woman at the well

This morning, perched over a bowl of water, peering inquisitively over its edge and discerning my reflection there, I recalled the lady of the lake, the one I’ve been beseeching, ‘Come’ and ‘Help!’. There she was, of course, staring back at me.

Of course, I’ve known now for some time that She was waiting there, inside my own reflection, for me to turn my gaze, but these waters have not been still for quite some time. What I have been perceiving has been a quite distorted image of Her – a muddled image of inadequacy, a jumble of self-judgment and self-doubt.

And so it was in the quiet this morning, as I regarded Her countenance and allowed at last the One in the water to see me, that She blessed me.

                A droplet on my forehead to bless my knowing

                Two moistened fingers on each eye to bless my seeing

                ….on my ears, to bless my listening, my hearing

                ….my lips and throat, my speaking                                                          

                ….my heart, my loving,

               ….. my arms for embrace

                ….my gut, my instincts

               ….my womb, sacred receiver of a Love that longs to be born in me

                ….my back, my strength and flexibility

                ….my hips and legs for their carriage, and for wrapping themselves round a horse or a man

                ….my feet for their connection to earth

                ….my body for its wisdom

And so it was the She reminded me of my own goodness.

This water was good, so good that my discerning cat came when I had finished, to lap up its refreshment, clearly affirming for me its blessedness, that this is water I should also lap up, take into my being.

I have been reminded repeatedly lately, in a variety of places, to notice what I take in, what I ingest, and to be mindful to take in only Things that Bless. Lately, however, I’m afraid I have been chewing on a lot of negative judgment – ‘ what’s wrong with me’, ‘not good enough’ words. Words I likely ingested and digested long ago, so that they became a part of me, a part of my own cells. Now these words attack me, like some toxin, from within.

Today, I also entrust my body, through this same life-giving water, to eliminate these toxins in me, to discharge that which is not needed, not good at all, for me. I devote my sweat, my exhaled breath, my urine… all water-full….to cleansing me.

Several weeks ago, on retreat, in a foretaste perhaps, I imagined myself sitting deep in a forest sanctuary, next to this life-giving, greening water. Not ready to get my feet wet, I was content to be serenaded by its peace, but clearly understood that it was to this sacrosanct, unpolluted, invulnerable, virginal place I needed to often return. This was a lush place, a womb space, and quiet and uncluttered space, where words such as ‘broken’ and ‘inadequate’ could not gain entrance. Today I waded into that refreshing water … just a bit…  with curiosity and playfulness and deep respect, and I was blessed.

I thought about baptism, for this felt vaguely familiar in some way, yet felt entirely different at the same time. The practice of baptism for me has always been mixed up with feelings of shame, unworthiness, … as if those ugly wrongnesses were really inherent parts of me that needed to be washed away. This morning’s water-bath was more of an anointing really, for I knew somehow that those things were not a part of me at all, but rather taken in by me, or force fed to me, wrongly. This water has come to wash away those false beliefs of who I am, to clean the mirror that I gaze into, so that I might trust in my belovedness,  in the presence of the Wise One who dwells within …

this reflection that I am.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Carolyn
    Apr 21, 2011 @ 12:31:53

    Today may I remember my original goodness each time I come in contact with water which is all around me and in me. May I find as many ways to be a container of this goodness as there are ways to contain water. May I feel the fluid depths of my goodness within throughout this day.

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