People ask, how is it possible for a raw clay pot as thin and delicate as The Flower of Continuous Bloom to survive the pit firing process? It is a simple matter of resistance… there is none. The petals are so thin that the fire’s heat moves effortlessly through the clay. This is the voice of Badger giving, by example, insight into the process of transformation by fire.
I once found myself held fast, arm wrapped to the arm pit, in the trunk of a very angry elephant. I saw in her eye the desire to kill. It was nothing personal, her rage was old and festering. I did not meet her anger with fear and resistance, surely she would have killed me if I had. My deep love and respect for elephants was stronger, in that moment, than fear; stronger even than the hatred she carried for what she had experienced at the hands and ignorance of man.
When our eyes met and I felt the pain in her heart in my own…my heart flung open wide in love and compassion. My willingness to surrender in love to her will dissolved her rage. In that moment she chose to gently untwine our limbs and step aside.
Transformation by fire often feels like the rage of an angry elephant within…and resistance can sometimes mean death. If transformation by fire is what you seek let the flames burn through you, meet them with courage, love and self-compassion. Some of us have chosen to walk through a certain type of hell on earth: walking through the hell, loosening the death grip of resistance and allowing the fires of transformation to burn away the darkness allows us to step forward into a certain kind of heaven on earth.
P.S. I love you Annabelle! And will always remember you in gratitude and love.
It is with great joy and anticipation that I announce the long awaited return of Tree Woman. It was in July of 1991 that the spirit of that gracious birch tree spoke to me there in the woods of Quietude. “What about Tree woman?” was her question to me. We have evolved together over these last 21 years; even during the many years of dormancy when she dwelt quietly within my heart. We were born together in the wilderness of Alaska; persisted through trial by fire on the farm in Colorado, and now here in the heart of Tucson we stand together in solidarity. We dwell for now in the land of her great and powerful husband: Grandfather Saguaro. He is a tower of masculine strength, giving courage and hope to all who gaze upon him. The feminine grace and power of Tree Woman springs back to life in the unlikely Sonoran desert. Let us all jump up and live again.
I knew instinctively when spirit asked for my hair many years ago that, in the long run, the tradeoff would go in my favor. It was with a bit of hesitancy that I let go of Tree Woman’s luxurious plait late last month. Reliving the old attachment I thought, “But it’s what makes her so beautiful!” Proceeding in faith… today Tree Woman is blessed with the sprouting of opposable thumbs! I recall Martin saying that our goal here is to become useful human beings. I see that as I am willing to let go of my insecurities, masquerading as vanities, I allow for growth that moves me more and more fully into the position of useful human being. Having each other as alter egos, Tree Woman and I navigate the world more beautifully. The opposable thumb: symbol of the useful human being.
Esperanza Del Arbol
Just as the tree
is our only hope;
the only hope
Of the Tree.