Friday, September 23, 2016

The Dark Forest

Sometimes, writing a book is a lot like life. You are entering a forest. At the beginning there seems to be a path, and you strike off with curiosity, optimism and a hoped-for schedule. At some point, it becomes apparent that there is no path, and that you are not going to get out of the seemingly infinite trees before the sun sinks beneath the horizon. You are here for the night, and the forest is filled with strange sounds and mysterious movements. There is no going back. You are lost, and you realize you have not told anyone where you are going so those who love you will not even know where to look. It strikes me that this could be a metaphor for many of the adventures we choose or have foisted upon us: having a child, studying for and entering a new career, any creative project, entering intimate relationship, getting married, getting divorced, living with a chronic illness. . . And there is no single "right" answer for what to do. Sometimes it is wisest to sit down and wait for the dim light of dawn to filter through the trees. Other times it's wiser to edge forward carefully, making progress however slowly. Sometimes we call out for help, and sometimes we wrap ourselves in silence unti courage and clarity find us. Often help comes from completely unexpected places- a friend carrying a light appears, angels come to our aid. And sometimes we are called to stand up and fight if we want to survive the night. I am deep in the forest now, although I do, at times, stumble upon unexpected clearings. In those places I can navigate by the stars if I remember to look up. ~Oriah A spectacular photo by Karen Davis from Open Door Dreaming of a comet traversing the Milky Way.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Being Lied About

How to be with the reality of someone lying about you? To others. Frequently. For years. Even after you have approached them and explained that what they think you did is simply not true.
I admit it- this is a tough one for me. Sort of graduate work in "getting" that what others do most often has nothing to do with me. And yet, we live in a shared world, so what others do can impact us.
This can happen in families, in groups, in communities and- if you have a public profile at all- it can happen publicly. What a challenge- to let it go, not to step into a fight that would shape our short lives in undesirable ways, to send a prayer for the other. . . . Okay, that last bit might be post-graduate work. 
For me, it is less about reputation (although I am not immune to cringing at the idea that others believe something untrue about me) but the way it makes me feel inside- constricted, shaken, a little frantic. . . helpless.
Ah, there it is- the helplessness- the inability to do anything to stop something that affects me.The illusion of and desire for control arises- the inner child-like wail of, "Not faIr!"
lol- yep, not fair. That at least makes me smile. I sit with the feelings, I imagine creating space around the other's action and my reaction. . . . letting it all be held in something larger. And the constriction loosens, and I become still.
And then I write a little here as a way of sorting what just happened and sharing it in the hopes that it might help us all with our shared human struggles. (And if you think you've heard a lie about me please do not post it in the comments or send it to me. Lies do not need repeating and if it's one I have not heard yet well, I don't need to hear it! ) ~Oriah
This spectacular pic mirrors the spaciousness I imagine as the night sky. Deep gratitude to Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming for her magnificent photography.