka Valley, in foothills surrounding a big open bowl of flat desert floor. I had a few amazing runs there, as well as My tentin the area around Big Pine, where we camped before and after the solo time. A night run as the moon was coming up out of the White and Inyo Mountains was incredible!

I’ll write more next week about the medicine walk I went on, for which Ruth and Larry helped me clarify the intention I brought to the desert, of working on anger. It was such a gift to work with these two guides, and I have a new grounding as a result of it. More to come…

The wheel turns to fall again

Monkey Valley moonBefore I leave for California I need to make formal recognition that the wheel of the year has turned once more… another fall is here.

This is the time when the child of summer grows into the self-reflective adolescent. Where the child is pure emotion, the adolescent is more hesitant to act freely, more concerned with what other people might think. And, concerned about the effects of our actions on others.

For me, this is a maturing of steeping the red energy of summer in the black cauldron of self-awareness. What effect does my anger have on others? Does it serve me? Does it really serve the truth of who I am? Lately friendships have been falling away like sequins off a wedding dress. Does being true to who I am mean letting go of these friendships because people don’t appreciate me the way I am? Or am I being loyal to an old self-image that no longer serves me? As I look back over my life, most friendships and romantic relationships have ended with an angry scene. Although it’s true that sometimes we need that angry energy to separate, and sometimes anger is definitely the appropriate response to being treated badly, neglected, or abused, the maturing part of me is beginning to question the way I express the anger.

Sure, it’s fun to let it rip… It can feel very satisfying, especially when someone has behaved in ways that I felt hurt by. I’m thinking of one event in particular that occurred this summer… Sometimes the energy of expressing anger can reveal the hidden truth in a situation. And¬†yet it makes most people uncomfortable, and the loss of a friendship is a high price to pay. My friend Dorrie was the only person I’ve ever met who seemed to love me fully when I was angry; it didn’t phase her. What a gift to have that acceptance.

So this is the exploration I am taking with me into the Owens Valley desert region in Eastern California. What inner exploration are you doing this fall?

Here are some entries from the past about the energies of the West, which is the fall quadrant of the wheel:

The mystery of the West

Falling into the West

The West