The subject of healing can be a journey across a field of semantic landmines. When I was younger and learning about the language of sexual assault, it was a common trope of the time to leave off self blame because that was part of the dialogue of victim mentality. The fault lies not in the victim or the perpetrator in the end, but the victim leads the healing. The victim must be heard and recognize themselves as blameless to reclaim their body or they will spend an eternity in a vacuum of self abuse. It is a fine line between blaming and recognizing responsibility but it must be walked completely to fully experience life.
So much of actual healing is done by going deeper into the pain and reclaiming the health hidden by the abuse or the dis-ease. It is a journey rarely taken willingly because our culture fears pain and discomfort. Humans are the only animals who do not understand that pain is part of the language of the body. It informs the mind and tempers life experience by forging strength. The problem with lingering in comfort and safety is that, as one progresses into their life, it promotes a lack of context for the authentic personality of the soul to participate.
This picture above is a perspective of the statue depicting the abduction of Persephone sculpted by Bernini. I picked this close up because it shows such a sensual aspect of touch as does Hafiz' poem. Of course, as you pull back there is quite a different story displayed. Persephone is the archetype of the innocent soul yet unclaimed by the realities of being fully human. We all have a Persephone within us as we do a Pluto who aggressively pursues them to transform them. We have all been stalked and abducted from our naïveté and thrown into the conflicts of personal growth to witness and live in our darker natures to various degrees. There is not always a rape but there is ALWAYS an abduction, a shock, a sorrow, a grief and a process of reclamation or suppression. There is always the reckoning of Pluto to force us into the possibility of a sustainable world that supports a deeply passionate life. Too, we may be overwhelmed by our own hand - that risk, also, heightens tension.
I was guided to two documentaries that resonated in me about this subject. Two vastly different abductions and they both were handled differently as their generational skills, understanding, cultural milieu and medicinal availability allowed. The first one I watched was Girl 27 about a young girl, Patricia Douglas, who was raped at a MGM sponsored convention that coerced 120 young girls into being objects of pleasure for hundreds of theater owners in 1937. She was raped in a parking lot and had the telemetry to report and press charges for this violation at 20 years old and suffered by example what one finds if they cry out on a corporate sponsored injustice. The investigative reporting in this film was superior and the tenderness that was employed towards the aging survivor of this horrendous event was stellar.
The second film was about musician, Dave Navarro, called Mourning Son. He experienced, as a young teen, the horrific and violent event of having his mother brutally murdered by her ex-lover and the killer was at large for eight years. He missed his mother's murder - and most certainly, his - by a twist of fate. This event that happened in 1983 left him emotionally traumatized and terrorized for decades. This doc was obviously tendered with great love and respect and I wish it had a wider viewing as it pulls no punches in showing the darkness that can engulf a person who is shoved violently out of innocence and into a deep grief as a child. Navarro was born in the 1960's and Douglas in 1917. Navarro retreated into the zeitgeist and drug addiction and Douglas, into failed family construction and the isolation of 60 years of sleep and television. Both, frozen in the shadow of their abductions in a state of terror and overwhelm. Both, very courageous individuals in how they tried to cope and heal.
It is a brutal realization to recognize the role one plays as part in their own demise and yet that is often part of the healing as both archetypes live within the human experience. There are, obviously, those who believe differently and that is to be respected but for Hafiz and I - in my interpretation - there is the hand of a self appointed soul intention or godhead in all things that is sourced in the brilliant energetics of our life direction. If one travels that distance into the why? and the what the fucking hell, anyway? one knows the weight of consequence in being human and why this passion of life is so vicious, painful and dark at times.
The paradox is that there is great fragility as well as strength that must remain in a balanced tension in our powerful human experiences.
Thank you for listening.
Video: This is a narrated video with an art historian explaining the myth of Proserpina (Persephone) and Pluto and exploring the talent of Bernini. Human artistry is breathtaking in its inspiration and skill. This was carved from a slab of marble! What kind of magic do we have access to and possess to create such phenomenal works?
BERNINI – The Rape of Proserpine by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the Borghese Gallery
An additional four minute narrated conversation regarding the sculpture is HERE.
I recommend re-listening to Hafiz' poem above after looking at these studies.
The original post in this series of poems by Hafiz can be found here.
The Gift: Poems by Hafiz and translated by Daniel Ladinsky can be purchased here.