I was watching the post-quel or prequel or whatever quel of film “300”, the tale of the mighty 300 or so Spartan soldiers whose rose to fight the Persian’s expansive army. I paid attention in hoping to gain some insight into my militaristic –Spartan ancestry as we all carry our ancestors with us.
I was delighted to note that Spartan women, unlike the Athenians and other women of the era, were considered equals to men, educated and allowed to own property. This seemed just and right and my admiration for my ancestry locked in. I wasn’t much for their militaristic orientation nor their proclivity for infanticide, but I did admire their ability to serve the majority through discipline and serving the community as a whole.
As the story unfolded, I discovered that the Persian army was poised to destroy the greeks under the devilish commander, a Greek woman, who was raped as a young girl as she watched her family murdered. In that moment of abject horror and trauma, she vowed to return to her native Greece and to destroy the Greeks who had killed her family and defiled her. She claimed her blood and birthright Greek, her heart Pure Persian.
This a story of trauma and PTSD and how it can alter the fate of individuals, of families and ultimately of nations.
And then I consider the trauma that the author of Mary Poppins, PL Travers, the daughter of an alcoholic whose father died in her seventh year and how her trauma translated, at least in part, to the creation of Mary Poppins. A balm to the troubled family—the celebration of a partnership modeled society, a page turn away from patriarchy….a celebration of the suffragettes of that era.
And I consider how the childhood traumas of Trump and Clinton and Bernie have all woven separate textiles, some life affirming—some not so much.
Trauma travels around us daily. May we seek to join with those whose traumas and fears and hopes that might differ from ours with one real goal in mind: To support life on this planet, not just survival, for it is in the mending of the broken that we may all thrive.
As we gaze at the horizon of 2017 may we keep our eyes poised north to Standing Rock and the water protectors there. The Lakota have been traumatized as history tells….But in their trauma they have not lost sight of protecting Mother earth—-she who sustains us all. Let’s pay attention to our individual and collective traumas, bring them into consciousness and place in our alchemical basins the ingredients of strength, kindness, discernment, and ownership of our strengths and our shadows. Let’s be clever as we mix our magical alchemical brews so as to support life fairness and love in the years ahead.