I think, really, that we probably have to work harder at blending in than standing out. Or, we would, if we were belted into our own self worth as we ought to be. But that being said, there's no reason we can't be both--part of some bigger label-of-choice while not having to work so hard to distance ourselves, distinguish ourselves.
All on our own, given that we're wearing clothes that make us truly happy (rather than what's so-called acceptable or popular), eating foods that truly nourish us (as opposed to the diet-of-the-day, eating by dogma, or eating/not eating by guilt), listening to music that sings to our soul (loudly and with the windows open), and dancing or skipping or galloping in our bare feet as much as possible, well, that's a different story.
If that's the story, then there's nothing to worry about. We are who we are to the glorious tips of our calloused or manicured toes--stunningly here and beautifully wild.
You are a storyteller, and the bigger and wider you live, the more fuel to feed the art of your life. Though I am quite certain this isn't our only go-around, that's no excuse not to live the ever-loving life out of it.
Life may indeed be eternal, but moments are so exquisitely short-lived.
Your heart doesn't need protection, despite what your uptight brain tells you. Your heart is a rebel, man. She's a radical. She's a hip-swaying, drum-circle, barefoot soul-dancer, and she needs to breathe. She needs to feel the heat of the sun, the sting of salt, the chill of rain. So what if she ends up a bit burned? So what if a cough lingers, the skin a bit raw? That's living, baby. That's experience--and there ain't nothing a heart craves more than experience--discomfort, joy, pain, illness, and the irrefutable, extraordinary strength that comes with recovery, with healing.
So let her breathe. Let her move. Let her embarrass your puritanical brain with how much skin she's showing these days. She didn't invent these constructs; she has no time for conventional thinking. This is music. This is moonlight, muddy toes, bonfires, cave painting, primal chants, and deep vibration.
This weekend, I spent my mornings in the gardens, both cultivated and wild, vegetable and herb and flower. Around 9:30am, once the heavy work of the day was done, dew dried from flowers, I collected wild roses, calendula, catmint, chamomile, self-heal, red clover, lady's mantle, looked for St. John's Wort (or St. Joan's Wort, as Susun Weed says; either way, too early for it), then gathered thyme, sage, basil, and rosemary. I tinctured last season's hawthorn berries, this season's plantain leaf, and used the last of the Ashwagandha. I put up plantain/self-heal infused jojoba oil to add to last year's calendula oil, later into salves, when the heat of summer has passed.
I was taught to offer something to these plants as I harvest them. Sometimes it's a stray piece of hair, leftover milk from breakfast, a bit of compost, seaweed, pretty stones or shells. Most often it's a song (easier to carry, though perhaps not in tune), most often, inexplicably, it's James Taylor's Sweet Baby James (may...
I wonder if I just alienated more than half of my audience by that remark. I don’t have anything against dog people themselves, I just don’t happen to be one of them. I also know I could never, really, live with a dog person (or, more accurately, they probably couldn’t live with me). Even without the dog. The dog, as it were, is, I think, inconsequential to the whole personality.
Why on earth is this important? Well, it's not, really, so feel free to skip it. But for some reason, dogs and the concept of devotion have been a philosophical interest of mine for ages. Perhaps it's all that time in the garden, battling the wild beings like slugs, mosquitoes, and blackflies.
But I think a lot about devotion, yes, in the form of dogs, but also in the form of children, family. I think, though they may or may not be mutually exclusive, dog people and children people have a gift for fluency in emotion and mutual devotion. They (and I’ve always known this) are better peo...
So this thought occurred to me (and if it's true, it's going to save me a lot of time, a lot of effort, and a lot of hard, fruitless labor). What if we aren't meant to hold it all together? What I mean is, what if our lives aren't meant to fit into some kind of cohesive outline?
See, I was talking to my kids (my students) about outlining and its use in research. I hate outlining, and I can't do it. I've tried. It's just not how my brain works. But *reverse* outlining--when you go back over your finished product, pull it apart to see what's cohesive and what's a blatant outlier, well, that has some merit for me.
So. Why, in the name of all that is holy, am I trying to outline my life, day to day, moment by ever-present moment? What makes me think that I can apply some concept that has *never* worked for me in scholarly pursuit to the ever-loving organic nature of my life?
Well. I can't. But (!!), I can reverse outline it. I can do that now, write it down, cut it out (coll...
I'm pretty independent, if I can flatter myself here for a moment. (No worries--I'll pull reality into this thing pretty soon). What I mean is, if I were dropped in the woods, I'd know where to find food, shelter, how to protect myself, how to orient myself--that sort of thing. But. Drop me in a roomful of people I don't know? Especially 'successful' and 'well-dressed' people with 'nice shoes'? It's over. I will exhaust my small-talk, and then I will be in the bathroom. Pick me up on your way out.
So, it's funny... Navigating the wild? Yeah, I'd probably be okay. Navigating society? That's a heck of a lot harder. I mean, I can fake it. I'm really good at faking it--and maybe that's all it is. Maybe we're all faking it, which is both funny and sad, really. But we can only fake it for so long before we need to find a couch and a movie marathon--stat.
That's not balance, and it's certainly not independence. That's addiction of a kind. And avoidance (or some other clinical term not in my v...
Looking where you're leaping has become this complex process of tape measures and levels, engineers and architects. But we aren't spiritually descended from computers and processors. We are the products of fire and heart, muscle and intuition. It's not lost, but it may be buried under generations of lessons and warnings, stories of failure and highlights of disaster.
Our real history cannot be written down--it gets lost in the translation. No, our real history is sung and spoken. It's passed down in whispers in the woods at night, while dancing around fire when the moon is full, in visions while we sleep (finally, finally) with a clear mind and a brave heart.
Know you know your history and unlearn what you were taught.
(And, for the love of the goddess, leap with your heart, not with your eyes--the heart is s a much better judge, not only of distance, but of your own true measure).
Man, aren't you sick of being careful all the time? Hell, I am. Careful in my words (but if filtered through the heart, why all that energy-sapping care, examination, reexamination?), careful in my job, careful with an ego or two... But my wishes? That's the worst. I'm sick of dreaming up what I want to bring into my world and then having that little voice (whose voice is it, anyway??)pipe up: **be careful what you wish for.**
Why? Because I just might get it? Oh, the horror. Yes, yes, I get it. The idea is to choose wording carefully, to look at your life because what you're wishing for may actually already exist or is not, in reality, your wish, but someone else's, etc. etc. But (!!), all that care, that examining and examining and reexamining just takes the spontaneity out of the *true* wish, the heart-felt wish, the one, were we to edit it, would show up so mangled and unrecognizable (if at all), that we wouldn't even let it in the door.