Wounds I Forgotten About
Published on March 23, 2011
And years later, right around my 10th birthday (I think), my dad married a woman who took me aside privately and told me on their wedding day that things were going to change–that I had no place in their family–that my father would be adopting her daughter and one daughter is all that they needed.
A hellish year later–poof!–my dad vanished from my life and I never saw him again till I was 25 years old. One long visit is all I needed to make amends with years of pain. And my life changed drastically from that moment on.
Same year I was sitting in a train station in Rome for Milan when I wrote a letter to my old self–the troubled girl who carried the burden of his abandonment for so many years–I wrote a letter to her saying goodbye–adios–ciao–and I left it under a bench in a dirty old train station in Rome, Italy.
And somewhere between Mister B Beautiful Buttons and my father walking down the wedding aisle–he gave me a paperback book on yoga. It was the size of those trashy romance novels–and it was packed full of black and white photos of women and men in leotards doing silly poses. He told me to study it–and sometimes at night before I would go to bed I would twist and turn myself into the shapes in those pages.
Lion. Tree. Warrior. Fish. Bridge.
Ten years later since my visit to Rome–this past Friday night, I went to my very first Kirtan concert with Jai Uttal. There was probably fifty people barefoot, sitting cross legged on the studio floor when Jai walked in the room. Immediately I could see his radiance–I could feel joy emanating from his pores. He embodied Bhakti–great love–devotion.
My favorite part of his singing is when he would burst into a guttural moan that seemed to spin around the globe picking up particles of pain, suffering, joy, and bliss before it made it’s way to my ears. I could feel it seep into my own skin and begin to pulsate to the center of my mind.
Honestly, I had no idea what to expect when I arrived that night.
I’ve done Kirtan before–but never for two hours straight. And never with such a large group or a grammy award winner.
It took me a little while to surrender. To finally close my eyes, go inward, and give myself over to the flow of the sanskrit and the magic of the melody. I finally let go. I finally felt it.
Free and joyous.
And the strangest thing happened.
I saw myself in sepia tone dancing in a temple. And as I saw myself–I was that self–and I completely let go of my present reality of sitting barefoot, cross legged on the studio floor in Phoenix, Arizona.
I started to dance wildly in that temple. Spinning. Spinning. Spinning. Until I found myself–and saw myself dancing down the street of my childhood home. I made my way into my sepia tone childhood kitchen and danced on the dinner table as my mother, stepfather, brother, and my childhood self ate together–I danced my way down the hall to my childhood bedroom where my little body laid crying in bed. I danced on top of her–my feet moving wildly–over her toes, across her torso, and like a mad tap dancer all over her head. And I made my way out the window and into the sepia tone street again. All the way across Ohio till I found myself in the front yard of my father’s home.
And I danced. And I danced. And I danced.
I danced around his house and I danced on top of his roof. I danced my way through a window and danced up and down his stairs. I saw my father laying there in bed looking ill and I danced on top of him like I did to my childhood self.
I danced so hard that laughter poured out of me like rain. And I danced in his room until it became full of sepia tone flowers and I opened my eyes to silence.
To a beautiful pause at the end of a chant.
To sitting barefoot, cross legged, in a sea of yogis, in a studio in Phoenix, Arizona.
To a life I created.
To a life I now dance in,
on the roof of my dreams,
through the window of my deep expanding heart.
I went to a Jai Uttal concert on Friday night.
And I left there–
From wounds I forgotten about.