Planet Waves | "Emerging" | Genexhibitionst by Maya Dexter




Egyptian Moon by Via Keller | Studio Psycherotica


Genexhibitionist | Maya Dexter

A friend of mine recently gave me a new piece of jewelry. "I saw it and I knew you needed to have it," she said. "It's not a gift, it's just yours and I am its messenger." I am not a tremendous jewelry wearer; I have several well-worn pieces that I am very fond of and wear over and over, while most others have languished unworn for years. This one was particularly lovely though, a silver dragonfly with lacy wings and a pea-sized amethyst set into its back. I took it home and strung it on a chain and have worn it almost every day since.

I have never liked dragonflies. While they are beautiful, they are also ruthless. Dragonflies dive-bomb their prey, breaking them apart in midair before they consume them, like an insect baked-potato exploding in the microwave. Not an appealing concept to a crunchy peacenik like myself.
Also, in the social microcosm of self-reinvention to which I gravitate, many people rename themselves. Most people who call themselves "Dragonfly" also fit the above description.

But still I am compelled to wear this little beast around my neck, and this compulsion synchronistically coincides with my mother telling me to get a talisman to remind myself of my spiritual path. Okay mom, how does dive-bombing prey align with my path again?

According to the World Dragonfly Association, dragonflies are often confused with damselflies, both belonging to the order Odonata, but the dragonfly is the stronger of the two. The damselfly's body is long and curved, she keeps her wings closed when she is not flying, and she has a very fluttery indirect flight. As we know, I'm trying like hell not to be a damsel, so what about the dragonfly? This insect flies like a bullet, its two favorite pastimes are food (as described above) and sex. While this is most certainly true of me (and just about all the Dragonflys I have ever met), it is not perhaps the hallmark of my spiritual path. My relationship with one of the oldest known insects remains tenuous

Further down the page, there is a heading that catches my eye, "Emergence". Emergence is one of those tremendous, graceful words that I love. When you emerge, it is not with the trademark awkward clumsiness of transformation, that part is complete. When you emerge, you do not stumble or trip, it is almost as though you appear out of the ether, fully formed. My Neptune loves the word "emergence". Please bear with the Entomology lesson, it's just such a kickass metaphor I have to run with it:

"The larva having completed its growth and development will, when circumstances are right, leave its aquatic environment and start a new life, almost completely divorced from water."

Now this I can relate to. I have left every place I have ever come to, never to return, like Lot in a witness protection program. I hold my pattern while the growth takes place, swimming around in the water, taking whatever comes to me, until I feel this quickening, this feeling of being filled with blood, and suddenly the decision is made and I am gone. This is how I've held each job I've ever taken, biding my time for as long as I can, absorbing the lessons until I the pressure of its walls force me to break free. As I get older, as I grow, it takes less and less time for me to need to break out. It scares the hell out of me, how can I support my family when it kills me every day to put on pantyhose and make copies?

And I have started so many new lives lately: a new job, breaking free of a communal living situation that made a ride on the New York Subway seem downright friendly, a new home far away from all the incredible new friends I've made this winter, it goes on and on. The landscape of my life one month ago is so alien to me now, I'm not sure I could pick it out in a lineup. I'm starting to feel a kinship with this little creature.

Down the page there is another, even larger heading. "Survival", it says, in giant blue letters. Below it is the statement, relating to Darwinian evolution, "creatures survive because they are able to make the best possible use of their environment". Dragonflies have done an especially good job of this, it says. Because dragonflies are so adaptable, you can find their signature carved in stone dating back over 300 million years. Truly a stand Donna Summer would be proud of.


I wrote that first part back in mid-April. I couldn't figure out where to go next with the story. I hit a dead end and kind of let it drop. Now I know that was because the story wasn't finished yet. Not that any story really ever finishes, even beyond our last breath our story is carried in those we influence, whose influence then trickles through to another, et cetera. The story carries on as long as the species. But we will refer to the beginning and end of this story in terms of the gain and loss of the dragonfly.

The dragonfly left my life yesterday. Early in the morning I put my mother on a plane with it and kissed her goodbye. I knew it had served its purpose for me, and I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. I had tossed around ideas like throwing it in the ocean or over the Walt Whitman Bridge, or into the little pond in FDR Park. None of those seemed quite right, though. So for weeks now it has been sitting in the cup holder in my car, mingled with a little pile of quartzite stones my daughter and I picked up at Double Trouble State Park. As I veered onto the exit ramp at the airport the idea just popped into my head. So I went with it.

My relationship with the friend who gave me the necklace, the same woman who my family lived with for nine months, the reason I moved to New Jersey, formally ended a couple weeks ago. Out of honor for what was I will not go into details here, but suffice it to say, never in my life have I seen anything so good go so bad. Never in my life have I had an experience where it was impossible to make the ends of two realities meet at all, where I questioned not only the validity of my own reality but the nature of reality itself. Living on the same earth, we somehow managed to have completely different perceptions of it and each other. I'm not sure who was projecting harder in the end, I of course would desperately like to be right, but I only know that it came down to trusting her or trusting me. I have to live with me forever, I decided, so for once I didn't hand my eggs over to someone else's basket. I just took my eggs and walked away. At the end of that day, I took off the necklace and dropped it into my cup holder.

That chapter in my life was a clean break. A solid goodbye, like the heavy closing of a book after the final page. It was like divorcing the water and taking to my new life the air, never to look back. There you have it, thank you Madame Dragonfly.

My mother, on the other hand, is in flux. She is still riding out her Chiron return, along with some other rather intense transits. Her company is wielding the layoff axe with reckless abandon. While she was visiting me, she heard that several more of her coworkers would be gone when she got back. The possibility of a layoff is a concept that my mother meets with mixed feelings; on one hand, the severance package would be great and a chance to start over would be nice, but on the other hand it's a flexible, well-paying job close to home and she kind of likes it. She fretted about it on and off for the whole week she was here.

Mom has great vision, spiritually and socially. She really does do her best to walk her talk and to try to figure out what she can do to make the world a better place. She has some really nice dreams and visions of what to do about that, and I assure you they have little to do with technical writing. A lot of really unusual synchronicities popped up while she was here, and as a result I would like to think she is standing on a precipice of really making her dreams happen, of finally doing what she is passionate about and learning the power of her will. So maybe the dragonfly will be the talisman to help her remember that the will to achieve the life she wants is within her and when she is ready to achieve liftoff, she never needs return to the muck.

She told me as she took the little silver pendant that when she had made it through her transformation, whatever it was, she would pass it on to someone else who needed a boost to make it through a change. It is nice to imagine my little dragonfly floating endlessly on the winds of change, helping women start new lives wherever it goes. I carry a twinge of guilt about passing on the energy of the separation with my friend, it was pretty intense, and it was hard to even hold it in my hand when I gave it to mom. But maybe that energy is what we need to boost us out and start anew, and that's why it should be passed on, to accumulate that momentum. To hold onto the energy of anger and tearing away would probably be destructive, but someone somewhere can always use it for awhile.

My friend will probably never know what she started in passing me that necklace, but the gift of emergence and survival for countless women will hopefully carry the wind of gratitude back to her somehow.


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