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Saturday, January 18, 2014

My life in metaphors...

This morning before meditating, I decide to read some Rumi. I didn't have any particular attachment or prior knowledge about this poem in particular, but a lot of times I like to randomly open a "sacred" book, and take in whatever I read as an auspicious message about the present from "the universe" (God, Spirit, or whichever label I'm using at the moment). So this is what I read today...

These words of mine are no stones
To pick and throw at passing fancies.
They're yeast-sounds, bread waiting
To be broken whilst they're still fresh.
Leave them overnight and they become
Hard as rustling bolts, not fit for eating.
My verse is harboured in lovers' hearts.
Expose it to the indifferent world
Busy with its traffic and it chokes to death.
Like a fish it swims in the lover's blood.
Land it on the rocks and it gasps for life
Then it slowly dies, cold and still as an icicle.
You must be rich with metaphors.
Like an ore of gold waiting to be mined
If you are to digest my words
When they're fresh.  Know this,
My friend, it's nothing new,
These words are turned to bliss when you
Read them with your own imagining heart.

(Rumi - Divan 981 - "Words of Paradise" - Raficq Abdulla)
Instantly I could see myself being 22 again, talking to my therapist about conflicts I was having with my boyfriend at the time. I was pouring my heart out to him, so I thought, never getting anything back in return.  I would write letters, and emails, with the most beautiful language and metaphors (so I was told by him), but he had no idea how to respond.  After bringing one of my letters into my session and reading it to her, she pointed out to me that she could understand why he would have a hard time responding because what I had written was full of symbolism and metaphors, but short on actual emotional confessions.  Thankfully, I no longer have any of the evidence...

What became clear to me is that somewhere along the line of becoming an adult who can keep a roof over her head and still have some time to have fun (when not working two jobs), my life has lost its metaphors, and damn it, I want them back!  At 22, I was a person "rich with metaphors" as the poem says, undeterred by conflicting evidence and practicality. I had no real convictions, no discipline, just dreams. As I approach 35 I realize that one of the big changes I need to make is to resurrect that 22 year old, or maybe dig back even further.

The benefit of approaching 35 is that a lot of questions my 22 year old mind had about my future have been answered.  I have become a professional woman doing meaningful work, and looking good while I'm at it.  I haven't found a companion in life but I finally realize that's not the end of the world.  I never became a good housekeeper, but I've become a great cook.  Most importantly of all, I have found my way back to spirituality, albeit a long way from being raised a Jehovah's Witness.

I really think this poem, at this moment in my life is asking me, how can I truly be spiritual, and know the I am connected to everything, without loving the metaphors? What benefits will my spirituality have for me in creating anything musically or artistically if I am not a welcoming vessel for fantasy and symbolism? I read over these lines several times in particular:
My verse is harboured in lovers' hearts.
Expose it to the indifferent world
Busy with its traffic and it chokes to death.
Like a fish it swims in the lover's blood.
I think on a certain level I was already moving in this direction without knowing it, which makes it all the more auspicious (I love this word, one of my favorite words in the English language). I've been limiting my time watching political shows, limiting my time on facebook, finding more time to connect with people and with Spirit.

On the most basic level I've been struggling with dreaming big, and at times feeling childish to think that something magical can still happen, and will happen in my life. But I can't escape who I am, and in my gut I really do believe there is more in store, even bigger than I can imagine, if I just get rid of the junk and negativity.

I still find it hard to believe I've been able to do some of the things I've done, but back when I lived in metaphors, the money mysteriously came from "no-where" to "now-here" (thanks, Wayne Dyer for that), a person's heart changed, my heart changed, my life changed.... I think somewhere along this path my logical brain started taking credit for that, or at least diminishing the mystery and synchronicity of those moments.

I can't let go of dreaming. I must nurture my lover's heart.

 I want to sing, but I don't have to fill stadiums on a world tour like Beyonce. It feels like I'm cheating myself not to dream that I can, while at the same time it feels ridiculous to dream that I can, especially being almost 35 and still afraid to sing in front of people.  I don't even think that level of fame is  anything I want out of life or out of making music for that matter.

I can't dream half a dream, so my dream of singing is inextricably tied to something more huge.  I'm not sure if I expect to get there or not, but what I've learned today is I can't stop dreaming big just because I'm afraid that not achieving the dream is going to destroy me.  I need my 22 year old heart, and maybe my 12 year old imagination back.
"I wake up with new dreams every day. So the more I can do to channel that into things that I love to create is healthier for me and probably for everybody around me. And the older I get, the earlier I get up. The second my feet hit the floor, I'm awake. I'm like hurry, hurry. I just love life. And I feel like we ain't got but a certain amount of time anyway. I want to make the most of all of it." -- Dolly Parton (Source: Reader's Digest - January 2006)
In the end, I must dream the dreams I have today and do what I can to make them happen, because tomorrow brings a new day and a new dream. The better I get at bringing them to life, the better I will get at dreaming.

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