First thing I want to express is to say “Thank you.” I am coming from a place of gratitude that ‘We are here.” It’s a brand new year, and we’re together and we’re inspired with our list of intentions and aspirations. Ready, set, go!
Thank you to Jennie and Jim for hosting a very warm and gracious Christmas party at their home. The spread on the table was full of wholesome, handmade goodies from Jennie’s kitchen, and there was hot mulled cider on the stove to welcome the guests.
I thought I’d kick off the blog of 2012 with what’s been sitting with me. After a few relaxed days away from the office, and just busying myself with cleaning and organizing my living space, these words came to me: “Let go and Let God.” (No. This is not going to be a pontificating blog.) I came upon the phrase from a Wayne Dyer audio book. (I spent a summer travelling between San FranciscoandLos Angeles, and listened to a lot of audio books.) The book was his interpretation of the Tao Te Ching.
“Let go and Let God.” How does this apply to my work, my purpose, my “I must”? Okay, here’s one: Writing would be easy if I could always write from a place of inspiration.
This is not an easy thing for me to do, because a typical day is full distractions, and the “other” work that I do to survive. The interesting twist is the work that I do to survive is really the writing. If I couldn’t write then I would wither inside. The first letter of Maria Rilke to the young poet Hans Kapus is to give the advice to seek from within for his “I must”.
“…my dear sir, I know no advice for you have this: to go into yourself and test the deeps in which your life takes rise, at its source you will find the answer to the question whether you must create. Accept it, just as it sounds, without inquiring into it. Perhaps it will turn out that you are called to be an artist. Then take that destiny upon yourself and bear it, its burden and its greatness, without ever asking what recompense might come from outside. For this creator must be a world for himself and find everything in himself and in Nature to who he has attached himself.” – From “Letters To A Young Poet” (translation by M.D. Herter Norton).
When I read Rilke’s words I am reminded of another writer whose story I can relate to, because of the circumstances he wrote many of his works, especially that of “Gulag Archipelago”. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote about the labour and concentration camp as a prisoner within the barbed wires of the camp. He wrote the book in the midst of a wasteland, where there was little, if not any, resources available to sustain a human being. If that does not inspire anyone to create regardless of whatever circumstances he/she is mired in then perhaps being an artist is not their true calling. It must be strong force from within, that is as basic as breathing air, but is conscious and needs homage with action.
I relate to Solzhenitsyn’s story because on another level I live in a wasteland of the belief that I need to be inspired to write. This is not always possible when balancing the spinning plates of the survival work, the “I must” work, and taking the time to be in a quiet place. That quiet place can be a meditative space where the sky is constantly blue, the backdrop to the constantly moving clouds. The clouds are like my passing thoughts that I have the tendency to attach meanings to, and sometimes obsess about. I mistake them to be the “I must”. I must buy this. I must get that. I should call my mother, or I must do laundry… and the list goes on.
The “I must” could just be that stillness to let the inspiration to flow through me, and to be part of the flow to create. And if I’m still long enough an opening begins that I’m not so focused on the distractions. They are still there, but my attention has shifted to the source of a light that reveals a truth. That truth needs expression without judgment. Say it as it is. To let go without judging if it is good or bad, but accepting it for what it is. Then to trust the creation, because its source comes from a very deep place that I and everyone else taps into – the source which is like the aquifers that sustains life on this planet.
The cool thing about LAFPI’s blog practice is we are a community of trust. Bloggers are not asked to run their work through our editor. The implicit trust is born from knowing we’re all coming from the same place – respect each others’ contribution that is unique and worthwhile. We want to nudge and tickle something out of each other to bring forth aliveness in our quest for creativity.
I had some reservations about the first to write the blog for 2012. Wow, I thought… I have to say something good. Pshaw…Are you kidding Analyn? Just be yourself. It will be what it is. As long as speaks from the heart then I’ve done my work.