A Question We All Must Answer

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Christ / Course Ideas

When I sit down to write, I try to put forth a fresh take on what is.  The result may not always be top shelf, but I find you can always find a way of expressing yourself that is authentic to who you are in that moment.  When you do, it is delicious.  It is revealing, at least to you.  It is awesome.

Sometimes you have to dig for it, sure.  You have to get over being clumsy with your little pile of half-dried idea tinders, and the fact that you’re trying to build a fire while standing in a field of tall grass in a rainstorm, and go through a few books of matches, maybe even rebuild the entire fire a few times, maybe even just light that damn navy surplus flare you were hoping to save for another rainy day, but eventually ignition occurs.  If you invite it, that wisp of something creative and original will take up residence inside of you.  You will be inspired.  You will be moved, touched by this new life that is moving within you.  You will realize you have a living relationship of some sort inside of yourself, and that it’s an opening through which the Sacred Something that you are flows, in and out, like the tides, filling you up, draining you out.

That is what writing provides me.

Having said all that, I can’t imagine trying to be creative without the influences that Life supplies in no small measure- the daily encounters, happenings, movements and shuffles, well-done television commercials, wing dings and sundry changes of state happening all around me onto which my heart can latch and go for a ride.  This is Creation.  We did this, and yet we didn’t.  We are this, and yet we are constantly surprised.

Every day is a fresh take on what is.

* * * * *

Do you remember when you wondered if the world could ever run out of new songs?  I don’t remember precisely when, but at some point I decided the answer is no.  I think this is one of those questions we all have to answer one day.  We can try to avoid it, but Life will eventually drag us back to the spot where we started, stand us up straight, pat the dust off our shoulders, lift up our chin, and nod.

Go.  Your answer is…?

No.  Hell no.

Good.  Now write this down…

* * * * *

Eventually you realize that just when you think the number of remaining possible songs is dwindling, and a lot of music is starting to sound kinda’ the same– just squeaking by as being new on a technicality of artifice– you encounter an entirely new style of music.  Then it’s like holy shit, man, I was way off.  I had no idea.

I think it’s a lot like that with this new world we are birthing.  We keep thinking in terms of the songs we heard before, but as this experience dawns on us, we’re going to one day look up and say to one another, holy shit, man, we were way off.  There’s a whole new style of world out there.  There’s a whole new room of possibility.

The thing about you and I is that we are creators.  We are the extensions of the Creator, formed of the Self same substance, the same material, the same Light, the same Awareness– and we can’t help ourselves.  We create.  We give every last bit of ourselves away, and we love it.  We create and we don’t even know we’re doing it half the time.  We create, even as we walk around bemoaning our ineffectualness.  The world around us eddies and shakes, slips, slides, creaks and rustles, freezes solid or scampers off into the forest, and we think (in the old style of world) that most of that had nothing to do with us.

Little do we know.

We’re used to being disconnected from the world around us.  We think the weather just happens, like a sack of potatoes tumbling down an escarpment.  We think the economy is a bag of rutabagas in hot pursuit.  Tragedies strike.  A few people win the lottery.  Do the best you can while you can still do it.  That has been our style, but it’s no more than a style.  And it’s getting old.  It’s been old, frankly.

We’re just not used to water changing into wine in simple response to the need.  We’re not set up to permit that to happen.  (But if it did, and we were there, we’d say to one another, holy shit, man, we were way off.)  We’re not used to needs being met for the simple reason that it makes perfect sense to have needs be met.  But, just go with me here for a moment, maybe Creation is sitting there right now, inside of us, thinking, uh… isn’t that, kinda’ like, what you want…?  We could just… you know… (swirly hand gestures…)  water… wine…  No big deal, really…  No, no, stop crying.  Gracious sakes.  It’s all good.  It’s no problem.  This is what is.  This is who you are.

What do you mean no…?

Well, they didn’t know any better themselves, did they.

Well, they spoke in error.

Whoa, hey, calm down.  Don’t panic.  You want this to stop?  Okay.  No problem.  Just remember, when you’re ready, uh… we’re here if you need us…

(You’re us and we’re you, actually, not to put too fine a point on it.  But whatever.  You’re calling the shots today and we respect that.  We love you.  Water is water.  Wine is wine.  Got it.)

* * * * *

A new style of world comes about from a new style of being.  You want me to tell you what that is, same as I want someone to tell me what that is, but it can’t be done.  I do know this: since we’re creating whole worlds without even knowing it most days, this thing we do about setting aside time in our lives to officially create something, to give it the focus it deserves and all that, well… that won’t work.  That’s like standing on top of the ridge with an entire army behind you, and calling each morning for a fresh bugler to go down in the valley and trumpet the horde of bad guys to death, or win them over with an acoustic fandango.

A holy cavalry complete with a company of archangels is lined up behind us as far as we can see, and the next day we just do the same thing all over again.  We send in another bugler, our hopes hot as suns, and then we cry and gnash our teeth and tear our garments into shreds when they’re dashed once again.  To know power, we have to carry on with it a bit.  Call up Gabriel and ask him what he’d do.  Know that you belong in that conversation.

One way to adopt a new style of being is to stop playing with the old.  Just put it down.  Submit to the awkward, and the unknown.  Find ways as often as you can to stop knowing what to do with yourself.  Go out in a field of tall grass in a rainstorm with a bag full of dried plans that didn’t work, and try to make a fire.  Eventually you will realize you have a living relationship of some sort inside of yourself, and that it’s an opening through which the Sacred Something that you are flows, in and out, like God’s dry erase marker, scribbling out worlds…  It might just whisper something in your ear…  A whole new style of world could come from that.

6 Comments

  1. Oh wow and holy shit. I’m not just longing for the new genre, not just hearing the first notes, but realizing it rises from within – after the bonfire and the walking away, not away from but toward. Power words for my ears, today, Michael. The bell rings loudly with the recognition of how awkward it can be to do new – to allow the not knowing what to do with myself. I can feel the truth of every word you string together; oh so welcomed here.

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    • Thanks, Marga. I remember some oddity of physics I read once that I don’t know if I understood properly or not, but I think it suggested light is not emitted from an object unless there is a receiver out there somewhere to absorb it. Somehow sender and receiver are necessary to enable an action, like tumblers in a lock. So, thank you for being on the other end, which somehow makes all of this “real.” Joy arises.

      Michael

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  2. It takes tremendous courage to step away from the allure of the idea of certainty and to turn ones back to the warmth that can lull one into napping close to an externally sourced fire. Those little damp tinders in their wet around the ears structure give off so much wonderful smoke! I have found that the wispyness of such initial offerings allow awareness the chance to seep out of the tiniest of fissures and openings I did not even know were possible and there, thus moving me closer toward that ever roaring fire within the eternal flame of knowing, This is the expanding of the unknown out of me into the known.

    I so adore fog and not seeing a clear picture gives the imagination scope to play (I am working on dealing with the chill that usually accompanies without teeth always chattering…easier and easier to do as the flame is touched and sourced within instead of next to). Fogginess is such an important a step to knowing what it is to have clarity until we are ready to grow again.

    Comfortable with uncertainty and discomfort anyone?! Such power in the humility of not being sure, letting it be known what we do not know. WONDERFUL to have a peek through your words as the process of the smoke seeping is shared

    -x.M

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    • Yes, as we become comfortable with the fog, it seems to become something else altogether– a scintillating cloud of water and light, an emptiness from which anything whatsoever might emerge, a place to dash into and use to hide out from a false self once in a while… 🙂

      It’s interesting to ponder this thing called certainty. It seems as though we eventually discover certainty that the fog is part of who we are, a safe place to dwell, even as we remain uncertain on exactly what will be shown us next when the wind blows through and creates a clearing.

      Michael

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  3. I love the reminder you give Michael. We are always creating even what we don’t want to create. So we need to take stock, look at what we are creating and wipe the canvas clean with a new coat of paint and try to make a better picture…and then the next day we might need to start all over again but perhaps keeping some of what we painted intact. I needed this reminder…and I will need it again tomorrow! 🙂 Namaste

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    • Thanks, Teresa. I’ve been trying to relax into it all lately, and to try and be without the pressures and expectations to “become somebody”. As you echoed in your reply, we are always creating. How do we get this mindset we’re somehow not? Or that it is something we have to be effortful about? I will need a reminder again tomorrow, too, so thank you… This is where we help one another. Just think, we have somehow connected here in this virtual space, two out of six or seven billion, and for what? For just this reminder… 🙂 This one reminder that contains everyone…

      Michael

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