Tonight I sat in a room full of powerful, truth-seeking women as we shared stories, read tarot, and drank wine and chocolate. We offered our palms to be read by a wise witchy matriarch, to hear her weave archetypal stories into our own and synthesize universal truths from the shapes of our fingers. Our bodies, tired and strong from our days of dancing, draped the hotel beds, decorated the floor and chairs. We crushed the pillows with our weight, we sat with hands touching, trading unsolicited massages and back scratches. The room filled with dancers’ laughter and thinkers’ silence. Tears streamed from my unflinching face as the lines on my palm became verbal knowledge and made me naked: my nature exposed, fears confirmed, hopes affirmed.
Nights like these, when I have people around me who stun me and inspire me with their strength of emotion and conviction for love, art, expression, and dance, make me cry in private because they make me believe in that stuff that exists below the surface: the life-sustaining, all-knowing, patient mycelium that has always existed and will outlive everything that eventually dies. My life has been filled with these intimate women’s spaces and moments of sisterhood-induced inspiration. There are many ways to open your eyes to magic, to god, to truth, to connectedness, to sacred geometry—through entheogens, meditation, travel, solitude, dance, yoga, prayer, nature—and sitting in a room full of conscious, creative, self-reflective, truth-speaking women is one way to tap into that current.
Our hotel-room matriarch told me tonight, with my intricately-lined palm in her lap, that the life of a truth-seeker is one of opening your heart repeatedly to have it hurt, to open it again and have it hurt again: vulnerability, pain, openness, pain, trust, pain, faith, pain—and eventual mortal death. My hand reveals that I will choose to keep opening my heart in the face of suffering. She tells me I must do this in order to leave the world a better place for my sisters to come, even in this time of destruction. I looked around the room and realized all the dancers listening around me are all charged with the same epic task. My husband has been charged with a similar task of his own. I have managed to surround myself with people who feel a strong undeniable calling to be creative, productive forces in the world. After all, once you see and feel truth how can you live your life in service of anything else but that? How can you do anything BUT choose the pain of living a life that defies modern convention in order to stay close to nature, to art, to goodness -even among a system that actively tries to corrupt and convolute those truths with money and power, convenience and distraction, leaving desolate unproductive dead earth behind? But nights like these make me want to open my heart and offer the best of myself to a world that may very well just beat me down for my brazenness and hopeful naivety.
Tonight we sugarcoated the weight of our lives’ tasks with Haagen-Dazs, limbered our tight muscles with wine, sent shrill and soft laughter into the air, and leaned into each others arms to feel comforted and grounded. Tomorrow we’ll bicker over the counts in the music and the last of the most choice food item at lunch and be distracted by the pettiness of everyday life on tour, but at another point in the future we’ll gather with one other again and reinvigorate ourselves with allegorical archetypes and cosmic truths. We’ll find comfort in one another’s arms and in our similar struggles and later we’ll feel the pain of our open hearts when we leave tour, parting momentarily with the distraction and sense of purpose it gives us.