In November 2014, I wrote about the bottle of champagne that was to be opened when Mark was finished with treatments, to celebrate life without cancer. (So much for the power of cheap liquor.)
The bottle lurked in the back of the fridge while I brooded about what to do with the damn thing. (“Champagne/real pain”) What the bottle represented was too important to just chuck it into the garbage, and too painful of a reminder to keep. What to do?
This went on, almost entirely in my head, for years. Then, two days after I wrote about it, a solution came, effortlessly: pour it out in the grass, break the bottle.
Of course, I had to muck it up. I did want the process to be meditative and uncomplicated, without thinking it to death. But then, I attempted to document the ritual with photos, in the style of my mentor/friend/artangel /favoritehedonist Tracy Hicks. I have never possessed Tracy’s talent, or his brilliant, intensely laid-back grace. Thus, my pictures came out uninspired and stilted. I was interrupting the process in order to document the process. The more I pushed, the more the flow retreated. I realized that what I was really doing was attempting to take a sacred private moment and turn it into something Facebook-worthy. Staged.
So I repented, and went another way. I laid down the camera – and my perfectionism.I did my little backyard ritual, and the results were amazing.
Then, another brooding session began. I had written about the problem. I should share my solution. But how to write about it honestly, without “performing?”
I made a compromise that I can live with. I will keep the ritual private, and share the results.
Just pour it out. Break the bottle.
I did that, in a simple way, and the result was true release. Healing. Reconnection. Renewed vitality.
The physical action of breaking the bottle released the “other outcome,” the happy ever after that we didn’t get. It was a powerful, quiet, grace-filled action. Pain, anger, and resentments that had been held for years were released into the earth.
Becoming more and more