Deena Metzger

Deena
Metzger
1936

Poet, Novelist, Essayist, Storyteller, Teacher, Healer and Medicine Woman

Author Quotes

Imagine that you are at the end of your life. Without hesitating, without thinking, record the story you have lived in five sentences.

Under the best of circumstances, the process of writing allows one to give oneself over to the imagination, trusting that it will act in one’s best interests, trusting that the use of the creative, the descent in language into the self, the rigorous scrutiny of the psyche, the inclination to dare the unknown will seriously enhance one’s life.

Our world would change dramatically if we guided girls through the transition of becoming a young woman, physically instigated by the onset of menstruation. Our world would change dramatically if we had meaningful rituals that guided young boys across the terrifying terrain of becoming a man (what we refer to as adolescence.) Our culture has no framework, rituals, or vocabulary in place that can help us help our children transition through each stage of their development. It’s such a glaring hole in our culture and the ramifications are immense. Most of us arrive at adulthood without a clear sense of who we are and what it means to be an adult. We arrive on the shores of our twenties carrying the unfinished transitions and withheld grief of our childhood inside. Our identities are fractured because the transitions were fractured. At the core of transitions is a framework that helps to create more whole and healthy people.

When we honor transitions we’re able to parent our children with more compassion. Instead of viewing an emotional breakdown as a “temper tantrum”, we might examine her stage of growth and realize that she’s in a transition. Holding the three stages in mind creates a roadmap for every transition our children pass through, from teething to sleeping, growing from a baby to a toddler, a toddler to a little boy or girl, then a big boy or girl, an adolescent, and a young adult.

When we honor a transition, we have to slow down. When we slow down, we drop into our bodies where our emotions live. When we acknowledge and process our emotions, we become kinder, more compassionate, and more spiritually evolved human beings. Anything that increases our capacity for compassion will naturally create a more peaceful world.

Our planet is in the liminal stage of transitions. We’re being called as a species to let go of our habitually negative thought patterns and actions that are no longer serving us or our planet. We’re teetering on the threshold between the old and new models of consciousness, and the more people who are working on healing themselves and offering their gifts to those who ask, the better chance we have of tipping the balance in the direction of a new vision, a new consciousness, a new planet that can sustain life. It’s a scary time, but also an exciting and powerful time. I’m sure there’s more I can do, but for now I will try to remember that raising my children with compassion, health, and love, committing each day to showing up in all of my relationships, and offering the information and guidance on my small area of expertise to those who seek it is enough.

Give me everything mangled and bruised, and I will make a light of it to make you weep. And we will have rain and begin again.

Enemy is The General, one who destroys indifferently, without awareness or choice. The Woman sets herself against his deadness. She conquers fundamental anatomical truth, that a man and a woman uniting briefly make the two into one. This primordial form of connection is a vanquishment by taming---her body the cauldron that transforms him from the Other into one who is momentarily a part of her, a partner. In a dramatic but quiet moment, the alchemical work is done: he covers her feet against the cold with a rough blanket. The General has developed enough imagination and therefore empathy to feel what she feels. So this is why women have always slept with warriors, even those who have killed their loved ones. . . . They sleep with the enemy to make him their own, to assert their commitment to life over death, in final refusal to believe that anyone who understands can continue to destroy

We think you will betray us. We think when you will have to choose, you will choose him. We think this is not the time for women to be with men. We think it is more than difficult. We think it is dangerous. To you. And also to us.

To follow story is to understand the path of healing. Each of our stories is a universe. Each one of us is living a story. To discover its shape and essence is essential to soul making.

Under the Sorrow Tree -

By the river,
under the sorrow tree,
the universe says
the bones must dance,
and she, who goes out with a net
to catch the spirits,
returns, her hands filled
only with the dark briars
we have hummed
these many years.
The one who sees sorrow
cannot staunch it,
yet by her side
something white
announces itself.
The bones are sucked clean,
the one nearest the heart
becomes a flute,
when you blow,
the dead come
and behind them,
the other bones in a circle

The universe says
loss demands birth
and the two
are lovers.

For those who are intrigued by the multiplicity of reality and the unique possibilities of their own vision, the creative is the path they must pursue.

Some people fear seeing or feeling anything about which there is no general agreement. For others, it is thrilling to be aware of innuendo, shading, complexity.

For those who do not wish to step away from consensus, the creative is useless at best; at worst, it is dangerous.

Understanding the Way of Story as a sacred pattern and a living event. Story can reveal a spiritual path and or the way to healing. Stories become the foundation of health, peacebuilding and vision. Learning to listen, to recognize, to understand and attend the teachings and revelations of the Stories we have been given to live guides us toward the 5th world. Our individual stories, when carefully attended, can reveal each person’s particular path of healing and transformation. Even illness is a story that can lead us to our own and to community healing. Learning to recognize the Story that we or another is living can be a worthy life work.

Write against patterns. Go against the devils. Write what you never write. Lie. Validate what you don’t validate. Indulge what you don’t like. Wallow in it. Write the opposite of what you always write, think, speak. Do everything against the grain!

Without compassion, we will never know anyone or anything, not even our own story. Too much judgment, too many ideas and attitudes will stand in the way of the fundamental principle that we are similar to, connected with, and part of everything else.

Beauty appears when something is completely and absolutely and openly itself

There are those who try to set fire to the world. We are in danger. There is only time to move slowly. There is no time not to love

Meaning is at the core of the creative process and of storytelling… When it is our own life story we are telling or a story from our lives, we become aware that we are not the victims of random and chaotic circumstances, that we, too, despite our grief or feelings of insignificance, are living meaningfully in a meaningful universe.

Author Picture
First Name
Deena
Last Name
Metzger
Birth Date
1936
Bio

Poet, Novelist, Essayist, Storyteller, Teacher, Healer and Medicine Woman