I was scanning old text messages on my phone, noting I had quite a backlog. Some are locked so as not to be lost to auto-delete. They contain the best: Sweetness from my kids or nieces. Or sisters. Or best friend. I read them sometimes, eating their feast of open-hearted love. One grabs me even today though I’ve not read it. That happens to me sometimes. A phrase I read a few days ago will pop up to the surface and pop up and. It won’t quit. It usually connects to something I need to focus on or see about my life.
This one from a text message hails me at every turn: “Where is my la loba?”
Do you know who la loba is? She is the finder and keeper of the bones. I love Clarissa Pinkola-Estes words on La Loba from Women Who Run With The Wolves (If you haven’t read it and you care about personal growth, then you really must read this book.)–
“We all begin as a bundle of bones lost somewhere in a desert, a dismantled skeleton that lies under the sand. It is our work to recover the parts. It is a painstaking process best done when the shadows are just right, for it takes much looking. La Loba indicates what we are to look for—the indestructible life force.”
La Loba is the wild woman, the old woman of the folk tales, the myths and legends. She does not shy away from the bones, the wreckage of humanity. She collects those bones and keeps them for the song.
More from Pinkola-Estes’ book:
“The sole work of La Loba is the collecting of bones. She is known to collect and preserve especially that which is in danger of being lost to the world. Her cave is filled with the bones of all manner of desert creatures: the deer, the rattlesnake, the crow. But her specialty is said to be wolves.
She creeps and crawls and sifts through the montanas, mountains, and arroyos, dry riverbeds, looking for wolf bones, and when she has assembled an entire skeleton, when the last bone is in place and the beautiful white sculpture of the creatures is laid out before her, she sits by the fire and thinks about what song she will sing.
And when she is sure, she stands over the criatura, raises her arms over it, and sings out. That is when…”
That is when? When what? I’ll continue the quote at next post. But when we have the courage and strength to acknowledge there are BONES, that there is some evidence of loss in our souls, it is only then that we have the means to begin to renew, to restore, to grow a transformation. You cannot find what you do not seek.
So, it is my task today to understand why I keep hearing “Where is my la loba?” I suspect it is the old woman herself, in a cave somewhere safe, whispering to me, reminding me that that is my work now, for myself. To sing over the loss and make new, to insist on the indestructible life force that brings newness to dry bones.
Where is my la loba? Where is the song?
On with it…
Jruthkelly © 2009