Friday, March 14, 2008
Vespers: the evening service of divine office, recited before dark
I’ve landed in Bangkok again, exactly four weeks after my last trip here, this time with my family. Leon turned to me upon arrival, love pouring out of his eyes and remarked, “Wow, you look beautiful. You look dusky.” And that is exactly how I feel: dusky, of the vespers; the word that I used when I sat with dear friends of Varkala, on the wet roof of sweet Rubybleu House one last time, in hot pink India candlelight, the word I described myself in this Moment: Vespertine
Vespertine (besides Bjork’s best album ever) is a term used in the life sciences to indicate something of, relating to, or occurring in the evening. Etymologically it is related to Vespers, which is a term in astronomy that refers to Venus in the night sky. And religiously, it is that special Catholic mass given at dusk, at the time when night is coming on and the beauty of day is drifting out toward the quieter time of night.
So, the Vespers are where I sit, in the smoky violet of endings, of spiraling out and away. We have left the lovely ‘gem of a guesthouse,’ our dear Rubybleu House, a bit earlier than expected, and are on to something new, moving into unknown futures, uncharted waters. A few months ago I could ‘see’ in the mind’s eye, the quiet part of me that has undisturbed inner vision, a purply smoky silver cloud hovering sometime over mid-march. I had no idea why I was seeing this nice but seemingly meaninless image, until I stood in my empty studio, lilac walls glowing in the early morning, smoke rising from the fires across the red brown and gold soil, my eye catching the long red lane for the thousandth, yet last time. I was saying goodbye to the space I have spent the last five years making art, practicing healing and connecting with Spirit and Earth timeless mornings, evenings and nights. Saying goodbye in mid-march, an unexpected and somewhat abrupt departure from our beloved India.
We knew that we would be leaving Rubybleu House due to the return of the house owner and so we’ve been preparing for several months to leave. I had a shamanic healing session in the early part of the season with dear friend Amina that called upon Jaguar, the archetype of the West, of endings and deaths, to assist me with this time. I reclaimed the fearsome Black Panther of my childhood, reforming the frightening image into one of strength, power, beauty. A power animal that is a window into the Void, a guide for the unseen. For me he is a traveler into normally unknowable futures, able to reclaim those seeds of the misty tomorrows. He has helped steady me in turbulent times, the reminder that things are not as they seem, especially during dark, unfriendly moments when the Goddess presents herself akin to Kali: fierce, dark, mysterious and laughing in hysterics at all our well-intended plans.
It’s all too perfect that I now prepare to call in Jaguar, the archetype of the second chakra, on this full moon in the continued work of the Munay-Ki. I was initiated by Amina into the nine Incan rites a few weeks ago and began the process last full moon by calling in and honoring the South, the Serpent archetype of the Root Chakra. Thus began the intense process of dealing with the reality of the First Chakra: survival, home, fear, grounding and the connectedness to Earth. Thus the journey of leaving our home, packing, literally shedding the skin of the past, as Serpent does, was more than just synchronistic! I laughingly joked with Amina saying maybe she better warn her future initiates, that when you call in Serpent, you may be getting more than you bargain for!
So now we rest for a moment in Bangkok on this day of Oestre, the time of Rebirth, before traipsing, gypsy style, with our bags of summery clothes and poi and angel wings to descend America in the cold spring, excited to watch the unfolding of garden beauty in the West. And this full moon, tomorrow evening, I’ll call the Jaguar of the West to honor the emotions that undulate in waves through my Sacral Chakra. And it is oddly perfect that as I do this we also prepare to move to Sunset Lane near Hartford, Connecticut to and spend the time in the Vespers of my Grandfather’s long life and the changes that are happening to him.
I’ll miss Rubybleu House and it’s golden sunlight streaming from the West through the palm fronds, the Tibetan prayer flags fluttering, the garden shimmering delightfully. I’ll miss the varied travelers traipsing through our garden spinning their wild, wondrous India tales and remarking on the various states of the World. I’ll miss the studio and all the healings it witnessed, the writing that was accomplished there, the art that unfolded. I’ll miss the roof and the moon dances held there, the star bound travelers sleeping and dreaming, the sacred spaces that were held to honor the solstice, the four directions, the elements.
I’ve also put up a small photo album online and you can check out
to see some of the images of Rubybleu House and Gardens over the last five years.
Take care all of you dear ones,
From the Vespers,