When we open our curiosity and awareness to the wisdom of the body, one the most enduring and regular visitors is unacknowledged grief. For many of us in our culture, grief is something we either turn away from or think should be dealt with alone, but recently I came across the work of Francis Weller. His book ”The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief” opened my heart to an entirely different dimension of welcoming grief - welcoming it in community. His work draws on the wisdom from indigenous cultures who see grief not as something we need to go through alone, but as something we share in together. Indeed there is no other way to process it. Grief is a gift to the community.
It seems to me that our loss of ways to express and receive grief in community and therefore our inability to welcome it inside of us is wreaking havoc. We stay numb and disconnected from a world that is literally unravelling in front of us. The prayer of grief is an essential act of honouring what is important to us. It is our prayer to belonging.
In 2018 and 2019 I trained with Azul-Valérie Thome, who herself was mentored by Francis Weller, Joanna Macy and Sobonfu Some.