Demeter’s Surrender

By: Analyn Revilla

Surrender was the theme that presented itself throughout the week. Allow and accept. Let it be. Let go.

Back in October, Constance wrote a great blog on the theme of “Surrender”, and it was succinct and straight to the point.  I liked it.

My take on surrender is like a lazy windy old river.  I will meander on. 

At my last  yoga class I taught Yin Yoga.  Yin requires surrendering to the force of gravity to allow the muscle to relax so that it allows access to the deeper and denser connective-tissue.  This is different to the traditional yoga classes which use more muscle to move into the pose and to hold the pose.

Then I recall my short-lived acting life at the “Imagined Life” studio. I wasn’t very good. I had the tendency to be in my head rather than my heart and my body. The teacher tried different techniques to help me drop my judgmental-analytical mind. One assignment I had was to play a mother, “Rita”, who has a fling with her son’s best friend.  My resistance to the character was the problem. I was playing rather than being; and judging and not accepting – “That’s not me”; “I could never do that”. But once I allowed myself to fall under the spell of this woman’s imagined life, I became authentic.

Surrender also applies to my writing too. I had the best intention of writing every day of my blog week, especially as it is my last week before the start of the new year. But I was more concerned with product rather than process. I was pulling at ideas rather than letting them come to me. Forced writing is more applicable to “work” (like doing a user manual; writing software specifications; or a project proposal). Writing from the gut is organic and flowing.

This piece almost wrote itself one very late night (or early morning) and I was in a half-conscious state. The theme was inspired by the mythology of Demeter. Upon the discovery of her daughter Persephone’s disappearance, Demeter, as Mother Earth hailed drought upon the lands. The crops withered and the land was barren for a very long time. She could not be appeased, until she finally conceded to the fate of Persephone’s marriage to Hades upon Zeus’ persuasion.  Upon Demeter’s surrender the land became fruitful again. But Persephone also had to descend back to the underworld for part of each year, and when she returned to earth then the corn crop would also return.  Life needs this cycle of active and passive stages.  This is Yin and Yang.

December 15th, 2018 is the 11th month anniversary of Bruno’s fatal accident. This past year I’ve had many times of being powerless to the weight of my grief. I felt like Demeter losing my light. And when I resisted being down, I felt more incapacitated because I wasn’t being authentic to my feeling. I was resisting the feeling of the pain. It’s like lightning struck down half of a whole tree. I just wanted to get the season of winter over and done with. But it doesn’t work that way. These things take time. When I decide to surrender and let go of my idea of being “okay”, and allow myself to stay in the dark cocoon of grief till it was ready to melt away then the tears flow; and it passes.

Forgiveness is also a form of surrender to my idea of being right or being granted justice. It’s not fair that Bruno died in the hands of a hit & run driver and that I’ve been robbed of my dreams with him. It’s wrong that this person is still at large. It’s unbelievable that I had to fight to get my green card status, because the INS didn’t believe my marriage to Bruno is real. The list can go on about how life is just – just – just blankety blank-blank. But at this moment, I choose to let it go. I surrender. I can forgive, because I must otherwise I can’t move forward to let spring and summer arise and bear fragrant flowers and sweet fruits into my life. I need air. I have to breathe again.  Exhalation is surrender.

Photographed on Rainy Day at 168 St. & Figueroa, Gardena
day three hundred and twenty-six
6, december 2018
3 days of rain already
overflow gutters
garbage & fallen fronds
lantern fruits
paint grey skies
international-orange
persimmons fatten seasons bright
finger tips press
firmly, imagining ripeness
forgiving
peace
hope
love

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