Walking through the blues.

Houston, We No Longer Have A Problem!!!

Posted on January, 22nd 2015 by Marie

When a spaceship enters the atmosphere, the atmospheric drag creates friction heat on the moving vessel, converting vast amounts of kinetic energy into proportionally fiery amounts of thermal energy, slowing its movement down. It is a fiery show of mighty forces.
I have felt on such a path of re-entry lately. It is glorious to get back into the breathable atmosphere of daily life, but getting back here is a bumpy ride. And just how I imagine astronauts are ecstatic to come back to earth, the re-entry is a phase they dread: Will the vessel hold?

Last week I went on the last required class for my degree. I was gone for a week – and had an incredible time. Immersing myself in learning on all levels.! It was glorious. And as the week went by, it became clear to me that I didn’t have to worry about Walter. Each night when I talked with him, he sounded energetic. He was happy to tell me about his day. “Today I played the guitar for four hours!” – Today I rehearsed with Michael Leasure and some other amazing musicians for three hours – I stood up the whole time.” “The kids are doing just great – I took Dylan to school this morning and made sure he had his PE clothes.”

His strength made me realize that I did not need to be in the oxygen –deprived outer atmosphere of concern and contingency plans anymore. My time floating around between the satellites and space trash in outer space was coming to an end. I no longer needed to just glance at the globe of daily life; the deep blue ocean of peaceful planning and the green terra firma of daily routines. It was time for my spaceship to come home!
When I am in crisis mode, I delay my emotional reactions. And it makes me really good at focusing with clarity. But emotions don’t go away just because I don’t allow them expression. I might even realize I am scared and say it – but it is purely cognitive reasoning – a place of rational thinking. And as such, the emotion might be clear to me – but it remains locked in my body somewhere. It is not released and breathed out just because I recognize cerebrally that it is there!

One morning, we had a beautiful Native American ceremony for one of my fellow students. He lost his grandmother the previous night. Wolves had come and stood around him as he was looking at the moon sensing her – and later that night he found out she had passed. It was a profound experience for him. When he told our group, it affected us all deeply. Will Taegel promptly created an impromptu ceremony. We sang a beautiful Native American song and surrounded the now orphaned grandson with our love. As the sorrow, grief, and wonder of the beauty of it all flowed through us, I felt tears flowing. I felt a painful tightening in my throat letting me know unmistakably that I was not ready to let it all out. It was not time. This was about giving space for the grieving grandson.

From that moment on I developed an intense and persistent headache, and then the ache in my throat intensified. Driving the 400 miles home, sinus pressure was added to the mix. And suddenly I just started crying. No, that is not an accurate description: I started wailing. Just like Middle Eastern women in grief – or more humorously like Diane Keaton in “Something’s Gotta Give” when she is at the typewriter dressed in her turtleneck frantically typing her lost love out accompanied by her sobs.

I observed myself as from above, and as I wailed away, I realized how good it was that these emotions finally found their way out of my body. It was time to let go of all the months of tightness; all the fear. And then I listened to my mighty voice. It was a voice of wounded animal. And I let it go. It was time. There was nobody in the car but me. I had the music blasting, the car drove itself it seemed. And I felt safe to move through this inner trampoline of tension. Finally!

Coming back down the mountains around L.A, my crying spell was over. And all of a sudden the music disappeared and it felt as if I was flying. It was almost completely silent around me. It were as if I was floating in my car. Then I realized that the pressure from going down the mountain had closed my sinuses. There was no mystical explanation! It was just science. But still I felt altered. The experience went into my bones.
Yawning my way into Huntington Beach with my hearing 80% restored, I realized that now having allowed in the full physical/emotional catharsis, I was in for it. I could feel my body just give in. It had held so much tightness for so long, and now that I had let some of it go – not sure to what degree – time will tell – maybe all of it?

My body holds it together when it needs to. When I was pregnant with our third son, Walter got an offer to play the Pori Jazz Festival in Finland right around our son’s due date. Walter did not want to go across the globe for fear of missing the birth of our son. But I had worked so hard to get him considered for this opportunity, so I told him he needed to go. I told him: “I will just hold the kid in there until you are home again!” And I did. In fact after Walter had been home a few days and rested up, I decided it was time. Our dear friend Curtis came and got our other two sons, then 8 and 5 years old, we called in the midwives, and I had the baby a few hours later!

So, it can be very practical to hold emotions – and babies – in until it is time. But when they then do come out – well that is where that spaceship analogy comes in. Fire, friction, full-scale freakin’ BLOW-OUT!

I succumbed to the nastiest cold/flu. I haven’t been sick for two years – but I got a good dose here! As I was finishing up the second draft of my dissertation, my condition changed between crazy throat ache, sinus pressure, headache, and coughing that I believe was in fact audible in outer space! No longer holding it together, my body was able to let itself go. And this time, I went with it.

It feels like the pressure has equalized a bit on both sides of my spaceship now. I might even be able to open a window soon, and pop out into that glorious world of everyday lush green life. For right now, I sit here marveling at the whole experience. This story has gone from “Houston, we have a problem” – via Nebraska – to successful re-entry. Yes, it is glorious to be alive!

19 thoughts on “Houston, We No Longer Have A Problem!!!”

    1. Nigel, exactly! Well said. And thank you for riding this crazy rollercoaster with your eyes and heart open! And thanks for reading wisdom into my words. Know that wisdom is dependent on the heart of the beholder.

    1. Yes, that Wonder-Womanhood is over-rated anyway. I find that each moment of strength and courage in my life is mirrored by equal measures of quivering fear and vulnerability. I think I am learning that both sides of the coin are important. I prefer the strength side so. But it takes too much of a toll as you say, and is entirely unusable without the flip-side integrated!

  1. I love reading your blogs, it helps me to rationalise some of the thing that have happened in my life , which in no way is as stressful as yours has been over the last couple of years I have kids who are now in their early twenties. who I am learning are more capable than I often give them credit for. they travel around the world without a second thought, whereas I get find myself getting worked up if I have to travel by public transport into a city. As a family we have lost loved ones and have had all the normal stresses, which I find I deal with for everyone else’s sake and then when things calm down I have ,in the past had panic attacks and allsorts of strange ailments. which I am slowly learning to deal with. I will always try to make things happen for my family when they need me to. but I am also learning that that they don’t need it the way they once did. I now have to find new things for me to do for myself. not an easy adjustment after 25 years. Both myself and my husband could lose our jobs in the next year but luckily it won’t be as dreadful at it sounds and I am trying to think of all the positive things I could do with my time, All the plans I had before I had a family now seem irrelevant and I seem to be unable to focus on what is important to me, it’s like I have forgotten how. but I will keep reading your blogs and I will get there. I can feel a whole new chapter starting I just don’t know when or how.

    1. Pippa, you express the wonder of Middle life well. The re-focus we do when the rules of engagement change. And it sounds like you are doing so with awareness and integrity. Hats off. We all go through this change and when we listen, it can be such a powerful entry into the second act of our lives. When our concern turns to what it is we are here to do. We no longer need to take care of others and create nests. It is time for us to create the nurturing nest for ourselves so we can embrace our calling – how we want to make a difference going forward.

  2. So thrilled to have you back here writing again. You are such a Wonderful Inspiration on so many levels, Marie. Thank YOU!!

  3. Marie and Walter I’m his biggest fan in St Louis Mo tonight my ex wife is in Barnes Jewish Hospital is in surgery getting a new chance at life in a donor liver it has been a very trying time we were married 21 years and are best friends I won’t to thank you for the info you have put on here and my god bless you and your family I hope to see Walter when he gets back to St Louis Mo thank you to the person who was the donor Sincerely Terry Atwood

    1. Hi Terry, so sorry I saw this late – just figuring out that some comments go awry and I have to retrieve them…. AND I am so HAPPY for you and your wife. I know the time before a liver transplant is horrendous. I hope after she recovers you will find the blessings of daily life returning. One step at a time. Much love to you both!

  4. Hi there, well I am a brand new Trout fan as of late. Funny how long it can take in my own life to discover musicians I like to listen to. Walter is definitely one of them now! Yet here I am now reading things about his life and along the way I get to meet you Marie! Thanks for sharing the journey, we all have our stories and it’s uplifting to read them. Blessings

    In Christ Grip
    Joe Ritchie

  5. In this wild running river we call life, many are swept away, some voluntarily and some just seem to up and let go. Still there are those few who are the mighty rocks of the river. Where peaceful eddies are formed and life is beautiful for all who live behind and beside one of these majestic rocks: ever protected from the river’s many torrential moods.
    Thank you Marie, for returning Walter to us…

    PS… I love the way you are able to channel your feelings and thoughts so splendidly that we were able to “be there” with you.
    Thanks again. You Rock!

  6. Marie – Both you and Walter are an inspiration to behold. The courage and willingness to share your experience whilst dealing with the very worst of fears we can fear, is again something that makes you very special. Walter’s god given gift of music is something that the world needs and the greater powers have spoken that he is still needed here in our world not only for that but to be an example to all as well as the all important role of family man to guide through the next generation. IN sincerely do wish you all in the family an very meaningful fruitful and happy time going forwards in the knowledge that each and every one of you are well deserving of this 2nd chance. I hope that Walter will pace himself despite his natural enthusiasm and will be waiting with baited breath to be able to enjoy seeing live in Concert in the UK. Know that I listen to music every single day and not a day goes past without me playing something of Walter’s – He speaks not only in person but th with his music. With the best of wishes it is possible to convey to you all. Respectfully Paul Lobanov-Rostovsky

    1. Paul – thank you so much for your heart-felt words. In so many ways the last year of our lives has by far been the most challenging. We have walked in fear most days. However, the sharing enabled us to feel connected to many, who were so very supportive, and I cannot begin to express what a blessing that was to us. I truly believe that the only reason we made it through is because of the love, compassion, and care that we found truly exists in the world. I am thrilled that Walter’s music will get a chance to speak again in the world.

  7. Marie, Just know that with out you being Walters Rock he very well not have made it. It is now ok for you to allow the love you gave in support and love for your husband and soul mate walter to come back to you and your family and support network. I look forward to seeing Walter in Omaha this Sunday with Walters Band and the Tommy Castro Band! It will be a great show Im so sure ! May God Bless you!

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"We are more alike than we are different. This is the story of the blues."