I opened my journal to the page I had selected before I left to take a walk. My pencil waited for my hand, my writing sentry. I noticed it looked slightly haughty to be my chosen writing partner.
Energy rode my arm, nudging me to move it already. I held the pencil in my write/right hand and slowly started allowing snippets to drip onto the page.
“Comfort in silence” I wrote.
“Awareness of silence” I added.
“Accepting the fact that there feels like there is a wind-up key attached to my back that compels me to do out-of-the-ordinary things” I admitted to the page.
“Volumizing” a voice chimed through my pencil’s tip. “You know, like when you found that stick, that branch that had fallen from the tree in the middle of the street and you said, ‘What are you doing here?’ I mean, did you really expect the branch – or whomever put it there, to respond to you verbally, too?”
“Being comfortable with I space between ‘ ‘ don’t and I ‘ ‘ don’t ‘ ‘ want ‘ ‘ to… and literally being pushed, dragged, cajoled into the ‘ ‘ when suddenly you realize, “Ok, I’m doing it.”
All of this happened as I sat there in the wooden chair, the utilitarian kitchen chair. This and so much more.
It all started with the nudge to take a walk.
I guess calling it just a walk isn’t exactly right, either.
I went out to take a walk with camera in hand. I wanted to take some more shots for my “On the Edge” self portrait project, the first photos since the break I took because of Spring break started. I felt like I was supposed to go to the bluffs, so that is what I did.
I didn’t expect, however, to do anything but take my usual path.
I wasn’t expecting to be told to go beyond the path, beyond the fence and onto the hillside, directly onto an edge which only had one way to get there – by climbing underneath a very low lying Palo Verde tree.
I tried going behind the tree first, you see, and its sharp, cactus like prickers encouraged me to try the way Divinity told me to go.
I really didn’t want to do that.
I didn’t want to feel unsafe, I didn’t want to go off the path, I didn’t want walkers along the path to think I was odd, I didn’t want, in that moment, to be my usually unconventional self.
The chance to voice any of that was lost, however, in the movement of my feet and the crouching of my body. I got onto the ground, amongst the burrs and the stickers and the rocks and the dry, crumbly soil and started clicking my camera.
I found myself lying on the ground, as I so often do these days.
I wondered if one of the people walking above me, on the path, would think they were seeing the beginning of a “Law and Order” episode, “Woman in purple discovered along the bluffs!”
Most of them, I noticed, didn’t even look my way.
They were busily talking on their cell phones as they walked. Listening to their ipods as they walked. Mumbling and grousing as they walked.
At one point I was told to put my ear to the ground and listen.
It was great until something spooked me and I scrambled to my hands and knees. “Rattlesnake!” my intimidated intellect shouted.
I looked around, nervously.
No rattlesnake. I snapped a shot of my scared hand.
I heard a woman’s voice, confidently speaking to another person. “Well, I do know that God says, directly – that if we don’t forgive other people, then He won’t forgive us!”
I said, a loud, “I wouldn’t be so sure about that.”
I noticed the woman’s voice went silent.
I decided one of two things happened.
Either I went unseen, so it was as if the Palo Verde tree was speaking and the women thought it was a revisiting of the burning bush episode or the women thought I was a crazed homeless person ranting along the bluffs and how dare I interrupt the conversation with my opinion.
In case the latter is what happened, I would more than likely go unforgiven by them, which just makes me giggle. Ofcourse.
If I was unseen, and they thought it was a divine experience – well, this one is true. It was a divine experience. I hope they went with that choice, rather than with more piled up unforgiveness and clogging of life force due to a pile of opinion standing in front of truth.
I sat there, on the wooden chair, the utilitarian kitchen chair, and wrote.
I know there is still more to come from my list of noticings and nudges from my walk yesterday.
Because I know there is more to come, that might make me pause and wait to say any of this until it is finished. My hands pause now, the next day, on the keyboard, to see if that is what I am supposed to do.
To wait, until it is finished.
It is grey today and much chillier than yesterday. My hands are cold. I have not walked yet at all. I have been mostly inside, working inside, using the divining rod inside rather than outside.
I realize I am not supposed to wait until it is finished. I am to put these words to use, now. I am to allow this experience to come up and out of the forms it has taken and add this new form to the mix and see where it goes from there, to see if it is actually finished or if there is more yet to be.
I forgot one thing – the beginning of this loop-de-loop of creativity.
It started, actually, with me just being me, and writing on the 43things website something somehow not even sure what, that made one of the folks on there recognize something in my words that said, “She might like Henri Nouwen, too”. This person took the inkling and followed it to Amazon.com and found me and connected the dots which became the foundation for this photo, this writing, to you reading these words now.
To this day I am not sure who sent me the book, “Can You Drink the Cup” I know the city the person lives in and I wrote them a note on 43things. Part of the wonder in this process of discovery lies in the gift itself, not where or who the source was other than recognition, action, giving and receiving.
So – I was reading from this book and I found this quote:
"This is my life, the life that was given to me, and it is this life I have to live, as well as I can. My life is unique. Nobody else will ever live it. I have my own history, my own family, my own body, my own character, my own friends, my own way of thinking, speaking and acting - yes, I have my own life to live. I am alone because I am unique. Many people can help me to live my life, but after all is said and done, I have to make my own choices about how to live."
in Can You Drink the Cup?
From those words within the gift I received from a completely unconventional set of circumstances, I rose from my less conventional outdoor desk and the rest, you have read about here.
Now listen here. There is a message specific for you in these words. I can feel that within me.
What is your message?
Receive your message and allow it to move you, unconventionally – and create from it. Make your choice about how to live – and live.