Don Ash reads the poem "Sit With Me" by Joan Collins of the Concord Hospice group (1980s). This video was produced by Charise Rogosky, LMT, CSTA-CP, MLDT.
In almost every part of the world the dragonfly symbolizes change, transformation, adaptability and self-realization. Native American tradition reveres the dragonfly as it transcends all physicality. It is born under water as a larvae, evolves as a nymph and crawls out on land morphing into a juvenile and finally taking flight with wings and a long abdomen that looks like an enormous stinger. The dragonfly is harmless to all but mosquitos and small flying bugs. The four wings can each turn individually adjusting the pitch of its wind propulsion thereby giving it supernatural ability to suspend itself in mid-flight, turn, change and even reverse direction in milliseconds all of which expands the allure of its almost other worldly prowess. And it is gregarious and inquisitive commonly coming close to observe connoting consciousness and intelligence. The mystic is confirmed when it lands on one's knee and looks inquisitively with its luminous green and blue multi-lensed eyes. Cultures remind us the dragonfly invites us to consider that there is more to our existence than a single dimensional identity of self.
The dragonfly's rapid flight, punctuated by instant shift, spontaneous stillness as it flies around water also represents an act of going beyond what is thought to be the surface and looking deeply into the implications of the meaning of life and this existence.
With iridescence in both body and wing, the dragonfly highlights elegance, amazing grace and reflects universal consciousness and the presence of spiritual energy abiding in the natural world. It is a most organic expression of our existential awareness.
"We are not alone in our process of living and particularly not alone when we are in transition. We are -- all of us -- known and we are loved." -- Don Ash
On the last day of the CADD class (Craniosacral Therapy Around Death and Dying) I taught at Star Island in early August, I read the poem "Sit With Me" which was written by Joan Collins of the Concord Hospice group in the 1980s. We were out by the water in the summer house looking out toward the lighthouse contemplating the transitional moment of death and our contribution to the process as manual therapists; monitoring the long tide in the presence of one in immediate process. I finished reading the poem, paused, and then exited the scene. For a few seconds focus remained solely on the lighthouse and the water off in the distance. Then in a surreal moment we saw what we thought was a seagull flying towards us from the direction of the distant lighthouse. As it came into view, we saw that it was not a seagull but a magnificent dragonfly. The symbolism was not lost on us. The existential message was and is: We are not alone in our process of living and particularly not alone when we are in transition. We are -- all of us -- known and we are loved.
In a craniosacral awareness way when we get so still as in a deep stillpoint, we get to touch the essential universal consciousness of the body. As in the flight of the dragonfly reality as we know it stands still and the opportunity for another even deeper awareness dawns upon us. This is the essential healing potential for the patient on the table. For a moment the flight path of their lives can shift, sometimes in surprisingly different directions with new deep profound awareness as to the meaning, purpose and direction their lives. It can change our belief systems and thereby send our lives in a new and amazing direction, like the change of flight of the dragonfly. These may allow us to change the way we view life, our circumstances, our feelings about the trajectory of our lives, the quality of pain/pleasure and essentially why we are here. Finding out what our gift to the world is and how best to give it is I feel the existential challenge and beauty of our life. The dragonfly reminds us that the universal consciousness is real and that we can change direction. Our physical nature is just a vehicle for our universal consciousness.
If you, the therapist, can sit with me, the patient, we can truly touch amazing grace as we, "Be Still and Know."
Thanks for reading. Comments welcome.