A few nights ago, with two other artists, I shared my life story …in fifteen minutes or so. I left a few things out! Our title: Art – Seducer, Healer and Ecstatic Transformer. The thread running through all our tales is that art in all its varieties creates new possibilities for all of us, every single one of us, all of the time, in every situation everywhere.
My life story could be anyone’s story. It’s the basic plot of starting out life being and acting one way and having life’s twists, turns and tricks make me think and act in other ways. It’s a story of how I have responded to how life has lived me. We all have that option to respond – or not.
It’s important for all of us to think about our lives as story. Because we can change our stories, rewrite chapters, redesign our character. Evolution is now calling us to revise our storylines about who we are in relationship to culture, community and creativity. What is our source really? How do we give thanks to this planet and the cosmos which have birthed us? Who are we as humans? Perhaps we’re meant to become aware that we are more than technological marvels and money making machines, that despite our greatest inventions and all our powers, nuclear and otherwise, we are not in control of LIFE, not king of the mountain.
I have reached a stage in my life where I have no choice but to think as I do…My options are closed and that’s a huge relief actually. I know we are all connected, that the world is a living being and that mystery is the horse I ride through my daily adventures. I have no choice but to be aware, to create and to care for the whole shebang.
I think I’m awake all the time, though my new author hero, Terry Pratchett, suggests it’s not possible to live that way. I disagree. His description of Tiffany Aching’s awakening, matches my own. What music to my eyes. Listen to this from page 341 of The Wee Free Men:
Tiffany wasn’t sure which of her thoughts was operating now. She was tired. She felt as though she was watching herself from above and a little behind. She saw herself set her boots firmly on the turf and then. . .and then. . .and then, like someone rising from the clouds of sleep, she felt the deep, deep Time below her. She sensed the breath of the downs and the distant roar of ancient, ancient seas trapped in millions of tiny shells. She thought of Granny Aching, under the turf, becoming part of the chalk again, part of the land under wave. She felt as if huge wheels, of time and stars, were turning slowly around her…
She heard the grass growing, and the sound of worms below the turf. She could feel the thousands of little lives around her, smell all the scents on the breeze, and see all the shades of the night.
The wheels of stars and years, of space and time, locked into place. She knew exactly where she was, and who she was, and what she was….
Now I know why I never cried for Granny,” she said. “She has never left me.”
She leaned down and centuries bent with her.
“The secret is not to dream,” she whispered. “The secret is to wake up. Waking up is harder. I have woken up and I am real. I know where I come from and I know where I’m going. . .”
I’ll never be like this again, she thought…I’ll never again feel as tall as the sky and as old as the hills and as strong as the sea…No wonder we dream our way through our lives. To be awake, and see it all as it really is. . .no one could stand that for long.”
I experience another alternative.
I am bound to the awareness of those centuries bending with me – the centuries that made my bodymind, the miracle of the particles that have joined together to make me. That awareness rides in my bones, maybe in my neutrinos. That felt sense of the streaming is with me all the time – a constant on which I rely when I’m washing dishes, taking burrs out of the dog’s fur, flossing my teeth, typing this for you. I call it the “ischness” of what is…the ground of my being and the source of my gratitude. I can’t imagine my consciousness to be otherwise. I have no choice but to be awake and aware. It doesn’t mean that I am actively participating in those sensations of joining with the cosmos, but the memories of those experiences are always part of my awareness.
That’s the semi-permeable membrane between our human-ness and the spirit that animates our body’s intelligence, the heart’s wisdom, the whole brain. I think it’s time for a new storyline of human psychology – one that acknowledges our ecstatic communion with all that is –
What do you think?