In her column Corpus, Jordan Kisner examines the stories our bodies tell.
When I undertook this column, I had the notion that I would be writing about, I don’t know, heredity. Like: I went to a healing circle in south Brooklyn. After a few days of being asked to think about the particular ways we might need to be healed, as well as the particular ways we might offer healing to other people, we were taken into a small, dark room in groups of four or five and told to sit on stools and close our eyes. The two women leading the healing circle told us they would be drawing initiatory symbols in the air over our heads and invoking various energies on our behalf. They instructed us to keep our eyes closed and to anticipate that we might receive a vision of a spirit that would guide us in this healing journey. I was there because I was curious about the nature of the healing these women claimed to invoke, but I was resistant to the endeavor. I did not want my vibrational frequencies altered. I did not want a spirit guide.
I was feeling fraudulent and confused and a little guilty for being an unbeliever in this room of aspiring healers, and so I was startled when—sitting there in the dark with my eyes closed, confused and fraudulent, dimly aware of these two women waving their hands in the air around me—I had a sense suddenly that my grandmother (my father’s mother, Mardell) was near my left shoulder and my great-grandmother (my mother’s paternal grandmother and namesake, Carmen) was at my right.
They’ve both been dead for more than fifteen years, and I hadn’t thought about them for a while—nor had I ever really thought about them together. I’d never spent any time with them together, and they weren’t at all alike. Their arrival as a pair in my imagination was a surprise. In the moment, I half wondered whether this meant they needed some kind of healing or attention from me, posthumously—or, conversely, whether I needed some kind of healing that had to do with them. Read More