Wounds: A Love Story
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WOUNDS contains very potent material with powerful relevance for
--Dr. Jean Houston, principal founder of the Human Potential Movement
(The following is an article using condensed material from my book
and published in the Summer 2005 edition of Dream Network Journal.
at Tattered Cover Bookstore.)
was September 22, 1991 and I arrived promptly at Dr. Glenn's office
for my Radix
Bodywork session. I had
no idea that the life I thought I had been living was about to
so many pieces of stale bread.
In the course of my four year tenure with
Drs. Linda and Austen Glenn, I began to experience a series of visions
me. The images
that revealed themselves to me had come
flooding forth, unraveling in the most unexpected way. Each new insight
brought its own unique cascade of terrifying emotions, but the nature of
kept pulling me back. Not unlike peeling succeeding layers of skin from
I set about the task of looking deep within my own psyche. Other trips
I had made to my inner landscape had always been fruitful, but none had
the place I was about to go.
As I dragged my feet slowly up the red brick steps
to Linda and Austen's office in their suburban Conway home, I felt a deep sense
of dread. I stopped
a moment on their front porch to take a deep breath as I remembered how
painful my last session had been. I took a long look at the cascading ivy
off their porch and covered most of their lawn. I could smell the delicious
of the thick white Gardenia blossoms that dotted the bushes next to their
porch like so many clusters of perfume drenched clouds, drunk on their
I opened their front door, listening to the familiar creak of the hinges
as Linda met me with open arms and a warm, inviting embrace.
As I lay on my green mat in the middle of the hardwood floor, a series
of cartoon-like figures unraveled inside my head. A tall, dark man apeared
red. Initially, he seemed to carry a red cane. I could scarcely breathe
as I watched
this walking stick turn into an erect penis, which he rubbed over the naked
body of a little girl. Then the image folded up like a paper fan, transformed
a vertical black line in my field of vision. A little girl's voice spoke
boy! You were not supposed to come out." Next, I saw the chubby fingers
of a child's right hand, holding a key. She reached over and locked the
black line, as if it were a door.
In the years to come, I would embark on an odyssey
of epic proportions, leaving my body and soul wracked in agony. I would journey
through time and space, even past the dark holes of my personal past, and
finally arriving face to face with spiritual ecstasy.
This story is a tale of redemption and renewal,
death and rebirth, and triumph over darkness. But most importantly, this is a
love story. Alone
forsaken, adrift on treacherous waters, I was joined by a celestial figure
of light whose name is simply Grandfather.
As a psychologist in practice for over 13 years
when I began uncovering the secrets of my past, I was already well acquainted
with much of the
abuse. I knew that betrayal in the form of sexual abuse creates an opening
-- a sacred wound -- through which the Divine may enter. It is no accident
abused children often have greater access to the world of the spirits;
they have, after all, been penetrated.
I don't know for sure when I first encountered
the black ravens of despair, but I strongly suspect they have been with me all
my life. I do remember,
however, hearing them at the age of four when I traveled by train to St.
great aunt to see my grandparents. The ravens awoke when my grandmother
said it was time for me to take a bath. When I realized that my grandmother
aunt planned to bathe me -- naked -- the haunting screams of the ravens
reverberated inside my head. The flapping of their wings as they began
to tear at my heart,
sent me into a panic. No one, not even I, realized that the ravens had
to fear the vulnerability of a naked body.
Being the oldest of five children, I often spent
long periods of time alone when I was very young, and I had a very rich and active
playmate named Jocko. I was emotionally troubled, always anxious and afraid,
and I had a very difficult time making friends.
I remember my grandmother
as my guardian angel. She actually paid attention to me and often intervened
in my defense; I knew clearly that she was an answer to my prayers. No
did that. The ravens went mad when she died. The clawing and tearing, the
screaming inside my head, seemed endless.
I did have one secret that was all mine, something
no one could take from me. I discovered a world full of brightly colored fantasy
carried on many lengthy conversations. And, best of all, Jocko lived here!
in my ability to escape to this other world where I could leave behind
all the emptiness and misery of my real one. Until - one day when I tried
my parents about my friend Jocko
and the world he inhabited. "Crazy," they called me. "Evil," they
said. And I believed them.
By the time I started school, I suffered from nightmares,
eating problems, and behavior problems. I found out years later when my father
me my childhood medical files, that I had been diagnosed as emotionally
disturbed in grade school. And the doctor had discovered two outbreaks
The ravens were nowhere to be found.
After successfully battling major depression, a
result of grief over my divorce in 1985, I found myself grappling with mysterious
medical advice from family doctors, chiropractors, and neurosurgeons. But
no one could explain the unremitting insomnia, back pain, and chronic dis-ease
and anxiety that plagued me. Psychotherapy and bodywork provided only minor
Then the dreams began -- strange images of
a small hysterical child, hurling herself against the fiery red, burning
walls of a pit, desperately wanting
out of this "burning place". And in 1988, there was this dream: A
body of water stands surrounded by trees and flanked by mountains to the
left. A large
number of tribal chieftains march over the ridge of these mountains blowing
their tribal horns. I am awe struck, thinking to myself within the dream
this must be a very significant dream and one that I must share with my
I watch myself walking on the water towards
the base of the mountain. I now realize these tribal elders are calling
me. I am dressed in a thin
gown as I climb
up the side of the mountain where I discover a
younger Indian man. I am now naked as we perform a ritual. White smoke
billows all around us as he dances in a circle around me. It is
okay that I am naked because he and I will never marry. The elders watch
as the ceremony proceeds. The Indian man and I walk off arm in arm as we
On September 15, 1992 I began seeing a therapist
named Anna. I knew very little about Anna except that she had an excellent reputation
she was very
interested in Buddhism. The day dawned bright and sunny as I dragged myself
out of bed after another sleepless night. My heart felt heavy and the burning
in my stomach I had been living with for over a year, seemed worse than
usual. How I managed to drag my listless body up those many steps to her
I will never know.
With Anna's help and encouragement, I began paying
to the visions that had begun resurfacing earlier that same year, during
daily meditations. During this time, I frequently meditated for 3 to 4
hours at a
I began to record everything in painstaking detail and the visionary process
intensified over the next three years. By early 1993, a spirit by the name
of Lady in White (LIW) began confronting me with some unexpected and frightening
LIW stands off in the distance, on top of a purple mountain silhouetted
against a celestial moon. She holds a tiny baby dressed in white garments
round a blazing fire, stopping at each of the four directions to elevate
the child to the heavens. As she hands the infant to me, I notice a large
crystal embedded in her forehead. "She has been called forth to do some
important healing work on earth," the Lady explains. "Everything
is about to come together for her but her soul will feel as if it is
and torn into many pieces."
LIW places her hand over the purple stone that is beginning to take shape
on my own forehead. "This is the mark we have given her. It is designed
to provide an opening. She will be illuminated from within and without
and she will know. She is meant to illuminate the earth,
to shine light upon all she encounters. She must know the burning nature
of this light."
dances joyously on top of the purple mountain, arms outstretched
to the sky. The brilliant moon stands as silent witness to her supplications
wink in appreciation. The baby, ashen in color and barely breathing,
prostrate on the ground in a coffin-like pit. The amethyst in her forehead
and her skin is bluish-gray. I am worried that she is close to death,
but the Lady explains that she is just awaiting rebirth.
I watch in horror as LIW dumps mounds of dirt on
top of the baby. Thin blades of light stab at the air from beneath the soil and
a roaring fire
from the slivers of light. The fire burns itself out, leaving the little
whitewashed. The baby is nowhere in sight. A tiny amethyst stone is all
that remains of her.
A bolt of lightning crashes down from the
heavens, striking the purple stone. A liquid begins to sizzle and bubble
around the crystal.
From this liquid, white smoke appears forming a solid cloud over
the pit. The smoke clears to reveal a very small frozen infant.
was seeing Anna twice a week for individual sessions and meeting with
my dream group weekly, while working with my analyst three times
retreats. Amazingly enough, I managed to maintain a successful private
practice and continued to meditate daily. However, I found it almost
socialize with people and found myself living a sort of hermit lifestyle.
going to work, taking care of household chores, and visiting with my
family on special
occasions, I rarely left my home. Most of my friends eventually drifted
The visions continued as I grew increasingly ambivalent
about the intensifying connection I felt with Anna. Even though she was very
good about letting
me know how to get in touch with her whenever she was out of town,
the closer I felt
to her, the more frightened I became that she would abandon me. I remember
calling her multiple times one day, first cancelling all my appointments
back to reschedule. I marveled at the patience and compassion she showed
me during all the years I worked with her. I know now that I owe her
As I stare into a blazing fire, I make out a dark face with golden
eyes wavering in and out of the flames. Mesmerized, I continue
to stare as
the flames die
down. A huge man wearing a long white robe with golden threads now
stands before me,
towering miles above the earth. In the encounters to come with this
mysterious and compelling man, I would come to know him as
The Master and I stare silently at each other through the flames
of a roaring fire. His eyes are definitely golden and without
etched across their surface, giving him the appearance of some
wild, alien creature.
Still he seems Oriental, with white hair, a white goatee, and thinning
hair. When the fire dies down, his eyes flash beams of light that
darkness all around me.
As if by magic, my body begins to levitate as a table appears,
suspended in mid-air over the embers of the fire. The Master maneuvers
my clothing, and cuts me open from neck to groin. He reaches inside
the cavity and pulls out a tiny crystal clock that reads close
to midnight. "It is
almost time for the soul work to begin," he says. After examining
my heart, he probes deep into my uterus and discovers a baby. As
he touches her lovingly,
a smoky white mist begins to materialize. The Master sighs with
apparent pleasure and then breathes upon the little white cloud.
It immediately shudders in response
and bright lights dance through it's transparent form. He closes
up the opening in my body and I retire to the opposite side of
Silence descends upon us. I plead with him to tell me who he is.
He paces back and forth, then sits back down. A large tear rolls
eye. I reach
over and gently wipe it away. "You do not recognize me yet, do you?" he
"Not yet, Master, but you told me the last time we talked that Anna would
know who you are. Is this true? Do you want me to ask her?" He says that
I should talk with Anna, that he and Anna know each other very well. "How
will she recognize you, Master?"
As I look up at him, a brilliant blue, round light forms in front
of his face. Then it changes to white, outlined in blue. The Master
says: "Tell her about
the blue light fading into white, so brilliant there is nothing
else and she will know."
As he prepares to leave, I run up to him, calling
out and addressing him as Grandfather. These words fly out of my mouth,
as if uttered by someone
from some other
place. He is as surprised as I am. "Is Grandfather right?" I ask. "Grandfather,
I do know you. I do know you,
Both in tears, we embrace. When I open my eyes, he is gone. I catch
a glimpse of him disappearing behind a golden door. The blue light
again fades away into white. And I hear these words: "Blue
light fading away into white -- so brilliant there is nothing."
I am in a strange land. White curtains hang everywhere. The winds
howl and the mists are on the rise. Voices echo all around
me but I see
no one. The
form a maze through which I cannot see my way clear.
A very old man appears from within the billowing
white fabric columns. He wears a long brocade gown similar to the Master's,
ornamentation and golden threads. He has very long fingernails,
long hair, and a long pointed
beard. He looks Oriental like Grandfather -- only much older.
Both his hair and beard are pure white. His long jeweled fingers
leads me into a lavishly decorated room, embellished with gold.
An ornate, golden, glass-topped case sits high
on a pedestal. As I
get closer, I can tell it is a casket. There is a body inside.
I am overtaken with grief as I recognize my beloved Grandfather!
up on top of
the casket, weeping and crying out to him.
Miraculously, I find myself once again outside amidst the maze
of white curtains. The winds continue to howl as the mists
me. Voices echo
everywhere; shadowy forms float past me. Grandfather's golden
visage appears in the sky,
and he speaks to me. "This is the land of the seen and
the unseen, the known and the unknown, the land of reality
and unreality, of death, rebirth and reincarnation.
I will be with you always."
From underneath one of the curtains crawls a little
boy, pulling a red headed little girl in a white gown. A strange light surrounds
I saw Anna yesterday and told her about my meditations, as
Grandfather had asked. Anna wore an Oriental looking silk
jacket, navy blue
in color with
silk flowers embroidered onto the front. I kept my eyes
locked onto that jacket as I was so afraid of her reaction.
if she told
me I was
out of my mind?
or delusional? No sane person would admit to seeing ghosts
now, would they? I held my breath and traced the toe of
my foot around
I read the entry dated 2/8/93. When I finished with the
passage, I looked up to see Anna smiling at me. She indicated
I should stop
she just stared at me for what seemed like an eternity.
I can still remember the loud ticking of the small mahogany
on her desk
as I waited
for her response. Then she took a deep breath and told
she indeed recognized
Grandfather! "His name is Medicine Buddha," she said. She pointed to
the lapis lazuli ring she wears. "I wear this stone
because of my relationship with him."
Chills ran up and down my body as she spoke. As
I left her office, my legs felt like rubber bands and I was overcome
begun. I felt
totally confused and dazed, and, strangely elated.
© 2002 Kathy Martone | firstname.lastname@example.org