The tree was cut in 1853.
And the wind was the one that laid giant sequoia to the ground. Sequoia’s existence blew the minds of weary men who worked with long augers, drilling holes then sawing through the body until the severing was complete. It took a strong crew more than three weeks to make the full cut. The bottom was used for a dance floor, and the trunk, which remained alive with plenty of water for several years, was used as a bowling lane and bar. The bark was shipped East to be offered at a small price per view.
As an activist, I come from the forest protection movement, specifically the Zero Cut movement, a movement that would like to see an end to industrial forestry. When I first read the story of the big stump, I was astonished that I did not cry.
I could not cry. What is wrong with me?
I was in bed. I put the book down.
Sleepless, I went to my body imagining off the most intoxicating kiss I’ve ever known. Quick, in a moment of ecstasy, there it was.
Sacred rage for my severing through incest in early childhood and the severing of this big tree joined in a shocking scream.
This rage accompanied the release of energy, light that flowed visually from my root through to crown and on.
The next day, I knew that I had my second memorial project, which I’d been wondering about for years after my first that had been offered in remembrance of cetaceans.
Oh yes, the forest—big trees. Of course, I miss them. I long for big trees like I long for myself.
I did not know at that time what had happened to me. That is, that this flow of energy was to be the beginning of the culmination of a spiritual emergence (aka Kundalini Awakening) that began in 1996 with an introduction to Yogic philosophy including asana practice, intensive breath work in 1998, and the gift of transcendental meditation in 1999.*
And near the close of 2012, there I was quite suddenly my sacrum alive, the beginnings of a co-creative flow with the big stump of Calaveras Big Trees State Park, and steady access to a state of ecstasy inspired by a single kiss.
I did not call the experience Kundalini until a yoga teacher heard the story and labeled it for me. And, other than to healers and teachers, I did not speak of the experience or pick up my texts on transpersonal psychology and transformational crisis until I had sourced the energy outside myself to Earth and Sun.
This was roughly a seven month process, from winter 2012 to summer 2013, during which I became the Godhead and thankfully relaxed back into being human, utterly humbled by the whole experience. Holy Wow.
Complete healing is possible and it is a meeting with the Absolute.
When we are set true, we are joy-filled, all loving beings, who are connected, quite creative, easy going and likely peculiar to anyone harboring fear.
Equipped with the mind and all channels open, Light becomes imagination. This is why adults label children imaginary thinkers. Children are imaginary thinkers open to Spirit. We only grow into delusion when imagination is distorted by fear.
Life’s passion joined with Light’s power proves to be the seedbed of all creativity. This is Life. To be creative is to be alive.
The culmination of Kundalini awakening is heart opening. Out of my heart opening, we have Wildfire a love story, a short film about the kind of love I always knew was possible, yet was hard to believe when it found me. To love someone as much as you love the world is mind blowing and that is an ultimate blessing.
For context, most of the images in the film were taken with the big stump of Calaveras Big Trees and the majority of those are of me lying on the big stump. The images of me and a standing sequoia were taken not far from the stump along a path that invites Park visitors to explore the wounded grove of Calaveras Big Trees.
The whole process of this emergence, or integration, of soul and spirit restored me to a person that I have been all along, yet was not quite able to be—a person who, above all else, trusts her intuition.
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Ed: Dana Gornall