There’s nothing new. But there is a new urgency I can’t ignore or discount – to do so would be futile, and frankly, cowardly.
It appears that I’ve come to a place of no return with critical parts of my life that have always been up for negotiation.
Like the movement of tectonic plates, a deep and radical shifting of my priorities.
I find myself, with some regularity these days, shaking with rage. I feel also, and at the same time a profound sense of deep and steady calm, no less intense and alive than the anger. The word Ferocious comes to mind.
I have somehow expanded my capacity to contain Ferocity.
It feels quite safe in a dangerous sort of way. I’m mindful of a need for care.
While I read for my masters. While I make buffalo stew. While I use my chainsaw to cut firewood, practise new bow technique on my cello. While I write, sew, draw, listen to Joni Mitchell and RVW Symphony number 9 for work and pleasure.
While I think about wise, strong people who have been denied a voice of their own for far, far too long.
It’s difficult to put my finger on the ‘why now’ of this. I think that doesn’t matter. It’s the thundercloud that matters.
I will do the things I do for better reasons. I’ll learn to do other things, because they need to be done.
While Barak Obama was aging rapidly in the effort to deflect the great toxic nastiness of the 2012 US election and (hopefully!) emerge as President with some vestiges of grace, I was building, making, taking apart and putting together, writing and re-writing new art equations in my studio.
Through Hurricane Sandy and my dad’s 80th birthday (same day), the arguments over Canada’s Secret Contract negotiations with China and the US Election I’d cleared and cleaned the entire place of all ‘deadweight’ (save for three areas, one of which I’m still tackling – the two-foot-tall stack of chamber music inherited from 5 different mentors over the years, which has been mostly useless to anyone until now).
I gave away old paintings & illustrations or destroyed them, I inventoried the raw materials I have to work with (considerable), I fixed the sewing machine, and mentally catalogued my modest but inspiring stash of fabric – colours like food.
I threw out hardened tubes of paint (there were two), moved furniture, re-wired the electronics, fed the plants, ripped out old upholstery, brought out all the drawing materials to a place where they can be used and replenished if need be.
I played music. I mean, played. This is different from a regimen of practise, even if you cover exactly the same ground.
I walked a marvelous dog to places neither of us had been, over two days. She is an incredible communicator.
I bought an omnibus and found a certain dark resonance inside, screwed in things and screwed out things, I drove, I passengered, I observed, I obtused, I gave myself full permission to be utterly, functionally stupid.
I may have said things I shouldn’t, but only among good friends. I probably should have said more, but I didn’t.
While I was doing this I rehearsed and taught and rehearsed and scheduled, and performed with varying degrees of accomplishment. The Owen Sound Attack won a game against Barrie – yay, underdog!. My dear friends cooked up a new good idea, that will permit release from old tired things – long time coming. My daughter was accepted into the Rotary exchange for 2012-13, my sister blossomed some more, my friend made better friends with his own deep anxiety.
I sifted through the mountain of poppy-seed and sand, and from it made other piles that can now be useful.
I began seven blog posts and trashed each one because they were dull. Whoever reads this deserves better.
I fought a war with my own pressurized, inherited idea of what I should be and do, and I won. So far.
Now here I am, on the other side of this stuff, this hard working stuff, and bless me, but I have nothing to say that has any weight whatsoever.
I’m so happy to know that I don’t have anything even resembling an edge on wisdom.
Thanks for reading this. Feel free to join me in the new series of experiments.
It’s time to set intention, so here are mine for the day:
1. transform at least two things into something more positive
2. try to avoid adding ANY energy to emotional ‘black holes’
3. attend to all debts
4. translate one dry task into a poetic one (use brevity)
5. Thank the god of wheel bearings throughout the day for the niggling idea that the car should go into the shop yesterday, which prevented certain, possibly serious injury
6. Walk as much as possible, and notice what’s growing
7. Play cello
9. Draw something
10. Be well