Monday, December 21, 2009

Shine Some Light on Your Work...Your Life

At 9:47 a.m. PST I lit the Winter Solstice Candle and welcomed the return of the sun while outside the sun was slowly burning through layers of cloud. Though the sun burns bright 24/7, from our perspective it seems to disappear at night, to be barely there on a cloudy day, or begins to grow weak after the Summer Solstice until we reach today, the shortest day of the year. Without this spinning ball of perpetual fire we wouldn’t be here. It is for this reason that the sun is a metaphor for the Creator. So in acknowledging the birth of the sun/son we acknowledge our source.

During this season of holy days I’ll take the time to appreciate the myriad of traditions and see from my wide angle lens that they are all about the return of the light. They are all about a time to begin again, to be reborn, or to be renewed. It reminds me that there is only now and now I can make a different choice and be reborn into a new way of being. There is no such thing as a dead end in life. What seems to be ending is an opening into something new.

This is something I need to remember when I’m writing. Sometimes I feel closed off from my source of inspiration or I’ll look at what I wrote and hate it. Instead of getting angry, which only closes me off more; I’ll look at the sun and remember that my source of inspiration is always available even if I’m not open to it. I’ll also remember that I can always begin again. If I don’t like what I wrote I can just delete it and start over knowing that what I didn’t like was just me priming the pump making way for the good stuff. There is no need to get angry. I can always close my eyes and see what I can come up with next.

I’ll leave you with this quote about how Christmas is a meld of many traditions. Think about your life and writing in these terms too. It’ll give you an interesting perspective. Have a wonderful season filled with many holy days.

"Shall we liken Christmas to the web in a loom? There are many weavers, who work into the pattern the experience of their lives. When one generation goes, another comes to take up the weft where it has been dropped. The pattern changes as the mind changes, yet never begins quite anew. At first, we are not sure that we discern the pattern, but at last we see that, unknown to the weavers themselves, something has taken shape before our eyes, and that they have made something very beautiful, something which compels our understanding."
--Earl W. Count, 4,000 Years of Christmas

Monday, December 14, 2009

How To Create An Enchanting Story and Life

Sometimes I wonder how it will all turn out. I already know the answer to that, but it’s not an answer I want to know. What I know is that it all ends, at least this particular life at this particular time in history. I just don’t know the particulars of the how and when.

Ok. So I know that it all will end. Now what? I live that’s what I do. How I live with this knowledge is what makes all the difference as to what kind of life I’ll have.

The novel ‘Everything Matters!’ by Ron Currie, Jr., speaks to this quite profoundly. This author’s words have helped me to see that everything does matter and that by living as if this is the case I can live a deep and meaningful life.

This place between knowing and not knowing is a point of tension. This is the place where you want your reader to live as they read your story. When creating a work of fiction this is the best way to enchant. Your reader may think they know how it will all turn out, but they’re not sure so they keep turning the page. How you get to the end is also unknown and you can pull them along with any manner of plot lines as long as there are enough twists and turns to keep them guessing.

But if you really want to mesmerize them get them to the point of knowing, but not wanting to know. (I think this is where we came in…) There is something in us humans that likes the macabre. It’s that part of us that slows down and stares at an accident on the freeway. This is where the real tension lies. Though things exist that we don’t want to face we find ourselves turning the pages even as our heart beats so fast it’s in our throat. This doesn’t just apply to the horror genre. There is plenty in real life to scare us. This need not be manipulative as we see in Currie’s novel. Facing our fears is liberating. The fears give way to the real feelings just below the surface. That deep sorrow now set free can lift us to a place where we simply know that it is going to end. So there is no sense wasting time in the fear and we can let go of our need to have it work out our way. It all just is and this is ok. Now we can get on with life and enjoy the story.

Words used in the service of art are of an even greater service to humanity. Not only do they create worlds, they help shape the way we view our own. Having read ‘Everything Matters!’ I will attempt to live my life as if it all matters because now I’m beginning to realize that it does.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Seasons of Initiation

Today I am finishing the 10 week Science of Mind Foundations class. This class has been an initiation of sorts for me. Though the material wasn’t exactly new to me I still had much to learn. The main thing it taught me was that one’s spiritual path is a process. We go through cycles much like the seasons and so the project that I present in class tonight is a poem that uses the seasons as a metaphor of the process that I have gone through in these past weeks.

Through words I created my story of the past 10 weeks. While I was creating it more truths were revealed to me. This is the power of words. With them we can recreate our experience and through using them even more about ourselves is revealed. We transform our experiences and ourselves during this process. So here I am on the other side of this experience about to stand in front of my class and reveal something of myself, something of my true self I hope. This is scary, but this is the only way we move forward. We digest the experience and from that experience we create, which is to say we internalize it and come to truly live it. At the final stage of this particular initiation I see in the distance the next one for it is an endless cycle of learning and growing just like the seasons.

The Return – A Process of Initiation in 9 Parts

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.
~T.S. Eliot from Part IV of the poem Little Gidding


Winter passes slowly.
The ground frozen protects the seed.
In darkness it sleeps
waiting for the return of the light.


A glimmer of what is to come.
Will the groundhog see its shadow,
run and hide in the dark belly of earth
afraid of what it casts in the light?
Or will it see only gray and stay out,
little by little see what the growing light


Sunlight melts away ice.
All becomes aware.
Greening begins in the warmth of sun
and moisture of melted earth.
Clouds cast shadows and rains loosen soil
so the seedling can find its way to the light.


Full bloom flowering.
Things grow into color.
Sunlight reveals what was always there
in the deep dark beauty of winter.
The bristly bush realizes
it harbors the rose.


Sunlight burns.
Its rays sometimes too much
for green things. The flower wilts.
It knows more than it can handle
but its seed finds its way
onto the earth
and waits.


Calm settles over the land.
Something begins to shift as
first harvest begins.
All that was hidden behind flower
now manifests, is ready for release,
eager to be transformed through
consummation of its ripe flesh.


Soon all falls as sunlight wanes.
Before it does there is a glimpse of brilliance
in green turned to red and gold, the promise of return.
No time for sadness.
The fruit is full and ripe with flavor.


Darker and darker still,
one last harvest before going within.
Once culled of her bounty, the earth rests.
The seed scattered waits
for the blanket of snow.


Snow sparkles like crystal in moonlight.
Millions of flakes scattered over seed
mirror the stars strewn across the heavens.
The seed sinks deep in the cold dark earth.
Begins to know again.

With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

~T.S. Eliot from Part IV of the poem Little Gidding

Thursday, December 3, 2009

By typing these words I am making this blog real. I'm manifesting this article in cyberspace (of course we could have an interesting philosophical discussion on the reality of cyberspace). I will continue to add more words and articles every week. On Monday December 7th, 2009 I'll post the first article of substance and every Monday after that. So please check back if you are reading this before then. I really am here and plan on having a good time exploring words, worlds, and meaning.