Thursday, March 6, 2014

hope and windows

Lately it seems my mind is fixed upon doorways and windows.

It's been a trying Winter ... only a handful of days left so hope is in sight, right?  Except I seem to recall majority climbers on Mount Everest die in the region just before the summit.  Hilary Step I believe it is called.  But that is a metaphor for another day.

 No, my response to "How are you doing?" in these Hilary Step days is to mangle a favorite line from a John Irving novel, "Still passing the open windows."  Actually, I am glancing out those windows, eagerly awaiting the day I can open them up and air out the mental dust bunnies of my home and head.  To mis-quote another memorable line: Hope Floats. (It is actually "Sorrow floats" - Sorrow being the family's beloved black Labrador retriever stuffed after death, a symbol of hope amid suffering.)  In my case, Hope is a droopy, repotted house plant in shock.  The intention was revival, the outcome remains uncertain.

I can relate.  As I bear witness to the end of another season, another cycle in my life, I am aware of how quickly these months fly by.  My experience is akin to those spiral wishing wells often positioned in the entrance of Children's Museums.  Drop a coin in at the outer edge and it spirals slowly and hypnotically around and around until it reaches a point closer to the center when suddenly it rapidly whips through the few final circles before plunging into the hole and disappearing.  Coin gone, game over.

Being a self-proclaimed optimistic realist, I choose to focus upon the many doors and windows ahead of me.  I just hold a healthy sense of urgency or importance to those choices.

"the doors have always been there/to frighten you and invite you" (David Whyte, Everything is Waiting for You)

There is the moment when I pause, looking back over my shoulder at the doorways I have passed through and remember the ones I passed by. I don't choose to dwell upon regrets except when I catch myself fumbling or stumbling upon another threshold. In the past what has held me back can be boiled down to fear and doubt. Two familiar gremlins who have squatted far too long in the back alleys of my mind.  I have taken time to get to know them - in day light it is amazing how puny and weak they appear to be. Their power resides in shadow and making a mighty racket to camouflage their diminutive stature.  Well, I've cultivated some allies to help me flush these pests out into the open.

All of this is to say, another season and another chance to reach for that brass ring.  Which in my mind is really any gesture of reaching, exploring, trying, daring, believing, doing or tempting that has me stepping through another door.  Or opening a window and leaning out, feeling sunlight upon my face, hearing the bird song, sensing the pulse of the world waking up around me.  

There is no such thing as creative people and non-creative people. There are only people who use their creativity and people who don't. Unused creativity doesn't just disappear. It lives within us until it's expressed, neglected to death, or suffocated by resentment and fear.  Unexpressed creativity is not benign. It metastasized into grief and illness. (BrenĂ© Brown

A great man once said the only true sin is that of an un-lived life. 

There is a secret destiny for each person. When you endeavor to repeat what others have done or force yourself into a preset mold, you betray your individuality. We need to return to the solitude within, to find again the dream that lies at the hearth of the soul. We need to feel the dream with the wonder of a child approaching a threshold of discovery. (John O'Donohue, Anam Cara)

There it is again!  That doorway, another threshold.  

Each time I choose to get up off the couch, to counter inertia with action, to reach for the art journal, paint brush, pen or paper, it is another step through a doorway.  Sometimes I am shuffling ... sometimes all I can take is baby-steps ... sometimes it is a stumbling, lurching kind of movement ...  but whatever the form, whatever the gesture the impulse itself is guided by Hope, Faith and Trust.  

It doesn't have to be complicated.  My faith is in the birds, in the tiny shoots ready to burst through hard soil, in the energy that animates this face, this heart.

My trust is in the cycles and seasons within me and around me.  A trust in myself to spiral closer and closer to my truth, my light, my source.

And hope ... well, he sleeps with his tongue sticking out, he awaits another walk, another day to love and to simply be in my presence.  

Starting soon ... a chance to step through 21 different doorways and create with some incredible teachers and guides.  

On Sale Now! Starts April 1!

I will be there ... and I will be immersing myself in the play, indulging my inner child in discovery and adventure. 

Each day we stand on the edge of a new adventure, possibilities waiting to emerge.  What is germinating right now within your heart, your soul?  How are you tending to it?


  1. oh. oh. oh.

    this post is a beautiful dream....i feel like i've taken a tour through your fabulous mind/heart and poked my head in at half-closed doorways (oh! there they are again) and cupped my eyes at half-curtained windows. (to complete the metaphor). *sigh*

    so much i could say - but you already know, so deeply do i believe the magic entrenched in the thresholds, because surely the cusp of the next season is the most glorious of thresholds?

    The Man. oh, The Man. and his second-in-command, Mr. Whyte. i'm so glad he's here to carry on the work...

    i would almost take 21 Secrets, just to play with you there. ;)


  2. What an inspirational read. So good to see you here blogging. So many deserted blogs these days. Thanks for letting me visit.