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Diggin in with Dhumavati

Be like the flower, turn your face to the sun. -- Kahlil Gibran

This afternoon as I was putting away my laundry, I found some "winter" items. Those of you who do not have this phenomenon we call winter - you may not understand what I'm about to say. As I put these thick heavy sweaters away, and jostled through the long underwear and turtleneck filled bin under my bed- it seemed impossible that I would be wearing these clothes ever again- let alone in a few short months. Emotionally- although the sun has been out- I have been navigating some of the 'winter bins' of my internal life- the thick heavy sweaters hidden under the bed for years-- mothballs and all. And although the sun has warmed my skin, my heart has felt a dull ache. I've been trying to ignore it, and feeling more and more 'out of place' amongst sun-kissed skin, watermelon slices and long days-- I resisted diving into the dark quiet of this internal winter snowstorm. Today- I decided to go to the harmonium as I was- with the numbness, with the ache, the feeling of not good enough. I chanted to the goddess Dhumavati- the 'smoky one' who comes to us in times of sorrow and disappointment. It is said she reaches out her smoky hand to us in times of loss and darkness, when we need her- she is hideous, haggard and old- not like most of the luscious goddesses-- She is said to represent all that we don't want to see in ourselves and in life, but her grace comes when we look her directly in the eye.

The funny thing is outwardly, my life is full of nothing but things to be grateful for- in the present. We had an incredible time in England, and Oregon, the first legs of our summer tours. But even as I am out in the world, I am healing deep layers of false personality, of childhood wounds, and trauma. No outward bruising, no blood. But a deep ache. And I also have a brain that sometimes has this patterning of depression and anxiety. As the chant began to form- tears came pouring out-- at first I resisted them- a little voice saying "what is it with you? get over it! cheer up!' but I noticed the tears felt a heck of a lot better than the numbness. So I let them come and I sang, and cried, until both the singing and the tears felt complete. And suddenly I could breathe - I could look out at the sunshine and feel compelled to go out in it, maybe plant a small garden in the backyard, and go hug my kids. With three summer festivals to go- there is still a summer breeze in the air- and I look forward to dropping in with you all-- those of you dancing in the sunshine, and those of you feeling a little burned. Come as you are. Be welcome. Breathe. With deep love, Katie katie

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