Monday, January 4, 2010

In the Circus of Fear, What Colour Are Your Tights?

There is so much happening in the small space between my ears right now. I'm trying to coax it out onto the page in some recognizable, sensible form, but I think it's more likely to spill out in a tangled ball, like something the cat dragged out of the knitting bag. I'd prefer it to be eloquent and wise but as the Rolling Stones once pointed out "you don't always get what you want."

I have had the great pleasure over the holidays of visiting and spending time on a lot of new blogs; art blogs and Buddhist blogs. I have found lots of sharing of wonderful new inspiring art book and some looking forward and setting of intentions for the year to come. Lots to savour and digest.

Even though the calendar has flipped over to the new year and the party ice has melted in the sink I am spending a few more days in holiday mode. Our daughter is here from out of town until Wednesday so regular programming has not yet returned to this channel. It's an interesting time of year, watching the pre-holiday energy build, reach it's peak and then end. A little year end symphony. The consensus on a lot of blogs is that it's nice to be back to our inspiring work of making art and looking forward.

Today I am aware of a slightly melancholy sense of it all. I always feel a little sad when the Christmas tree leaves the building which happened here on Saturday. In the past I would push those feelings away because sad was an uncomfortable feeling, but now I am okay with that slightly bittersweet sense of it. I usually like the sense of returning to the serene post tree-in-the-house-look but this year there is a slightly edgy feeling as I take inventory of all the things that have to be packed up for moving. I will not be making the house beautiful and returning to my work. I will be going through things and deciding what to keep and what to give away. I am feeling the uncomfortable pulsing of impermanence. Adventure I remind myself, think adventure, not trepidation. Or perhaps don't think at all!

And today we got up in the dark and rain and made the ferry trip over to Salt Spring Island to look for a new place to live. We returned in the dark and rain, at the other end of the day, no house in our eco-friendly shopping bag. I could feel a little mist of worry and fear settle on me as we pulled into the driveway. I got to see the inclination to want to have things solved and settled. The human inclination, I think. I sat with that nubbly, wavy, uncomfortable sense for a bit. I did my stint on the tight rope of fear where the trick is to stay with it, but not indulge it, to let it pass without falling off (no net in this circus). The clown on the edge of the stage kept shouting at me to keep my eye on the ball and have faith. I looked at him a bit crossly and told him he had the wrong act.

So I feel that edgy sense of danger and opportunity in the new year more poignantly this year than others. I will need to sit a lot and pack a lot and keep my rope walking tights nearby. And in deference to right speech I promise not to shout at the clown next time.


  1. Thank you for inviting me into your 'house'. I can certainly relate to your fear of the unknown. Amazing how we keep forgetting about true nature of life. Changing times are a great opportunity, I found, to help towards greater acceptance of impermanence.

    I wish you to find a happy new home, soon :)

    Deep bow,


  2. Coming and going in the dark is so powerfully fertile for our minds. Your post lead me to pick up "Carry Tiger to the Mountain", a book that uses the Tao Te Ching as a teaching device. It is also a move in tai chi that turns us to face our opponent behind us. In this year of the Tiger, our willingness to take the burden we fear up into that which we venerate (the mountain) will be a strong practice. I am grateful to have you here to accompany me on this trek. These tigers can be a raucous bunch! ;-)

    much love,
    lynette genju

  3. Yes, I felt the loss of the xmas tree a few days ago too-- the house seemed a bit drab-- and the sky is gray gray gray-- but I have been finding the most luminous glowing images in the blog world and much inspiration -- hope for a great new year

  4. That clown must be left over from your "blog party" the other day :) Amazing how we can go from giggles and icing up the nose to tears and dribble on the chin in 0-60.

    Lyrics from a couple of Judy Collins songs come to mind... Maybe you remember? I'll combine them here...

    "I've looked at life from both sides now, from win and lose, and still somehow, it's life's illusions I recall. I really don't know life at all..." "Where are the clowns? There ought to be clowns. Don't bother - they're here..."

    Hang in there - the weather will change...

    Heart Hugs to you! C

  5. I see you in the future, happy and smiling to be on Salt Spring.
    I've never been to Salt Spring. I'd like to.

  6. Thanks everyone for your comments and support. So many helpful comments here. These times feel a lot like that little yin/yang symbol with the dark and light and positive & negative, embracing & afraid all ebbing back and forth.

    Interesting about the Carrying the Tiger. A friend of ours is teaching a few of us some tai chi and that was last Sunday's new move! How apropos it turns out. I like the sound of the book you mention. I want to look that one up.

    And yes the clowns, Christine. I like to be reminded to lighten up!
    And how much lighter is that, Leslie than seeing me smiling on Salt Spring. You are close enough to come for a visit when the dust settles!

  7. No hidden message to "lighten up" - just offering my quirky humor :) Seems you already have a clown heckler though - off stage....

    BE well... C

  8. Clearly the observations skills you have been cultivating through meditation are holding you tenderly in this space of uncertainty and possibility. I'm picturing a perfectly ripe pear ready to fall from the tree in all it's golden, sweet, juicy splendor. You are the pear and You are the hand that will catch your lovely pear-self.

    Happy New Year!