Saturday, January 2, 2010

Just Dance

What does paradise look like to you?

I'm asking because at some point in my morning's meditation I sank down below all the petty thoughts that normally occupy my mind, into a place that felt both like a glimpse of the True Self that lies beneath, and, oddly, like a garden.

I think that insight I had the other day -- about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil being the root of our discomfort, not because eating its fruit made us LIKE God, or because it was disobedient, but because it created a world of division, of separation, not just of us from God but of good from evil -- is still floating around in me, and wants more attention.

At any rate, I wandered off to my garden files, but there were no images there that captured what I was trying to say, so I decided to poke around in the folder called "trees and forests," and this was what captivated me. So I stared at it for a bit, trying to decide what made the image appealing.

First, of course, there is the hint of spring about it -- which would naturally be attractive as we sit in this, the darkest, grayest part of the year. But there's also something about the mix of ordinary (so much of it is the same shade of green) and the spark of opposites: the white of the birches against the dark shadows, the red of the flowers against the green grasses, the path of light that calls you into the distance, as if there is a warm field beyond the immediate forest. The image appeals because it holds those opposites together in tension, and somehow there is something inviting in both the light and the dark.

I suspect all of what I'm seeing here is a reaction to my readings in Notes from the Song of Life this morning, so I'll share pieces of them with you here:

"Do not make the mistake of cursing your troubles. They are valuable to you. Solving problems is not really important. Finding your true nature is of great importance. Unless you become who you are, you will wander through life on a barren and dusty road.

Demons and troubles create a darkness. In this darkness you can find your inner light. You would not be able to find the flame of a candle on a desert at high noon. You can see the candle flame easily at midnight.

...As you travel along your path there must be many springs. Without the cold and barren winter there can be no spring beauty. Winter is the season of the womb. Its pain is our friend, our beacon. It points out the direction for our journey. There are only two roads in life, growing and dying. The bud must go through the discomfort of unfolding or it will shrivel...

...There is within you a quieter voice. If you are still you can hear this other voice. "You are strong, you already have enough -- indeed you have too much. You have become a walking junkyard of unnecessary activities, things, ideas, and strivings. You believe all these things benefit you by protecting you. In fact, they smother you.

Get rid of your protections. Stand naked.. Learn again that you were born with all you need, that you are a part of the flow of life... Shedding your protections is uncomfortable. You will feel exposed when you drop your baggage. You will be tempted to save a little something-- just in case! Do not do it.

Stand alone in the desert. You will begin again to see what is around you, to feel your strength. You will learn that you are at home."

Standing alone, spring and winter, darkness and light -- it's all there. And here's my favorite line from today:

"If you stop worrying about the past and planning for the future you will be able to experience the present now-moment. Only when you are truly in the now can you hear your rhythm and dance with it."

Yep. That's the heart of this image. Something in it makes me feel like dancing. So why analyze? Why not just... Dance?


Maureen said...

You've selected such great quotes to highlight. I like, in particular, "There are only two roads in life, growing and dying."

Enjoy the dance!

M.L. Gallagher said...

Thank you Diane. I love this image. It stirs my spirit with the gentle breeze of spring I feel carressing each leaf, whispering stories of summer blooms to come.

And I love the readings. How powerful and Divine.

I am learning to be in this place of tension -- between what is and what isn't. what was and what couldn't be.

It is a good place for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

KimQuiltz said...

Bwah-hahahaha! I turn to your blog and see "Just Dance" and had to swallow my coffee quickly before it ended up all over my monitor. Talk about sychronicity?! I had just determined that my New Year's Resolution is....wait for DANCE MORE!

I know that some of my very favorite soul-tending people read here, but I am safe is making a confession that I don't want to get out into my "real" world. My relationship with the Big Man is in serious trouble. He has confessed that he no longer loves me...not quite right, loves me, but isn't IN love with me anymore. And to tell you the truth, I'm not IN love with me either anymore. I think it is time I did something about it, don't you? I think that dancing more is a very good start... said...

Oh, Kim -- you HAVE to read Louise's blog post from yesterday; talk about synchronicity. She speaks to this WAY better than I can; you should ignore my last email...

Joyce Wycoff said...

Amazing synchronicity ... after posting this morning about being kind to ourselves (with an image about DANCE), I drop in here to see what you're thinking about and here we are again! Beautiful post ... and one more book in my amazon queue! Thanks!

Joyce Wycoff said...

Kim ... I just read your "truth" about not being IN love with yourself anymore and it just broke me open. What an amazing way to being a new year ... let us all DANCE way more!