Monday, February 22, 2010

Back from Exile

Today, I am returning—after months, yes, it has actually been months—away from The Tremble of Love, the historical novel inspired by the life of the Baal Shem Tov, begun over a decade ago and finally completed this past November.  

I am re-uniting not just with The Tremble of Love, i.e., with a "project", but with its essence, which is one with my essence.  This book is a sanctuary, a holy place and container of Love.  It is a vehicle of Infinite Love and is infused by Sacred Presence. 

Ye,t in this interlude which has just passed, I have doubted the book's worth and how it might fare in this world.  I have entertained a troubled mind as my guest, a mind troubling over the book's fate and my own.  Surrender was replaced (albeit relatively briefly) by control, willfulness, and the familiar intruder, doubt.  

I prefer Surrender, which is not to say I do nothing.  It is to say that the doing emerges from connection to my Soul's call rather than from my mind's and ego's "reasonable" arguments and mandates.  Not that those two, the mind and ego, are evil, just limited and, God Bless them, ignorant of the bigger, deeper picture. 

Just a few moments ago, reading about mysticism, the inner mystic breathed an immeasurable sigh of relief.  Reading about what is concealed, I am reminded of a hunger I have known since a girl: the hunger to know the Truth, the hunger to see beneath appearances.  I knew even as a girl that there was—that there is—more to this life than what appeared to be going oo and more to people than what their appearances and even behavior belied.   I saw a tiny inner flame in the girl who spit on me after her mother threw beer cans at her, and I knew it was the flame of love, of her inner goodness. I tried to tell my parents, Holocaust survivors who could not tolerate that point of view.  They warned me against this way of thinking, heaping on its dangers.  They warned of the harm I would bring upon myself and even "my people," were I to believe in the goodness of people who "hate us."  I became confused.  

Why do I write about this just now, I wonder?  

Maybe because that, too, is a story of exile, becoming exiled from my own knowing and eventually forgetting that knowing, but never entirely.  There is a pain that accompanies this kind of separation.  It may not be clear as time passes and consensual reality wafts over it, what the truth is from which one has separated oneself.  But the ache, the deep discontent, the unexplainable sadness or sorrow, indicates the separation.  At least that is true for me.  This is not to blame anyone or even consensual reality!  It is to welcome unity and as Kabir says (paraphrased):  Come back. Come back, Wayfarer.  No matter how many times you have lost the way, come back, come back.  

This morning I am back.  This morning I am holding not only the book I have written with the grace of God, but also my own heart like a trembling bird drawing warmth from my cupped hands, preparing to take flight and to return to its place at the core of my being, both at once.  

Monday, February 8, 2010

"Getting Cozy" with Teenagers

I sit in a room with seven young women between the ages of 14 and 17.  It is a Sunday afternoon and they have come to my home, (the location of the Dance of the Letters Writing Center), to write.  We call these afternoons, "Getting Cozy."  This is a bunch who could easily have "I'd rather be writing" bumper stickers on their cars if they had cars.  It is deep winter in New England and a perfect day to hunker down with writing.  But then, isn't most any day?  

I have offered a few sparks to inspire today's writing.  The primary spark was to play the girls a video of the Starbucks Love Project, in which people from 156 nations, sang "All You Need is Love" on the same day in December of 2009. (For every voice, Starbucks and (RED) donated money to buy and distribute medicine for aids therapy in Africa.)  The reflection of our stunning human diversity and the hope of our unity never ceases to inspire me and moved the girls today as well.  starbucksloveproject  

The silence in a room of people all focussed on what they are creating moment to moment is incomparable.  It is one of my favorite energy fields, (this and being in the midst of a group of meditators). I hear pencils scratching across pages, the tapping of keys. There is pausing and staring into space, then resuming.  In a half hour's time, we will have created what did not exist when we entered the room and first sat together.  Small universes are being created out of "the blue."  

In a few moments, we will read to each other, bearing witness to the emergence of people, places, ideas, fantasy, emotion, and more.  We will be stirred by suspense, laugh together, and feel deeply touched.  Our curiosity will be aroused along with our amazement.  Listening, we will again and again, appreciate the infinite powers of the unleashed imagination, given full permission (and gladly invited) to do its thing. 

There really is no place that I would rather be.

Also posted on "The Grace of Writing" blog. 

Monday, February 1, 2010

I LOVE SYNCHRONICITY!  It's like uttering a message or a prayer in the depth of your heart that you think no one heard and suddenly before you is a tactile response in some form or another.  Minutes after posting the prior post—in which I affirm and invite surrender of struggle—I saw an email from my precious daughter, Nomi titled "good horoscope."  Nomi has never sent me a horoscope in her 28 years.  This one is the perfect mirror of my inner experience: my readiness for a struggle-free existence.  I post it below.

"During the course of this week you will feel yourself unmistakably passing from one life chapter to another, the story line changing without the fanfare you have been concerned would accompany this shift. Mercury brings news that opens a door and you will find yourself walking through it without any of the baggage you have carried for so long. If you look around, you might notice that one reason for this easier than expected transition is the amazing support system you have amassed in the form of good friends. Great healing is possible now, and the more you allow yourself to receive this the more you will be able to recognize your own inner strengths emerging. A struggle-free new life phase begins that allows you to experience your Self as one with the universal forces.            
All you need to do now is let go."

A new beginning

It is the beginning of a new month, the second one of the year, but more than just that.  For me today it is the beginning of being restored to faith—yet again.  The second of the 12 Steps is: "Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."  Last month was an "unmanageable" one as I allowed fear and my own willpower in response to that fear to occupy many of my thoughts and my days.  In December, I had completed a project dear to my heart—a novel about a mystic healer—and began to doubt (and, in some ways, avoid) going forward. Without going into the details, I want to affirm that I intend now to paddle with the current not against it.  I will discover what my actions are to be and how I shall attract into my life the needed financial and other resources.  I do know that it is more likely that these resources will be attracted and allowed as I remain in faith and connected to the Power that is both greater than myself and is me.  It is from this Infinite, Refreshing Wellspring I shall drink.  It is from my Divine Inner Director/Employer that I shall ask and receive direction.  

We could call this an experiment.  An experiment in faith, in which I pause to listen for guidance rather than chasing or avoiding my mind's projections.  I am willing to try this differently—to "risk" faith.  
About the dream in the previous post:  I wonder when in my life I was completely filled with a sense of possibility—how far back was that?  Pure possibility!  How can we protect that in our children?  How can we nurture that unencumbered sense of possibility in ourselves?