What are you Grieving? The Goddess Isis Weeps

What are you grieving? Who among us is not grieving someone, something, or many things and people?

I am grieving close friends who have passed since this recent Winter Solstice scarce six weeks ago. Some passed of COVID-19, others of various maladies, and one family friend passed after playing two hours of tennis at age 90—way to go, Wilson!

I am grieving the suffering caused by this pandemic, the death, the long term disabilities, the illness and suffering. I am grieving that we live in a dystopia where touch is forbidden and people die alone with their phones. I am grieving the financial losses many have suffered, the long lines for food banks snaking through parking lots. I am grieving the fear that many are feeling, the separation from loved ones, far and near, just across town and on the other side of the planet. 

And I am grieving the climate that has changed and broken down around me. , The environment I live in is not the same one I moved to 27 years ago, and on a macro scale, the planetary bank of biodiversity is on the verge of going bankrupt. I grieve the drought in the Southwest where I live, as the single-digit humidity sucks moisture from my face and from my fingers as I type, and from the soil and leaves and needles of the land outside my home. I grieve the memory of snow, of bright winters, of moonlight on snow by night, of sunlight in azure skies by day against the sharp blinding whiteness of snow tenderly blanketing and nourishing the land.

Do all Goddesses weep with compassion? Is that the fate of the Divine Feminine, to cry for the imbalances before pulling Herself together to right them, to rebalance in both gentleness and fierceness?

I hope you will be moved by my poem, Isis Weeping, which I wrote on Winter Solstice as I connected with the anguished grief of the Ancient Egyptian Goddess Isis as she searched for the fourteen pieces of her dismembered husband. How many pieces of our own souls is each of us searching for? How many pieces of Gaia's soul? 

What are you Resurrecting with your love?

 Isis, Weeping
 Like Isis, I grieve.
 I grieve for the world,
             which has vanished.
 I grieve for our lives,
             cut into pieces like Osiris’
                         mortal remains,
 I feel her anguish, my own,
             as she searches
                         wailing with tear-streaked face
             the length and breadth of Egypt
                         for her murdered Beloved.
 I choke on desert sands, blowing.
 I cry in the heat of a changed world,
             tears drying on my ravaged cheeks.
 I am wide awake with love and longing,
             seeking, restless
                         finally falling into exhausted sleep
 And dreams of the stars.
 I wait for the renewal of the day
             the life-giving Light of Ra
                         that still does not shine
                                     upon the face of the Beloved.
 I grieve, today, for all the lives torn
 For all the loved ones separated,
 For all the strangers afraid
             of one another,
 For the wildly swinging scale of Ma’at,
 Her feather blowing away
             in a savage, unending gale
                         of pestilence and greed.
 I grieve for Lion and Cat
             and life forms larger and smaller.
 I grieve for harmony,
             for gatherings, for dance,
                         for music, for shared food.
 I grieve and search, endlessly it seems.
 The sun rises and sets, rises and sets,
             the moon goes through her
                         pregnant phases.
 The stars wheel uncaringly around
             the drifting North Star—
 Are they indifferent to our plight?
 We are separated as surely
             as the Beloved’s parts,
                         scattered, scattered
 Longing to be found,
                         brought together in a scream
                                     of love
 Like the voice of the kite.
 Like Isis, I will grow wings,
             wings to help me search
                         the Heavens and the Earth.
 I will take the form of Mut
             ugly-headed beautiful vulture
 The Cleanser
 And scream as I rush down the steps
             of the holy temple
                         at dawn on the solstice.
 The sun stands still
             over the hot sands of Egypt
             over the life-giving waters of the Nile
 Over forests of north and south
             jungles, farmland,
                                     with capstones of snow.
 Over the still-frozen pole
 The sun waits
             the Earth waits
                         the sky waits
 For the victory of Love.
 Like Isis, I preserve Love
             I nurture Love
 I raise the Osiris of my Hopes
             with Love.
 I become a thousand “we’s”
             nay, millions, nay, billions.
 We grieve like Isis
             whether we know it or not,
 Only our minds and hearts
             are free to wander at this moment.
 But we are free to wonder,
             no rules nor plagues
                         keeping us from wonder.
 The grief, the loss
             is the beginning.
 That sick moment when we realize it’s true.
 Osiris is missing
             Earth is fading
                         Life is draining away
                                     species by species
 Sand through the glass of time.
 What do we do?
 First, we grieve.
 It takes as long as it must.
 Then we Journey
             to worlds as yet undreamed
                         to bring back the pieces of the world.
 We grow wings like a billion angels
 And the tender Wings of Love
             bring life back to the planet.
 The Wings of Love stir the breath of life,
             of rebirth of all that is sacred
 of all that loves, and is loved, and is Love.
 The Wings of Love change the weather,
             cause the waters to rise up
                         become clouds
 Bring rare and life-giving rain
             shimmer into rainbows in the sun.
 When we can transform our grief
             our hot rage and outrage
                         to cooling rains of Love
 Our world will be reborn
             New, different
 But vital and strong.
 Our love will miraculously give birth
             to re-generation.
 Sons and daughters of Life will be born
             and reach to rejoin the stars.
 Grief shall shatter,
             our tears become purified of salt,
                         become fresh, life-giving rain
 Each drop a rainbow.
 We will embrace again
             We will dance to sistrum and harp
             We will twirl and stamp.
 We will again join our voices
             in laughter and song.
 Osiris will rise again
             and again
 In every form
 Through the power of Love
             pure, unmitigated
 This is how Earth transforms
 This is how Earth heals
 This is how humans are born
             from the loving womb of Earth
                         to begin anew, wiser.
 This is the time of Isis’ labor
             painful, focused
 She gives birth, we give birth
             to the promised New Earth.
 We at last take our place among the Stars.
 —Debra Denker
 December 20, 2020

Debra Denker is the author of the cli-fi time travel novel Weather Menders.
Isis in the form of a kite (a type of hawk) awakens her beloved Osiris with her pure love. She is impregnated and later gives birth to Horus.
Fresco at Dendera Temple, Egypt.

One thought on “What are you Grieving? The Goddess Isis Weeps

  1. I am deeply moved by these pearls of wisdom from this beautifully written poem that is a soul adventure through stages of grief and rebirth leaving us hopeful. The gifted author, Debra Denker, blesses each of us with this awakening through her expressive language of love.

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