Monday, June 11, 2012

Oak Dance, 2012

For the last couple of decades I have been attending an annual ceremony called the Oak Dance. It's a trance dance whose purpose is transformation, both personal and extrapersonal. Or to explain it another way, it is where I go to get a direct line to my personal Higher Power, dead friends and relatives, and whatever disembodied entity wishes to communicate. And also, after decades, I visit with a whole lot of people from places distant from me who have become friends, or are becoming one. 
A Live Oak Tree
     Like many such activities, getting there is half the adventure. On the way south I blew out a tire and discovered we didn't have a lug wrench. That's when Officer Collins pulled up behind me and lent me one while she walked her K9. I attended an NA meeting in Santa Rosa and ran into a friend I haven't seen in a decade or more. I locked my keys in the car and instead of burglarizing my own car I remembered a lock box where I'd stashed an extra just for the next time I did this.
     Before the ceremony I was asked to lead a sweat lodge ceremony, which is always a high point. During the dance I realized I was no longer young, desperate, or stupid enough to be compelled to stay on my feet for all 10 hours of the dance. I was nabbed for a while by Trickster and facilitated its manifestation for a gloriously beautiful moment. I came to terms with the death of a dear, dear friend who had died some 15 or so years ago.
     But most surprising and pleasing to me was to again measure the changes I'd undergone in the year since the last dance and discover that I am actually feeling happy. Not just ok, not just good, but downright happy. The information that I've felt unhappy most of my life is perhaps news to everyone who did not know me intimately, because in social circumstances I nearly always felt ok, and always felt a genuine joy when seeing good friends. But it was always transitory. I used to stumble upon joy at times, and many times worked my ass off to get it. But at this time I just feel happy, and without the feeling that surely something bad must now descend upon me. I feel that people who don't suffer from depression might not have a clue what this is about, but I am speaking more to those people who do know. It feels so nice that I have no qualms about exposing my former self just to share the news with others that it can change. It has for me. 
     And I am happy about it.
     How nice!

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