|Komo Kulshan ("Great White Watcher")|
I want to be more expressive. More lyrical and allow the passion (or lack of it) to come through my words. You know that I like to write but sometimes all I seem to be doing is chronicling my current circumstances. And that's not what I want to do here; I really crave to allow myself more freedom to create a true reflection of my interior musings. I tend to box myself in through rigidity in my thought: what I've done before has created a groove and needs to be recognized as such, so as to lift myself up out of it.
In a couple of weeks, I and five other bloggers will gather on Vashon Island for our third annual retreat. This time, we have a theme as well as twice the time for us to be together. One blogger suggested that we use this experience as a writing workshop, and I realized that I'm very excited to learn some new techniques to allow myself to escape my writing constraints. When I first began writing here, it was easy to find a theme for each post, because it really was a chronicle of my life events, written with each life-defining event at the center. And then I got to the present day, and the posts have varied in quality as my own internal life has also wandered from contentment to grief to boredom. I used to return to my previous posts to find out where I've been, but lately they don't inspire me to return to them. Why is that, I wonder?
This past week has been a good one. I get out of bed with a smile on my face, looking forward to the day, to my friends, to find where my fellow bloggers have been and how they have decided to express themselves on their own pages. There is such a range: from humor and delightful pictures to pensive internal rumination. Just this morning a blogging friend has returned after a long absence to write obliquely of a difficult time she's been experiencing. She has moved from her previous home and has lost one of her beautiful cats to illness. She says nothing more about why she moved, just allowed me to feel her pain through the pictures of her lost companion. I felt myself open to her pain and sent her my heartfelt commiseration. It's the only thing I can offer her, and having been there myself I know how hard it is sometimes to hear that our pain is borne universally. We all suffer just because we're alive. But we also rejoice and are filled with joy at other times, and having each other to share the journey can help just the tiniest bit.
There is also a desire in me to break my self-imposed bonds of convention. I see in my travels through other blogs that when someone has the ability to touch my heart with their writing I am lifted up to meet them right where they are. There are others that simply record the moment, which is fine too. When I was writing for work, it was important to be neutral and without passion, and I still suffer from that constraint from time to time. It's easy to fall into the invisibility of impartiality.
But I feel! I love and cry and rejoice, all in a single day. A passionate heart beats within this breast, and I'm sure that my emotions play across my face for everyone to see. So why not write from my heart and not from my head? It's partly because then I allow myself to be vulnerable. When I place a mask across my face, I think I'm hiding all those feelings from the world. And before long, I'm hiding them from myself as well. Then when I wake in the morning, it's to a dreary existence, with no desire, no joy, no laughter to write about. That's the groove I want to escape: the safe place that hides my internal life from others. Why in the world would I want to live that way? There is really no safety in this world, so why not embrace the adventure?
When I would stand in the door of the airplane, with a few friends along for the ride, I'd feel passion all right. My heart would be beating hard, and I could feel the excitement of the coming freefall. I would touch my handles one more time to make sure they were where they were supposed to be, and then I'd climb outside the airplane, hanging onto the door as my friends positioned themselves in the door frame. My entire concentration was focused on watching for the signal to go. There was not even an iota of fear at that moment, because everything had to be just right and there was no room for anything else but the laser beam of focus. Everything else had dropped away. And then the signal! I let go, my eyes following the others out of the plane, flying my body on the air, watching as the formation below me took shape, looking for my spot and gently flying myself to the predetermined grip I was to take.
Oh, the exhilaration when it all went as planned! When I was able to do my part without error, when we flew together in harmony on the cushion of air as we plummeted toward the earth, making a formation with our bodies, the moment was sublime. And then when it was time to separate, all turning away from the center and pushing against the air to gain enough separation to safely deploy my parachute, oh the joy as I felt the sequence of the parachute opening above me, bringing me out of freefall and coming to rest under my beautiful canopy. Once I knew it was airworthy, I would find the landing area beneath me and fly my parachute to it, watching for the other canopies in the air with me. And then it was all smiles and joy as we celebrated a successful skydive. One where I was able to do my part and we grinned at one another as we gathered up our parachutes and went to pack up and do it all over again.
Now that I have stopped that activity, I can look back over the past quarter century and give thanks for all the memories, and all the experiences I have to look back on and hopefully to write about so they will be never forgotten. And there is so much more in my life to be thankful for, not just my memories, but all that is still to be explored and encountered in the future.
|Me in front, Smart Guy behind|