I’m laying on the MRI bed, heart racing. I’m claustrophobic, and while I knew I wasn’t going all the way in, I’m being slid feet-first into a coffin-sized tube. It’s scary. I’m breathing, trying to stay calm, and I’m doing well until I get about chest-deep. I yelp and my hand reaches up of its own volition to touch the edge of the machine. The nurse reassuringly touches my hand and says we’re done, that’s it, that’s as far in as I go.
She hands me headphones and promises to start the music soon – music I chose, so I know it’ll be good. Techno, loud and trancey to drown out the thrum of the machine. The same awesome techno we listened to while driving through the northern California redwood forests in the rainy darkness of night. I’m relying on those memories to help me stay still, to help me stay calm.
The music starts, and a heartbeat later, the clicking thrum of the machine kicks in. I breathe deeply, focusing on the music and not on my enforced paralyzation – I can’t move my legs or I’ll mess up the MRI scans and have to do it all over again.
I do not want to do it all over again. I lay very still.
But I find that I can tap my fingers without moving my legs. I can move my eyes. I can smile. I can breathe – no matter how deeply I breathe, my legs remain still.
I fall into Remembrance. Deep, slow breaths. Calling the name of the Divine – the name we’ve settled on together. Inhale, call the name. Exhale into silence. Inhale, calling. Exhale, holding.
Slowly, I am lulled into trance. Peace fills me. The loud rumbles of the machine turn into the lapping roar of the ocean and I am held in her depths. The ocean turns into the warm, peaceful waters of a womb – of the Great Divine womb, the womb of the Great Mother.
I breathe in slowly, exhale slowly.
I am rocked in her waters. I can hear her heartbeat, the solid rhythmic beating of her eternal heart.
Slowly, my heartbeat syncs with hers.
Slowly, I come to realize that anything separating me from my Great Mother dissipates. The boundaries between us slip away, my self-ness melting into the ether, and we become one.
Rather, I grok that we are always one.
It is always like this, I understand. We are always this deeply connected. I am always, always floating in the womb of my Great Mother, here, rocked just under her heart. I am protected by her. I am loved by her.
I am so loved, I cannot even perceive it all. My wee fragile human brain is both full and overwhelmed with the sheer intensity of this love. The love becomes me and I become the love and the love is all there is.
I am swimming, I am dancing. The music pulses through me even though I can barely hear it, far away and in another lifetime. The tiny distant beats of the music form a bright silver cord, anchoring me to my body.
I see her great, beautiful face – the face I have known for twenty years. The face I have always, on some level, known. The face of the Divine, of the Great Mother.
Her lips that call to me, her eyes that hold my dreams.
Her heartbeat that soothes me.
Her womb that cradles me.
My heart grows, expands until all I am is my heart, and then again my boundaries shatter and all I am is her heart.
I am her heart she is my heart we are the same heart. We are the same heart we are the same we are we are we are.
Heart-to-heart-to-heart unbroken unseparated.
After a time, I feel gently called back to my own heart. Not disconnected, not at all, but able to once again discern my self-ness.
Slowly, gently, I am further eased back into myself. I feel my edges begin to assert themselves. I can feel my skin for the first time in what feels like months, but somewhere I know only moments have passed. I feel only peace, clarity, love.
I return to the warm, safe waters of her womb. I return to the cool, clear waters of the ocean – knowing now that the two are the same, even when they feel separate. Knowing now that I am one with these waters as well.
From the ocean, I slowly gently sink back into the warmth of my blood. I feel my edges wholly. I smell the crisp air of the MRI room, my eyes blink open, squinting in the bright lights. The roar of the machine stops and the nurse whispers through the headphones that we’re all done. The cold air brushes my toes as she pulls me out of the machine.
I sit, still rocked by the oceans within me.
I stand. I am helped to the dressing room where I don my pajamas. Pace appears and I lean onto her. With our first touch, tears roll down my cheeks; she wraps me in her arms and I know that we, too, are separated only by illusion.
As are we all.