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Learning in Freedom

Welcome to Learning in Freedom, a blog all about the learning adventures (and mishaps) of the Allen family. My four children are unschooled, following their interests and passions every day and living the lives of their choosing. The purpose of this blog is to share our every day lives (and my not-so-humble opinons) with anyone interested in stopping by. We hope this will give a glimpse of how natural learning unfolds from day to day......

Monday, November 06, 2006

Day of the Dead

We had our Day of the Dead party on November 2nd, as planned. Several families were here, including LeaAnn's crew from Pensacola and the Kuipers from South Carolina. The kids helped collect scrap lumber from the construction next door so we had ourselves a nice fire in the firepit. It's a good thing as the weather was a bit chilly.

As it grew dark, we gathered around Hannah's willow tree. I scooped some of the earth into an envelope and mixed her ashes with it. We each said a few words about Hannah and threw a handful of the dirt/ashes mix onto a rosebush planted under her tree.
I shared the memory of Hannah and some other little girls playing with Bratz at the post-conference picnic in St. Louis last year.
The kids that didn't even know Hannah said some really sweet things about her. They talked about pictures they've seen online and how Hannah is a reminder to them about how short life can be and to enjoy every moment that we have.

It was exactly as it was meant to be. A gathering of friends around her tree. Shared thoughts. A fire burning behind us at the firepit. Darkness descending. Spirits visiting.

It was a looooong party. We started around 3pm and Teri and I finally quit talking after 1am. We ate all night, wandered from the house to the trampoline to the firepit....a happy swirl of people and talk. Got the Chai and Mojitos going around 10pm or so. After everyone left I was absolutely exhausted, and after a warm bath I was ready to pass out.

As I lay down to sleep (boy did my bed feel GREAT) a sentence popped into my mind. It was something that was not going to leave me alone unless I wrote it down. So I grab my bedside notebook and write in the dim of a nightlight. Now I can sleep.
Another sentence, whole and complete in my mind again. I scrawl it wherever there seems to be space on the page, no order in mind. This happened a third time and so I wrote a bit more until the voice in my head was quiet.
Then I slept deeply.

The next morning, I figured the poem (or whatever it was) would be a jumbled mass of words that didn't make much sense. To my surprise it was actually in an order that worked. I'm not sure who sent the words, but I thanked them.

It's written from Diana Jenner's point of view. I knew that much when I was writing.
Being a vessel for someone elses words is a bit strange. But here it is:

Time can not erase the ache
The ache of empty arms

Cold, clutching empty arms
The embrace not returned

This creature of light
sprung forth from my womb
Soul of the world--in her eyes.

Silent wings of night
swept her into death's hold

My empty arms reach
graspingly across dark chasms
Insatiable void
only empty
only aching
always longing

Her song echoes across the ether
Her power?
To draw together.
Remember you may not always hold them

She whispers in sunlight
and laughs at the serious moon
dancing in limbs of trees
bowing gracefully at her passing.

Never to be held again.
Free to be.
Spirit in the swirling wind.
Soul of the world
Looking straight through me.


Anonymous Heather M. in CA said...

What an amazing poem--it astounds me what the universe reveals to us when we are open to it. We also had a Dia de los Muertos celebration. I felt really strongly that Hannah should be a part of it (even though I never met her, or Diana), so we placed her picture on our altar. While I was getting a frame for the picture, Tim McGraw's song "Please Remember Me" suddenly popped into my head. As if we could forget her and her amazing story. Her power absolutely lies in drawing people together. Thanks for sharing your words.

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Heather said...

Wow Ren! Your poem is incredible....A reminder to give extra hugs to my kids and live in the moment....

12:44 PM  
Blogger Deanne said...

Tom walked in the room right after I finished reading your poem and asked me what was all over my face. It was covered in the tears that just came pouring out. That poem was SO powerful and SO beautiful. Thank you for writing it, and for sharing it.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Ren said...

I'm glad you all enjoyed it. Writing is often a channeling process, but this was especially powerful in it's feeling of completeness right when it hit my brain!:)

So many great connections have happened this week. The universe has such a great flow when we're open to it.

1:19 PM  

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