I haven’t written since “between the years,” the days between Christmas and Epiphany and I’m “rusty,” hesitant, and unsure. Today is Chinese New Year, and I understand sometime in February it will be Tibetan New Year. In a Bill Murrayish “Groundhog Day” kind of way, I’m still in “between the years,” despite nearly a month passing.
This odd realization just about captures how this year has gone so far. On one hand, a “same old – same old” quality, with me fumbling along in a bit of a dark days’ funk, bumping into habitual doubts and worries, finding my way as the day’s light lengthens.
And on the other hand, encountering experiences, events and people that fill my heart, take my breath away, wake me up and nudge, or catapult me, into the warm lushness of NOW.
- The invitation from my friend, the district’s art consultant, to participate in ARTiculate, a “traveling journal“ professional learning project. Each of the 35 participants chooses a theme and composes the first entry using any means – textual, visual – and any number of pages to record and convey reflections, impressions, questions. By a specified date, we each package ours up and send it off to the next person on the list who then reads, and offers whatever and however they choose. After several “stops,” my journal comes home to me in early June to savour and ponder that illuminated by others’ perspectives.
- Last week’s monthly gathering of my practice community wherein we were invited, using the story and samples of Emily Carr’s art to share what each of us is “up to” and “going to” this new year. From my vantage point in the circle, what drew me was this picture… its upside down perspective reminding me of the “U” I’ve sat in and mused over for these many months. Maybe it was midweek into our Arctic cold snap, sudden and shocking after weeks of above normal temperatures and below average snow fall, but I felt an inside wince and pinch with the prompt that I be “up to” or “going to” anything right now. I wrote in response to the invitation to reflect:
“I want to sit still and stay put…not necessarily move or be going anywhere. I want to sink deeply, deeper into the mystery of the unknown… not be up to anything. I want need to cease striving, and trust in the stillness, darkness, coldness of winter, of now, right now. Soon enough light, energy, and movement will become apparent.”
- Reconnecting with a yoga sister, bridged by our teacher “from away” and our mutual love and prayers for her well being. We met this past Saturday at Tibetan Heart Yoga, she, there to heal from her husband’s recent passing; me, to continue the practice of keeping my heart open, when the inclination is to shut down and out.
- Ordering, receiving and beginning to read from John O’Donohue’s To Bless The Space Between Us, a gift to myself that I then gifted to my yoga sister, to bless the space she now so acutely feels.
- Being one of the quick and lucky subscribers to Heather Plett’s mandala coaching sessions. I sensed this process would complement both my process painting hosting, and participation in ARTiculate.
- Hosting my third Sunday Session of process painting. Yesterday twelve came to paint their way to Point Zero, the womb of creativity. As I held space for their journeying, riding the ebb and flow of their energy, sensing the hesitation and clutch for control, then the release into freedom, the joy of that pure and honest gesture, I was in deep reverence for them, my full heart overflowed in quiet tears.
Today in an email, I read the following by Rainer Maria Rilke. Given this day, in this in between time, it bodes good fortune:
You must give
birth to your
Fear not the
strangeness you feel.
The future must
long before it