Elephant Speaks

Committee - Writer

Elephant. She’s the animal that showed up for my fifth chakra – the energetic locus of self-expression — that was sliced open just about exactly 3 years ago to the day.

The thyroid surgery was terrifying for me – to have my throat cut open – a six inch slit – terrifying to lay my head over that half-moon block, exposing my neck to the surgeon. The only possible image in my mind, one that the “forgetting drugs” can’t erase, was that I was being prepared for sacrifice. As I went under, like the maiden sinking in the cenote, I thought, “I’ve given my breast and a year of my life….” and then darkness.

I awakened not refreshed, not rested, but exhausted, with a pounding headache and bandages on my neck. And that FUCKING surgeon stopped by to cheerfully suggest that, if I were lucky, I might live another fifteen years!

As if that were good news.

I mutely accepted the prognosis of the idiot who stuck his fingers into my sacred chakra and dug out my organs….

Elephant.

My voice goes hoarse every year at the end of July. This anniversary, whether I remember it or not, my body faithfully reminds me.

She came to me about a year ago. I was meditating, what needs to be said? Resting my energy in the throat, the muscles in my neck. I noticed my head tipping back – as if offering my throat to the knife again, and again, and again….

She came while I was making a SoulCollage® card for my fifth chakra. The images: Stepped On Earth in the background, a woman writing, with a hurricane forming (a tropical depression?) at the writer’s throat, and an elephant trumpeting above the writer’s head.

Elephant speaks: “I Am The One Who is passing on. I am Mother, Who never forgets and always loves you.” In my meditation I see only the elephant’s eye and the wrinkles and hairs that surround it. I begin to trace the pathways of the concentric rings of wrinkles: a labyrinth path. Elephants and humans are the only animals that cry, did you know that?

Elephant continues, “We remember many creatures have left this beautiful place before us. We are aware that we, too, are on our way out.” I begin, in my meditation to cry. My tears drop, pulled in a straight lines down my cheeks. It is true that for decades I’ve avoided all documentaries, all images – anything to do with elephants. I have found love-longing that cracks my ribs to be unbearable. So I’m that dismayed to have Elephant come — to show up for my fifth chakra – to have her Speak – for her to teach ME how to speak. No avoiding that pain.

She RUMBLES to speak to me. It reminds me of the time I asked a redwood tree to tell me it’s name. I heard, in my mind’s ear, a sub-sonic rumble. It traveled through the earth – I could never reproduce the sound or come remotely close in human language to what it said or sounded like. I understood from that tree that they were many/one – that the name(s) I heard were of the Community – that the redwoods are each one connected to many, many others, that they are like mushrooms.

Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of enormous fungal networks that sometimes covers hundreds of miles of land – many fruits, but a single vast organism. We humans think, “oh a mushroom!” But they are not “a” mushroom, they are “Mushroom,” collective noun. The redwoods told me they were like that too. And Elephants.

Elephant rumbles in the same frequency as the redwood did – and she’s telling me that they too, are many/one with the Earth. I feel the rumbles in my chest – the mastectomy side, less padded, feels the sensation most strongly. “We are on our way out,” I hear Elephant say. I’m awash in grief, I am a waterfall of grief, but it is I, Erica, not Elephant, who grieves.

I am looking at her eye, which is fringed by lashes as long as my fingers. I’m struck by an urge to be stroked by her lashes. In my meditation, I move closer to her body. I press my numbed chest to her face and I soften like chocolate, as her maternal lashes lovingly brush my scars.

Standing so close to her eye, I begin following the path of the labyrinth, tracing that circuitous route with my fingertip – to see where it leads….

Elephant is showing me devastation: pit mines, tree skeletons poking out of sand dunes, garbage gyres. I understand that we’ve gone over the line – the Elephants are walking out. I know I am seeing their extinction. What is worse, THEY know it, and accept it with elephant equanimity. Because that is What they are. My heart is beating so hard. I think I’m going to explode. I understand. It’s not about saving the Earth. The message is about the RUMBLE, it is the many/one. So fifth chakra: SPEAK! SPEAK!! Write it – tell it!

An aging librarian lady with journals and a blog, and off the wall visions and the message is – RUMBLE!

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