I never imagined that turning 47 would be as much fun as it was
I awoke this morning
a poem flowing out of me
taking me from dreamland to morning light
An acknowledgement of all the Shadows
and the rightness of all the things I hide
A poem that wouldn’t end
because everything is part of it
A poem I couldn’t share, wouldn’t dare
for fear no one could understand but me.
A cat nuzzled me awake
Odor of an acrid litterbox
Before my feet touched the floor,
I am the poem I dreamed,
My life is the poem
written not for forty-seven years
But written from the first breath
the first body I owned.
Now there are billions
as much me as I am
living life in different circumstances
As I live life in mine.
All rage is mine, all love is mine,
all indifference and confusion mine.
I somersault naked off of water buffaloes behind the Taj Mahal,
And in Norfolk share the laughter.
I’m not alive
Julie has said all that needs to be said.
That so many people have yet to discover yerba mate. In Norfolk, Fair Grounds is the only place I know that serves it. Fortunately, it’s not so hard to get the yerba mate leaves. I’ve been brewing my own now since last fall. This weekend I bought a French press. It really makes a great difference… so much better than tea bags.
Mate, like hookah, is just one pleasure I can’t do without.
I recently saw a video of Eckhart Tolle teaching at the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland. One of the stories he shared was of another teacher, Byron Katie, who was visiting some patients in a cancer ward. She stopped in a chatted with a very depressed woman who had a massive tumor on one of her legs. The prognosis wasn’t good; she was probably going to die.
Byron Katie asked her why she was so depressed and said, "I don’t see what the problem is."
Needless to say, that angered and depressed the patient even more. "Here," she said, throwing off the sheet, "Look! My right thigh is twice the size of my left!"
"Oh, " Byron Katie said, "Now I understand. The problem is that you think that your right thigh should be the same size as your left!"
And for the first time in months, the woman with the cancer laughed.
Isn’t it interesting how insignificant most problems shrink when viewed in just the light of the present moment without that odd imaging we call the "future?"
I’ve kept a journal at several key times in my life, but never really threw myself into it until 1998, when I read The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron. If you’ve never read the book, well, you should. I don’t want to go into my "frimmin‘" superlatives here, but The Artist’s Way is a book that truly changed my life. It’s largely a workbook, filled with exercises to do. Unlike other spiritual self-improvement workbooks,such as Brezhny’s Pronoia, these exercises aren’t meant to entertain you by reading about them… they are really meant to be done, and the more of them you do, the more you will discover about yourself and the more you open up to Isness.
The primary exercise of The Artists’s Way is journaling, specifically a style of journaling Cameron calls "morning pages," writing out exactly three pages by hand, at the very beginning of the day, keeping the pen moving… no censorship, no editing, no revision, no effort to record the previous day’s events. The only goals were complete honesty and stream-of-consciousness itself. Morning pages is essentially letting your soul "take a dump" just as your body does.
As for the other exercises, a group of friends and I regularly met to discuss them and do them. More often than not, though, I was the only one who did them, and (surprise!) I was the one who benefited most. The effects were tremendous. Really, the me of of
2007 is pretty different from the me of 1998. The Artist’s Way had a part to play in that.
After a year or so, I began doing the morning pages less faithfully, and although I still journaled sporadically, when I started blogging, my private journaling virtually came to a standstill.
One of the reasons why I’ve been blogging less, is that I’ve started journaling again. My style of journaling now isn’t morning pages, per se, but it is just as uncensored and spontaneous. What I do now is carry my oh-so-trendy little Moleskine notebook with me almost everywhere I go. When waiting for someone or something, I have time to write a little. After a meal, I often have time to write a page or so. (Moleskine pages are pretty small). Sometimes I’ll make several little entries in a day. Other times, I’ll go several days between entries.
Is it dangerous to keep my most private thoughts and feelings in a concrete form where they could easily be read by others? Not really. Since I started journaling again, it’s been in Esperanto!