Monthly Archives: March 2012

vulnerable

What has shifted for me since July, when I first began this blog, is that I am showing myself.  Even to my own ears that sounds strange.  I am a performer.  I have been on stage since I was 16, even earlier if you count my kindergarten tap dance performance with my boyfriend Timmy Silkman.  I have always wanted desperately to be seen, to be on stage.  When I was 8, I did a fervent dance and song rendition of 16 tons, (I like Frost Reimer’s cover)  for my opaque, square German relatives in Minnesota.  It was my first piece of choreography.  It was not only not well received, it wasn’t received at all.

Someone recently sent me a link to Brene Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability.  It is a beautiful meditation on compassion, courage, connection and authenticity.  She says that vulnerability means letting go of who you thought you should be in order to be who you are.  That the key to being who we are is to fully embrace our vulnerability.  She applies that standard to us as individuals as well as to governments and corporations.

As a performer, I am always in disguise.  I am costumed, I wear a mask, I am in drag.  I control the lights, the camera, the action.  That is why I chose this picture today.  My daughter caught me unawares at her sister’s graduation from high school.  I like that I am showing the lattice of lines around my eyes, the little tension around the mouth.   I like who I see in this picture.  I would like to know her.

I am coming out of hiding. Every day that I show up here, spend time shaping these posts, is a day that I am opening more and more to who I am.  For years, I had such a high level of paranoia that I did not want people to know what I was doing artistically.  Ultimately, that did not work well for me.  Hiding from others meant also hiding from myself.  Now I am choosing to follow this prescription from Annie Dillard in The Writing Life:

One of the few things I know about writing is this:  spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time.  Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now . . . Something more will arise for later, something better.  These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water.  Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive.  anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you.  You open your safe and find ashes.

moving landscapes

The Four Riders from Nir Nadler & Chaja Hertog on Vimeo.

My friend, the filmmaker, Alla Kovgan, sent me this video.  There are things that I like a great deal about it, but oddly, the horses feel as if they are missing.  Nevertheless, I felt it worth a share.

I am interested:  what do you see?  What do you feel?

trouble shooting

Yesterday on my drive to see Nelson the Mustang, I found myself checking for trouble.  Scanning my mental horizons to see what trouble was lurking.  I noticed that it felt  like checking to make sure it was all still there, my little piles of trouble. “Isn’t that interesting,” I thought.  My trouble piles are the things that I have a habit of worrying about.  Money, health, safety, money, my daughters, the world, money.

Nelson is a stallion, and he poops in big “stud piles” around his field.  They are his way of delineating territory, and he goes around and sniffs them from time to time to see if they need refreshing.  I realized that my trouble piles are like that:  I go and sniff them from time to time to see if they need refreshing.  “Have I been worrying about this thing lately?  Does it need a fresh worry?”

What I see is that I am habitually pointing myself at what I don’t want instead of looking around for the things that I can appreciate, the things that are nourishing and playful.  I know this old habit, but thought I had pretty much cleaned it out.  As it turns out it has just gotten a little more elusive, a little harder to detect.

The key was that as I was driving, I was feeling a little edgy, a little anxious, instead of welcoming the astonishing sunny beauty of the day and the gorgeous upstate New York scenery I was traveling through.  Once I felt the feeling, then I started looking for things to enjoy.  Simple things, easy things.  Distracting myself from the trouble piles.  Like looking for the shafts of sunlight, instead of the dark shadows.

If all you did was just look for things to appreciate you would live a joyous, spectacular life. If there was nothing else that you ever came to understand other than just look for things to appreciate, it’s the only tool you would ever need to predominantly hook you up with who you really are. That’s all you’d need.   — Abraham

And just a reminder:

Breaking into Blossom:  the eBook is available for purchase.  Thanks to all of you who have purchased!

And I still have a couple one-to-one jump-start  creative living  FREE coaching sessions available.  To make an appointment for a free call, either email me or fill out my form 

landscape

This is Jules snoozing in the sun yesterday.  Jules is a BIG greyhound with a BIG intimidating bark.  He has a sweetness and a gentleness about him that is extraordinary, but he is fiercely protective. We love that about him.  No one is going to hear him and want to approach.

I have been writing a lot about the landscape of the body and the way that our bodies partake of and reflect the earth.  About learning to enter the landscape of our own bodies, to become cartographers of our own terrain.

I had to lie very flat and quiet to take this picture, and was so focused on not startling Jules that I did not even see the crest of Indian Mountain behind the curve of his ribs or the bristles of winter’s grass in the foreground and his whiskers behind.  I think that as I become a better photographer,  I will see more of those things, but for now, I like the happy accidents.