we all have to sit down everyday and make our art.
we have to create.
we have to purge the junk that clogs up our mental arteries so that the system can work and things can flow once again. when we don’t throw up this mental garbage and use it in a beautiful, creative way it will begin to dampen our souls and weigh down our spirits.
like those weird 80’s velcro ankle weights but less stylish.
resistance to using this inner junk to make our art is just as strong as the need to create it. we tell ourselves no, no, no. i’ll just ignore that part that is scary or hurts. i will cover it with a towel of tv, food, booze or drug of choice until it dissipates. unfortunately this never happens and it just begins to rot through the floor and seep into other areas of our lives that would have previously been fine if someone would have just cleaned up the fucking mess in the first place!
so that is what this blog is about. cleaning up the mess by letting it out. i would rather throw it up in this format then in a format that is destructive to my mind, body and soul.
what a beautiful introduction, ay?
today’s post will follow no particular chronological organization. it will come out exactly as it is supposed to and isn’t subject to guidelines, order or expectations. hurrah for it!!! 🙂
Basically, I want to use passages from a story told by a lovely lady and tailor it to my own experiences of this past year. It is a story that hits home hard for myself and a lot of women out there that battle with finding a sense of self and ones rightful place.
“It is worse to stay where one does not belong at all than to wander about lost for a while looking for the kinship one requires. It is a never a mistake to search for what one requires. Never.” – The Women Who Run With Wolves , Clarissa Pinkola Estès
If you have ever attempted to fit into a mold and failed – there is probably a moment of defeat. A loss of self-worth and a feeling of never being good enough. When in reality you are actually probably the luckiest creature alive, you have sheltered your soul. Although, exile from the group that you attempted and failed to fit into is likely – it will temper you, make you strong and eventually lead to a “profound magnitude and clarity of psyche.”
Enduring exile is far more rewarding than living in the lie of re-shaping yourself to fit in with people that don’t feed you what your spirit requires.
This is exactly the ugly duckling syndrome. Assume that instead “not being good enough”that you are actually a swan and that they are mice. Swans and mice hate each other for the most part. They think the other smells funny and they are not interested in spending time together, and if they did, they would be constantly harassing the other.
What if wherever you went you tried to walk like a mouse, but ended up waddling instead. What if wherever you went you had to pretend to be grey, furry and tiny? What if you had no snaky tail to carry in the air on tail carrying day? Wouldn’t you be the most miserable creature in the world?
Many, many women keep trying to bend and fold themselves into shapes that aren’t theirs because they simply do not know better. They do not know that they are not mice, they do not know that swans are just as, if not more, beautiful and that they are making themselves miserable for no good reason at all.
Once we let go of trying to be mice, of trying to minimize the size of our wings or the loudness of our call – we can begin to look for those that better mirror ourselves and are set free.
There is a time between giving up trying to be something we are not and finding those that align with our true nature. This is a very scary, very isolating and confusing time. It is a time for searching. And the searching continues until you find the trail, until you find your way back home.
Wolves never look more funny than when they have lost the scent and scramble to find it again: they hop in the air; they run in circles; they plow up the ground with their noses; they scratch the ground, then run ahead, then back, then stand stock-still. They look as if they have lost their wits. But what they are really doing is picking up all the clues they can find.
Though a women may look scattered when she has lost touch with the life she values most and is running about trying to recapture it, she is most often gathering information, taking a taste of this, grabbing a paw of that. At the very most one might briefly explain to her what she is doing. Then, let her be. As she processes all the information from the clues she’s gathered, she’ll begin moving in an intentional manner again.
Then the desire to fit in with the mice will diminish to nothing.
We all have a desire to find our own kind. There is not a woman in the world who does not know this feeling. But it is this feeling of exile that pushes us to search for our rightful place.
It is interesting to note that among wolves, no matter how sick, no matter how cornered, no matter how alone, afraid or weakened, the wolf will continue. She will lope about even with a broken leg. She will go near to others seeking the protection of the pack. She will put her all into taking breath after breath. She will drag herself, if necessary, just like the duckling, from place to place, till she find a good place, a healing place, a place for thriving.
The duckling is led to within an inch of his life. He has felt lonely, cold, frozen, harassed, chased, shot at and given up on, unnourished, at the edge of life and death and not knowing what will come next. And now comes the most important part of the story: spring approaches, new life quickens, a new turn, a new try is possible.
The most important thing is to hold on, hold out, for your creative life, for your solitude, for your time to be and do, for your very life; hold on, for the promise from the wild nature is this: after winter, spring always comes.
Hold out. Hold on. Do you work. You will find your own way.
At the end of the tale the swans recognize the duckling as one of theirs before the duckling does. This is rather typical of exiled women. After all that hard wandering, they manage to wander over the frontier of into home territory and don’t even realize that they are there.
One would think now that they are on their own psychic ground they would be deliriously happy. But, no. For a time they will be terribly distrustful. Do these people really regard me? Am I really safe here? Will I be chased away? Can I really sleep with both eyes closed now? Is it alright to act like… a swan? But after a while, the suspicions will fall away and the next stage of coming back into oneself begins: acceptance of one’s unique beauty; that is, the wild soul from which we are all made.
When we accept our own wild beauty, it is put into perspective, and we are no longer poignantly aware of it anymore. Does a wolf know how beautiful she is when she leaps? Is a bird awed by the sound she hears when it snaps open its wings? Learning from them, we just act in our own true way and do not draw back from or hide from our natural beauty.
Like the creatures, we just are and it is right.