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?
Like Isis, I grieve.
I grieve for the world,
which has vanished.
I grieve for our lives,
cut into pieces like Osiris’
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,
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
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,
Longing to be found,
brought together in a scream
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
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
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
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
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
But vital and strong.
Our love will miraculously give birth
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
In every form
Through the power of Love
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
She gives birth, we give birth
to the promised New Earth.
We at last take our place among the Stars.
December 20, 2020
Debra Denker is the author of the cli-fi time travel novel Weather Menders.