Tag Archives: ritual

Six months later

The sea was wild, sassy. Tide high. Moon full. We took my sister’s ashes to Loblolly Cove where the rocks offered an initial perch, the sea a final wash.

We watched and waited for the wave that would offer the last rinse. They teased us, the waves, licking one side of the rock where her ashes lay, then the other. After a while, medium-sized wave crashed and it looked like it had taken all the ashes at first. But it hadn’t.

We watched and waited some more. Finally, I approached with a plastic bin to scoop water onto the rock. And wouldn’t you know, wasn’t it just perfect, that the biggest wave of the day arrived as I stood there, drenching me head to toe and washing the last of my sister away in a dramatic rush of foam.

Of course it was her. I laughed. “Hello, Noreen!”

As we walked back to the car, I noticed how much of the sediment in the rocks looked like human cremation remains.

K: “We all come from the same stuff.”

Finn discovered how tasty crab shells left behind by gulls were and made the return slower than it might have been otherwise.

And as always, I grabbed a token.

Now the token sits where her ashes used to be, in front of one of her favorite totems.

Today, the WordPress platform resists uploads, spins its refusal in ways I’ve never seen, forcing me to insert, and then insert again, all while wondering what the f@*k is going on.

To that I also say, “Hello, sister!”

May she be at peace. May I be at peace. May we all be at peace.

SoulCollage® Weekend


It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression.  It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open…   There is no satisfaction whatever at any time.  There is only queer dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.

–Martha Graham

Today I am joining 11 others, plus two facilitators for a weekend of SoulCollage® — how exciting!  I hope.  I wish that I felt a little better.  Nevertheless, time away is a good thing.  Time devoted to looking inward, is a good thing.  And I expect that the group dynamic will be a good thing.  I consecrate myself to opening up to what is there and exploring it.  I also give myself permission to share as much or as little of what comes up as feels comfortable.

The card above is one wish for the weekend — I am calling it “The Cantor” — but it is not just about the person who leads a group into sacred space, it is about the way each participant calls down the life that is truly theirs and occupies it.  It’s a bit of a paradox, isn’t it, how one must let the personal story go to find the deeper, truer story one is living?

If only it were as simple as dropping a pair of pajama bottoms to the floor!  We would all run around in our actualized selves (our butt-naked selves?!! — just kidding)!  Voices connected to diaphragms.  Actions stripped of hidden agendas.  Sadness, anger, despair, joy, humor  — there in their full capacities, running like electricity through a wire, instead of lined up neatly on a tray —  cubes of mashed bread meted out to orphans, and then judged, to boot.

How much more energy I  would have if the ongoing processes of judging, allotting, controlling, gauging, and doubting took a back seat to being curious.

But, if this business of stepping into the — let’s call it, the “mytho-poetic” —  is difficult, rare, perhaps even an act of grace and not of the will, in my experience it is MUCH more likely to happen in a group that has consecrated itself to a process like SoulCollage®  than in any other setting.   And here I must give a shout out to Barbara Zilber.


The facilitators this weekend are Anne Marie Bennett and Jeanne Marie Merkel.

To learn about this remarkable process, go to SoulCollage.com, where you can find out about Seena Frost, who developed SoulCollage®. Or, dive into the amazing work and teaching of Anne Marie Bennett on her website, KaleidoSoul.  Anne Marie’s passion for this work is evident on her site.