It was late when we drove up to our mountain getaway in Roslyn, WA. We were having one of those increasingly rare family weekends. About one mile from town we pulled to the side to let an approaching ambulance pass, but thought nothing of it. By the time we arrived at our destination, we were greeted by a kaleidoscope of strobing lights. Ambulances and police cars littered our small block and the next street. There was a bustle of activity that this small town of 900 rarely sees. The authorities were checking in on an out of control party. Though drastic and shocking, it is not that unusual in the world of our youth to have a “party disaster”. This one was more than usual.
The story of this party unfolded throughout the day and into the evening, and it is still unfolding. It goes something like this: It was homecoming night, an occasion for celebration; there was a dance, and then an “after party” where the young gathered at a local rental house that the renter’s son was using. Not that uncommon of a story yet. Here is where it gets unusual. Someone had put something in the drinks that (predominately) the girls were drinking. Cups were apparently color-coded to determine who got the spiked drinks and who did not.
The party was brought to the attention of the authorities by a young woman calling on behalf of her friend, who had been sexually assaulted and had passed out in the back seat of a car in a nearby grocery store parking lot. When the authorities arrived at the scene of the party, there were numerous others in semi-consciousness and unconscious states. Yet another woman was found semi-conscious in the process of being sexually assaulted. The alleged sexual assaulter was arrested and has since been released. Reports say over 12 people overdosed in total, 11 of whom were women. One young woman was in critical condition for several days. The authorities have not isolated the drug used, nor had they found drugs at the party.
So many lives were affected by this event: the people who overdosed, the people or person who organized it, the families immediately involved, the nearby university which was now strengthening their policy on student drug use. And women in general now need to pay a different sort of attention to their personal safety. The ripples continue.
Women and men are both being called to change. Women have had many freedoms and liberties gained over the centuries, more in some parts of the world than others. However, women are not yet free from fear. This event though has the potential for positive transformation.
I am going to step back and take a broader psycho-spiritual perspective on the event. Without defining masculine and feminine in terms of gender but rather as “archetypal principles” at play in our world, I make the broad generalization that we are sadly out of balance – individually and collectively. We need to dig deep within ourselves both personally and collectively to make change.
This is not an us-versus-them, male-versus-female perspective, but rather principles of the masculine and feminine - yin and yang if you will - that some would suggest have been out of balance for millennia. The yang energy (masculine) is a natural strong, assertive, outward-moving energy associated with the power of action, whereas the yin energy (feminine) is seen as receptive and inward-moving, with the power of yielding.
When the masculine is out of balance, we use force to get what we want, mistaking it for “true power”. We take without asking, without discriminating, or without attention to who or what we are taking from – and we are left with strip mines, clear cuts, and gulf oil disasters - and with lost souls. When the feminine is out of balance we use a more passive indirect use of force to get what we want. We yield without discriminating, and accept so easily another’s worldview, belief system, propaganda, mind-numbing TV, and endless consumption of junk food, alcohol and yes, drugs. We have managed our chaos, or Koyaanisquatsi (Inuit for life-out-of-balance) by becoming, in the words of Pink Floyd, “comfortably numb”.
I have witnessed many Internet comments on this particular news report. Some blame the kids, some the drugs, some even blame Obama. One reporter even questioned whether the women were, in fact, targeted. Eleven out of twelve receiving spiked drinks is statistically beyond any probability of it being chance.
Blaming is not useful. Examination of what went wrong and how we can change this on all levels, internally and externally is a call to transformation. How can we make changes in our busy daily lives to correct our own internal imbalance? How can we be better models to our young and leave them a better legacy of a life of hope, joy, peace and yes, love?
Every event in our lives, every moment in our lives, we have the power of choice. It may not be a big one, but it is our choice. What choices will you make to transform the world around you? What choices will you make towards right speech, right thinking, and right action in your life?
© 2010 Leslie Helen Bambic Ciechanowski