Please stop by SkyWatch Friday to view amazing sky photos from around the world.
Thursday morning there was an NPR story about chickens that are hatched with both female and male cells…they even appear to be half male and half female when viewed (check out the picture on the link provided). Gordon made a joke about them “strutting around half-cocked”. Which made me laugh, of course, but also gave me something to write about today. In a way, I’ve been strutting/limping/sitting around half-cocked (ummm, no new plumes or body parts sprouting)…I am referring to the idiom here. I’ve been harboring some anger-I’ve been feeling ready to explode…and simultaneously like a dam of sadness is ready to burst any second. My emotions are just below the gradually thinning membrane of my consciousness. Subtle actions, thoughts, observations (songs, bar mitzvah's, bat mitzvah's, above the knee skirts that just don't work with a wheelchair, watching other people dance, a sunny day, a cloudy day, my own randomly shifting voice...its a growing list) threaten to bring me to tears, create anxiety, confusion or just plain make me mad! It’s been more than a year since the first BIG exacerbation left me bedridden for months with vertigo and out of body-ness and over 6 months since I was finally diagnosed with MS, and now, I guess its “safe” for my anger and sadness to come out of hiding. Or maybe I was just too physically ill to “go there” (be here) before. I haven’t been able to write, haven’t even wanted to in a couple of weeks, so have mostly avoided my blog and every one else's, except for a couple of Wordless Wednesday and Skywatch Friday posts and popping in to say "hi' to a few blogging friends. Avoidance? Hmmm... One could say that this isn’t avoidance at all, but a time of exploring "Shadow". My teacher Jill Badonsky writes about Shadow as one of the Muses an artist meets along the way. She says that Shadow is the Muse of the “Gifts of Your Dark Side...Releasing all repressed and hidden parts of ourselves to deepen creativity". ~ Jill Badonsky (Here's a wonderful article about this by Jill)
This shadowy place is an integral part of the healing process as well. (Can one even separate healing from creativity? The two words are like peanut butter and dark chocolate for me-they belong together).
"When we must deal with problems, we instinctively resist trying the way that leads through obscurity and darkness. We wish to hear only of unequivocal results, and completely forget that these results can only be brought about when we have ventured into and emerged again from the darkness. But to penetrate the darkness we must summon all the powers of enlightenment that consciousness can offer." ~Carl Jung
It’s a few weeks before Pesach. My ancestors made their exodus out of Mitzrayim (Egypt) and into BaMidbar (the wilderness-). This too is often compared to a birthing process…by playing with the Hebrew word Mitzrayim we discover the words tzar (narrow strait/canal) and mayim (water)…or “birth canal”. We could play with it further and distill mayim into a question, "ma im?" (“what if?”). "What if's", a handful of self-propagating seeds of imagination to plant in the rocky soil of “the wilderness” that is: wandering through life.
I’m not an obstetrician or a botanist but I will stake some claim on midwifery. As a teacher of teens, a teacher of yoga, a SoulCollage® facilitator, a Kaizen-Muse® Creativity Coach I have witnessed and assisted in quite a few “births”. I also participated in the physical births of my two daughters, and the process of birthing my own art and my life-several times over. Keen observer that I am, what I’ve noticed is that the “gradually thinning membrane of consciousness” (quoting myself here) breaks open to a rush of fluid creation. Familiar image?…it’s sticky, it’s messy, it’s followed by cramping and pain and exhaustion and…yes JOY! (Followed by more stickiness, mess, cramping, pain and joy; again and again and again.)