Last week I began working on the two books that keep coming to me in dreams, working in earnest, taking myself to one of the university libraries daily (where I am not connected to the ever-seductive internet.) I’ve covered the walls of my tiny apartment with flipchart paper where I make notes with (literally) a hundred different coloured markers, beginning to feel out the armatures of the books, to sense and see where vivid threads fit into slowly revealed tapestries.
I work for hours and then return to the apartment to make notes and reread what has been written that day. And there in the privacy of my two small rooms I find myself both spontaneously dancing (again, literally) with the ecstasy of returning to the center of who I am and, at unexpected moments, coming to my knees in both gratitude and sorrow- gratitude for the reunion with myself, and sorrow at the full realization of how far from home I had wandered.
The writing I love is open-ended (as in, I don’t necessarily know exactly where it is going,) a discovering that takes me deeper into my own life, my own heart and the world. And I have not had a sustained period of following this fire that lights my way for many years. This, this writing, this following of the creative fire, this welcoming of Spirit in the form of words and image, story and colour- is how I touch the Mystery, the essence of who I am.
And I abandoned this to be married.
No doubt, in time, I will write more about how this happened. And no, it was not my ex-husband’s fault, although our neuroses and blind-spots dovetailed nicely as so often happens in intimate relationships. I can say that now, returning to the joy this writing brings, I find it hard to believe that I would have bargained this away for any promise or dream. And yet, having worked with groups and individuals for more than thirty years I wonder why I am surprised. I have often seen people abandon their deepest soul desires to do what they have been taught they “should” in the hopes of earning love. Of course, we don't earn love.
It's both humbling and frightening to know that even after all I have learned, I am still capable of abandoning myself, still willing to risk life itself when I am walking asleep. And the commitment to being fully with myself, to following the fire that lets me offer something to the world cannot be made once-and-for-all but must be lived one step, one breath, one moment at a time.
So, here I am- simultaneously humbled, ecstatic, sorrowful and filled with joy but most importantly: grateful and writing!