Tuesday, November 19, 2013

introspective vs gregarious

I've spent countless hours behind a microphone and a piano with others before me, facing me.  I've spent countless hours quietly writing or trying to write.  I've been the life of the party; I've been a party of one.  I've been introspective in a crowd learning to listen to and share my heart and I've been gregarious in my solitude....wanting to find and feel my tribe.  In either case, the connective energy seems to be the goal; the connection to others, the connection to our journey; our soul; our Self.  The energy created through connection is more satisfying than most anything I can think of as I write.

In quiet ways we seek meaning and understanding; in louder ways we seek those who seem to understand and be interested in our journey.  They're not so distant, introspection and gregariousness. Even the most opinionated persons I know or have known describe their opinion in order to determine if they are in the company of 'their tribe' or not.  Agreement isn't necessarily a tribe-member-qualification; acceptance, however, is.

Just like a group, I do this with myself, internally -the parts of me I accept, and the parts of me that I reject.  Making connections is as much an internal journey as an external journey.  Perhaps introverted vs gregarious should be revised to how much of each ingredient equals connection; what's your ratio?  What's my ratio?  How do I connect with myself and others in a way that creates beautiful energy for everyone?


Friday, November 15, 2013

coffee & questions

Will solitude be quite different in unfamiliar yet beautiful surroundings?  I wonder this as I sit with coffee and pen in hand this morning.  I know solitude; I crave solitude; and I create solitude in chunks of time most days.  There is a lovely stillness and quiet as I work focused only on the task I am involved in.  I am filled and satisfied by creating beauty.  No television, no radio, my quiet only interrupted these days by the heater kicking on to keep me comfortable as I work.  It is enough to explore my thoughts as they occur, wondering to myself the mundane; how does one peel a pumpkin? To the more introspective; will the eventual wearer of this piece of jewelry feel my joy, my love in creating it?

I wonder when I am walking on the Camino, will my internal experiences be similar to this, the mundane and introspective coexisting together in a peaceful harmony, in the call and response of my experience as a human being?  More to the point, will my Self be up to the task of focusing on putting one foot in front of the other for miles each day and still be able to mine through the grit of my heart and soul to find the gemstones?


Monday, November 4, 2013


There is an action thought about but not taken; one then ten, one hundred, then one thousand.  The big life mission continues to evade us because it feels too big; it also causes emotional strife because we know that we aren't doing what we are here on this earth to do.  I'm not sure if there is any human being that isn't touched by this force, this resistance that I think we are seldom really aware of.  The mission can be to touch one other life with one's actions; or it could be to touch countless lives with one's actions.  Collectively we are good at ideas and not as good at action.

Maybe this applies to you; maybe it doesn't.  I know it applies to me in so many arenas.  I am more peaceful and calm and artistically engaged when my house is neat and clean.  Cleaning The Entire  House before I can begin to create art is often intimidating not to mention frustrating.  When I let my frustration grow, I grow still, then don't clean or create.  When I start with one little thing; I'm just going to put these dishes away..... It almost always leads to one more little thing; I'll just sweep the kitchen floor.....before I know it, I have a load in the washing machine, a clean kitchen, and then -soon - I am in my studio -creating.  And then I feel the bliss of who I am.  

One action stirs another.  One melody provokes harmony.  One kind word leads to a kind reaction.  Putting my tennis shoes on starts a walking journey.  Writing a letter to a friend leads to calling another; soon I am connecting and plugging in to the relationships that make my life beautiful.  How many beautiful moments have I shared with my musical friends and family when one person strummed a guitar or sat down at the piano and started a simple song and one by one, others join in with other instruments, percussion, and voice to create something that in the moment is beautiful and complete?  One right action breaks resistance and we get going; we get started; we magically forget about the Entire Thing as something too hard to have or create and begin creating it step by willful step.  The smallest action leads to thousands of actions that build a life and it's mission.  Why is that sometimes so hard to get started on?  We might never understand this resistance, but it can be overcome.

Yesterday I heard the short and powerful phrase: Do The Work.  I've been ruminating on the phrase ever since.  Everything started, completed, created begins and ends this way - with one action.  Action trumps resistance, and we just need to be the tiniest bit stronger than resistance.  Resistance- that powerful force - will always be, and we might need to start over every single day - with one right action.