Umbilical

UmbilicalJanuary, 1997
Acrylic on paper
16”x 20

When the Ego is sore afraid it will latch onto anything to make it feel safe.

Journal 1/16/97: Another door has opened – slowly and creakily to be sure – but opened. I’m just back from a massage with Dana Zia. As she worked on my shoulders I began to feel the familiar nausea and headache of being close to something important. Soon I saw an umbilical cord. My own. It was pulsing and pink and beautiful. Dana asked me to go up the cord, but it was difficult to make myself do it. She finally asked if I needed a friend or a guide. Then I thought of the bird woman on the rock, the 4 of Birds in the Shining Woman Tarot deck and I was suddenly right beside her with that headdress/mask on. What was she telling me? Something about listening to the birds who were wheeling around us.

With the bird woman’s help I was able to get further up the umbilical cord into my mother. The placenta was beautiful, red, with veins branching out. But there was something tangled in there. And it felt like something not o.k. was coming through the blood vessels with my nourishment. Something I shouldn’t be getting.

After much massaging and breathing and encouragement from Dana I finally went further and looked at Mother’s heart. It was glowing, a beautiful new leaf green but there were dark spots riddled through it. Black with red. Dana asked if they were a cancer and I guess they were – but not necessarily a literal cancer. Something was eating at her heart. And that was where the “poisoned” blood was coming from that was feeding into me.

I was there looking at that a long time while Dana and I talked about aspects of Mother’s life and how it connected into mine. But I finally went back down inside myself as a baby where I saw another Tarot card from the same deck – Ace of Trees. And immediately I saw my umbilical attached to a tree and somehow a tree branching inside of me as well. Like a mirror. We talked about my mother’s sorrows: her mother dying of cancer four days after I was born, and her fears about being a mother.

At some point I finally told Dana about something important that had happened on Sunday morning. How I had finally told Tom that sometimes when he kisses me in the beginning of lovemaking I feel a huge rage and repulsion like he’s a big fat man giving me slobbery kisses. Ugh! This has been going on for several years and usually I can push it off or else I push Tom off – occasionally angrily but usually just letting the steam run out of the moment. When I told him he was hugely relieved – having felt for so long our confusing sexual patterns were his fault. If only he were approaching me better or knew the perfect moves to make.

It immediately felt to both of us that it was Mother’s disgust I was feeling. It was something that happened to her.

As I breathed into my feelings about that and the knot Dana was working on, she let out a groan and so did I. Then she yawned a huge yawn and I felt a whoosh of energy flow out my cunt. A relaxing, a letting go. It happened three more times with us describing to each other how we were feeling.

I saw daggers in my throat – seven of them – and kept coughing. It wasn’t safe to talk. Certainly that had been passed on. No wonder it had taken me so long to talk to Tom about my boogeyman. (Poor Tom). Not safe.

Dana also said that I hadn’t felt safe in the womb because Mom’s stuff filtering through and I had reached out when my mother was walking in a pine forest and grabbed at a pine tree and anchored myself to it – used it as my mother, my place of safety. No wonder I have had such a loving, cozy thing with trees all these years.

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