Welcome to A Meditative Journey with Saldage.
About twelve years ago, while working as a psychotherapist at a community mental health center, I met a homeless woman who identified herself as a sundowner. She described how each evening’s sun invited her to settle down along the side of her life’s path so that her journey could begin afresh in the morning sun. She eloquently described an undercurrent of yearning that ebbed and flowed throughout her soul and how, in her past days, she found herself at the mercy of private memories, thoughts, and imaginations and had encountered, time and time again, various degree of discontent despite the seemingly fulfilling qualities of her life.
As I hear the suffering within women who story their lives through the multi-colored threads of relationships, motherhood, and work, I find myself acknowledging a similarity within each of these unique stories with my own metaphysical search for someone, something, or some place that remains beyond the forever next horizon. Each of our unique narratives reveal an unending wandering with satchels of discontent that tell of a spiritual emptiness and an emotional intimacy with a translation of the Brazilian wordsaldage, “a homesickness for a place one knows cannot be.”
Within this perspective, it is my hope that I am able to offer travelers a quiet place to rest and ponder various stories, quotes, or ideas that may help ease our unique sense of Saldage.
Women are empowered to step over the threshold of discontent and uncertainty within a trusting environment that encourages them to use their voice to speak of and process personal feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Within all of us there are powerful emotions within our souls that remain voiceless and silent until they are conveyed through imagery and symbols. It is through creative endeavors – drawing, cooking, writing, painting, gardening, poetry, child rearing, photography, weaving, reading, work – that a woman may be able to give “voice” to that which words cannot convey.
All forms of art provide a means to help a woman externalize that which silently moves her, to re-acquaint her self with self, to re-create a new awareness of self, to communicate about herself with others, and to meet her own wondrous feminine spirit/guide.
Stories, myths, and parables acknowledge and respect the unique individuality of each of us. Myths give voice, through their use of symbols, to what is hidden, unknown, or evasive. Stories that share the dynamics of human interactions silently plant a seed of personal truth in the dark component of each of us, waiting for the appropriate time to bloom and to nourish. They also illustrate the universal theme of suffering and its resolution. Parables, with their multiple levels of meaning, honor the unique perspective and understanding of both listener and speaker. These multiple layers of meaning touch what is salient to the reader and thus gift all readers with an invitation to define for self their own understanding, interpretation, and application.
Once upon a time in a peaceful village people would gather during the lunch hour to rest, eat their afternoon meals, and exchange village news and gossip. In the village square, some people chose to sit on the grass, others rested in the shade of a large tree, while some chose to sit underneath a century-old veranda.
One afternoon without warning tragedy came to the village. Five people died and two were seriously injured when the veranda broke loose and fell to the ground. Before the end of the day, rumors, myths, and suppositions began to formulate from questions such as why that particular veranda?
Why that particular day? Why that particular time? Why those particular people and not others? How could it have been prevented? Who is responsible for this tragedy?
These universal questions have not found an answer that forever eases away grief and loss, anxiety, guilt, and confusion. The silence that fills the air in response to questions seeking resolution has failed to ease the suffering that overcomes a loss soul. The silence has given birth to myths of old. It has also open doors to judgment, discontent, and marginalization.
To heal does not mean to cure. To heal is a process of becoming whole and thus an invitation to see the world anew and to enter into a more gratifying connection with all that is life.
One mother’s journey through grief is found in Cindy Bullens, Somewhere Between Heaven and Earth.