Below is a letter I wrote to Biddy, my Spirit Guide**(see footnote). I had been on a “Writing the Wild Soul” workshop with Geneen Marie Haugen (a wonderful writer and poet. See more of her via the Animas Valley Institute and read her poem “The Return”) Her provocation to us was “write a love letter to the beloved of soul: a mysterious other, the muse, the inner beloved, not a human beloved”. The following letter is the result.
I can hear you 'humph!' as you fold your arms under your breasts. And there, right there, are your squinting and disbelieving eyes as you screw up your face when I tell you that I am about to write a letter to my beloved. (I do love your cranky wrinkled brow, and how your eyes, nearly disappeared into the wrinkled folds of flesh, still twinkle with love and tolerance of my frailties).
“So?” I hear you say.
Biddy, you are my beloved. I don’t know how long you have been with me – maybe for longer than I have been me. Partly I don’t know because my listening skills are not up to par OR I have been afraid OR both.
I see your frustration at the long years of my ignoring you when you kept on and kept on knocking loudly at the door of my soul.
And every time I remembered and called for you (or noticed you knocking when my senses were for a brief time more astute) You were there. You are there.
Cranky – “It’s about time!” I would and still do always hear you say, tapping your foot impatiently.
And then you simply hold steady – loving me and guiding me.
You gifted me an Ancient Feminine Sovereignty – The Cailleach – her sacred places and magic.
You gifted me sanctuary – a small stone cottage on the side of a green hill of lush grass with a falling down stone fence and a creaking wooden gate enclosing a shambolic garden full of herbs.
I love my refuge in the dark womb of that cottage – fire blazing, slightly smoky, herbs drying as they hang from the ceiling. Safe and whole.
You told me :
You have taught me to sit alongside others in their greatest hellish darkness and to hold them with gentleness and kindness until they find that one tiny spark or flame which gives them strength to move forward – one tiny step at a time. (although, I hear you remind me….sometimes they LEAP when you least expect it!)
You are the prayer for my ancestors and my future ones.
I know you when I crawl into the tombs on Sliabh na Caillig or walk the Cliffs at Hag’s head or sit in my front garden under the graceful oak branches of Sila na Gig.
I know you when I look into the eyes of my precious grandchildren, Kyden, Leighara, Sophie, Luna, Aiva and Axel. I know you now, when I look in a mirror, or a reflecting window or watch my hands move.
Thank you for standing with me in my darkest times, through the mulching times as I grow into my strength.
I love you.
PS. You may now cease with the tiny irish jig you are performing under your skirts and the crinkled look of “I told you so!” in your eyes. Smugness is deeply unbecoming and beneath your dignity…. Hah!!!
**Spirit Guide: having never quite reconciled the definition of such a being between “are they real” “are they imagined” and “are they an introjected role”***: I have to say- I don’t know and I don’t care: she is present for me and she works hard with me (and btw, loves me).
***Role theory is a peculiarly psychodramatic way of thinking. You can read more about psychodrama on my website: www.katherinecounselling.com