it has been a colorful, rich, and textural summer in ways i could not have predicted. i had one intention for 2019; bloom. as the universe would have it, i have been asked to part ways with any person, place, or thing that inhibits this majestic blooming process. it has been deeply awakening, heart rupturing, and piercingly painful — but nevertheless, i trust this is all for my learning.
a few weeks ago, i lost my grandmother. she was the most joyful, loving, safe, and warm place i have ever known. i had hoped she would hold out until my trip to ethiopia in a couple of months, but as god usually does, there were other plans. since her transition among other losses this summer, i have been catapulted into the wrangling hands of grief. traveling through the five different rooms has opened my awareness to more rage than i have ever known. room 1: anger. 2: bargaining. 3: denial. 4: depression. and finally, the samadhi of states; room 5: acceptance. i’m still rollercoaster-ing, so i think it will be a great while before i get to the big A-cceptance.
my grandmother passing has illuminated my relationship with the concept of “love” — what is it? what does it feel like? does it matter whether it is verbally expressed or is love an action? and what does it mean when the verbal expression and the action are in conflict?
emay or great mother as she was known, wasn’t a woman of many words, she was one of those people who believed love is an action. her love was expressed through coffee ceremonies, expertly crafted gomen, or spinach, and warmth that radiated far beyond the confines of words. if ever she did say, ewedishalew, or i love you, it was because she felt you needed to hear it. i did not grow up in a household that said ‘i love you.’ it wasn’t really the african thing to do. i think i was in college, or being dropped off to college when my mother first said ‘i love you.’ and i imagine she said it because she was leaving her baby girl in a city she knew nothing about, in a dorm room life she had never experienced, more than actually feeling “love.”
the process of discerning between what i saw growing up, what i have learned from my own relationships, and what i hope love feels like has been quite the journey. unlike a patchwork quilt, i’ve spent the last few months piecing together what love means to me. how i choose to express and share my love and the type of familial love i dream of creating. so much food for thought, so much unearthing of what remains unloved.
ethiopia is nearing, i depart on october 28. the women who are taking part in the yoga retreat will arrive on november 3, we will spend 10 days traveling through addis ababa, gonder, and lalibela. the objective is to travel outside of our comfort zones, empower one another, fellowship, and cultivate a wellness routine that will extend far beyond the experience of ethiopia. we still have 2 slots left, if you are up for a last minute adventure. send me a note, i will send you the itinerary!
last year in advance of my trip, i collected clothing for the gelan orphanage. what i learned while i was there is that what they really need are basic necessities such as diapers, wipes, kleenex, soap, and other toiletries that are expensive to buy in the grocery stores. i am collecting donations for these things so that i can purchase them when i am there. these items range in diapers from $22 a pack to formula at $42 a pack. your generosity is greatly appreciated!