Some weeks, writing this post is easier than others. Adding the practice of writing about ‘meaning’ has given me something to which I feel I must perform. I didn’t expect to experience that much ego in a spiritual practice. The act of writing an essay is the act of making linkages and finding meaning in the disparate parts. And so, by making writing ABOUT meaning an explicit practice, it is almost like saying: “This better be good,” every time I come to the blank page.
One of the basic tenants for any writer to keep them writing is that we have to have permission to write something badly. Writing is really a little bit of inspiration and a lot of editing. The first draft needs to just get written – then the real work begins. We must give ourselves permission to fall down as we are fumbling around in the dark to create that first “something”. It is what allows us the courage to dare to put the first word on paper (or type the first word on the screen).
Before we can even stumble in the dark, we must have something for which we are reaching; something we wish to illuminate. An idea, a concept, a story, a feeling – something we wish to communicate somehow so that our words – inadequate carriers of some approximation of truth and oneness – can reach the mind, the heart and the soul of another. In telling our story we find the common humanity and the meaning that we all share. Meaning slips and turns and twists. It reveals itself – and then it turns and slips again. I don’t think we can ever write about it absolutely.
In a strange way, looking for things during my week to write about, that would reveal “meaning,” generated too many ideas. And, nothing at all.
When I have stepped away from the keyboard, this week, I have been looking at visual imagery because it is visual imagery, music and nature where I often find a lot of connectivity in my process. I opened a pinterest account, and I have gone mad with all the dream boards of projects I have in mind, of painters who inspire me and of ideas that float constantly in the background.
I am in the process of letting the unconscious work with these images and ideas. Maybe that will lead somewhere. Maybe it won’t. All I can say, is that – with enough time and space for the collective unconsciousness to do its work and with enough reverence and attention from me – it usually yields something quite magical.
So, I come to this post without a theme this week. Welcome to the creative process.
This week, I am grateful that a project I have in mind has been receiving warm reception from several people that are important for its success. I am grateful that even though I have struggled, stumbled and failed at some of the writing, I have had the perserverance to apply the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair for enough hours to come out the other side with at least a first draft that is acceptable. And, I am grateful for the participation and time of those who are contributing.
It is a joy, at the end of the day, to turn off the computer and lay in bed. I think about those with whom I haven’t connected in awhile. I think about all the things I want to do when I have the space to do them and I find it hard to close my eyes and sleep when there is so much yet to do. And, I am grateful that during this week, I have been able to connect with some of my greatest allies and bask in the warmth of some of my deepest friendships. I have received a good dose of inspiration or a wise word and – more often than not – a really cheesy joke. I am grateful for AAO, TCBC and CMF for the joy that is their friendship and their collaboration in pinning images and thoughts to the dream board of our shared consciousness.
Oneness this week has been found in the subject of the project. When I am working on it, I am getting into another person’s life and experiencing them – even if we have never met. That is quite a warm and cozy feeling.
Service has been the central preoccupation of my writing this week.
And so…we come to meaning.
Yes, I got hung up this week on the word meaning with a capital M. Is the meaning in our life really about those Ah-Ha moments of epiphany that come along only a few times in our lifetimes or is the meanting we make in our lives by living a life of purpose and doing our best to make the most of the time we have? I suppose it is both. I have worked this week to make each moment count and working towards a purpose that is aligned with my values. And perhaps, in that way, I can help to create a little meaning with a capital M in the world some day.
All in all, I’d say that’s a pretty good way to spend a week.
So, it just remains for me to ask:
For what are you grateful, this week?