We Live and We Die, to Live Again.
I hear the beat of the drums. The Grandmothers come. They are the wise ones of every nation. They call me to go with them.
They pull me down, down into my subconscious, down to where all the wild parts of me live. They beckon me to follow, with a single gesture of their wrinkled hands. They look my way and their eyes seem to see right through me, and I know there is nothing they do not see.
They take me down and within, to the place where the Grandmothers go. The terrain is familiar, for I have trod these forest paths with them, many, many times. The clearing they lead me too is dark and bare, lit only by the light of a fire and the glow of a moon.
The Grandmothers call me to attention, and they look savage and mean. Their hair is wild and unkempt, and they look as if they are made of this earth. Twigs and broken things are growing in their hair. Their garments are ripped, and their feet are bare. I know that soon mine will be too.
They sit on the ground and they laugh and laugh as they look me over, and their laughter goes around and through me as my body moves like it has a mind of its own.
“Who are you, granddaughter?” They ask me this question, but they already know. I answer that I am this and that, and their laughter howls to the moon.
The Grandmothers hum and they tell me to stand still. “We come to remake you, granddaughter, and teach you who you really are. We come to reveal your true self.” So I stand, and in they come. They smell of the forest, of the trees and the birds. The Grandmothers start to pull bits off me. They throw the pieces in the fire and they laugh as they burn.
The drums get louder and my head starts to swim as I sway to the beat and feel lost in the smoke and the energy that surrounds this place. Soon I am empty, and I realize I have nothing left.
“You think you got yourself made, granddaughter? Oh, there is so much more to come. We come to tear you down so you can be remade again. Into something new. Nothing happens in your world, granddaughter, without destruction first.” I think of what they say, and the world we live in, and I know this is truth. “It’s time to be broken down, granddaughter.” And they break me down, until I am nothing again.
“Do not hold on, granddaughter. We ask you to let go of who you think you are. Nothing will be left once we are finished with you. We make you light, granddaughter, so your footprints will leave no marks in this world. Here we kill you, so you can live again.”
We rise and we fall. So that we may rise again. A thousand deaths. In order to live a thousand lives. Our deaths are but temporary, as we rise from the ashes of our past, in order to build again. The fires of transformation hurt us, as they heal, as we are asked to set our feet on a new path and turn our heads to look again.
Our death is a necessity, and is our most precious gift, but maybe the one we fight against the most. For is there not a certain comfort in the things we already know? But often these things we have grown comfortable with are the very things that hinder our progress towards the life our souls yearn for. And so our death comes.
Kali, the Goddess of death and transformation, marches in, and terrifies us with the depths of her ferocity. She manifests in and throughout our lives, as the time of chaos has come once again.
She comes as the destroyer representing the forces of death and rebirth, she destroys our versions of unreality that we have refused to let go of. When she comes, our ego trembles and quakes with fear.
She is the destroyer of the evil-doer, and if we think of an evil-doer as any activity that deflects us from the path that leads to our liberation, then it will be her arrows that will speed before us and light the way of our journey once again.
Again and again we are removed from the rut of our false perceptions, so that our spiritual wisdom and knowledge may grow within us, passionate and strong.
In truth, the One Self, which is us, remains eternally the same through all of our appearances, but in another sense, the show of our death is actual, as it repeatedly calls for the destruction of all our outworn forms.
For those of us who find ourselves on the path of pain and chaos again: Do not despair. Do not let the appearances of these stages of life fill you with dread and fear. Instead, know this: In these moments, you are being handed a great gift. You are being offered the sacred gift of the fires of transformation. This is a time of great release and rejoicing.
Surrender to the chaos, for you are being asked to die so you may live again.
Kim Turfrey is a mother of two who lives in New Zealand and enjoys writing. She was born with a disability, and has used crutches for her whole life. She spent the majority of the first 12 years of her life living mainly in a hospital, away from her family, and now she writes about life as she sees it. You could contact Kim via Facebook.