Practices for Resiliency & Remembrance
A Lament Portal (LP) is a place that behaves as a holy gate, womb, or well where you ritually attend Grief. A devotional space that invokes a spiraling pilgrimage of soul into the outstretched depths of your belonging to and with the world. This is a place for the worshipping of Grief. A place you feed with your tears and fury, your wailing and screaming, your weeping and surrendered exhaustion, your emptied out eyes and cracked open heart. Such a place does not belong to you. Rather, you belong to such a place - a place that remembers you into the larger body of existence.
This is a place you co-create with the ecology of your belonging; your concentric circles of relating. From the land you live with to the ancestors that thrum in your blood; the wingeds and pawed ones who hover in blue and creep in darkness to the family and friends who weave community with you. Your entangled living is honored at this portal as you feel the tremulous web of life shimmer in the space between everything.
When you meet Grief here, it is not in pursuit of the cathartic (though that might happen, and may be necessary). Nor is the intent to “let it flow, and let it go.”
The invitation is to consciously submit yourself to this creature, Grief, and allow it to shape you and work you the way torrential rains or lava shape a mountainside. One cannot know in advance what ways the waters or fires will flow, or how those pathways will in-form and de-form the current shape of you.
Constructing Your Lament Portal
This portal could be in your house, your backyard, a tucked away space in the woods that has granted you permission to be there, or a forever-being-washed-away place along the shoreline of the ocean. Let the animal of your body sniff out where Grief wishes to gather with you.
Once you have felt your way into a place, you can begin to co-create the portal with the world within, around and about you. It could be stones that have said “yes” to being a part of a circle. Or they might form the shape of an eye, vulva, or square. It might be the gaping hollow in the stump of a once towering tree. Flowers might adorn the edges, and bones might articulate the directions. There might be a bowl that receives imaginal libations, or a plate that hungrily awaits poetic morsels.
Perhaps each time you journey to your LP (which can be as often as you want) you offer a specific song, or have a particular dance that you move earth-wise along its edges. Such gesturing would be the start of an invocation - your particular way of conjuring Grief. A calling in of this creature for reverenced communion.
Your Lament Portal is hallowed ground whose edges hum with the keen awareness of your relational entanglement. A vibratory reminder that what we love invokes what we grieve; that our greatest belonging is a vow sprouting from Life’s transformative vulnerability. This is a place where you willingly and consciously run your soft fingertips along the edge of emergence.
Your Lament Portal is meant to assist you in connecting with Grief, and rendering your body more, and more capable of feeling it’s presence and force within your muscles and bones. As an ecological force, Grief wakes up our cellular awareness of the prima materia we are each birthed from.
Either while you’re with your LP, or after you have ritually ended your time there, let the creative juices of Grief to flow. You might draw, write, paint, dance, sing, sculpt, sew, bead, weave… Let yourself be surprised by the creativity that lives within the aliveness of Grief. You can either bring what you create to your LP as an offering, or you can share it with your webwork of belonging - a way of honoring the wisdom that Grief is never “mine.”