Tag Archives: dancemeditation

fences

Well, I was going to cheat today and just hunt up an old blog post to repost, but as I read through them I liked them so much, I decided I would follow Ray Bradbury’s advice: Start writing more; it’ll get rid of those moods you’re having. This week the side fence fell over. It wasn’t much of a surprise; in fact it was leaning so much that it didn’t even make much of a racket smacking the ground. The neighbor’s house is gone, razed to make way for a townhouse at some point in the future, and the wind was just strong enough, the fence just weak enough, the lack of a barrier just lack enough for the fence to topple. At first I felt invaded. Anyone could see in. But now I’m growing used to it, and I like the space open to me and am going to feel boxed in when the fence is back. It made me think about my life. How boxed in is it? What old habits keep me small and cramped? Am I just so used to it all that I don’t even notice? My very dear Dunya, a practicing meditator and mystic, wrote this comment last week: the ‘seasons of the heart’ has new meaning for me; I truly am surprised now at my heart. As life progresses she turns her beating more clearly toward infinite joy and away from transient happiness, but this turning brings me into places and into contact with people in a fashion that mystifies me. Some joy is found right where it has always been, — in plain sight — and some is found where I had no idea I would ever look.

Turning toward infinite joy and away from transient happiness….how often transient happiness has been transient for me and how mad I’ve been when I couldn’t keep it in my hot little grasping hand. Somehow the fence’s blowing over swept away some cobwebs, and now I’m thinking of Rilke: Whoever you are: some evening take a step out of your house, which you know so well. Enormous space is near…….

Enormous space is near. What fences do you need blown over?


journal

I found something to console myself these last few days (much stress around continued revisions of next novel) by accident. I’m about to open another blank journal, only these days I collage….that’s too grand a word….I cut out images and words I like and then I paste them randomly on the blank pages. It’s quite exciting to open one’s journal and come across an image. Somehow the pages don’t seem so white and empty, and it’s fun to wonder what I was thinking when I picked that image.

So, in making my soon-to-be journal ready, I found myself on the floor with scissors and glues and lots of images from magazines, and there was something so soothing in the pasting of the images on the blank pages. It was lulling enough to make me forget for a time my current upset around my revisions, novel, career as a writer. I went to some quiet, focused-completely-on-the-matter-at-hand place, and those kinds of places provide rest.

How do you soothe yourself? What takes you to a no-mind quiet? (Addictions can; but there’s guilt afterwards and perhaps chaos.) And how do you make your journal interesting? And what do you write in your journal? I try to focus on Rachel Naomi Ramen’s three questions: what inspired me today, what surprised me today, what touched me today…..and the answer on this particular day in big old Houston, Texas would have been the wind all day long and the blooming star jasmine spilling over the fence.

Thanks to friend and fellow writer Kate for the idea about collaging a journal. We did it a few years ago during our dance meditation summer monastery, and you’ve never seen grown women so absorbed. For days afterwards, we’d be all over the house and dance space during our lulls leafing through magazines for images and pasting them into our journals….lovely…..