The G-word

Posted by on Jun 2, 2017 in CranioSacral Sexy

The G-word

This post is sexy in that hook in deeply, craniosacral therapy kind of way.  I wrote it for my family for our first Father’s Day without my dad.  He’s not here anymore but he is certainly not gone~


My craniosacral teacher used the G-word today.

Until now, Thomas and all my other craniosacral teachers, have used spiritually neutral terms like potency, source, life force and energy to describe the realm of healing we are accessing with this light touch form of therapy.

But it’s day one of a four-day training, the third one I have taken with a group of five students learning under the tutelage of Thomas and his wife Gale on a ranch perched above the Yampa River in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  A tribe-like intimacy has developed between us this past year as we’ve studied and practiced the techniques on each other.

So no one is surprised or spiritually offended when God showed up at the end of our morning lecture.

As Thomas reviewed the principles of embryology, he reminded us that the human embryo is a sack of fluids and how the intelligence of those fluids forms the body in its perfection.

“With these techniques, we are learning through the lightest touch possible, to connect to the subtle fluid body in our clients and when we tap into that intelligence we are accessing…” he hesitated for a moment as he searched for the right words before his arms extend out in a gesture of surrender, “…we are accessing God.”

We are quieter and more reverent than usual as we move to the massage tables to practice on each other. For an instructional exercise involving the sacrum, I have paired up with Cheri who is a physical therapist, a horsewoman and the owner of this ranch.  Per the instruction, she slides her hand under my sacrum and cradles it. As she does, I hear in my head the last line of an Irish blessing that my father liked so much that it hangs on a plaque in the kitchen of our family home.

May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

A wave of sadness that churns with the poignancy of life crests and floods my eyes  because I indeed feel held in such a way at this moment.  The emotion ripples through me as I’ve come to expect with this work.  My sacrum sinks into the massage table in a gentle release.

After a few moments, Cheri’s intuition is spot on as she shifts her hands to my sternum, cradling the energetic center around the heart, the heart chakra, between her two hands.  She stills.

My thoughts and emotions continue to flow.

The second to the last line of that same blessing was the one my older sister Nancy chose to have engraved on my father’s gravestone.

Until we meet again.

I didn’t have to wait long for that.

My torso sinks heavier into Cheri’s hands releasing some long- held tension in my left shoulder as I find myself remembering the final weeks of my father’s life when I told him the veil was the thinnest when I was alone at my cabin meditating and if there was any way, he should come visit me there. He looked at me, really looked at me, and despite the ravages of cancer, his blues eyes twinkled. “I will,” he said.

My dad and me. In his final weeks.

A month after his death, on a Sunday in late July he did.

The Colorado wildflower season was peaking around my cabin where I sat on the deck taking in the early evening. A ¾ moon hung like an ornament perfectly centered above the lone mountain peak that dominates our cabin’s view to the south.  In contrast to the slate- colored clouds, the moon looked hazy and soft. After a day of yoga, meditation and hiking, I resonated with that softness and found myself saying the Memorare, a prayer to Mother Mary that my great grandmother taught my father when he was seven years old.  After he received last rites, my father gave us a rare glimpse into his spiritual life and told us he said the prayer every day.  He said it was the secret to the success of his life.  He then proceeded to recite his amended version where he asked guardian angels to watch over every single member of our family.  I felt like he handed that prayer to me like a baton and I’d been running with it ever since.

As I completed the prayer that night on my deck, (it takes a while, we have a big family and I’ve added on all my friends) I remember the caress of a soft breeze, its menthol- like coolness feeling “otherworldly’, the description my father used to describe the comfort of his cool pillow cases when he was coping with the end stage discomfort of cancer.  I closed my eyes and snapshots of him appeared on the dark screen of my lowered lids, as if the 70’s era slide projector from our childhood had been resurrected in my brain.

Click-click: I see myself at six accosting him at the front door when he got home from work with his tie in hand and the top button of his white shirt open at the neck. I’d balance my bare feet on his black wingtips until he grabbed my hands and allowed me to walk a few steps with him before I’d jump up so he could spin me backwards into a flip.

Click-click: I am otter-like and eight, practicing over and over again something he called the ‘Deadman’s float’ in the backyard pool we had when we lived in Chicago.

Click-click: I am eleven and sitting on the floor by his reading chair determined to learn the Greek alphabet and recite it as fast as he does as if it’s one big long word: Alphabetagammadelta

Click- click: Fast forward and I’m twenty –two and he’s teaching me how to change a tire on the four-door Oldsmobile we dubbed ‘Gertie’ (after our Aunt Gertrude who bequeathed it to us) before I drive it alone from Michigan to Colorado to finish college.

He let me go then as I’ve been trying to let go of him now.

When the slide show of my memories ended, I opened my eyes to find the evening sky ripening with the sunset.  But something else had shifted as I took in the otherworldly (there is no better word) beauty of the canvas that was being painted in front of me. The subtle undertone of silver in the sagebrush shimmered.  The colors of the wildflowers ~the deep purple of the lupine

~the explosive red of the Indian paintbrush

~the pure white of the mariposa lilies

~ were all more vibrant and alive than I’d ever seen them.  The moon was cast now in a pink hue and radiated rhythmically like it was breathing. I felt like I did when I was twenty-four after nibbling on psilocybin mushrooms on full moon camping trips.

I was confused at first since now, at 50, I rather cherish my brain cells and rarely indulge in anything more mind altering than the occasional glass of champagne.

And then I realized that the veil had become sheer.  I felt the absolute surety of it in every goose bump (or God bumps as my craniosacral colleague Happy calls them) that shivered across my skin.

I remember asking: Dad… it’s you isn’t it?

And I heard:  Yes!

As I sat, stunned, I heard this:

 Love… it’s all about love

I panned my gaze from east to west to take it all in, every precious second of this glimpse into his current realm that was beautiful beyond words.  I had a moment of clarity: my dad wasn’t here anymore but he wasn’t gone either and death wasn’t something to fear, not one bit.  The sense of peace that came with that awareness was one of the most profound sensations I’ve ever felt. And then, in the west, I swear, the clouds, radiating with alpen glow, created the silhouette of a man. A rosy tendril formed an arm, extended with the palm up, in an offering.

The memory of that magical night concludes just as Thomas calls our craniosacral practice session to completion. I sit, dazed, on the massage table as everyone else heads off the ranch to grab lunch in town.  I’ve packed some food so I find myself gloriously alone.

I walk into the kitchen to put some water on for tea and on the refrigerator there is a magnet with some kind of poem written on it.  As I get closer and begin to read, I feel God bumps shiver across my skin as I find myself reading in this ranch house kitchen, the opening lines of the Irish blessing that hangs in ours.


May the road rise up to meet you

 May the wind be always at your back

May the sun shine warm upon your face

and the rains fall soft upon your fields


But the magnet is small and the last two lines aren’t included.

But it doesn’t matter.  I know them by heart:

Until we meet again,

May God hold you in the hollow of his hand



  1. God bumps, I have! What a beautiful story, C.C. One has to be quite open to experiences to have one such as yours that evening on your deck. Bless your dad. There’s so many possibilities for different outcomes after human beings leave our bodies in this small world. I don’t pretend to know if any of them are certain. But the possibilities can almost make death seem exciting. Almost.

    • Trixie, I hope our love of adventure will serve us well when death comes. Will it be like running whitewater or skiing powder? If anyone is listening… I’m putting my request in for powder skiing through aspens.

  2. Thank you so much for this post. I’ve read it several times and I always get a tear release. So touching.

    • I love the idea that I can touch people through my words. Thanks for that,Jude.
      I’ve shared that essay with a couple of my father’s friends and with my cousin who lost her adult daughter recently. My dad was her uncle and I let her know that he and the rest of our ancestors would be there to welcome the beautiful new angel into the fold. I believe this to be so. She wrote me back. The words touched her as well.

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