Thursday, March 26, 2009

Post-Argh reflections



We had our spring gathering called "ARGH" (autodidactic radical gathering of homeschoolers) up at Roan Mountain earlier this month. One of the highlights was having author Patti Digh come do a book signing and reading during the gathering. She was most inspirational. Having loved her blog for a long time, it was a real treat to finally meet her and purchase her book "Life is a Verb".

For anyone that hasn't enjoyed her unique perspective and wisdom, check out her 37 days blog. You'll be glad you did. Be sure to purchase a copy of "Life is a Verb" too....it's worth far more than the pricetag!

The "polished sphere" is referring to Dorodango balls, something I am now fascinated with. She brought one to show us and I can't quit thinking about these amazing works of art.
I was sifting through all my thoughts after returning home and wrote the following, inspired by Patti and her book:


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




I sit here on my bed, orange cat purring before me, trying to ignore piles of laundry, papers with scrawled notes about returning the leased van and a stack of books falling loosely next to purring cat.

I am digesting my weekend in the mountains with friends, processing conversations, observations, mediations......that stuff we call growth. The need to analyze my behaviors,my judgments and reactions to life causes chatter in the brain. Chatter that is only pacified with pen and paper. I read the introduction from "Life is a Verb" in which Patti--wise sage that she is--urges us to write in the margins, reminding that "one longs to say something".

This purring cat before me, a denizen of my bed and basement, shares the same fate as I; a creature destined for finality, the grave. A creature living and dying at once, just as we all are.
Sharing that connection with him as a being marching forward to that final fate, makes me appreciate his silken fur even more. It helps me notice more clearly the joy he takes in the comfort of a bed and a human minion sitting nearby.

I decide that the purring cat curled up next to my stack of books with "Life is a Verb" on top is the simple image that captures all my thoughts at the moment. I pick up my camera, closing in on cat and book in order to block out laundry mess and scrawled papers, in order to show the pretty parts I want others to see.

Then it hits me, this is exctly where my pondering has brought me, to a place where I realize I must fully embrace the "silt" Patti talked about this weekend. Embrace it, cherish it, be comfortable with it's presence and be willing to share it.

The lense pulls back and there is the laundry again, the scrawled notes, the silt of life that is mine. All mine.

I've kept it out too often, pushing others back, not expressing my love fully, not investing enough. If life is a verb, then it's a messy one. I want to freeze-frame all of it. See it for the beautiful mess it is.

Some sit on the proverbial mountain top, pointing fingers, swathed in judgment, cloaking themselves in the illusion of perfection. But the mess of life demands that we expose the chinks if we are to fully experience all that IS.

We risk losing out on meaningful connections with our fellow travelers if perfection is what we seek, if being right matters more than simply BEing.

The sunshine today and my orange, purring cat remind me that the mundane is truly exquisite. There is nothing ordinary about this day. In the living and the dying at once, we hold an ethereal connection to all that was and all that ever will be. Sending out ripples of our existence into the vast, never sure of where they go or who may be affected.

The next 37 minutes, 37 hours or 37 days hold the possibility of embracing that perfect imperfection. The mud and silt of our lives may someday become a polished sphere, capable
of great reflection.

I want to open myself more to fully being vulnerable. I want to paint and draw and dance and talk and share and cry and ask and yell and whisper and create with utter abandon. Because life IS a verb, and so am I.

3 comments:

laura said...

oh yeah...i used to want to live forever, now i just enjoy that i'm finally living =)

we are sooo gonna have to have a dorodango mud ball day. i'm totally serious. it can be an extended IT gathering that starts early in the day and lasts until we each finish a ball. friends,food, conversation, laughter, MUD... A.L.L.D.A.Y.L.O.N.G. fuckyeah!!

magnroar said...

Ren,
I met you summer before last at Rethinking Education an dhave been a big fan ever since....ur amazing and inspirational.....I have been looking for your email, i used to have and you were very helpful when we were trying to relocate to ashenville before....now it is "go Time" again.severeal million setbacks later......my beaux and I need help finding a home up there.....isn't your hubby in real estate? Puhlease email me at magnroar@yahoo.com.....now I've joined the blog so will make a real post sometime but in the meantime kinda in a crunch.....puhhhhlease......any help, insight will be greatly!!!! appreaciated.Best, Maggie

Denise said...

I just loved this post, Ren...thanks for putting your thoughts down on paper...they really resonated w/me. xxx, d