Monday, February 23, 2009

Promptings of the spirit

Now that my daughter is back in the land of snow and ice, the skies here, which have been unseasonably clear for most of the winter, have begun to cloud over -- which means the weather is about 20 degrees warmer, and the crocuses have begun to bloom.

Having spent much of my adult life in New England, I have very much enjoyed this cold, clear, snowy winter we've had, and though I love the early signs of spring I confess the returning clouds made me long for sunshine.

Which might explain why this image appeared in my head at some point during my meditation this morning. It's the harbor of Capri, full of light and color. I loved these beautiful little dinghies, their blues painted to match the hues of the infamous Blue Lagoon, and I found I resented the demands of the tour guide who brought us there: I didn't want to go up the hill to Anacapri, I just wanted to stay by the water, photographing these beautiful boats.But of course there were wonderful things to photograph in Anacapri as well, and now I'm glad I made the trip -- and I did get a little more time with these boats at the end of our visit.

When you are attempting to live an intuitive life, to listen to the promptings of the soul, it is difficult sometimes to know where those promptings really come from. It could be I wanted to stay here because it was calling to me, because there was something here I needed to see and share, and that I should have listened to that and told the tour folks I'd meet them on their way back down. Because the fact is I'm not very good at resisting authority and making choices for my art, so it could be that hopping on the bus was just the safe and lazy way out.

But I also have a long and successful history photographing old painted dinghies, and it could just be that my photographer's eye was longing for a break, a chance to stop WORKING to see what might be seen elsewhere, a chance to relax and take the safe familiar shots.

I'm sure both sides of this decision were operating, at least at some level. And what I see as I write about it is that there is a judgmental me in there, criticizing both possibilities, and that it comes from my mother's assessment of me: she always thought I was lazy, that I always took the lazy way out, and that assessment seems not only to have stuck with me but to continue driving me. Not surprising, under the circumstances, that I married a husband who is always challenging me to push my limits, to try new things and explore new possibilities.

I think this is one of the major benefits of regular meditation. Though I sit there longing to feel God's presence, the reality is that the voices I most often hear are my own, the voices of all the different messages I got growing up, all clamoring for attention. Until I listen to them and identify them, it will always be tricky to distinguish the call of the Divine -- which means every decision will have this unresolved quality, and I'll always be wondering: did I do the right thing? And why DID I make that choice?

It's only a tiny step from those questions to What-if land, and I already know I don't want to go there! So this is good: I think I'll stop and listen to that voice in me that says I'm lazy, maybe dialog with her a bit. Maybe if I get to know her better, I'll know when to listen and when to tell her to hush up. Hey, sweetie, I love you, but don't bug me: I'm busy collecting sunshine and color and stories!

No comments: