It’s fair to say that life since returning to Portland has felt like a bit of a test.
Do we want to be here?
Are we happy?
Is this meant for us?
These are deeply personal questions. And while I ask them of myself, we also explore this somewhat endlessly between us. On drives. In quiet moments, or busy days, before coffee and after beers. Often in hushed tones or private moments because we agree that the process is personal.
Staying in touch with our own feelings on the matter is task enough.
To compound the feeling, we’ve been planning our nuptials and that involves a metric ton of decision making, follow through, organization, patience, communication, and money. Mix in there some pretty heavy grief on both of our parts, the stress of demanding jobs, an unusually long, grey winter, and an unforeseen housemate all summer long.
To say that I’m looking forward to the future is an understatement.
I can’t wait for this wedding. I can’t wait for married life! I can’t wait to take some time away from it all, just the two of us, without any wedding planning. But in the meantime …
From April 6-August 25 2017, Saturn has been retrograde in Sagittarius. Sarah Varcas, brilliant intuitive astrologer, put it this way:
We must now face without guile the impact of who we once were. Saturn retrograde offers an opportunity to process the experiences and insights since its arrival in Sagittarius in September 2015. Cast your mind back and reflect upon all that has happened since then: changes welcome and otherwise, shocks and surprises, the new that arrived, the old that left and those things which seem forever intransigent! Saturn speaks most deeply about the latter now [the forever intransigent], revealing why we struggle to change unhelpful habits, get a grip of negative behaviours or marshal our inner resources in a constructive way. In doing so it reveals exactly what we must sacrifice to be free; where we bind our self to a comfortable status quo that keeps us safe.
Y’know, in all of the reading I’ve done before now on this theme (facing shadow, going into shadow, facing without guile, etc.), I subtly, as if by default, assumed that this required bravery. A kind of warrior bravery. Like slaying some sort of dragon.
But I don’t think it’s that at all. I think instead, it’s been the opposite. Dropping in. Enter softly. Just looking. Offering softness. Saying: I have room for you. I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.
This is ho’oponopono.
Over the last few months, I’ve done a ton of releasing. Made offerings. Let it go.
In some ways, it was easier when I was elsewhere: I felt less accountability while I lived abroad. I held fewer feelings of obligation (which weigh everything down). In Portland I feel some responsibility to maintain relationships to people and places and versions of myself.
But it has occurred to me that being who you are now while you’re away from home is a different bag than being who you are now while you’re at home. Home knows you as you were. Home holds our past and our future at the same time.
If I took a poll of how people reconcile their present selves with where they’ve come from, it seems like the goal is reintegration — but that concept presupposes separation. I think for me, living at home in the present is more like the practice of being in two separate moments in time at once. There’s me, and there’s me again. There’s me (the hurt version). There’s me (the healed version).
There’s something about the dry grass at this time of year that reminds me of other chapters. Empty schoolyards at Main. The field behind FCHS. Living on 64th. These last days of August, when the light is golden. I’m amazed to think of all the Augusts that have come before; those lazy, long days. The summer we take for granted. The one that ends and suddenly we find ourselves in September, thinking about apples.