I was listening to a lecture yesterday that was blowing my mind, lying in bed, having some hours mostly alone. Some brilliant religious scholar in Santa Barbara–I like the way he pronounces stuff. It was about shakti, which is my favorite, especially lately–oh, believe me.
It was talking about this word that’s a synonym for shakti, related to matrix–matrika. Shakti is energy, pure consciousness energized. And then the matrikas are representing the Pleiades maybe, originally, but also 50 sounds of Sanskrit–phonemes.
I like how energy can be God, and then language too. Of course, being a poet, a fiend for language, as you might have noticed… My favorite verse of “O Come, All Ye Faithful” mentioning Jesus as “word of the father, now in flesh appearing.” God in the Bible speaking everything into creation.
My friend came over on the night my mom died. They asked where I thought Mom was. I said I had a lot of ideas, none of which fit together, and none of which I fully believed. I said I believed about ten contradictory things, a tiny bit each.
But the main idea I had is that there’s this primordial shakti energy that created the universe and all things, pure power, vibrant, the most intensely living thing possible. And my mom was in that, part of it, and then she took human form, being born as a person, to learn human lessons and do human service. She did all that for 63 years. Then when she died, she shed the body and returned into that cloud of shakti energy. No problem, mission accomplished.
Beforehand, I had asked my friend not to laugh at me, but that was what seemed most real to me in that moment. My friend didn’t find it funny at all.
Someone close to me met my mom, when I was in the hospital last year, and told me afterward, “I can see from meeting your mom why you worship goddesses so much.” It was sweet, an idea of my mom’s powerfulness and healing nurturing love helping form me as I am, so I would of course need to honor that and worship that.
We saw a friend for dinner last night. He had never eaten ful before, and I felt happy at how much he loved it, as well as shiro wat. And his hand was cold, so I had an excuse to hold it, which I love, as you know–hugs and holding hands.
But he brought us a little box of things also–a little book about anxiety, a bumper sticker, a little vanilla lip balm in a green plastic cube, a little water mister. A game I’ll give to a kid. The thing I most like is a small canister with two red rubber balls and some jacks in it. And an instructions paper.
The jacks are shiny gold and duller silver. When I was little, on the floor in the kitchen, playing jacks, not feeling all that coordinated or skilled, some curious thing from my mom’s childhood. (Kind of like marbles, which I never really understood either, though they were beautiful, the black ones especially.)
I would become distracted seeing how high a rubber ball could bounce. But mostly the feel of the strangely heavy jacks, their weird shape. What are these things, why are they like this, am I doing this right, am I really getting this. Being close to those linoleum squares on the floor. Kiddish floor feelings.
The jacks are with me on my desk, helping me with their beauty. I like to touch one jack, or hold them all at once–the way they clump together, the sound they make when I put them back on the desk.
I’m listening to the lecture again. That temple in Santa Barbara, in the hills, really in Montecito, is gorgeous. They have that bell, and pretty plants, a little roofed thing with chairs, and the best bookstore, where I was long ago, and got dog dirt on hand from petting a nice dog. And bought that cute little statue of ganesha holding an umbrella.
I also worship goddesses so much because when I was a kid, I was fed God as a man, so much, so painfully. Once I could decide, I thought I would try another way, for a while. But I’m like someone who goes on vacation and never returns home. Why would I return to that. Haha!