Solutioneering Cont'd/A Tale of the Inuit
The Inuit story of the Skeleton Woman is a tale of the Life-Death-Life cycle of nature. I first read this story in 1993. I had been widowed for a year and was having trouble getting on with my life. On top of that, a corporate merger had destroyed the best job I ever had. I was down and searching for a way to pick myself back up.
I found this book in a new age book store, and later learned that the author was a post-trauma specialist and a Jungian psychologist. More than anything else I did around that time, reading her book spoke to something deep in my spirit. Soon, I was solutioneering my life, rediscovering myself, putting the pieces back together. One step at a time, I set my feet on the path that has led to here and now. In 1994, I became self-employed and started my own business. In 1996, I met the man who eventually became my current DH.
In my previous blog, we were talking about Solutioneering. This is more of the same because the new year soon will begin, full of endless possibilities. It seems appropriate for me to remember Skeleton Woman and perhaps introduce her to a WUfriend or lurker who might like to meet her.
As always, your comments, graphics, photos, and random thoughts are welcome. This is your place as much as it is mine. Come in. Grab a cup of coffee. Put your feet up. What's on your mind today?
The (condensed) Story of Skeleton Woman
There once was a young woman who so angered her father that he threw her into the sea. Her body fed the creatures of the sea until there was nothing left but a skeleton. After many years, a fisherman unwittingly ventured into a haunted inlet and snagged her bones with his line. Skeleton Woman became horribly tangled in the man's fishing line. And he, in a panic to flee, thought she was chasing him. He paddled like crazy until he beached his kayak on his home shore. Then he ran until he could dive inside his snowhouse. Finally, he thought he was safe. Until he lit his oil lamp and saw that she had followed him into his home.
After his initial shock, he realized that Skeleton Woman was thoroughly tangled in his fishing line. He set about untangling his line and even straightened her bones. In the process, a feeling of kindness came over him and he dressed Skeleton Woman in furs. When he was done with that, he settled down to oil the precious wood of his fishing stick and rewound the gut fishing line before going to sleep.
The man dreamed, and whatever he dreamed, a tear slid across his cheek. Skeleton Woman saw the tear and drank it, slaking a terrible thirst. The man's heart drummed and she sang and by morning, she was a whole living, breathing woman again.
Giving the Tear
This tear of passion and compassion is most often wept after the accidental finding of treasure, after the fearful chase, after the untangling -- for it is the combination of these that causes the exhaustion, the disassembling of defenses, the facing of oneself, the stripping down to the bones, the desire for both knowledge and relief. These cause a soul to peer into what the soul truly wants and to weep for loss and love of both.
As surely as Skeleton Woman was brought to the surface, now this tear, this feeling in the man, is also brought to the surface. It is an instruction in loving both self and another. This is the man healing, the man growing in understanding. He takes on his own medicine-making, he takes on the task of feeding the "deleted other." Through his tears, he begins to create.
To love another is not enough, to be "not an impediment" in the life of the other is not enough. It is not enough to be "supportive" and "there for them" and all the rest. The goal is to be knowledgeable about the ways of life and death, in one's own life and in panorama. And the only way to be a knowing man is to go to school in the bones of Skeleton Woman. She is waiting for the signal of deep feeling, the one tear that says, "I admit the wound."
Condensed and excerpted from "Women Who Run With The Wolves" by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Here is a LINK if you'd like to read the full story.
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