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The Drumming of a Heart

This began calling me 16 months ago:

Beginning the weekend of October 2012 and through a period of nearly two and a half months, I thought I was going to die  (a very different experience than wanting to die, by the way!).  I drove myself to the emergency room quite sure that I’d had a series of heart attacks.  I experienced what physicians initially identified as heart palpitations that were so strong they would jolt me from a dead sleep into an upright, frightened, ‘shitballs’-shouting state.

At the ER, there was so sign of anything untoward and I was assured after several apparently bright medical minds reviewed my ECG and blood work, that I’d not had a single heart attack, never mind a series of them.

But the not-quite-a rhythm continued. It scared the shit out of me multiple times a day.  I often described it to others as an orchestral timpani that, unprovoked, without an emotional or physical trigger, would make me feel as if my chest wall was being cracked from the inside out; that my heart might be beaten out of my chest.  The urgency and repetitive nature led me to the University of Virginia’s Cardio-Pulmonary unit and a not-very-fashionable heart monitor that I wore for a month.

I recorded upwards of 30 ‘incidents’ a day, sometimes as many as 50, because the pounding was incessant, loud even as it echoed in my ears and mind.  This was not like any palpitation I’d read about or heard about (because you know, everyone had to tell me their heart stories, right?).  After a month of recording heart-breaking, I waited to go back to UVA.  I went.  They looked at all the EKGs submitted.  They looked at me.  They looked back at the monitor and readings.  Looked back and me and said, “Well, there’s nothing wrong with your heart.  We don’t see anything unusual here.”

WTF?  Excuse me?  How could there be nothing wrong with my heart?  I say, “Well, if it’s not my heart, what is it?” Them say, “We don’t know.  We need to start at the beginning.  We’re going to send you to another department for a full workup.”  Riiiiight.  I’ll skip the bit about what happened next and leave it at the fact I was not thrilled with the service, skill or insight that I believed a teaching hospital should have.

Once the immediate fear passed, I put on my thinking cap and decided that the issue really was one of a real-life, unromantical (my word, thank you) broken heart.  During the week before the ER visit, I had begun writing about my abusive childhood, diving into reaches of my mind & body to share my experience with others.  I thought it entirely possible that my body was telling me it wasn’t ready to find and deal with old wounds.   At the same time I was beginning the remembrance endeavor, I learned that my partner of a couple of years had been making plans of a future with me while lying to his adult children about my role in his life.  The truth that came out ripped me in two.  A body remembering significant physical and emotional pain and a metaphorically stomped love?  Broken heart, indeed.  The pieces seemed to fit.  Sort of.  The intense, persistent nature of the drum-heart beat abated.  The frequency diminished back to the ‘normal’ for me over the course of a few months.

I’d long felt and shared with others that I’d, with regularity, feel the heartbeat of another within my own–that was my normal.  To me, it was a comforting sort of thing–to profoundly know my interconnectedness with key people in my life.  I knew when said partner was thinking about me; I knew when someone was communicating with me in a standard telephonic or electronic fashion before I received the actual words; I knew my experience of the world wasn’t just freaky but had a deep, deep meaning.

This, however, was not that.

Oddly enough I was connected to a two other people who had the exact same issue.  One had previously been directly connected to me.  Another only tangentially via a common acquaintance.  We knew there was some sort of thread but couldn’t identify it.

Last week, while I was helping a friend move across the country, ‘it’ was identified. Clearly, profoundly & with a sense of urgency that has morphed my world once again.

I have been called.  I have been called for 16 months and didn’t know it until 4 days ago.  I (and another who will remain unnamed here until-or if- he chooses to go public) have been called by those lost long ago in, at the time, an unprecedented act of violent slaughter of humans, the earth that holds their presence, and by the person who now is their vessel.

The interconnected nature of what has transpired in the past few days with my own past, including my first vision in May 2008, is beyond merely ‘striking’.  The ties to living people, the energies of those (particularly Sai Baba) who reside within this Ingrid-package, my previous ‘knowings’, and a Cree elder who has been at my side for the past 5 days,  are leading me to spend what looks like most of February in the frigid West.

In Traveling Light, I mentioned that this year’s healer-on-the-highway travels were not entirely altruistic, that my heart is looking for a home.

The drums are calling me home.  They are calling me home: to a physical space, to a special relationship with the spirit of First Peoples lost and alive, and to put my heart against the earth.

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