Poem by Stella Reed
Objects may allow us to share experiences. My story is about a blue Buddha gift I gave to a dear friend. I found it at Ruben Museum in New York, in the museum’s gift shop which could never give full summary of and justice to the floors and floors of visionary, Tibetan, all-Eastern paintings and objects, yes, objects like we are looking at today. My friend was pleased for my remembrance, but more amazed that I had chosen this blue Buddha. In the gift shop, the Buddha with the rich gold face was vying for attention with this deep rich blue one. For some reason, I grabbed the blue and ran out into the streets of New York City, giddy from all I had just seen in a few hours. Later, my friend revealed that thirty years before when she gave up heroin and all manner of drugs and alcohol, she entered into the throes of days-long pain from withdrawal and into a place of hell. Then from another dimension, a blue Buddha hovered over her, soft, big, airy, constantly restoring her, and keeping her alive. The blue Buddha, she told me, has always been associated with healing. And so, objects may follow us and will mark our years. In her case, in the moment of receiving the object gift, her memory is unleashed and comes alive.
In the workshop, we share openly our stories about our relationships with objects that show fear and awe. The forgiving and healing properties of objects have a special place in our memories. Letters found from a participant’s father to her mother reveal another side of the man she knew. It is surprising to hear our often subconscious attachment to and love of objects, not only for their beauty, but for properties that can spark our creativity, lead us to seeking a bigger meaning, or sometimes just reminding us to be kind to ourselves.
Our workshop progresses where one of us is patient, and one healer, with the roles reversed after we have discussed our diagnoses and prescriptions for health. Some prescribe drinking a number of teaspoons of juice from a lizard cup to wearing a pile of ribbons in our hair to using objects as receptacles for gems and other treasures. Promises of wondrous healing await us. We are having fun with playing, for in most cases with the objects we’ve seen, we’re not even sure what they are! The “crown of thorns” from hundreds or perhaps thousands of years ago, may have been used as a cooking element in some fire pit in a far off land.
The two workshops I’ve attended, this one and Nikeesha’s “Finding the Inner Deamon” have been transformational, reflective, and most of all, joyful and fun. ~Iris Gersh
The wearing of a Brazilian Carnival crown as cure for separation caused by a deficiency
of knowledge of others' language and culture
by Stella Reed
Lack of sufficient power to dream in another language
Rx: This helmet fell like a yod
from the Tower of Babel
when god was lightning
Worn while sleeping it will imbue
the seeker with dreams of old women
feeding bread to pigeons in every city
in every country in every world.
Bread becomes pain, arán, chléb,
brood, brot, duona.
Worn upon waking it will enable
the seeker to hear the voices of pigeons
in every city of every country in every world.
Cooing becomes dove becomes sparrow becomes
crow becomes hawk flying back to dove.
Translating the scent of pine, bamboo, oak,
eucalyptus, boab, willow, and mahogany
will be effortless.
The festive ribbons, held in the mouth
(taste of corn, saffron, curry, milk, sour plum)
allows the seeker to speak in dialects
previously unknown, unbinding the tongue
oiling the lips, the ears, eyes, fingers, hinges
of the closeted heart will swing open,
patience will preside, understanding
To further lessen symptoms:
feet shall be unshod
shoes shed on a Swedish mat
(woven mountains of mouths, fanged yet friendly)
and left overnight.
Upon waking, the seeker shall examine.
Have the shoes changed?
Place the shoes back on the feet.
Do they fit?
Walk a mile.
What does the seeker feel?
Is it right? Left?
Circular, ether, above, below
Circumambulate the waters
Do the shoes fit?