She doesn’t appear to believe me this time.
She doesn't come out so readily: not at times like this when the stress runs high and the urge to be conventional and not draw attention is so pervasive. There was a time when being ordinary was my primary focus. Uniqueness had no space at all in my life.
Perhaps this “going underground” again of the Untamed Me is the knee jerk, pendulum swinging away and into perceived safey is natural and to be expected. Maybe this itself shouldn’t unnerve me like it does.
Yet to deny that it does is to deny the Untamed Me breath.
I choose, instead, to write my way into what is: to create a safe haven, to be present for activities that feed my creative callings. I remember what nourishes and feeds the untamed me and see those activities are ones I make space to experience rather than force them into a back corner of “no time for that!”
I go for walks and I bring my camera. I capture images that make no sense when I take them but when I get home, they tell me, “Reach to the sky for your answers, Julie. Your Untamed You prowls and skulks on land but she also loves swimming in the sky, surfing the clouds and choppy breezes. She loves sunbathing and dancing among the air’s currents. Remember? Reach to the sky!"
If I hadn’t taken my camera on the walk, this process would have taken a lot longer.
The images would sit in my subconscious, perhaps, metaphors ripe for gleaning yet ignored, stored in a closed up shed amongst rusty pitchforks and shovels.
I look back at the photo.
I don’t know the name of this plant.
I wonder about it and wonder if I should even publish a blog post not “properly labeled”. I giggle at myself for even harboring such a thought.
I lower my head, as if to pray, and ask the rushing thoughts to become still.
I do not know the wildflower’s name, but I do know what she is speaking to me.
“Reach up!” she tells me, and perhaps you, too.
“Reach up, toward the sky!”
I stretch my muscles skyward, throw my head back and feel my body’s response.
“More, more!” it seems to say, laughing.
The “Go Underground!” crowd shouts, “You don’t have the luxury of time enough to sit with your body stretched and your head thrown back. Get off your butt and do stuff now.”
I reach up, breathing in and then out. Puff and blow, lower the shoulders, feel my body doing its happy-to-be-breathing-and-moving dance.
John Ruskin must have known moments like this when the reach of the sky calls out from the sometimes-seems-too-oppressive drag of the “Go Underground!” minions. He wrote these words which eloquently say what I feel:
“It is written on the arched sky;
it looks out from every star.
It is the poetry of Nature;
it is that which uplifts the spirit within us. “
Nature’s poetry is in the call to go underground as well as in the call to reach up. The underground minions are trying to be helpful, not recognizing the seductive destructiveness this form of pulling back and withdrawal has for the person I am.
Think with me, now, to where you are right now and where you have been this past month.
Perhaps you are unscathed by the call to “go underground where it is dank and musty and safe.”
Perhaps you don’t do battle or don’t notice this push and pull, this call to catalog the darkness and light instead of dancing with both, valuing both, learning from both sides instead of stepping through one door never to see what is beautiful on the side of the other door.
Which aspect of you feels better, right now?
Do you need a respite for a day with the curtains pulled shut and a light darkness of “Go underground” or would you feel more relieved from a day in sunshine, a day of “Reach up, toward the sky!”
For this one day consciously choose which serves you in your life right now and act accordingly. Don’t do it because I suggested it, do it because it will seriously make you feel better.
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Julie Jordan Scott
This is post 4/31 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I got started 10 days into October after a rocky beginning of the month. Think I can catch up? Read and follow along to see!