on a day when the wind is perfect, the sail just needs to open and the world is full of beauty. today is such a day. ~ rumi

I have dragged my writing chair out to the field behind my house, because it is too perfect a day to sit in the house, because it is too breezy a day to not be drawn to the swaying of long stemmed fragrances, because the field itself begs for the presence of flowing skirts and the chance to blow hair back from faces.  This day, the breeze reassures me of balance- of drying winds following the rains and cooling clouds chasing the sun. Mostly, this breeze reminds me to open, to play.  And so here I am, amidst late-April purples and yellows and greens, soaking up and drying off.   

 

It has been raining a lot lately.

 

I have been thinking a lot lately… of geniuses and muses and guardian angels and such. Never one to find myself drawn to such invisible spirits, (spirits for me have tended to be contained by more tangible things—turtles and trees and the like) I am rather delighted. This is something new opening in me– for this other ‘something-new’ opening in my life.

 

As I sat with this opening to new possibility the other day, I wondered what kind of prayer might be necessary for such a time as this. What kind of prayer would help me to remain hopeful rather than drifting off into fear?  I knew that I would need prayers of great expectancy and imagination, envisioning this thing come to life fully grown, bright and beautiful. I knew that I would need prayers of deep trust, believing that what will flow through me to come into being is not really mine to make happen so much as it is mine to allow. I knew that I would need to let go into that mystery, pondering only Love’s unseen and unwritten blueprint, while holding so very lightly that this thing is at all about me. (Ah, now I see.  This is really not so different than birth after all!) And so I knew that what I really needed was a prayer of openness and receptivity that this red room in me might be open to receive the expression of Love that wants to be born through me.

 

The thing I am most certain of is that I do not want this thing to be about me. I want it to be about what wants to be. I want it to be about what is needed here that I can assist in coming into this place. And so I will pray only to ask what it wants to say.

 

I remember a story I once heard Elizabeth Gilbert tell about the poet Ruth Stone, how she would be out in the fields working and suddenly hear/feel a poem coming towards her from across the land, how she would have to run into the house to find a scrap of paper as fast as she could in order to write down what she could catch before it moved on, across the landscape to be caught by some other poet farther along. Perhaps that’s why I sit in this field then today.

 

Maybe this is what is meant by ‘catching one’s muse’. Gilbert also explained that the word ‘genius’ once had quite a different meaning than the one that we hold today. Today we see genius as something inside a person, an exceptional giftedness, an aspect of an individual personality. Evidently the Greeks used the word in quite a different manner to describe the presence of a guiding spirit, a tutelary being, WITH an individual. I rather liked this idea that the genius is a companion, Something Else altogether separate from us, one who gives tutelage.

 

And so it was that I got to pondering spirits and muses and guardian angels.

 

I wonder if this is not really the same thing as what is often thought of as soul.. that unseen guiding presence within that seems to know what we are doing here and where we are going when we don’t have a clue up here on the surface the ‘whys and the wherefores’ of our lives. Perhaps we call it soul when we hear it from within, Spirit when it comes from without. The words that we give it don’t really matter, after all.

 

I thought of the times in my life when words flowed so effortlessly through me, unstoppable, as if they were coming from some place I had not known before, as if my very life depended upon those words coming. I thought of the experiences of which I wrote — dark places and times that needed releasing or redeeming. And as I pondered those times, I suddenly realized that, even moreso than in the telling of them, it was in the experiences themselves that Spirit, or guardian angels, were indeed most present.

 

Specifically, I recalled those long moments with the noose, standing on the red padded bench, which I’d also dragged to that place, so close to the edge. How ‘lucky’ I was that an accidental tipping didn’t accidentally end my life as I dangled one foot over its edge to feel my weight on the rope. Who was with me that day, keeping me safe, encircling me with a profound sense of the sacred… of calm composure… even peace… and then as I so violently sobbed, releasing those long-pent-up, painfilled memories?

 

Of course, I didn’t really want to die, though I did scare myself that day (and which one is the ME in that sentence? ). I desperately wanted the pain to end, that is true, but more than that, I think I wanted to know that I had the power within me to end it. I wanted to know what it might feel like, to know if death was less painful than life, just so…. just so….just so I could put it in my pocket for the day when things got worse. 

 

But they didn’t.

 

There were other things I was killing that day. Other demons I was exorcising in that basement where ‘it’ happened. And there was Something Else with me that was so much more intense than my pain.

 

Although on some level I felt so very alone, I was not at all alone on that day…  Love was there with me, profoundly and palpably present , holding me, receiving me, not forcing me, but ready to take me into its arms on either side. Beside Spirit (Mary, Angel, Christ, God, Love  or whatever that Presence was) my children were there with me too, in a very real way, and perhaps moreso than those invisible Beings, it was my deep Love for them that kept me here…and my love for them has always somehow been far greater than my love for myself… yet another example of profound Love that never abaondons, and never desires more suffering. What an interesting twist on sacrificial love is that?

 

It is interesting to me that this memory surfaces here for me, in this place where something new is asking to be born. Perhaps these thin places between this physical life and the spirit world… between birth and death specifically… are not so different from one another.  Both are fearfully Holy places, palpably close to the Sacred. Both are surrounded by Love. And both require the escort of guardians – midwives and angels alike. Yes, there is fear here for me, and there is Life  … here on the edge of birth where I stand.

 

Several weeks ago, a Mandorla came out through watercolor crayons onto paper with a message for me, which I have since been praying and pondering. It too was expressed into being during a period of fearfulness and self-doubt, following a time of prayer where I felt utterly stilled and quieted by an internal image of deep forest shelter. In the Mandorla, clearly there appeared a vivid light in the center of a profound darkness,  in the center of the mystery of ‘I am’ (whether that ‘I am’ be myself or Godself –it is a mirror really), which for some very good reason remains unseeable and unknowable. Protected, surrounded, inviolable, hidden, the flower/gem is both bathed in blessing and beheld only by a Sacred Eye-Witness.

 

Today, as I gaze upon this image held in this mind-frame, I clearly see in it both a tomb and a womb. Something is buried in me — in my very darknesses — and something is being nurtured in me – in the unknowable mystery. In both places, that which is vibrant is hidden away, yet also protected and nourished—as is a seed in the earth left there from last season’s dying. At the same time this space feels virginal – original, inviolate.

 

When I painted this side of the mandorla, it was clearly both an expression of bewildered confusion and a response to an experience of deep sanctuary. What I didn’t perhaps realize is that these two are in truth often one.  On the other side as well, the green bulging, a green as deep as the forest sanctuary,  is on one hand part of the birthing that is greening in me, and on the other more of that same sense of protection,   The greening goes before the blossom, shielding it, and lined up along its outer perimeter are so many jewel-blossoms. At first I thought of these as vast aspects of God, which are beyond me and my awareness. Later, I saw them as various expressions of myself, multi-faceted and abundant. Today I see them as guardian angels, protecting, revealing, inspiring, accompanying and going before that which is to be birthed. Perhaps they are all three…. a trinity of jewels… God, me, and Spirit.

 

I ponder these things in my heart.

 

I ponder who ‘I Am’ and why ‘I Am ‘ here. I ponder who i am, and why i am here. I ponder who is accompanying me here on my journey, what it is that my Soul, or my Genius, or my God wants of me, what It is doing with me and my life that I just cannot see, but I trust. And I trust it is good that I can’t see and don’t know.

 

As I sit in this field, I know only that I want to open to and run with the Poem on this wild, fragrant breeze that wants to be caught by my heart, to become wide for the Love that is here with me, both seen and unseen, to welcome It ardently into my womb let It be birthed through me.  I want to trust deeply that this oh-so-Profound Love, so palpably present during birth and death and birth again, is here with me in each moment of my dying and birthing –holding, upholding, beholding, embracing and penetrating, pulling me back from the edge and taking me to it again.

 

On a day like today, you can see it, you know. The wind. It moves fast across the field in a sudden undulation that ripples the grasses in bursts of delight, coming up from the southeast, passing through and out the other side toward the place where the sun is beginning to set.  And you can hear it, in the clapping of so many new leaves whose applause sounds like so many birds taking flight.  And I am here.

 

With It.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. emmaatlast
    Apr 27, 2011 @ 07:49:45

    this morning, i remembered a card i had pulled from a deck at a friend’s house a few weeks ago that was part of this call to attention. i had her copy the card because it felt so positive and reassuring, i wanted to carry its message with me, then brought it home and promptly forgot about it.

    some persons are afraid of cards or find them to be oh so much more phooey. while they are not my preferred way, i always find wisdom in them for me, as i do in dreams and nature, art and poetry, scripture.

    this morning, i dug that card out of my bag. entitled, ‘winged wise ones’, this card reminds me that ‘Heavenly beings are watching over me’, and that ‘the Winged Wise Ones give me a glimpse of the future by offering messages whispered on the wind’, which are ‘translated within me as inspired thought, instantly unraveling the past and revealing the present’.

    ‘Be aware of the Higher Consciousness in you. This is a good time to observe your thoughts through meditation. Who is observing those thoughts? That Self is kin to the Winged Wise Ones, who have come to help you soar’

    🙂

    Like

    Reply

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