Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Phoenix Flames

A phoenix is a mythical bird with a tail of beautiful gold and red plumage. It has a 600-800 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of cinnamon twigs that it then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix, reborn anew to live again.

The bird was also said to regenerate when hurt or wounded by a foe, thus being almost immortal and invincible — it is also said that it can heal a person with a tear from its eyes and make them temporarily immune to death; It is a symbol of fire and divinity.

This has been my year of the phoenix. This has been a year that all I knew and all I was went up in flames. December has been a month of seeing my life rise up in flames and swirl down into gray-white ashes, floating around me, with no chance of using them to rebuild anything.

Today was the day that I came out of those ashes reborn.

Today is the day that I leave all that this year brought to me exactly in the past, where it belongs. It was complete, it was perfect. Each person, each one of you, each moment that I shared with others this year was just as they should have been.

I've been thinking about the human tendency to get stuck in the past or to live in the future. We are the only animals that do this. Think of a lion on the hunt. If he missed his prey, does the Lion sit back, and think about what he should have done differently "Oh, man, I should have zigged when I zagged. Or I should have gone the other way. I'm a failure. I'll never catch anything." Does the Lion get caught up in the past, in the what ifs and never hunt again. Does the Lion bring on his own death with his paralyzing fear? No, the Lion gets right back on track and keeps going until he's gotten his dinner.

That's something I've learned about myself, no matter what life serves up...I'll keep rising. It's the phoenix inside of me. 

I'm letting go of the definitions that held me to me. I'm no longer defined by a religion. I'm no longer defined by my degrees or education. I'm no longer defined by the trips I've taken or the things I've seen. I'm no longer  defined by any of these things. For it is only when we stop placing ourselves in the boxes that have defined us that we realize we are free of confinements, and free to fly.

I am new, I am reborn. I am a phoenix.

Oh yeah, and I'm back....big time.


Rowena said...

Brava, D'arcy, brava!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Awesome, amazing comeback. There must be many layers of stories beneath all of this.

I have a strong connection to the Phoenix. The first full time teaching job I took was in a high risk youth alternative learning center in Waianae called The Phoenix House. Most of the kids there didn't even know what the Phoenix was. However, it was apt in that it was a last chance place for some of them to rise above the crap that had been dealt to them in their short lives. That job changed me a lot as well.

Also, I have been teaching 10th grade American Lit the last two years and we do Fahrenheit 451 each year. The symbolism of the Phoenix is quite pronounced in that book and my students love it.

Welcome back.

Kate Lord Brown said...

Hello Super Nova - I thought that lovely photo looked familiar! Whoosh! Bravo ... I have a little phoenix that sits on my desk downstairs. May 09 see you soar x

Stina said...

Welcome back, the virtual world missed you! I am so in awe of your transformation and hope that you can help guide me along the way as well. Defining myself has always been how I've lived but I need to let go of that. What a great message for the new year!

Ruahines said...

Kia ora D'Arcy,
Welcome back! What a way to come back! You had me jumping up and down ready to get stuck into Life. Look out world. I am looking forward to being a tiny part of this cool journey. Your place here is a special one for a lot of people my friend and we are all glad to see you back and taking no prisoners. Happy New Year! Kia kaha!

Boquinha said...

I love you, D'Arcy, and am so glad that you've come into my life.

Steve and Jenn Fletcher said...

Be gone, stupid boxes! Who needs 'em!

(coincidentally...i was hoping to see some 80's movie here...were you going to post that? no? darn.)

Missed you! Jenn.

Alisa said...

I love this post. This last year was particularly a redefining one for me as well, wonderful at times, but painful at others. Today I found myself consciously reminding myself to stay present, in the present. To be a bit more in my right-sided brain.

To paraphrase Mr. Rogers, "It's you I like, every part of you. Not your diplomas, nor your religion, they're just beside you. But it's you I like."

And great new pseudonymn.

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

Girl, you've got me all fired up! I LOVE your paragraph on the lion (not sitting down and conducting a "post mortem" on his hunting stratagem... so TRUE!)

I'm now raring to go. No more looking backwards. No more worryinng.

Just livin'. (I'm hearing
Wooderson from "Dazed & Confused" in my head now.... "Just L-I-V-I-N!" )

P.S. LOVE the Super Nova thing... I put a comment re: your comment on my blog... come check it out.


Super Nova said...

Rowena, I am taking a bow. Oh....wait, I mean, i am clapping in enthusiasm at your AMAZING watercolor of your lil' chillun!!

Super Nova said...

PHHT: I connect with you on SO many levels, especially those early years teaching kids who have been burned and come back to life over and over again. Aren't they just the most amazing examples? I find it such a privilege that I get to spend my days teaching what I love to people who will change the world.

And yes, 451 all the way!!

Super Nova said...

Kate, if 09 sees me soaring with half the grace, wisdom, charm, and speed as you, then it will be a success!!

Super Nova said...

Stina--this is what is behind our get together on Tuesday, we will get to talk more inperson, I can't wait!

Super Nova said...

Robb--to you to. Every time I read your blog I feel a longing to be better and to fight harder for this beautiful earth, you've really helped me to tune into that ancient part of myself and I thank you. I love having you visit my little corner of the world.

Super Nova said...

Boquinha, I was just thinking the EXACT same thing. And I'll be sending an email your way soon, this is the year we are meeting in the flesh!

Super Nova said...

Jenn---stay tuned. By the way, you and your family were TOTALLY in my dream last night. It was so real, and for some reason I was desperately searching for a Winnie the Pooh Christmas ornament, what does that mean? I ended up buying a Luke Skywalker one though, so it was all ok.

Super Nova said...


This was the year that we began our friendship, a friendship that I know will last a long, long time. It's always a blessing to me to meet new people, but to connect with them as i have connected with you is a rarity and I am SO grateful for you! Let's get together this week, yes?

Super Nova said...

HWHL--I did see it, and thank you! Yes...this year I am planning on getting a lot of "NO" from people because I am going to be dazzling in my life from all angles, but not everyone will get that the first time around, so I'll have to keep going. We'll be each other's support system, because those are necessary to any Phoenix flying!

arbee said...

Welcome back! I love this post and hope to break out of some of my boxes in 2009... :)

Super Nova said...

Don't just break out of those boxes, arbee, BURN THEM!!!!!!!!!! (wild laughter!!!!!!)

too much?


I am SO excited about your new house my friend!!

Kristan said...

Wow, what a post. I know the Phoenix is the big metaphor, but you know what? I really liked your Lion anecdote too, because you're right: humans are the only beings who over-analyze, who obsess and wallow. I'll try to keep your little story in mind next time I find myself caught in that trap.

Congrats on coming back "big time." From this post, I have no doubt you will rise. ;)

ophelia rising said...

D'Arcy, SO glad, SO happy for you! I love that you are not defined by anything other than who you are - the REAL you, whoever that may be, whoever YOU decide to be at the moment. And isn't that just exactly right? Isn't that who we all are, just who we happen to be at the moment? We humans are so complex, and not easily definable. We are not one thing, or even two or three. We are many things, multitudes actually, and sometimes multitudes all at the same time! Cheers to you for going outside of this inhibition and confinement, for coloring outside the lines! :)

I wish you love and peace in this new year, and wish you continued success with your rise from the ashes. I am trying to follow suit, and although it's been rather tricky, I'm managing to keep my chin up. You are my good example. I admire and am in awe of you and your strength, and you inspire me. Much love...xoxo

Super Nova said...


Welcome! I had so much fun over at your blog today. Yes, the lion is a great one for me to remember on a daily basis!!

Super Nova said...


Much love right back at ya babe! Seriously, this phoenix cycle was inspired by the human need to be reborn, to redefine and undefine as much as possible. It comes from our need to be interested in something one day and then not let that put us in a box of confinement. I believe, as you do, that we are meant to be much more free than we allow ourselves to be!

Thanks for your encouragement, and with a support system that we create with friends from all over this Mother Earth of ours, I think we will be having lots of victories, large and small!

smiles4u said...

Wow! Once again you have touched me with your words...words that speak to my soul and that I must need to hear. These are things that my soul already knows and you speak of these things and my soul is screaming "Yes, Yes, Yes!"!

I fight being defined by so many mistakes, my age, being a grandma, a mother...ect...I hate being put inside of a box...I don't like being confined...I need to fly!

Thank you! I celebrate this journey of your's D'Arcy...and the other's that come here and mine too. I look forward to all that we will each learn in our flights in 2009.

Super Nova said...

smiles4u--I love that idea of not being defined by our mistakes. That's a tough one to get past, I think, but a necessary one. I am so grateful for you friend! I am glad our souls understand each other!