Monday, April 19, 2010

One of those Dreams, addendum

I ended the post before this rather quickly, as I was going to be late for my yoga class. I felt somehow that the "drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling" connected to the dream, without knowing quite how (and not worrying about it much).

I am still adjusting to having yoga in my schedule. I find myself resisting it a little when Monday morning rolls around, thinking, "I can't possibly spend that kind of time in a yoga class when a new week is getting going and I should be doing . . . (something or other). "

But I have a feeling that yoga on Mondays is a very good thing. Starts the week off differently, more slowly and more connected to my body-and-soul via those postures, breathing, listening, etc.

This week Rebecca asked us to consider truthfulness (satya, in Sanskrit) or truth-telling as a pillar of our yoga practice/life, both telling the truth about ourselves and what we are feeling on the mat and telling our own truths in the rest of our lives. She suggested that when we have been out of touch with the truth of ourselves, the first step toward the practice of satya might be silence, by which one listens to what's really going on.

I sensed an intuitive essential connection with my lived experience, having to refrain from speaking (at least from preaching and speaking as a priest) in order to get clearer about what wanted to be spoken and expressed.

And then she read Mary Oliver's poem "The Journey"--and read it exceptionally well--and I felt as if it connected to my dream even more than Eliot's lines. David and I were given at least three copies of "The Journey" when we left our congregation four years ago, heading out into an unknown landscape with the barest hint of a path (or two paths) to get us started. It is a poem I take out and read often.

As Rebecca read it, and I could anticipate the end of the poem, I realized the illumination it was offering to me and to the dream, given the role in it of voices, both those "shouting bad advice" and making claims on the speaker, and the other voice that emerges at the end of the poem.

But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.


Cori Lynn Berg said...

I'd never read this poem before...

Words stand out to me.. "determined" and "only" and "recognize."

Sukie... it's a struggle to find your voice again... it does seem to fade and and out and you do have to be rather determined to save yourself. But do you ever feel... I don't know... like the whole process is way too self-involved? I look at all the paintings i have to work on.. and then I think.. who the heck really cares anyway? What difference will it make? Hmmmm...

Sukie Curtis said...

Cori Lynn,

(May I ask, do you prefer to be called Cori Lynn, or just Cori? or Lynn?)

Yes, I often feel that way--and I think that's part of the struggle, at least for me. Your comment is well timed. On the heels of one of my earlier posts, about being of help to others yet preferring to work alone, I've been pondering what it means to be of service, and about the service value of art.

I won't try to say it all here, but only to say, you've asked a very good question. What difference will it make? I have something of an answer forming...

and invite others to join in too!

Jan said...

Cori Lynn asks the important question: how do we nourish ourselves without becoming narcissistic? But when we live authentically, our compassion awakens. We're most alive when we get out of our own way and let life live through us. This includes engagement and service to others.

Sukie Curtis said...

And I have two further observations, one the bigger question of what it means to be of service I think I will save for a blog post.

The other, about the risk of becoming too self-involved or narcissistic, is tricky. My own opinion from my corner is that most women I know, and I solidly include myself, have a harder time doing the work of really honoring themselves and being themselves that is required in order to be able to serve authentically and to give from one's depth and from one's creative best. Maybe I'm a romantic idealist, still and always.

In my experience those of us who worry and wonder about being narcissistic or too self-centered or self-serving are not the ones who need to worry about those things!! I know that I have to regularly banish those accusations in order to value and honor and believe in myself.

It's a dance, I guess.

Cori Lynn Berg said...

(You can just call me Cori, by the way.)

Here's a funny thing. Right now I'm in the middle of a huge painting project - 26 small pieces to be used for a fundraiser benefiting a local home and school for children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse. The sizes are only 8 x 10's but the sheer number is bringing up all sorts of artistic mania in me... as well as the gremlin voices you talk about in your post today.
Now normally.. I'm more of a listener than a talker. But with this project... I'm so exhausted when I'm done working that all I can do is mumble about myself and my work.. very hard to be compassionate or listen or comfort others.. and it's so foreign and uncomfortable to me. It's actually making me feel a little bitter towards my creative voice...

Sukie Curtis said...

Is the real "issue" with your creative voice or with the volume of the project you have promised, that seems to be setting you up to push yourself more than usual, to work in a rhythm that's not "natural" or that takes too much out of you.

If I were in your shoes, and I were wondering what opportunity this was giving me, I think I'd ask myself if I absolutely have to work in that "mania" (if that's what's leaving you feeling too depleted to listen), or what kinds of self-care I need when my painting sessions are over; or even if I can allow myself to feel uncomfortable about not wanting to listen and ask for what I need--and just let it be that?

Can it be uncomfortable without in a sense turning you against your "creative voice"? (which might not have been the voice that promised the 25 paintings??)

I'm trying to learn to ask myself very present lessons (rather than just how would I do this differently the next time)--