Dea’ Daniels


I have a personal commitment to post here on WholeDei each Monday. I also have personal commitments to my sons, to my husband, to my {pre-midwifery} studies, to my body, to my peers, to my laundry, to my….good grief. In reflecting on what tasks to attend to this day and just where and how to allot my time, I chose instead to go for a walk in the frosted sunshine.

In my world, when my body is in motion {particularly with tasks such as walking, gardening, or mucking barns} my ‘other mind’, the Writing Mind, awakens. Such was the case this afternoon.

I was walking and considering the options for the Monday post (of which there are three simmering) and realized that it has been months since I’ve updated that static areas of my blog including ‘about me’ and new topics and pages which have simply remained unpublished in the motion of life and study.

As my body walked and my mind ‘wrote’, I stumbled into a dialogue with myself.

“How am I to describe myself? What is it ‘about me’ that holds any interest or credibility or substance? How do I share just who I am or what I’m about or what simply does or doesn’t matter without offending or misleading or…?

And then that writing mind went a little weird and wandered back about a decade and a half and shifted into some pretty funk prose in a description of ‘about me’.

The following is intensely personal and entirely true and thoroughly awkward. I’ll copy it into the ‘about me’ section at some point, but for today, in the midst of Advent and Connecticut and Life and Sunday and…everything, I’m just going to lay it out as it is. This is me. But then again, not at all. Because the whole point, the whole {cursey-curse…ha, damn my Evangelical upbringing ;)} point is that it is entirely me and it does.not.matter because we are in process and on journey and somewhere between tomb and resurrection and Kingdom and Hope every breath of every moment.

Life and Hope on this beautiful day….
{and yes, this will count for the Monday post}

I Have. I Am. I Am Not. I Breathe.

I have lived in wealth and debt. Have worked and wandered.  Have studied in desks and at home and online. I have lectured classrooms and received degrees. Have stood for nothing. Have fallen for everything.

I have plowed rice fields in the jungles of East Asia; plow in one hand, water buffalo in the other. I have taken that rice to tribes up that mountain. Too late. Too late I have come and just in time to see a baby dead on the board they called a bed with his mother. I remember her hungry eyes and his brother running naked with the chickens.

I have swum in the South China Sea by moonlight, sailed that same sea by day, and watched the high and mighty sip drinks on its sand while, too close, the lowly bathed babes and laundry.I have run naked through fields of rain and stood bare under waterfalls. I have made love on a beach in Mexico and made war within my home

I have swum with turtles, walked on cold lava, picked coffee, bananas, guava, cashews, mangos, from their vines. I have been awakened by an earthquake and driven through a typhoon. I have been held close during a tornado while it chose the neighbors house and not my own.

I have been kidnapped in Beijing (albeit for only an hour). Bartered on the Silk Road. Eaten yak and monkey and chicken feet.  I have walked where the Steets Have No Names, kissed the Blarney Stone, and wondered at the loss of my Voice.

I have opened in prayer for a stadium of thousands and walked the aisle at the invitation during Graham’s crusade. I have stood in the bedroom of the Dali Lama and sat with those still writing his scrolls.  I have climbed a waterfall to pray defiance against a jungle’s witches from their high place. I have left silenced and without a sign.

I have sat with monks in the temple under a haze of butter tea and incense and singing bowls.
I have felt my fear there…my confusion…my longing…my panic…my peace.

I can no longer be in the same room as incense.
I wish to own a bowl.

I have watched vultures circling the sacred burial grounds while questioning the flagged prayers of the devout in all their tattered desperation and piety. I have gazed upon the blue body of  Krishna and the others and searched their eyes and considered their chipped paint.

I have forced myself to wretch with toothbrushes and salt water and hidden within a smaller (and smaller) dress and sobbed against my mother for so much that I still do not understand.

I have birthed life. I have bled death. I have received life. I have spoken death. I have been a lukewarm tomb of between stale and salty; painting layer upon layer of molding whitewash as I sip red and swallow wafer and convince myself again.

I am not the one to tell you who God is.

I am only discovering, slowly, cautiously, The Mystery.

There is no way to truly describe oneself. We are not only what we do. We are not what we ascribe to be. We are not what we were. We are always in motion; a swirl of respiration and life and death and magic.

This is me.
And some of the fragments which have formed me; shattered and shaking, into death, towards life, with Hope.

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Comments
3 Responses to “Dea’ Daniels”
  1. Kristin says:

    “There is no way to truly describe oneself. We are not what we do. We are not what we ascribe to be. We are not what we were. We are always in motion; a swirl of respiration and life and death and magic.” love that line dea.
    Wow.. I would love to hear more of your story. Your writing is so inviting…

  2. EB says:

    this almost made me hold my breath the whole time! There is so much about you that I don’t know and yet I love picturing you at the various stages of your life and you are SO young to have seen and done so many things and I am so glad that you are never ever finished! I love hearing about what you are doing!! Thanks for sharing this piece of your heart. you are very brave!

  3. Aakash says:

    salam.ghadima ke miraftim mhaahsd pedar bozorgam migoft vaghti mberin shahretan ba emam reza khoda hafezi nakonin chon mojebe doorio jodayi mishe.migoft khoda hafezi nakonin ta bazam bargardin inja va ziarat konin.ama baradare man shke khoob midani man mokhlese khodeto pedare ba safat hastam hala man ke ehterame shoma ra bara khodam vajeb midanam chera bayad khoda hafezi nakonam?man ke fekr konam shoma goosh haton be tamir niaz dare)shookhi kardam)ama chshm say mikoanm khoda hafezikonam vali ishala baese jodayi nashe.ghorbane un pedare ba safayt beram man -محسن: شوخی کردم آسید حامد

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