February Heart of Darkness

Once a woman who worked in a doctor’s lab told me that more tests were run in the month of February than the other 11 months combined. The sun has disappeared from the Okanagan Valley, the excitement of Christmas is over and the flu has hit many.

For those who don’t have a “big date” occasion on valentine’s day, the days just unwind slowly until warmth returns. It is easy to live life looking forward. Programming expectation. Watching from the shore. Falling through time.

I am still trying to find a way of being that is not passive and recuperative. I know a bad breakup can take two years to recover. But the timer has gone off. It is ringing or dinging or singing. Wake up. Get up. Take a risk.

I am back into working out and eating more carefully. Green smoothies with lots of kale and spinach are actually good. Tofu and fish are the main protein sources. Lifting weights is starting to build back muscle again. Sitting meditation has become automatic and I have begun going for a short walk afterward.

On the night of the full of the moon, I made a new vision board with my new life pictured on it. It feels good to wake up and see it the first thing in the day.

My full moon vision board

I have a table at Eco Tone festival in the Rotary Centre on Saturday night, will submit one piece to the member’s show at Lake Country. Brew Gallery in Vernon is having a Valentine’s show and I have three pieces going into Sopa Galleries Under 8 show in April 4th to April 14th.

I am taking my second class through the Centre for Spiritual Living and working out of Calling in the One. So much is arising. I am seeing patterns and making discoveries about myself. The failure to be parented in a safe manner has left its mark in my relationship with myself. I get it now and I am learning how to be kind to me.

There are times when I feel a flood of love for all of those I know. It is a powerful moment that stops time. I think of those who have looked at me with affection, of those who have said kind things, brought me a cup of tea, opened a door, listening to me when I was falling apart. It is such a gift. And I understand it now.

My heart opens when I sing in choir. I dissolve into a beautiful open place where there are no limits. It is ecstatic. Reciting poet

I will be reading at the Kelowna Public Library on Feb 13th and on March 2nd I will be reciting at the Lake Country Art Gallery. Other public poetry readings that come up in the next few months are great opportunities to practice and present my new works.

Getting back “on calendar” has been an adjustment. I have been floating in deep space for the last few years and now I want back in… back into life.

Where do I go next? The fact Naropa’s low residency program has shut down means I have to relay plans. There is so much I want out of life, my new books published, the chance to help others, the presence of the beautiful healthy man who will be my life partner…. it is all just out there. Somewhere beyond February there burns a light.

Colin Farrell is my Role Model

As I sit through the winter, I am more drawn to the movie channels on televison. The struggle to place purpose in my life in a dark time without any boss or authority giving me marching orders is fascinating to watch. For over thirty years I had a job that spun out to structure my weekends and holidays, as well. Writing plays, teaching acting, sewing costumes, marking senior essays filled my hours.

Shortly after I had retired in 1999, I had a studio to provide me with momentum. The requirement of being in the Rotary Centre for certain hours, to attend various openings structured my days.

Also, being for the first time in my life since I was in my 20’s without familial obligations is strange. When I was single, I had two children to feed, clothe, attend to. They took my focus. After they left home, my husband took as much focus and care as my children had. But that is another story.

Now, in the last three years I have been alone. At first, I had a short contract with Okanagan College to teach ABE and I enjoyed that. Some courses were forthcoming from UBC-O Continuing Studies.

But since these classes have closed down, I have been in a deep space float. Focusing on my spiritual work with retreats, meditation and turning away from the world left me sounder, more centered.

But now, now it is a different story. As I was watching the re-runs of movies on the “box”, I kept running into Colin Farrell. His dark eyes so murderously focus. His intensity holds a power that only our shadow self can reveal. When he began some commitment to action in most scripts, he would throw his fate to the wind.

It spoke to me. I used to be that way. I went to school bruised and exhausted and made a good student of myself. I read all the non-fiction books in the elementary school library book by book in the order they were shelved until I had read all. Two Years Before the Mast was one of the grade 6 items. In grade three I had a learning disability but by grade ten I read at a College level on standardized tests. I was one of the top three speed readers in the school.

I graduated with honors from high school and had, by doubling up courses, in University earned two degrees in less than four years.

I raised two children alone without any help or family aid. A further shore would appear in my vision and I would bend my back to the oars and not rest until I got to the land.

The dark and the light. The masculine and feminine.

As I sat on the couch, I thought of how my darkness, my drive, my singular ability to work were my power. Going to the internet, I read about the actor’s prodigious work ethic. I read about his moving unsuccessfully from one relationship to another. Now, today he is single. He is working on his acting skills. He is muscular and tends to the maintenance of strength in his body. He signs on to one production after another.

So it is my masculine side that has protected me, kept me strong and lead me down dark alleys in the pursuit of ego. As I was attracted to his flinty eyed stoicism, I understood that my ferocity is not something I need to disown.

On this winter evening, after watching three Colin Farrell movies I could feel my wonderful inner demon shadow self awakening. Only this time, I have the watchful feminine qualities that I have developed in the past period of hibernation to moderate my choices. The mindful nurturing of my own short, dark powerful, unacknowledged male energy is what calls to me. And that is why Colin Farrell is my role model.

Aredhel is how I envision my gentle feminine self. What a great marriage I hold within my field. Aredhel and Collin Farrell. Enough to make any one laugh and set out the door with a sense of confidence in magic and power.

January Fever

After the 20 hour bus trip back from Houston, I was fairly depleted. I often remark how the “let down” period is usually two days after the life marathon event. Les Mis with friends was a total sob fest for me.
The combination of being physically tired; bored at the routine existence; having no project of passion in my life; missing my daughter, her family and my grandchildren probably played into the prodigious sobbing.

Canadian Beige series Capri Bean Scene

Also, lately I have been feeling so much that I am at a fork in the road. I see others my age who are choosing to leave. The thought of the “legacy” that I haven’t completed plagues me. What if I were gone? What have I done to fulfill my dreams? What gifts have I left in the lives of others?

My life seems so small in comparison to my dreams. The choices that I have made to play safe, stay in the ridges of routine, keep myself disciplined have left me feeling disappointed in myself.

When I was young, I saw myself as an aerialist swinging high on a trapeze. The risk taking, the physical skill, the star power was in me. I could feel it. Power. Power in sequins.

So when did my life become so mundane?

Capri Bean Scene Art Show Kelowna in January

In the past three years, I have come off of work addiction; relationship addiction and have learned to sit calmly in my center. But the sound of the big top still plays in the background.

How can I be myself; hold to my dreams and be so cautious?

One of the biggest difficulties for me is learning acceptance. I accept the fact that I always double think everything. I am cautious until I react as if someone has hit me by a dart of some kind of adrenal intensifying plant. Then I suddenly lurch out into action. Do I think I can do things differently?

For instance, after the Les Mis sobathon that began as the lights dimmed (I have seen the movies and stage plays), I got very ill.

Keeping my spiritual practice in focus, I began to support my body. I stayed home. I drank lots of fluids. I kept my mind calm with meditation and affirmations. Prayers for healing were offered up.

Underneath was the foley like music. Underneath the intention and spiritual practice was the voice, “See. You never start. There is always something you create that keeps you small. Now you can’t start because you are sick.”

As I watch myself, I think of how everything is spiritual practice. Can I just watch my self-denigrating voice and learn from it? What is it that holds me to a place that makes me so restless and yearning? How much of these impatient thoughts are because it is time to reform my life and how much of them are old habits of mind?

When it is time, it will be time. This is what I tell myself.

But I made a chart which covers my intentions. I can check it off in a daily manner. I can walk along the lines of intention. Disciplining myself even further, when in my heart I wish to run away to the circus, stand in the centre ring and astound myself and others with my courage and my fashion sense.