WHEN THE UNIVERSE ASKS YOU TO CHANGE,
IT MAY TAKE LONGER THAN YOU THINK
In the truest sense of the word, I am a journalist: I keep a journal and I write about the events of my time. When I was in my mid-twenties, a family friend suggested I commence a written record of what I experienced because I was in “the most interesting years” of life. Now that I have reached what indigenous traditions call elderhood, I believe that all the years are interesting, not just or only those of youth. However, I took my family friend’s suggestion and started keeping a journal at the age of twenty-five. I now have well over one hundred hand-written volumes occupying substantial space on a library shelf.
The peculiarity about keeping a journal is that you quite literally record a journey through time. You get to witness yourself – and your unconscious – through time’s changing lens. For me journal keeping has also been a pilgrimage toward listening to my heart and has evolved into a kind of education in growing my heart’s intelligence. I never suspected this would happen when I first took pen in hand.
That we think with our hearts is no longer idle speculation. Neuro-cardiologists have discovered that between 60% to 65% of the cells in that organ are neural cells, not muscle cells as once thought. These neural heart cells are identical to those in our brain and operate through the same connecting mechanisms. So there is, quite literally, a “brain” in our hearts, and I believe it is important that we learn more about its language, how it speaks, and how we listen to that “still small voice within.”
What follows is a journey through time about my own dance between the darkness and light and how I am learning to allow the brain in my heart to conduct the score. I chose to start with the journals from my middle years because I believe they hold a unique perspective. In youth, one looks forward with questions and wonder. In old age, one looks back and reminisces. But at the mid-point in life, one can look at what has happened and still look forward to what may yet come.
My personal thanks to Father Lawrence Shelton of St. Anselm’s Parish in Los Angeles with whom I studied Ignatian Spirituality and who has been my Spiritual Director for over a decade. My thanks also to Dr. Jack Zimmerman for his rigorous, intelligent, and no-nonsense psycho-spiritual care. Both individuals have provided patient and compassionate guidance that I appreciate more than they will ever know.
Aside from the many writers and artists whose works I have quoted in the following pages, I want to acknowledge in particular the following authors and their works:
The Book of Runes by Ralph Blum and The Healing Runes by Ralph Blum and Susan Loughan.
Animal Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals by Jamie Sams and David Carson.
Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue, Ph.D.
Sacred Geometry Oracle Deck by Francene Hart.
It is my hope that those who read these journals will take heart.