SARAH WOLF | WRITER, READER, GAMER
My Inner Worlds
In Memory of Mom
Over the past two years Matt and I lost a lot—many people worldwide have suffered tragedy, so this isn't a surprise. As a snapshot: we lost our two canine children, two cars, a house…and my mom. Our furry friends were a blow to our hearts, we adjusted to the physical assets, but my mom still has me grasping for a way to frame the life I’ve known as Sarah.
I was a daughter first. Mom went through so much to bring me into this world (insert “almost died”). Dad was the first person to hold me in an unexpected home delivery with no medical support. My second day of life introduced my older sister and brother. Ahhh…so I’m a sibling, too…not to mention a granddaughter to those supportive adults who surrounded me for pictures and snuggles.
Through life I took on new roles and identities. A student, a friend, a laborer to earn money for education after high school. A girlfriend, a lover, a wife, and finally a mom to her own version of children — five beautiful dogs who had their own personalities during the short years that are allotted to them.
But my first role of daughter stuck in ways I never anticipated until Mom passed last November. I won’t belabor mother-daughter issues — you can read about my feelings of our relationship in this post I wrote five years ago. Mom was in a facility for seven years where she could live safely with Alzheimer’s disease. I truly thought her passing would not affect me other than a few tears and moving on.
It’s five months later. Mom’s memorial service will be held in two days and I’m spinning with grief. My mental concept of losing a closed loved one did NOT take emotions into consideration. My body has a completely different idea about this relationship.
The morning Mom transitioned I had an incredible bedside experience that I’ll share at a later time. My sister Cheryl called me at 7AM on November 15 to say, “This is the call.” I burst into tears even though I had expected this, was even grateful that Mom no longer suffered, passing less than one day after the last of her children said goodbye to her. But wow, it punched me.
For almost a week it felt like something important had been jerked out of the middle of my body. I’d like to say that I immediately thought of the umbilical cord my body shared with Mom for over nine months, but it took a little longer than that. Energy work and awareness of our energetic bodies has been a part of my life for over twenty-five years. But it never clicked that I had an unseen umbilical cord still attached to my mother.
As part of my grieving and healing, I fell into a new artistic hobby of painting kindness rocks. While Mom lived I never developed my drawing or painting skills because I had so many siblings who are incredibly talented in that area. I chose to focus on other skills. But I’ve chosen to learn a new art form with Mom at my side.
The rocks aren’t all that beautiful at first glance, but the love and mother-daughter connection put into each of these works of art are priceless to me. These rocks will be my memorial gift for everyone who attends Mom’s celebration of life. And knowing that only I can appreciate some of them, I have a place in my Mom Memorial Garden where they can find their forever home and the love a mother will give.
Matt and I treasure the years this incredible soul shared with us. You are missed already, sweet boy.
Aden's creative genius helped with reading, writing, AND gaming...
Thank you for the magic you brought into our lives.
What Makes Us Who We Are?
High school biology changed my world when I learned about genetics. The science came easily to me, and I wondered how my classmates could have difficulty with the concepts. Although I pursued a non-science career, I lived vicariously through my sister Lisa, who chose the genetics route and worked for a time at Yale, doing research and co-authoring academic papers. I visited one summer and got to meet the dominant male lab rat and see where the drosophila flies lived and bred for their keepers’ experiments. While my knowledge capped at A, C, G, T (the chemicals that make the nucleotide bases of our DNA), my mind spun fantasy worlds founded on genetic manipulation. Every story idea I’ve fleshed into a potential novel since 2011 contains elements of genetics and the exploration of what makes us who we are.
Enter AncestryDNA and five sisters who think it’s cool to explore what binds us into the strange world of Webb. What makes us the weird, creative, and strong-willed women we’ve all grown into? Is it the heritage encoded in our blood? The way we were raised? As a CPA, I have no clue. As a fantasy writer, I’ve got plenty of potential answers that are fun to explore.
Just over a year ago we gathered to celebrate my niece Freya’s 21st birthday. As a gift, I decided to run a tabletop role-playing game based on the Pathfinder Dungeons and Dragons world. We dressed up as our characters and enjoyed an afternoon of magic and creative play. It’s an incredible memory (and picture) to have. It also highlights our tendency to be weird.
Below are the results of our tests. I’ve been drawn to our Celtic heritage since my early twenties…the mystery and magic of druids…the nature myths that I want to believe are true…Avalon…swords, definitely swords. Is this because 23% of my genes are from that area of the world? Or is it because my family has played dress-up throughout my life? This picture is from our Scottish Mother’s Day in 1998, where we all chipped in and bought Mom a bagpipe, her heart’s desire that we could make a reality. And yes, we all dressed up and adopted a Scottish or Celtic persona. I even did a sword dance (alas, there’s no pictorial evidence).
What about your family? Have you ever wondered what makes you who you are? Do you have stories you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them.
Music from Peru
After our ayahuasca retreat experience, Matt and I spent two days in Cusco reorienting ourselves to human reality. We needed time in between the Sacred Valley and a 23-hour travel day where we would be around masses of strangers with no reprieve (two separate layovers on top of a long flight between Peru and the USA). In my last post on Peru, I explained we had a restricted diet before and during our retreat, eliminating coffee altogether for over two weeks. I really missed it!
Therefore, I poured myself into our first coffeehouse excursion the morning after we were released from the Etnikas Center. This is a repeat picture, but it was an exceptional caffe latte!
Cafe D’Wasi was the first opportunity to put into words what I experienced during my ayahuasca trip. If you haven’t read the post about the role the Incan sun god Inti played in both of my trips, it provides depth and emotion to what I share below.
Across the cafe where Matt and I lounged on a comfy couch, a flat screen displayed music videos that were surprisingly unobtrusive. I looked up from journaling at one point and felt captivated by a vista of clouds and sparkling golden sunlight. The techno beat stirred my heart, and the video was masterfully created to match sight with sound. My need to know the artist’s name spurred Matt from his written work and up to the counter, where the staff spoke little to no English. The barista clicked the remote and the song’s information appeared on screen. It flashed quickly, so Matt had to ask the poor man to repeat it until I could get everything jotted into my journal.
I spent the next two hours with my attention divided between the notebook in my lap and the screen on the wall. While I loved everything the YouTube playlist included, nothing stirred me as much as the initial song that drew my attention. It’s as though the sun spoke to me in that cafe in Cusco, like he did in my ayahuasca visions.
I’m still integrating and processing what my Inti experience brings to my day-to-day life. He’s been in my dreams several times, and while dream work is good, I know my waking existence has to change to incorporate this energy. One thing I've done to manifest change is to use my remaining vacation days to stay home every Friday this summer to explore my creativity. Also, I gave myself a spontaneous psychic reading yesterday morning using Matt’s many tarot decks. When I listened to the recording afterwards, it gave me helpful information on what I’m doing on Earth at this time…today...in the now.
Almost four weeks ago, Mother Ayahuasca told me that all I need to focus on is the next step. I don’t have to see the big picture, know the full plan, chart out my life like I used to do with leather-bound planners and expensive accoutrements. I only have to do the next. And for now, it’s sharing the light I see when I listen to this song and watch the perfectly-timed images in StefWithAnF’s unofficial video of Coeur de la Nuit (Worakls remix).