Mar 142014
Phoenix Rising by Ellen Starr

Phoenix Rising by Ellen Starr

Our cultural emphasis on the triumphant part of the story, where one powers through adversity to rise heroically in short course does us all a great disservice. It misses the long and painful part of the story where we’re being cooked by the flames – and while the things we love are being burned down to ashes, we are all the way left behind by the world.

In the old way, you’d be expected to listen to your elders telling of such epic odysseys that you’d never get anywhere fast and your food would always go cold for the long prayers that are owed to your ancestors’ endurance.

And eventually you’d come to know the stories by heart because they’d wiggle down into your bones and take life in the landscape; in the fire and the lakes, and the mountains your people have named because they’ve earned the right by crossing them.

And when your time comes, as it does for all of us – to be cooked – you’d know that you aren’t the first to be chosen by the fire and it will hurt for as long as it takes, and the only way through is with your heroics humbled.

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A writer, artist and tender of dreams, Toko-pa has been interviewed by CNN News & BBC Radio and her writing has appeared in publications around the world. Thanks to Skype, she works with dreamers internationally in her Private Dreamwork practice, based on Salt Spring Island in Canada. You can find Toko-pa on Facebook or sign up for her mailing list to receive news about upcoming events.

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  5 Responses to “On Being Cooked”

  1. 🙂 Indeed so.

  2. There is always renewal after the flames but sometimes being consumed by the flames is a long and very painful process. it does indeed take trust and courage to really know that when it is all gone, there is life anew. Thanks for your blog.. it is such an inspiration.

  3. Glad you’re speaking to this Toko-pa, so good to remember this when the flames begin and we start to feel it that this is the process, and while it can be painful, that all is well.

  4. This is beautiful….

  5. Certain wisdom arrives as if held in our ancestors’ hands and given as balm to the heart. So it is with your words today, Toko-pa. I am burning … and holding faith in the phoenix.


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