Faith and the Mountain

Laid to Rest (north) - detail
Laid to Rest (north) – detail

Faith moves mountains.

I know it does.  My faith has helped me create mountain-sized things in my life.  Many of them.

My faith not only moves mountains.  It is the mountain on which I stand.  From the top I see 360 degrees, full circle.  I see exactly where I am here, now.  See all the possibilities.  I feel into my heart, my passion, while standing here.  What do I love?  And there, yes, way over there, something lights up in the distance.  That’s where I want to go.  There’s my desire, my direction, my creation.

Now I have a creation journey ahead of me to reach what I see shining in the distance.  This journey is easy.  I create it, walking one step at a time.

Easy.

Before I take the first step, I pack up my faith mountain.  Yes, this mountain is very flexible.  I can squash it all up, the whole thing, and fit it into my backpack.  You’d think a mountain compacted to backpack size would not be going anywhere.  But my faith mountain weighs nothing.  This is a floating mountain.  A helium balloon of a mountain.  It carries me.

Say it again.  My faith mountain carries me.

My faith mountain helped me create this blog.

Continue reading “Faith and the Mountain”

Pilgrim

Archangel (Sariel)
Archangel (Sariel)

I’ve been listening to Sonia Choquette on the Hay House World Summit 2015.  Sonia talks about walking the Camino de Santiago across northern Spain.  Eight hundred kilometers.  Five hundred miles.  A pilgrimage.  She carries grief on the long walk.  Deaths of a brother and father, the breaking of a long marriage, the certainty of failure in her life’s work.  She walks and forgives, walks and lets go.  Finds her way through to Santiago, balance, and home.

I am a pilgrim in my own life.  Finding my way.  The map is my heart.  I walk with my map open, certain and sure of each loving, joyful step.  I walk with my map closed, lost and aching, blind and stumbling.  Refusing to see and feel.  Refusing to take the single action that will save me—open my heart again.

Stubborn has been one of my words, and sometimes it fits me like a tailored suit of clothes.  Resistant.  Unwilling.  Yes, those too.  I’ll do it myself.  Say this quietly.  Pretend to go along with other people’s agendas, and then shift to the side and onto my own path.

Focused is the word I use now, rather than stubborn.

I need to learn things on my own.  I can be told something, but I need to test it out, experience it for myself.  See and feel all through me, the truth of something.

An example.

Continue reading “Pilgrim”

I am Here

I held the earth and touched the sky (Mike)
I held the earth and touched the sky (Mike)

My heart is a map.  Where I have been.  Where I am now.  Where I am going.

It’s not a paper map, identical each time I unfold it to find my way.  It is simple to know where I am on a paper map.  The roads and pattern are always the same.  I see my place clearly, and mark it with an X.  I am Here.

My heart is the map of my life.  Like all maps, I must know where I am right now in order to journey to where I want to be.  To find my way on this map, I open my heart, and feel.  Where am I now?  Is it love, excitement, anger, sadness, joy, wonder, jealousy?  So many emotional places, I cannot name them all.  Ah, here I am.  Mark it with my X.  Homesick.

Is this where I want to be, in this place of homesick?  No, not really.  It doesn’t feel good, and I prefer ‘feel good’.  Don’t we all.

I have learned that clearly feeling where I am gives me information.  This place on the map of my heart, homesick, tells me I am longing for something, a something not fulfilled by where I am in my life at this moment.

This is what I do to find my way from homesick.

Continue reading “I am Here”

Postcard #4 – Start here

Where I Am Not
Where I Am Not

I have a new sticker for my laptop.  It reads ‘Get Lost. Write.’  The sticker is from Camp Nanowrimo.

Getting lost in my writing is a good thing.  Getting lost and scared before I write is not a good thing.

There is no map for writing.  The map is created as I move my head and heart and hands across the page and the keyboard.  I call myself Writer.  I could call myself Explorer.

I read other writers’ maps, and they give me clues to what I might find in my map.  The key word is ‘might’.  Their maps are not mine.  The map I create is my own, the trails and geography unique to me.

I have learned to start here, exactly where I am in my life in this moment.  I learned this from Julia Cameron’s and Natalie Goldberg’s maps.

I know here, a familiar place to step out from.  If I come to my day’s writing feeling lost and scared, forgetting how the words always do flow, I start here.  Where I am, what the weather is doing, how I am feeling, what I want to write today.  I let my writing be just what I am thinking, seeing, feeling, what is in front of me.  I do this as long as I need to.  And then my head and heart and hands slip from thinking about my writing to just writing.

The writing is not scary.  It’s the thinking that is scary, and it’s not real.  It’s not true.

What is true is the writing I have already done.  The ideas I have for writing not yet created.  The place I have made for myself in my life to write and love what I write.  The permission I have given myself.

I am a Writer, an Explorer.  I create my map as I go, and I always start here.

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Mentioned in this post:

Julie Cameron, ‘The Artist’s Way’ and more    http://juliacameronlive.com

Natalie Goldberg. ‘Writing Down the Bones’ and more    http://nataliegoldberg.com

Camp Nanowrimo     http://campnanowrimo.org

 

Postcard #1 – Permission

Counting Crows
Counting Crows

Raven, who came by five weeks ago to tell me to play, has come to Camp Nanowrimo with me.  He is whispering in my ear right now.  Say yes, he says and dips his head up and down, Give yourself permission.

I have been writing steadily since before last summer.  First my book draft, then the blog, now the book revision and blog at the same time.  I am writing.  I am a Writer.  Really, I have been writing stories since Grade Three.  But apparently I have not actually given myself permission to be a Writer.

I didn’t know that.  I thought if I was doing this, permission was implied.  Not, according to Raven.

My family and friends all know what I am doing and creating.  I have their steady support and interest.

Not that I asked for it or needed to ask for it, but I have full permission from the Universe, from Source.  I experience it every day in the gifts that come my way.  Time, resources, inspiration, support, response to what I create.

So I have permission from all except myself.

I love to write, draw, create.  It is joy and play to me.  It is my work.

Some old pattern in me thinks that joy and play cannot mix with work.  Work has to be serious.  Work has to be hard.  Work is not to be enjoyed.

Well, I say crap to that.  I am making a different choice and creating a new pattern for myself.

I choose that my writing is my work.  I choose that my work is play.  I choose to keep writing and playing with love and joy and passion.  I give myself full permission to write, to play with my writing, to love my writing, to enjoy my writing.

This is my place in the world, at my work table in my studio.  Paper, pens, laptop.  Head, heart, words.  The view out my window.  This is permission.  I am a Writer.

I have all I need.

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Mentioned in this post:

Camp Nanowrimo    http://campnanowrimo.org    campnanowrimo

Harold’s Purple Crayon

Cat's crayons
Cat’s crayons

 

Friday last week, I am in the local bookstore, wandering the aisles, pulling books off the shelves to thumb through.  This is one of my favourite things to do.  It relaxes me, clears my mind, opens and inspires me, shows me what is possible to create with words and love.

I am in the children’s section.  All picture books, colour and play.  What joy here, image and word on every page of every book!  I am in one of my versions of heaven.  I move from shelf to shelf, slow, taking time.  Then, there in front of me, eye height, is ‘Harold and the Purple Crayon’ by Crockett Johnson.  50th Anniversary Edition, it says on the front cover.

I remember reading this book in grade one.  Six years old and discovering that I can create my world.  All I need is a purple crayon or any colour of crayon, and my imagination, loud, wild, galloping and romping wherever it chooses like a herd of wild horses.

At six years old, joy is a fistful of crayons and a pad of paper.

Harold and the Purple Crayon is my favourite book.  I read it over and over, watch Harold create an apple tree with a dragon to guard the ripening apples, a mountain, a balloon to float in, a bedroom window to see the moon from, a bed with a blanket to draw up and sleep under.

Soon I have the book memorized, but I keep putting it into my weekly stack of borrowed library books anyways.  I love it so.

I am teaching myself how to create my world, although I do not know it then.

Continue reading “Harold’s Purple Crayon”

Drop your idea and follow your story

Laid To Rest 80,000 Obstructing Spirits (south)
Laid To Rest 80,000 Obstructing Spirits (south)

 

I spent Boxing Day reading a book by Gail Carson Levine called ‘Writing Magic’.  I found it in the kids section of the bookstore.  The back of the book says for ages 8 and up.  I was 8 years old once.  Still feel like it at Christmas.  So I bought the book and the one that follows it, too, ‘Writer to Writer’.

Gail says ‘drop your idea and follow your story wherever it takes you’.  And she is right.

Gail is writing about writing.  When I read this, I hear it as more than that.  I hear it as advice for living my life.

Drop my idea and follow my story.  These words chime in me, bells singing out ‘Listen’.  So I am listening.  This is what I hear.

I have ideas about how my life should be.  Some of these ideas help.  They give me things to reach for.  Like at 8 years old, I knew I was both writer and artist rolled into one.  Then, some years later, I heard other ideas from other people about how artists never have money to live on and writers go crazy.  So after my first year of fine arts at college, I switched to business administration.  I followed someone else’s ideas instead of my story.

I know my life would be different now, if I had followed my story rather than taking a detour.  I never lost the story in me.  I circled back to artist and writer, carrying all kinds of other skills and experiences into my creating.

Drop my ideas—expectations, judgments, comparisons, rules, resistance, arguments.  Much of this I hear from others.  I take on other people’s values, judgments, expectations of me and my world, and accept them as mine.  Some I create all on my own.  Let that go.  Yes, drop it all.

Follow my story—my intuition, what I love, what speaks to me in my heart, the words and images that ring clear for me, sending shivers across my skin and through my body.  This is me.  This is my story.  Choose these things that ring true for me.

Resonance is what I am feeling.  I could say follow my music, the song I hear.  My song is different from everyone else’s.  If I don’t listen and follow it, create from it, no one else will, because no one else hears this song.

What a loss for all of us when we don’t let others hear their own song and create from it.  What a loss when we don’t listen to our own song and let it sing clear through to creation.

Gail is right.

Drop your idea and follow your story wherever it takes you.

Let yourself sing so we all can hear.

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Mentioned in this post:

Gail Carson Levine    www.gailcarsonlevine.com  and  gailcarsonlevine.blogspot.ca  Thanks, Gail, for the inspiration!

 

A Dangerous Life

Archangel (Raguel)
Archangel (Raguel)

This is a dangerous life, you know, living here in this world.

 

You might have to love, and be loved.

You might have to connect, and let others connect to you.

You might have to be a friend, and have friends.

 

You might have to help, and be helped.

You might have to make mistakes, and let others make mistakes.

You might have to forgive, and be forgiven.

 

You might have to learn, and you might have to teach.

You might have to change, and let others change.

You might have to grow, and let others grow.

 

You might have to be kind and compassionate.

You might have to receive kindness and compassion.

 

You might have to listen and see.

You might have to be heard and seen, and let others be heard and seen.

 

You might have to walk a path you cannot see.

You might have to let others walk their own paths.

You might have to dream, and let others dream their own dreams.

 

You might have to open your heart, and let others open their hearts.

You might have to see your own beauty.

You might have to let others see their own beauty.

 

Yes, this is a very dangerous life.  I choose it anyways.  I choose to risk all these things.  I choose to risk all for an open heart and a path I cannot see.  I choose to be love.  I choose to be joy.

 

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To live as if all life were sacred.

To live as if all life were loved.

To live as if words meant something.

To live as if life was a promise.

To watch for beauty.