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Holding Space: Crone Wisdom

Holding Space: Crone Wisdom

Tammy October 22, 2014 0 comments
Photo of flower at the edge of asphalt.  Photo and quote by Tammy Vitale

Photo and quote by Tammy Vitale

I am reading a book, Sacred Success:  A Course in Financial Miracles, and actually doing the assignments in it.  Interestingly this is more about soul than dollars and I think that’s why it has hooked me.  I do not read it unless I have my journal at hand – it triggers a space for diving deep and looking around.

The book talks about ATBS – Addicted to Busyness Syndrome.  “It’s epidemic among women.  Busyness is our drug of choice.  We stuff every cranny of our lives with so much activity that we’ve lost touch with what’s truly essential and what’s actually irrelevant.  We’re running around doing what everyone expects – chauffeuring, cleaning, volunteering – convinced that’s our obligations as women.”

As long as we are busy, we will not notice how much of our power we give away in that busyness.

I spent 25 years working with nonprofits as a community-based organizer holding safe space for community folks

Matamorphosis:  orginal art by Tammy Vitale.  You can see it's creation here:   http://creativeeveryday.com/creativeeveryday/2011/06/metamorphoses-a-guest-post-by-tammy-vitale.html

Matamorphosis: orginal art by Tammy Vitale. Click the picture to go to the blog on it’s creation.

to discover and step into their own power.  I realize that as a Crone, my job hasn’t changed at all.  As with community-based organizing, I don’t have to have all or even any of the answers.  Each person brings answers with them.  My job is to hold a safe space that let’s you take a breath, stop being busy trying to keep the darkness at bay, and “dive into the wreck” [Adrienne Rich] to find and pare down to the truly essential.

What is essential?  Growth.  With all its attendant pains and confusion and, yes, joy.  We have important work:  to weave our piece of the web as only we can do.

To do our important work, first we have to find ourself, then find what we do, then do it.  This is not a one-time thing.  We repeat again and again as “ourself” changes because we grow and gather new experiences.

That’s a lifetime of work and includes lots of transitions:  little deaths and rebirths.  The domain of the Crone is the crossroads of these transition times:  do we go forward or do we get stuck and regress?

Time to surrender to the call.  Or, as Brian Andreus says in his Illusion of Control story:  “If you hold on to the handle, she said, it’s easier to maintain the illusion of control.  But it’s more fun if you let the wind carry you.”

It is helpful and less scary to have a friend or guide when you’re still learning all this!

Over the coming days we’re going to look as several aspects of transitions.  Consider this your safe space:  step in, look around, adjust your eyes to the new light, reach out a hand, know you’re not alone.

Coming:  Compassion( first for ourselves and then for others) leads us to the center of our power.

And, just because, here is Verse XIV from my creation poem, Night Vision

“Can you see in the dark?”  Wolf eyes are yellow slits not
black pools; curious I did not detect that earlier.
Her fur has dried, her paw is on my leg, her breath is
garlic and seaweed
in my face
and the world has turned into liquid
but I can breathe.

“Open your eyes,” she says.
Having come from campfire light
to ocean dark
opening and closing eyes means nothing

there is no difference between open and closed.

“Leave them open.”  I do not know if it is order
or plea.

Slowly from the midst of darkness forms take shape.
Unfamiliar.  Frightening except for the paw steady and sure.

This is what I see:  there are others here.
Just like me.
Blind or half-blind walking
or crawling, running or, sometimes, standing,
each with a guide of fin or fur or plant or stone
being led through dusk not black
but shades of ebony and sable, coal and pitch, soot and smudge,
eel slick and obsidian shine
– with phosphorescent rainbows evident if viewed
from just the right angle
a small step to the side
making a large difference
in exactly what comes into view.

I wonder whether I have been living with my eyes open
or closed.



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