Saturday, April 23, 2011

#25 cont. Suitcase Full of Assumptions and Agreements

Hi Birth Peeps,
After the Child internalizes their Book of Rules and grows up, s/he leaves home to make their way in the world. They pack up their clothes, books, and whatnot -- and the invisible Book of Rules they learned or made up as little kids--and they continue to follow those Rules.

After the Call, there are several tasks that ideally need to be done before the Ordeal begins. I have not yet been inspired to paint images for those tasks. However, the next image that did come to me this week was a metaphorical Suitcase of Assumptions and Agreements, made and gathered in childhood, and carried through out life. Not only do we carry it about with every move, new relationship, and new job, but we also pass the Suitcase down to the next generation.

In a dream I had years ago, I saw my Great Grandmother being given an overstuffed leather suitcase on her wedding day, and I saw her pass it down to my Grandmother on her wedding day, and then to my mother on her wedding day. In the next dream-scene, I am sitting in the shade of an crab apple tree in one of my childhood homes, emptying out the suitcase, looking at all the agreements on scraps of paper...sorting them... keeping some and putting others in piles to return to my mother and my grandmothers (who gladly take them back from the grave).

From the dream I realized that we all preserve certain assumptions and "traditions" from our family of origin, and continue living them (because they are familiar or still work for us); others we do not keep.

So a few days ago the Suitcase of Rules wanted to be painted next the the descending ladder, and suddenly a few sheets of paper blew away in the wind. Clearly, the suitcase won't fit through the hole descending into the Ordeal Phase, the underworld of labor.

(By the way, the other day I was having an appointment with Alberto, my hairdresser, who is from Mexico. He was telling me about his dos tias (two aunties) who were parteras (midwives). He said they taught mothers that labor was an "underworld, and labor for women was battle so they had to be Warriors. Do you know what the battle is about?, he asked me. They believe the mother must go to the place between worlds to get her baby, sometimes there is a great battle for her to get the baby and bring it to the family...)

When a human being makes a hero's journey, whether it is through labor or illness... it is inevitable that one of the old agreements/assumptions will be taken, or broken. And this little death allows for the birth of a new agreement or belief.


1 comment:

  1. What a magnificent story your hair dresser told you! As a mother is preparing, to hear a story like that would clearly set the stage for birth as an activity, a doing - not only something that is happening to her which she must endure, but something she must also do.