Friday, April 27, 2007

Miss Potter

The strangest thing happened to me tonight. I had a movie-induced moment. I won't call it an epiphany, but it felt like something quite close to one.

I've always been a girl who loved magic. I don't mean hocus pocus or scary people in robes in the woods, I mean the magic that happens every day. I was blessed with an unusual childhood and unusual parents in a place where it was easy to believe in magic. I was also blessed with a Grandfather who made me believe in leprechauns. While I loved the Anne of Green Gables books, it was Emily of New Moon that enchanted me. I wanted to believe in faeries in the woods.

When I was old enough to decide that I wanted to be a writer I began looking for people to whom I could relate. When you are a teenager and female and you love writing there is a core reading list. I was drawn to Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath but I had real trouble reading them. They were both profound and incredible but I found that I could not relate to them. Bad things had happened to me but I had not embraced the darkness as they seemed to. I stumbled around a little. I could not be a writer. I lacked the angst and the issues that a Real Writer must stumble against. I did not recognize myself anywhere.

So that brings me back to tonight. Mark and his Dad were away tonight so his Mom and I decided to watch a girl-movie. I rented "Miss Potter" and I was just expecting a nice movie. I didn't know anything about her and I don't really remember reading her books when I was a kid. I was completely enchanted. I recognized her. She was an ordinary women who did not want to live an ordinary life. She saw magic in the world around her and enjoyed it. She was creative and a strange extrovert/introvert mix. Bad things happened to her but she recovered. She never lost that sense of magic and possibility.

So I am sitting here at midnight feeling lighter than I have in ages. Until tonight I hadn't realized how I felt about being a Writer. I didn't know that I couldn't see myself as a writer because I hadn't anyone to compare myself to. I didn't know that I didn't want to be a writer if it meant darkness and angst. I was given a gift tonight in an unlikely package. I was given a bit of insight and I was given a heroine. I am deeply grateful.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

my fear of change.

"Although your fears may seem multitudinous, each one is ultimately just a different version of the fear of change..." - Caroline Myss, "Sacred Contracts"

I am a complicated creature. I am such a nervous personality, I already have an ulcer at 32. I am terrified of the dark, and scared of big changes. I like to have a map, a plan, the tickets, the reservations, a bottle of water and a snack all ready for any eventuality. I am also strangely brave. I once moved to another country with nothing. I moved to the same country again a few years later and stayed there with my love. I quit teaching even though it was what I was trained (and in debt) for. I am scared of everything and yet I also have a deep spiritual sense that everything is going to be okay. See... complicated.

When I sat down to go through Sacred Contracts yesterday, I was pretty sure about what I would find. I am fat. There is no hiding or getting around that fact. So I was sure that there would be something in my findings about my eating. I also knew that I would find that I was not living up to my highest potential, because I know that I am not. I get started towards it - over and over - and I stop. I am too scared of what I might find when I get there. So you see I am quite in tune with my issues.

What you have to do is go through a list of archetypes and decide (through a lot of work but more intuition) which twelve are your group. It was pretty easy at first but it took me about three days of looking off and on to come up with my twelve. You have to be deadly honest with yourself and that is tricky. Then when you are SURE that you have made the right choice you cast a chart. It's kind of like tarot. If you do it with intention, the universe should put them in the right parts of your chart (life.) This should help you to learn some lessons about yourself and your life. (The link above will take you to the process on Caroline's site. The book is just more in-depth.)

If anyone has done this work before, I would love to hear about your findings (in private, if you'd rather.) I'm still not able to share what I found completely. Some of it was not surprising. I loved that I have 'The Seeker' in my house of Creativity and Good Fortune. What this tells me is that I am constantly looking for something meaningful but that I have been unable to commit to a path when I find it - duh! Now that I got a message that clear I will be able to notice when I am veering off of my path to look for another one and pull myself back into my chosen direction again.

I was not entirely surprised when 'Writer/Artist' came up in my house of Occupation and Health or that 'Teacher' ended up in my Relationship to the World section. But I was surprised about some of the other findings. I had to stop for a little while after casting the chart to get my head together. Like I said before, I am pretty aware of my issues. It takes a powerful smack to make me realize a new one, and that's what this did for me yesterday. In my Ego/Personality house was a message that I am going to have to live with for a little while about how I relate to the world and how the world sees me. It was bang on. I can't believe I have never seen it before.

So no matter how much that hurt or how much work it is going to be or how frightened I am, this is one of those times when Brave Meg is going to have to step forward. (The warrior goddess from my chart!) I am going to have to learn the lessons that I asked for, do the work necessary, and like it or not, I am going to have to CHANGE.




Friday, April 20, 2007

How I spent my day.

It's been a strange couple of days for me. I feel like I am cracking open. I am feeling like I am stepping up to that edge again - that edge that I have talked about before but run away from many times in the past. Mark was away today so I used it to go deeply into 'Sacred Contracts' by Caroline Myss. (I'm using Safari so I can't seem to do any of the good stuff I can usually do in Firefox - so no link this time, sorry!) It's been really tough. I won't go into it now because it is late and I need to process all of the information I have worked through, but I'll tell you that the big scary bright spotlight of truth was turned on me this afternoon. I've realized something for the first time about myself and I have some real work to do to sort it out.

So how have I spent my day all alone? Here is a right-to-left list of the items on my coffee table:
- my passports - a brand new one and an old one and the mailing envelope that they came in
- a clothes catalogue
- a journal
- our telephone
- a pile of pens - two pink, one purple, one turquoise and one blue
- a black retractable Sharpie
- my laptop
- a knife
- a pair of scissors
- a Tim Horton's mug with half an inch of Zen tea in it (I never drink that bit at the bottom)
- a Laini's lady (the one that says, "Magic is Real")
- a pair of sunglasses
- Caroline Myss' Archetype Cards
- a half empty jar of Nutella
- one empty and one half-empty bottle of water
- another black pen (the kind that won't explode in airplanes!)
- another journal
- a 'Lush' catalogue
- a 2p coin
- a candle that smells like cookies
- a tape measure

Whew. Clearly I have been up to no good. I have no idea why I wanted to share this list. I guess I just wanted you to know I was here.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Our walk together.

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see." - John Burroughs

I took you for a walk today. I know I haven't been blogging very much. Working in a museum means that when everyone else is off work, we work our behinds off. Easter is especially busy and this week the weather has been gorgeous so we've been filled to the brim and I have been too tired at the end of the day to do much more than eat dinner and sit on the couch.

Last night I decided that I needed to restore perspective, so this morning I walked to work. It's about an hour and forty-five minutes walking across fields and along cliffs. The first half is uphill, but it's worth it for the views (and the last half, which is downhill!!) I thought about you along the way. I wondered how you were and I whispered prayers for your health and happiness to the wind.

I left my house at 7:15. Being out that early in the morning always reminds me of my days working at summer camp. Mornings feel different when you spend most of your day outside and you have to walk along a leafy trail to have your breakfast. So I started my walk thinking of summers past. I sent love and happy thoughts to the women who have been my friends for more than half of my life. (And I wondered about Gerb - the one of them who is supposed to be having twins right about now!)

I passed through my village (the second photo) and enjoyed having the beach to myself. As I climbed the cliffs, it suddenly became cloudy and the world became slightly silver as the sun continued to rise. I sent love and blessings to my tribe and my dear blogging friends and web-partner. They are all going through such intense changes and growth. From so far away, all I can do to be supportive is to love them and hold them tightly in my heart.

As I climbed higher, more faces and names tumbled through my head. I was suddenly hit by a deep feeling of loneliness. I felt lost for a few minutes. Most of the people who I love are so far away from me here. There is a vast sea separating me from my support system and sometimes I feel it like an icy grip on my heart. As I turned to look in the direction of North America, I found myself not alone at all! Seeing these three faces looking at me quizzically made me laugh out loud. Even that sound didn't frighten them. They watched me like this until I was nearly out of sight.

In many places on the path there are remnants and layers of history. There are walls that tumble off of cliffs and pillars in the middle of nowhere. Everywhere you walk, someone else has been there before. It makes me think of my Dad. The last time he was here he was fascinated by all of this. I long to have he and my Mom here to show them around. They are coming in July and I am already excited about taking them everywhere. Now if I could just get my brother and his wife and my niece over here... suggestions?

As I came down the last stretch of the path, the sun came through the clouds. "Wedding Day" by Rosie Thomas was playing on my ipod, and this was the view I was blessed with. I felt replenished and refocused and centered again. I had been lonely, but never alone on my journey. You were all there. Thank you so much for coming with me. Did you notice?

Where did you walk today?