all images and stories are the property of Catherine Beerda-Basso and are not to be used without given permission...thank you

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The Scars we Bare...

She was standing at the sink and mirror. I did not pay much attention to her as I walked into the bathroom. I was pre occupied with my own needs to release the pressure of my bladder. Even as I walked up to the sink, I did not pay much attention…then I saw the small pile of clothing tucked between the wall and the sink she was at…my eyes then saw the larger travel bag that sat at her feet. It was slouched open and held more clothing along with some personal items.
That’s when I knew.
I knew what she was doing there.
As I grabbed inconspicuous glances the story began to unfold and all the while she kept her gaze down and movements slight. She was making herself invisible, not wanting to be seen, not wanting to be heard, not wanting to be noticed in this moment.
“Are you alright?”
She nodded yes.
She barely raised her head to meet my gaze. Her eyes remained pinned to the bathroom counter.
Was she high, or coming down? I could not be sure.
One thing was sure the substance abuse was noticeable, hanging over her like chains…like a cross, heavy on her young shoulders…shoulders that were aged far beyond her years.
I felt my heart being tugged.
I was unable to move away….unable to leave without saying more…without reaching out…one sister to another.
“Would you mind if I gave you a hug?”
She shrugged…neither inviting me in nor turning away…she was tired, oh so tired.
I gently and slowly moved towards her, lifting my arms…
“Is this okay?”
She, still looking down, slightly turned her body to face mine, nodded yes.
I took her in.
I pressed my heart against hers.
I drew in all my energy and the energy of Divine Love into me and then I gently poured it into her …white light…the warmth of warm honey
Love that asks for nothing and gives everything
Love that has no face, and yet holds many
Love that sees through grace and compassion
Love that does not need to know the story
Love that does not need to be earned
Love that is because we are
Love that is so much bigger than those 4 meager letters
Love never ending
Consciously and with deep intention I released into her
She was rigid in my arms so I pulled her closer, held her more securely and whispered in her ear.
“I know you feel alone….I know you feel like nothing…but that is not true. You are a sister among many. I have sisters who stand with me and they are here with us now. You are not alone…please believe me, you are not alone. You are loved…so so loved….”
She holds on to me, her face buried in my hair, in my neck.
“You are not alone sister, what happens to you happens to me…you are not alone. You are held by a loving Creator…please believe me…you are not alone….even though you may feel that way, it is not the truth.”
I want to take her into me.
I want to take away the years of abuse that has brought her to this place….I want it all to dissolve and give her another life…but I cannot…so I hold her until I can not hold her any longer.
I say in my heart “Spirit guide me, give me the words to say…”
I stoop down to catch her down cast eyes.
“I meant those words…they come from my heart to yours.”
“I know” she mumbles, head still down.
I want to respect her space…I want to honour who she is in truth and not push too hard…
I gently lift her face and for the first time look into her eyes….I move quickly past the haze of whatever substance lingers in her body, past the shame, past the pain, past the bullshit and look at the pure essence that she is…a twinkle of recognition…her face in my hands I smile and say “thank you…blessings to you.”
I turn to leave…my hand is on the door.
“Are you a Christian?” she ask, putting force behind her voice.
I pause, not turning around…
I slowly turn, hand still on the door…
“I wouldn’t say that exactly, but I believe in God, I believe in Love and I believe that happens to one of us happens to us all in one way or another.”
She nods and we smile at each other.
I open the door and leave the quiet of the bathroom to enter the noise of the live music playing at the bar.
I watch the door now and again, keeping an eye out for her as she leaves.
I pray she heard my words and took them in.
I wish things were different.
Time passes, and she does not come out…it is getting time for us to leave…the band is done and it is late.
I have to go back in…I know myself, if I do not go back in I will have regret.
She is still in there, she is wearing different clothes.
I apologize for taking up her time, but I had to come back to say goodbye, to let her know I will not forget her.
I also apologize because I have been drinking and want her know that me talking to her has nothing to do with wine courage.
That gets a chuckle out of her…she smiles and says she knows that.
I ask her how old she is.
She is 23….I cannot tell.
I tell her she could me my daughter.
This time she is looking me in the eye more…still very hesitant, very guarded, but we have broken something down…she and I.
I am holding her hands talking with her when I look down…
That’s when I see…maybe more than I want to see, but I see it none the less
Her lower arm exposed..along with the scars…deep scars of her pain, her own personal hell
The entire length of her forearm covered…not one millimeter to spare…
Covered with the marks of her own affliction…

this was the closest image I could find to depict what her arms looked like...
 My breathe is knocked out of me for a moment…
I have not seen anything to this extent…but I quickly recover as I feel her pulling her arm away…I don’t want her to feel ashamed
I gently place me other hand over the scars, I gently rub my hand up and down her arm…feeling the ripples of scar tissue as I go.
“Oh honey”
I close my eyes and nod.
I understand this language and it’s suffering
Mine may have looked different, but the language…the story is the same
and I don’t need to know why or how
I exhale and pray silently
We stand there together…in this sacred moment…
Her scars exposed as I hold them and pray
I wrap my shawl around her…it is time to go…
“Wrap this around you when you need reminding that you are not alone sister.”
“No, no I can’t take this.”
“yes sister, you can, and you will” I say with a smile
“I can only hope I made a difference for you tonight…know that within the shawl is the energy of the sisters I have circled with…their love and light now goes with you….”
She struggles for words…trying to say something but unable.
I have to go.
She holds on to my hands and says quietly, “you have made a difference….today I prayed that God would send me someone or something to let me know that I am not alone…you have made a difference…you are my answer to prayer.”
I am so moved by this, by her…by her bravery to wear her scars as she does…that even in the lost life she is in that she still finds the courage to reach out to Hope…to pray…to allow good to come
All these things I tell her
And now I have to go

Another soul I will not forget
Another soul in which I see myself
I don’t know that she will be able to escape the life she is in
Generational brokenness is hard to get free from…
But in the end
This I know
She is loved…loved so much bigger than I or you could ever imagine
And when her time comes
She will be taken home…to a place of peace and rest
I do pray she finds some of that here, in this life…and I cherish the moments we shared…
Of course in true human form I go over what I could have done better, said better, been better…but I keep coming back to the place that what transpired that night, was a Divine Appointment…perhaps not packaged in what we as humans would see as divine but divine non-the-less.

Homelessness is growing in North America.
I see it all around both Canada and the US.
Something is not right….something is so wrong in the way we are choosing to live as nations…leaving our weak behind.
Is that who we are?
If we think this is going to go away, we are sadly mistaken…
I have seen the ramifications of not taking care of the less fortunate, in Medellin Colombia where over 75% of that cities population lives in extreme poverty…and we are naive to think it will not happen here…it IS happening
I am not saying this is an easy fix…not at all
But having no facilities for our mentally ill is the first problem…then there is generational substance abuse and abuse in general that is not handled well within our law systems or within our neighbourhoods as many "do not want to get involved"…the longer it goes on the harder it becomes,
to live a life past what is known and seen…

Be kind
Be gracious
Be loving

These things matter
Realize that as long as there is suffering within our societies we all will feel it one way or another…no amount of money, possessions or “success” can make one immune to the suffering of their brother or sister…be aware of the energy you are putting out into the world…toward your brothers and sisters…be mindful…help where you can, give when you can…be a giving loving soul…
When asked what the laws were that man needed to live by Jesus said, “Love God, and Love your neighbour as yourself”….simple.
Love people,
just Love.

Love and Light Lovelies...

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The Cycles of The Moon...

She gutted me
like a huntress guts her hunted
She gutted me...
Opening me up and pulling out my insides
exposing all the insecurities
the uncertainties
the challenges
the struggles
She exposed them all
So there was nothing left but to feel each one...
to experience the tenderness that lies within...
to allow the grief to wave over me
again and again
The grief of desire
The grief of longing
The grief of hope
The grief of Love
Exposed under Her luminous light
prayers poured from my Being
as I laid it all out like never before
I let go like never before
I revealed what lay deep within my heart
in a way I had never done before
With tear, dirt and sacred gift
I lay down the prayers of my desire
I placed the longing of my blood
I exposed the hope within my bones
and I trusted, once again
in the Love of my soul
and the Love of The Creator
and the Love of The Moon
and the Love of The Earth
the Divine Love
ever shall be
I trusted
and I allowed the moon to illuminate
all that was exposed
the beautiful and the ugly
and I saw that it was good...
all of it
was good.
I desire healthy community
for myself and my family
I long for sisterhood
deep, rich and true
and am gratefulfor the sisterhood 
I am already a part of.
I hope for honouring
between all the human race
and I Love Life
I Love a life that is battered and worn
that is beautiful and broken
one that has fallen apart and been put back together
too many times to count;
One that is whole and complete
and fully thrives every day.
And I trust in The Great Mystery
that through it all
I am being held, loved, led and heard
I trust that my prayers of gratitude
and my prayers of grief
are heard
are considered
are important
I trust that all is as it is meant to be
and that there are something I can not
and will not see, nor will I understand
in my flesh bound ways
and that is ok
I trust that I do not need to understand all things
to believe they are real
I trust in the cycle of the Moon
and the season of the Earth
and in them I take comfort
that nothing remains the same
and there is a season for all things.

I trust what I am guided to do...
that I do not need to make things happen
instead I am meant to try less, trust more
to go beyond the normal
and to embrace the mystery.

and so...once again
I lay my Self and my Life down
to be a vessel for Love and Light...

...what is your prayer today lovely?

love and light