Inanna comes to teach about inner strength and inner wisdom. She had descended to the depths and returned, aware of what she had lost-all her outer trappings of Queenship-and aware of what she had gained-inner strength, and the ability to rule her people well. My descent began August 11, 2003, when I fell at work.
I didn't know then that I was going to lose many precious things. So much went: my career and marriage, which were such a strong part of my identity, and my connection with my partner's family who had become my own, and all but one of those I thought were friends, and financial security, and a reasonably pain free life, and 220 pounds, and all the food I loved, which had protected me from the world, and the list trails on, pathetically.
Inanna returned from the underworld to take up her duties again, to be a wise and fair and beloved Queen of her realm od Sumaria. I am called to begin a new life, too, one in which I am useful, but balanced, using what inner strength and wisdom I have garnered over the last few years, and indeed my whole life.
And I have actually begun to emerge, feeling naked, blinking my way into spring, like Persephone emerging from Hades, into the delighted arms of her mother, Demeter. Though I seem to have disappeared from J-Land, the truth is more that I have begun to have an outside life, and am finding it rather more exhausting than I'd anticipated. So I am resting or reading or sitting spaced out in front of the boob tube, instead of interacting with my friends on line. Eventually I will grow stronger and have more room for both lives-real and cyber-spaced.(My "computer friends" are very important to me, but Inanna came to push me out of my complacency, making me face outward for a bit.)
I finished the training for The Gentle Touch and Guided Imagery Program for the local hospital. My friend Robin (who runs the program) was right. I'm a natural, for two reasons. I've spent a lot of time alone in hospitals where no one but nurses and aids touched me, and then very briefly with blood pressure cuffs, or holding my arm to draw blood. We all know how short handed the whole system is. I blame the administrations of hospitals for the shortage, not the nurses, who are almost always overworked, tired and cranky. (I apologize to all good nurses out there who really do connect with their patients, especially those patients who are totally alone. I wish I could run across you whenever I am hospitalized.)
I see the opportunity to go into a hospital and rub someone's feet or hands or head very gently for 15 minutes, pampering them in a way that is almost unthought of as a patient, to be quite amazing. And leading guided imagery, before or during the gentle touch, is a gift for both me and the patient. When done well, it gives us both sustainance. I've been doing guided imagery for myself and others for nearly 30 years. For those who wonder, guided imagery is a way to help someone slow their breathing, relax deeply, and get away from their pain and sometimes even body, while one guides them to go to some place of their choosing to "escape" the hospital for even a bit.
This is a poor description of guided imagery, but I've used it in my spiritual meditations, with Meg when she was hurting in someway, in my various women's groups over the years, and most recently, with the HIV+ inmates in prison. After settling down 18 frustrated, often angry or resentful inmates, felons and murderers and prostitutes. all at various stages of HIV/AIDS, I am not worried about doing it with one patient at a time while I massage his or her feet very, very gently! I won't be able to start, however, until I get back from visiting my parents from April 7 to the 21st.
I have also started a Yoga class. It's a small group-two of us-taught by my friend Jayne, who just got her teaching certificate. The second woman has arthritis. Jayne is adapting it to chair yoga, simple moves to start with. I am in serious pain by 20 minutes into the hour, but the movements are good for me, despite the pain. (One thing I learned during my first shoulder rehab is that it doesn't get better if it doesn't hurt. This may not be true for all injuries, but I'm remembering the pain all too well this second time around!) After an hour and a quarter, I am so tired I can barely drive home.
And now I have taken on another volunteer job. I am elder-sitting an Alzheimer's patient in a local convalescent home for 3 or 4 hours once a week. She fairly with it, can't talk much, but seems very happy. Unfortunately she wanders a bit, which is where I come in- I'm to help her to wander safely. Eventually, we'll be able to go out in my car for ice cream and visits to not-to-big stores. Apparently she panics in malls and Wal-Marts. (I understand this-neither place appeals much to me either.)
And I still have physical therapy twice a week and various doctor's appointments. Phew! Now that I've listed all this, no wonder I am tired all the rest of the time. No wonder I'm exhausted! I know that these activities are for now, for this first stage of moving outward after too many years of withdrawal due to one medical problem after another.
Inanna came to me to teach of Inner Strength and Inner Wisdom, to remind me how much I've gained and learned over the years, so that I can make my first moves into new life. I have emerged thin and wobbly but still ready to begin the journey into new life and the realm of the Wise Woman, the Crone.