Saturday, July 2, 2011
Going to Andee’s house for dinner and meeting her incredibly sweet parents. I had a highly entertaining conversation with her dad and Michael and others were around for most of it too. Don, Andee’s father, had a lot to share of his life and I really enjoyed listening and learning from the talk and not getting attached or disgruntled at strong opinions I didn’t necessarily agree with (like that all people coming out of education programs today aren’t being taught to think). He had a joy and engagement with life despite his time in the military and working so much so hard (and being able to talk about his time in the service, which I have not heard many able to do) and he was genuinely interested in Michael and I and what we young people are up to. So much so that he actually asked to see my design work after I told him what I’d studied. So I sent over half a dozen projects and books with Andee the next day. I got an excited email from Andee the following morning and found out to my great delight and surprise that Don, all by himself, had had the idea that I needed a portfolio to store my work and he had gone out shopping for one for me himself. I was so touched to hear the story behind that and to receive all my work back neatly packaged in a new case with a note from Don inside. Their joy and interest in my work makes me want to make more of it and affirms that it is made from joy and interest (and frustration and hardwork) and that what something is made from emotionally is also given to the viewer.
I enjoyed an aware, joyful contemplative walk through the Bosque del Apache with Teresa on Friday. We listened and heard so much sound through space. Lizards through leaves, wind through cottonwood trees, birds chirping. We noticed a family of turkeys! And an elk couple who froze looking at us before leaping away.
The group processing really called us to feel the sense of community that has developed. It also allowed us more into the internal processes/masks/turmoils of all. I shared what came out of me and then I felt strongly prompted to develop what I’d said about dolphins and echolocation into a poem – so that night, I went into the chapel and this is what happened:
To swim like dolphins,
A letting go of gravity,
Of the clumsy walking we know.
Embraced by the sea,
The seven of us,
A pod, a community,
Facing those strange creatures,
Which can be as ugly as they please
Because who would come?
To visit them this deep?
Who would tease them up?
To play in the light?
Who would learn ecolocation?
To navigate differently?
Bounderies dissipate, questions unpack.
Echos sent out, bounce back clues.
Imagine, the physical, fluid
Ease of the ocean fusing us.
We cannot keep up “me”
As we did in the air.
Here, we can dare to be dolphins
And how could dolphins be
Without the sea?
I shared this in my rose/thorn. And then following our Tuesday evening together, we went outside to a surprise in the back yard: the profound contemplative experience of Michael’s labrynth healing. Here, the feelings of the group were strengthened in action. I think we all felt incredibly moved and deeply connected during a point when many of us had expressed the rawness of wounds and the need for comfort this week. For me, the experience also coincided with the intention I set in last week’s reflections to begin walking the labrynth. There could not have been a more fitting introduction.
Here is what came from that experience and from a comment Carrol made about that night: that I drew the circle around us with my poem and Michael drew a line of direction and we both recognize its not our doing, but what is coming through:
This has opened, is opening, the inside space.
May rooms continue to expand
For all of us with grace.
May we feel the brush of one another
Hear the other’s footsteps on the spiral,
When we think this is our endeavor alone.
Back at stressful desks, routines, business,
May we be led to little luminarios
Shining in crevices of sorrow.
And may we hear the hushed tears
Of some from that night,
Whenever we feel forgetfully light.
May we accept your healing
At the depths of our souls
May it pass through to people we know
And those we will never meet
Who desire peace from suffering
May we remember during
Impatience with un-hurried pathways,
How the sides of straight-flowing Acacias
stay emptier than Waterways which meander,
and how the next pass of the labyrinth hides
around a turn, yet was always there.