She is a part of the rugged landscape. No longer do I turn away in dread, but instead, everyday I look for her face and its crevices, imagining her anguished cries. She tells me of drought and neglect through her visual metaphors. She teaches me as I picture the razing fires and freezing rains.
The mountain doesn’t reject this woman, but rather holds her, in all of her devastation and beauty, as Spirit holds all of me. This is but a chapter in the whole. Her face, engraved here before me, surely knows the truth of a sacred wound. Even in the sincerest confession, she declares it with no blame, no if only and no childish tantrum, only the acknowledgment of a particularly hard season in her life.
As I look at a broader expanse of land, the meaning becomes more focused. It is a message about missed unions without, but even more about her own parts and their failed unions within. Like a Picasso, the landscape serves to point out the disjointedness in her…and in me.
I gaze at her head and how it is disconnected from her body and want to weep for her, for I remember times when I compartmentalized well and the toll that it took on my life. And then I began to learn how to let go of much thinking and knowing, concentrating on being present.
This woman in laborious pain shows her swelling belly and all of the good that she is birthing. I notice how her womb is not in line with her head, or her heart. With each push, she invites me to consider the times when I slipped from passion into performing, until I could courageously take another step to create the path that would lead me home.
From Creation’s Bible, this woman’s image reminds me that only after sitting in the holy dark where, finally, I imagined the limitations far beyond that which I could see was I able to take the first step. It was in those times of choosing to befriend what I did not know that I found union within myself. Therein lay another transformation, morphing me deeper into Life.
I love these mountains that are fearless in telling the complete story, all they have survived in their strength. And I love this woman who is unafraid to show a chapter of grief, of shame, refusing to let thieves, in all of their assumed correctness, pillage the joy that comes from living wholeheartedly.
And so, Sacred Wisdom within nudges me to embrace the joy, to linger with the pain, as long as it takes, and to find things for which to be grateful, even in the ordinary, giving equal respect to the whole of me, just as this landscape has done.