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when in deep water, become a diver

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Some of you know about my personal loss story which began in March three years ago. In spite of having been around death and loss for a while now, I’m astonished by how long my grieving lasts. I’ve previously written that “it takes as long as it takes,” but really! shouldn’t it be over by now?

A former teacher and I are meeting by phone twice a month as part of her practicum in integral coaching. She lives in Santa Rosa, CA, where she serves people who have life-threatening illnesses. Last night she asked me, Why are you still grieving over X? Instantly, prickly heat began rising on my face, scalp, neck, torso, hands, feet, my skin everywhere. Even now, as I write, sweat springs from all pores.

I reported sensing a dark hole at my centre, filled with inky-black-blue liquid. She urged me to dive into that liquid … and tell me what you feel and see. I soon saw my lost friend floating close to me but without contact: clearly a separate entity.

What’s happening now? She’s drifting away from me, continues to look in my direction with a kind expression, gesturing me to move away. I’m scared.

Scared of what? That I’ll never love or be loved again wth such intensity, never have such divine sex again, never get over this longing. … Now she’s speaking to me.

What do you hear? “Our time together was about something bigger than you and I. Listen Daishin: this is as far as I can accompany you; this is where we must part. I have nothing else to teach you.”

Teach you? About loving and being loved in ways I never imagined. To love com/passionately, and then to let go.  

What do you make of that? That she knows something I’m only now beginning to comprehend. That we met for a specific purpose and that that purpose has been accomplished.

Which is? For me to discover my capacity to love without fear, expectations, and conditions. Pure love: beyond romance, sex, and momentary bliss. And that relationships come and go (are in fact impermanent) while Love transcends the limits of the small self.

Not bad for an hour’s phone conversation. Would you try it? Take an aspect of your life where you feel stuck and investigate. Enter into the obstacle and trust that your body will know the way.

title of today’s post: I saw the “diver” line in: Blum, R. (1993), The book of runes. New York: St. Martin’s Press. image:


4 responses »

  1. Hello,

    what a powerful and moving piece you write here.

    I think about Joan Didion’s ‘The year of magical thinking’ that she wrote in 2004 following the death of her husband.

    I think about how simultaneously close and far away are those we have loved who have gone or died and how there is a struggle in that confusion.

    Sometimes my body knows the other so precisely and then I am jolted by a thought that they are gone. It seems beyond ‘me’ to let them go and to embrace loss seems to me at those times to be also like embracing him.

    I’m glad you have your interlocutor to accompany you in this exploration and thanks also for writing of it here.


    • dear t,

      the jolts are your wake-up calls. To jolt-snap-push us from dream state into here-and-now. The ego resists it! It likes to keep control via make-belief. That may be the “me” you mention, it resists letting go.

      A couple of questions help me: “What am I afraid of?” “What am I holding on to?” Repeating them gently and persistently, between slow breaths, perhaps with a hand on my heart, staying connected to the body.


  2. Another technique for diving further into understanding the role your ‘lost friend’ played in your life is something I call free-flow writing; it’s also been called ‘angel writing’, or ‘morning pages’…basically every morning simply move your hand across the page and write what-ever thought comes into your head; even non-thoughts are ok…. it is a basic tool of creative unblocking and ‘getting current’ with our thoughts and feelings.

    I am doing it for understanding why I am without a partner in this life..the desire is there….and the writing usually turns back to me…and self-love.

    • … keep writing, daisy. write “self-love” and go from there. sometimes words and slogans gives a sense of clarity, only to reveal themselves as doorways to further inquiry. keep writing …


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