The Bone Collector
I am traversing the ominous midlife stage of my soul’s journey- the hazardous 42. This midpoint of the lifespan can be described through the following analogies;
1. Imagine yourself standing in a public space and a person wearing a t-shirt that says ‘I call bullshit’ approaches you and tears at all your clothes leaving you naked and shivering amongst hoards of clothed people.
2. You have just finished work and walk to your car to find all the doors have been removed, your bonnet has been painted with the word ‘fraud’ and your fluffy seat covers have been remodelled into the grim reaper sitting behind the wheel holding a note addressed to you.
3. You are out for dinner and have a very sudden urge to use the bathroom, you open the door that says ‘toilet’ and find yourself in a stadium, a lone toilet sits in the middle of a crowd of 10,00 people holding placards that say ‘crap or die’.
This is the time historically when I should be having an affair with my secretary and buying a sports car. The urge to shed everything I have created in this ‘self’ is intense, this person I have inhabited for the past 41 years feels like a caricature from a time I do not recognise anymore. Something inside of me is scratching to get out, desperate to find a crack in the well- crafted architecture of my identity. The safety I once felt in ‘knowing myself’ is dissolving by the day and everything that bonds me to a role, responsibility or formed ‘self’ is unsticking. I can feel the emergence of a limitless energy that wants to free me from the cords of being a daughter to my parents, a mother to my own child, a friend, lover or significant something to someone.
I don’t want to be anyone.
I recognise this on some level as a deeper love that lives at my core rising up, a love that cannot be funnelled into form but is inherently free. This love wants to move to the pulse of the cosmos, guided by the whispers of formlessness.
It cannot live inside anything.
This almost primal urge to break free from my 41 year old ‘form’ is both painful, deeply vulnerable and scary as hell. Sometimes I get wafts of ecstasy in this shedding, small glimpses of rapture but mainly I am in the dismantling process and it is messy. I am still gripping at the weathered woods of a ship that is sinking, breaking up and being flung around wild seas.
This process is taking me further away from the comfort of the world I once rested in; my place in a family, a friendship group, romantic connections, a job description, a gender. My worldview is shifting drastically from being individually centred to wanting to be centred in the emptiness of space. The controlling patterns that have provided a sense of safety and order in my life are squirming under the gaze of my emerging soul. As I slowly succumb to the knowledge that I have actually never been in control, my inner control commanders want to burn everything and everyone to ashes, or spiral into lunacy. They refuse to bow down without some form of combat.
This self -detonation process is also taking down in its bloody grip my formed opinions, passions, likes/dislikes, notions of good and evil; mental flotsam from the past 41 years. I both fluctuate from surrender into the somewhat dull state of an empty mind to a ferocious defence of my territory of opinions, views and analysis.
I have just emerged from a week long training guiding 30 women into the heart of the feminine mysteries and surfacing today I hold the feeling of wanting whatever transpired to disappear. I don’t want to be held to my words or ideas, I want the magic that unfolded to be porous, the rituals to become luminous liquid, flowing back into the ocean of everything.
I have been comforted during this midlife transit of the story of La Loba, called by many names, bone collector, wolf woman, she collects the skeletons of wild animals and sings their bodies back to life.
She creeps and crawls and sifts through the montanas, mountains, and, dry riverbeds, looking for wolf bones, and when she has assembled an entire skeleton, when the last bone is in place and the beautiful white sculpture of the creature is laid out before her, she sits by the fire and thinks about what song she will sing.
And when she is sure, she stands over the creature, raises her arms over it, and sings out. That is when the rib bones and leg bones of the wolf begin to flesh out and the creature becomes furred. La Loba sings some more, and more of the creature comes into being; its tail curls upward, shaggy and strong.
And La Loba sings more and the wolf creature begins to breathe.
And still La Loba sings so deeply that the floor of the desert shakes, and as she sings, the wolf opens its eyes, leaps up, and runs away down the canyon. *
This solstice is my 42nd birthday and I am calling to the voice of La Loba to sing back new flesh, blood and fur onto my bones and for my carcass to decay gracefully, preferably in a private cave like setting but more likely it will be in the open expanse of a desert filled with everything.