ARTICLES & STORIES
by Linda Merryman
Life is too full and there are too many people to really hear what they all want to say to me or that I want to say to them. Sitting in circle makes it simple and easy. What do I mean by that? I mean there is only so much time and women have a tendency to talk and talk. I find I want to hear what they have to say, but I need to hear it in a way that is concise and comes from a place of deep dialogue. I also want to be heard in that way of deep listening. So to meet with my circle of seven once a month and have five hours including lunch to really be with each other is a simple and easy way to know and grow together. If we use the circle guidelines, which we do, it is always a rich experience.
What do I mean by that? I mean last week we had Grandmothers as our topic. One woman, who became a grandmother just last month, led the day. We begin by smuding and five minutes of drums and rattles to get us tuned in. What do I mean by that? I mean the ritual of smudging done lovingly to clean the energy one person smudging the next starts the circle. The delicious fragrance of sweet grass and sage and a fabulous wood from Peru were all used as we laughingly agreed that the Grandmothers got it all. The light drumming and rattles just harmonizes our energies and let’s us settle into a rhythm together. Next we each lit a candle and called in some aspect of Grandmothers. There was Grandmother love and Grandmother sadness of not having Grandmothers and Grandmother boundries and Grandmother appreciation.
We started with a round of talking about our own Grandmothers and we shared photos. The Morman family member had genealogy back to the mid 1600’s with names of 9 generations of Grandmothers. Another had photos of her Grandmother’s Victorian house in Alabama where all the cousins came to play dress up and hide and seek. Another never knew her Grandmothers and had only a photo and one story from her mother about having her hair brushed in front of the mirror. These stories added a level of richness to who we are and why we are who we are.
What do I man by this? I mean I could see how having the relationships with these elder women had shaped our lives in how we mothered and Grandmothered. One woman’s grandmother would break into song and the song would describe the event. This woman finds that she is doing this now…a song just comes that is about what is happening. Her remembering this in circle made her realize where it came from and that her relationship with this Grandmother deserved some remembering. Our Grandmothers’ names…. Chickie and Kiddo and Booboo and Ohma were added to the mix.
Then we moved to a round of how our Mother’s were with our children and ended with ourselves as Grandmothers. There were some tears in the last round about difficult relationships with our children and healings and boundries that came as a result of them having children. So what was simple and easy about this circle? Deep emotions, touching memories, names and lineages, the hardest of hardships, all were shared and heard and held. We each felt seen. We got council if we wanted it. The circle held the space for 7 women to be together …talking about complicated things simply and with ease.