From Jizo to Ashes in The Milk

I am gathering steam.

I am preparing to launch my first book, Ashes in The Milk.  As I begin to think of my ‘baby’ out there in the world, I am discovering her creation story.

This story has been trying to write itself through me for over thirty years.  The book had two full-length iterations both of which I threw out… certain I wasn’t going to be able to bring this story to light.

After all, it’s a story about pain without words.  Pre-verbal pain.

Those of you who are not familiar with my Jizo journey, just know that this bodhisattva is the protector of women and children, especially infants and the unborn.  Jizo’s presence in my meditation gave my inner self a sense of safety, of being grounded.

It took years of writing, dreaming, active imagination, therapy, working with others who had adverse infancy experiences… many of whom were either premature or whose mothers became ill early in their lives.  Those of us with this kind of attachment pain don’t have words the thoughts and feelings that sometimes flood us.  We may do all kinds of things to ignore or distract from the pain.

A series of events unfurled themselves.  First the Woolsey Fire chased me and my two horses out of their home in Malibu.  Then, I was thrown off my younger horse, Pj and suffered a concussion.  After that came a tsunami of events that began with the Pandemic in 2020, Pj’s death after a horrible accident, and then my eldest horse’s death fourteen months later.

I thought this would just break me.  But as Rumi so elegantly told us: the light shines in through the broken places.

Thus began a journey of what I can only call soul retrieval.  It wasn’t an intellectual exercise but rather an organic process that revealed itself mostly through dreams and the tending of those dreams.  During the Sheltering several different invitations came my way.  First, through the magic of Facebook and Instagram’s algorithms, Toko-pa Turner’s DreamDrops came my way.  I began to do the work of writing my remembrances each night.  I began a dream journal.  It grew, and grew.  Another dream course found me and I spent a couple of these pandemic years studying with Steve Aizenstadt and a cohort of dreamers doing deep imaginal work.  Accompanying this work was body work: fascia flossing with Bon Crotzer and Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement with Gika Rector.  Both practices, along with daily yoga, allowed me to write from an embodied place.

You could say this book was written not just by my mind but by my body which opened me to parts of my soul that I had left behind.  Sure, I knew my stories in my head… now I felt them in my body.  Fully.  Deeply.

I cried a lot in the writing of this first book.  Retrieving traumatized parts is not a simple act.

The second book, I’m not crying, I’m watching in awe as integration reveals itself, like a painting emerging from a canvas, a sculpture emerging from a stone.

Makes me smile to write this!

The third book… well the third book is living a multidimensional life I cannot even quite explain yet but I am beginning to live it.

It’s part of the gift of eldering.

I will be sharing bits of pieces of my book and my new manuscript which is complete and now getting edited (from 100,000+ words down to 32,000!).

So this is the introduction:  I’m happy to offer you my book.  It will be available on Amazon and other platforms in both e-book and softcover versions.

Stay tuned.

Some praise for this author: “A poem that reads like a novel, Ashes in the Milk captures the wild roller coaster ride of a life that led one woman to become a respected Los Angeles psychotherapist.  It is a journey through the rebellious free love days of the Seventies and Eighties, incorporating memories from infancy and the vivid dreams of her later years to make sense of a life that was nearly cut short at multiple junctures.” ~~Jim Cirigliano, documentary producer/writer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *