or how to develop gratitude for the heaviness that brought me safely across the waters AND drop it…

Yesterday, as I helped my soul-sistah clear out her family home that’s been sold, I was once again aware of the clearing out & giving thanks theme. The past couple years, & especially this past year, have felt like the wrapping up of an era. Wrapping up my studio business & pulling it all together to put online. Wrapping up US taxes & any other outlying debts from the business. Wrapping up energetic debts & reconciling relationships. Selling stuff or giving it away. Assessing values along the way so I am clear on what’s valuable enough to keep & care for, & what can be passed on for someone else to keep & care for.

I’ve joked about feeling like a cork on an endless open sea, yet this is really the best description for my life these days. For the past 18 months I’ve been essentially living out of suitcases, housed by the kindness of kin, & occasionally having access to my wider selection of things in storage, but mostly refining my gypsy lifestyle so that I almost all-ways have with me the bare essentials of what I need to feel free enough to move on.

After a number of arrests for having gone AWOL during the Vietnam War, my father developed a habit of always having his identifying papers in his shirt pocket, as well as his pocket notebook, pens, cigarettes & lighter. I’m starting to feel like a slightly more fashionable version of my father. I met him in person only twice–once when I was 12 & then again at age 29. I was surprised to find that the personality I thought was all my own–how I wrote my words, how I moved my hands while speaking, how I played pool, how I engaged with animals & drove a car–was more genetic than I realized.

I thought I was myself, yet found I was all that had made me. All.

I groked onto this more fully while writing PocaHAUNTus. I realized I had only identified with my “good” ancestors–the ones who had been good examples or who had been victims of the “bad” ancestors. I somehow didn’t quite get that the man who killed was just as much in me as the man who was killed. The blood of the warped & wicked is as much in me as the generous & gentle. A couple different friends asked me recently if I knew of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s work Psicomagico–a sort of shamanic practice of healing your family tree. I can see why they would have thought that I had been influenced by his work, but he is new to me. It was affirming to see his approach & the success he’s had with wounded folks.

One of my great intentions with the show was to heal. Since my father was a maths & physics teacher, I’ve had some inclination towards pondering patterns & alternate ways of perceiving the world. My mother has provided other ways of engaging with the world through alternative health & healing practices, shamanism & spiritual evolution, so it seems there was no escaping being on the fringe in one way or another!

I have been interested in this idea of Simultaneous Time since first hearing of it in the film What the Bleep Do We Know? about 10 years ago. I then read a bit more about the cross of indigenous sciences & quantum physics in Blackfoot Physics & was super-delighted to meet the author in Italy last year!.

With my favorite physicist F.David Peat, author of Blackfoot Physics #earthwidetribe

A post shared by Melissa Billington (@earthwidetribe) on

So my great intention was that by healing myself, by identifying patterns in myself & transforming any deleterious ones into deliberate & empowering directions, I was not only healing myself but also healing future generations who might emerge from my womb. And past generations who converged in time & space in such a way that I actually came to Be.

Healing myself for the future is still pretty graspable with an average worldview, but how do we understand healing the past? It can’t be conceived with a rigid linear time perspective. It can only be considered in that realm of simultaneous time. The best way I have of seeing this in my own life, of having any vague sense of what I do “now” being at-the-same-time-as what I did, or will do, “then” in “past” or “future”, is the tugs that persisted in me as a young woman. There were certain draws in my life, & also my dreams that came in my sleep or in daydream moments, & were evidenced in my choice of books to read, people to connect with, life choices to make, paths to walk down. These draws I imagine as my “future” self rippling through this perspective of linear time to touch me in the “present” or the “past” & guide me towards them. As I also became aware of patterns in my family tree that I did not wish to repeat mindlessly, those Aversions worked in a similar way to the Attractions, in that they intuitively steered me.

If you’re prone to a scientific worldview that only trusts facts & dates & figures, I would disappoint you (not only in this conversation but generally), as I operate from a wider worldview that I can’t fully understand or communicate clearly. Only, I can tell you that I trust it. And over time (however you want to see Time!), I have come to trust myself.

I trust that the more joyful visions pull me forward towards them & the more deadening memories steer me away from them.

In any given moment, watching myself, this has become my compass to steer by. It doesn’t mean that I don’t cry or feel things or recognize the history, or herStory, of the past or the present. It just means I choose not to live there. It lives in me & I am immensely thankful for it all. It brought me into the world & carries me on. I feel it in my carefulness, in my consciousness & in my kindness. Having seen & remembered the traumas of violence, separation, cruelty, loneliness, killing, deception, abandonment, poverty, greed, death, I am grateful. ship3I am also galvanized to drop the ballast of these weights & to trust that I don’t need to keep my boat (or my cork) in the water anymore. I can float. And I can even fly. This lightness of being is not from ignoring the pain, the poison, but from transmuting it into potion. I have seen too many relatives paralyzed by their own past. I choose to honor them & the gifts they give me in this realization. In so living, the unsung songs of their lives, the unexplored powers of their beings, now course through me & I live as though life is a gift.

It’s easy to forget this & to feel confused or sorry for myself for some reason or another. And when I see myself in the throes of this crazy world caught in a spin cycle of asking “What’s the point?”, I simply remember that it’s up to me to create the point. I am the creatrix of my own existence. These days, this only child is learning how to play more games & even how to see life itself as a game. Or perhaps more accurately, a song and dance–something that can be heard & seen & felt as seamless rhythm. In this rhythm of living I am both appreciative audience as well as fulsome “performer.”

Here’s a poem I wrote in 2001, called Bones. And here’s a song version of it that I’ve only just made public, so please be kind if you say anything at all! Being partially deaf & hearing the world differently from most everyone else, I’ve always been shy about how my singing voice is received…

I lay my bones down

with water all around.

I thought they might float

or you might gather them up.

No such luck. No such luck.

I’m stuck. I’m stuck.

With an ache and a cry, with an ache and a cry–


I lay down my bones

cuz I wanted to take yours up.

But you wouldn’t let me in

no you wouldn’t let me in.

Not like a man enters a woman,

but like a soul dons a skin.

This is how I wanted in. This is how I wanted in.

No such luck. No such luck.

I’m stuck. I’m stuck.

With an ache and a cry, with an ache and a cry–


for your big sky, blue horizon.

For once I feel old,

at having seen my patterns so often unfold.

I lay my bones down.

I lay my past down.

I thought I might float.

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