Among the half-dead trees, I came upon the true ease of myself,
As if another “person” appeared out of the depths of my being,
And I stood outside myself,
A something wholly other,
As if I swayed out on the wildest wave alive...
Last summer,* I caught myself faking a laugh, feeling an empty non-direction. My alone-ness stained by loneliness. After several decades of being a mother, painter, a life-skill coach, living an introverted life was freshly soul-satisfying. Finding time to write, travel, and sit on a desert mesa alone brought me sweetness. Yet this past year, I recognize some “half-dead trees” of my own. What makes me alive one season and not the next? Reading Roethke’s poem I wondered where is my “wildest wave alive”? Where is that which teases me with mystery, love, and a larger presence?
I consider myself reflective. I think I know myself - my likes, wants, thinks, and feels. Yet maybe my self-definitions are too small. Are these the source of my dull cast? When I think back to the sweetness, it’s the unexpected energy that breaks forth from my inner being which excites me - gives me my creative edge, entertains me.
Sometimes this new aliveness surges in so gradually, I only recognize it in hind sight. Other times it crashes in. However the arrival, this energy is a fresh place to live, a place of new decisions, new directions. I become an observer, playing “catch up” because my likes of last season have changed this summer. The tear drop is a little sweeter, a book once read suggests a different meaning, and the color brown now is purple.
To be alive, is to be ever creating. Like the tsunami gathering it’s power deep in the ocean depths, ever moving undetected until it breaks on shore. My spiritual self has thankfully gathered undetected, thrusting me beyond my self-definition; my stories of who I think I am. Riding this wild wave, I am discovering this summer that the grasses between my toes are actually toes feeling back.
* written a decade-plus ago yet always now...
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