art, birds, dreams, personal growth

How "Not" To Talk To Owls

 photo courtesy of Lynn Griffin-Roberts

Dreams are illustrations…from the book your soul is writing about you.”
~ Marsha Norman

I had this big, wonderful blog post knocking around in my head for the last week or so. It was about a fantastic dream involving eggs and owlets (and cat food!) and the beauty of growing things that will eventually fly away from you. I just need to jot it down so they’ll understand, I kept telling myself. But every time I sat down to jot, nothing came.

Well, that’s not true. Words came out — they just weren’t the right words. They kept twisting themselves up into knots, bending over backwards trying to please me. They made a valiant effort.

But it didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel right at all.

I’m embarrassed to admit I worked on this “problem” for almost a week before I finally stepped away from myself long enough to see what was going on — I was forcing it. And it didn’t want to come.

Art is a finicky business, like herding cats. You can push and prod and cajole and sprinkle moon fairy dust over an idea as much as you like. It’ll still dart behind a rock and stick it’s tongue out at you if it’s not ready to be born.

So, in spite of my initial frustration, I’m glad for the lesson I’m taking away: Always remember to feel for the resistance in a thing, feel around the edges, feel around your heart. Ask it if it wants to come out from its nice, warm hiding place in the cosmos.

Then, trust yourself. Trust the answer. 

And if need be, move on.


dreams, personal growth

Elevator Dreams

The other night I had a dream about an elevator. I was on the ground floor with two friends, waiting to board and ride up to my home near the top of the building. Two women joined us. One was the nurse for the other. The nurse pulled me aside and with gesture, more than word, explained that the other woman was almost a complete invalid and may even wet herself if frightened.

When the elevator doors opened, everyone boarded except the nurse, but I didn’t realize that until the doors closed. “Wait,” I wanted to call. “Who’s going to take care of her?” But the lift was already rising and began to shake violently. For a moment, it occurred to me that we all might fall to our deaths. The incapacitated woman looked completely terrified so, reluctantly, I embraced her and told her she would be okay. We would all be okay. The dangerous rocking continued but as I held her, I knew it really would be okay. As frightening and erratic as the ride was, I knew we would eventually reach home.

When I think about the metaphor of an elevator, I realize that there are many, many elevators in life. You need to take journeys to get to the next levels of your life. I remember as a child, I preferred to ride escalators but that never got me further than the third floor. The safe route won’t get you further in life either. What are the elevators in your life? Change and growth are frightening, even if we are moving on to broader vistas, higher heights. It often feels as if we will plummet to our deaths at any moment (if you’re taking the big chances and really testing your wings.)

Do you have the compassion to embrace yourself — your terrified, inner child, helpless self — with loving arms? Do you have the courage to remind yourself it really will be okay no matter what happens because when you embrace your whole self — even those parts you dislike — you’ve already come home?