Kali means “black or dark” and is often called the Beloved Dark Mother. Destruction, Ressurection and caring for children. I like to talk about dark sides. Dark sides of the world and dark sides of the self. Haiti earthquake. My friend’s church burned down. An old friend of mine finally departed the earth after lots of suffering. Getting diagnosed with gall bladder disease. All in about a week.
I am naturally immediately accepting of all of these things because I know the extra suffering that fighting reality causes. And strangely when things like this happen I feel this immense opening, that there is room for new, an almost excitement about the new energy that now can become…
The part of christianity that hits me hardest and the most personally is also the part I struggle to accept about christianity: resurrection. I have a little christian home church that became a part of my life years back when I was experiencing a death and ressurection of my own and at the time I felt this presence of Jesus all of the time. (this I did not admit to many people!) And then all of a sudden when I felt better, he dissapeared for me and I felt almost no connection. Since then I’ve hung in with church but literally felt lacking in any personal feeling for Jesus and this has been frustrating.
But with becoming a mother, I’m thinking about baptism. The last sermon I attended at church was by a guest pastor who talked about baptism and she reminded me that baptism was done TO Jesus and therefore around before Christianity. What Christians see as baptism, Jews call Mikveh: immersion in water for ritual purity (after menstruation and childbirth for women, but also for conversion to judaism.) So do I want the baby and I to be baptized or do I want to remember and dedicate myself to judaism through mikveh? This is the continuing dilemma of someone raised by a jewish and a catholic parent who mostly kept thier thoughts of God away from me.
I want to be closer to God and I want my daughter to experience God in a spiritual home whatever that may be. But as far as she goes, little Iris is so far mostly Hindu. I started thinking about Kali because we call her Kali as when she gets going, It feels like there are many hands and two heads, I can’t tell what is that inside. I also feel like she is so strong and so much in control. And as for me, I’ve been connecting deeper to Buddhism through this getting ready for birth- all of the practicing acceptance of suffering, witnessing one’s own pain and breathing through it until it transforms into something else. There is not a single principle of Buddhism that has not been strengthened in me since getting married and pregnant and there is finally lots of time for mediatation and instrospection.
Kali- with the birth of this new being, what things will permanently die within me? I am witnessing the death of so many little and big parts of myself and there is a little bit of grieving mixed with acceptance. The death of seeing myself as seductive. The death of “the naked folksinger” and all that other naughty stuff- I saw it needed to go down the drain and it was inevitable. The death of being a size 6, the death of my financial independence. And what new resurrections? The children’s music I began writing as a teenager? A feeling of purity in a new way, the purity of motherhood. The death of pride. Finally learning how to larn on someone and trust that they will hold up thier side of the bargain? Sounds like a lot more spiritual work.