Last month, my community and I buried our beloved friend Kim-chi. Now everyone is unique, but some people, I say, are more unique than others. Kim-chi was one of those exceptional beings. (Who else has been struck by lightening… TWICE?! And lived to tell both tales!!) Her funeral was like her life ~ full of color, raw emotion, community connection and song. And her funeral, like her life, was inspiring. As I watched the day unfold, I realized that a Part 2 of my blog was being written.
In my first blog, I spoke of the original Trinity of the Divine Mother, the Divine Father and the Great Mystery which creates All Life. I spoke of how the Greeks and the forefathers of the Christian Church tried to remove the Divine Mother from this Trinity. I spoke of the chaos, the violence and the environmental destruction that has erupted as a result. I spoke of how our government, our culture, is still attempting to maintain this severance. By the end of Kim-chi’s funeral, however, it was clear that the centuries-long attempts have FAILED.
The Divine Feminine is alive and well. She cannot be severed from the Trinity. She cannot be hidden. She cannot be made to rest.
The Divine Feminine is the vast unknown, the physical body, the cycle of birth / sex / death, the ever-changing ephemeral, human connection, the deep waters of grief, the Earth. All of these aspects were present and accounted for the day we buried Kim-chi.
As an enthusiastic soul who touched the lives of as many as she could, Kim-chi drew a very large crowd of diverse folk to her burial. Bright colors, painted faces, glittered skin in her honor. Beauty in abundance. In her last words to my daughters, Kim-chi told them to never underestimate the importance of beauty in life, to create beauty whenever and wherever they could.
To the beat of the drums and the lilt of a song, we processed to her burial site. We sat around her body sharing stories of her enthusiasm for protecting the earth, her honesty in expressing emotion, her commitment to creating a better world together. For me, what I will always associate with Kim-chi was her incredible passion for creating a more loving, interdependent culture. She was thrilled hearing stories about how our community was healing itself, caring for each other, caring for the earth, restoring the Trinity into balance. She took tremendous joy in the smallest of triumphs, raising her hands high and shrieking, “YES!! We ARE transforming culture!!!”
We sat with her body, wrapped in cloth, covered with flowers, colored streamers hanging from the trees. We sat listening to recordings of her voice singing to us her favorite songs. We sat as her family, of blood and of spirit, together. We sat in waves of tears and laughter. We could still laugh, for we could still see her body there with us.
When it came time to place her body down into the earth, the tears that had been quietly flowing turned into uncontrollable sobs. We all knew that her soul is Eternal, and that she was not really gone. We all knew that she would be with us forever in the breeze, in our hearts, in the songs. And yet, when the last chance to gaze upon her physical body was gone, the grief overtook us.
Her ephemeral body ~ once born, then died. Returned to the Earth and not to be seen again. Never again will we see her wild attire, her hair standing on end, her painting hands, her gorgeously voluptuous bottom. Never again will we hear her words of encouragement, her effusive praise of Nature, her witchy cackle.
Our hearts grieve the ephemeral. No matter that for centuries we have been told that the ephemeral is unimportant, that it is only the Eternal Spirit that should be valued. No matter that St. Augustine told us that the body is the punishment for the sins of our soul. No matter that we have been brainwashed to compete, to be independent and look out for ourselves. Our hearts know the truth.
In times of grief, our hearts cry the truth. The physical body is treasured because of its ephemeral nature. How precious, how precious is this body that we can see and touch for only a short time? How precious to know this being called Kim-chi, and there will never be another one exactly like her? How precious to know that her body will change form into dirt and insects and the plants that she so loved? And how precious to know that her spirit lives on in every flap of the butterflies’ wings.
The body and the spirit are one – the existence of each completely reliant upon the other.
The Trinity does not need to be restored; it only needs to be remembered.