My process, in writing and life, has up until recently, been to make things more complicated than they need to be. Sometimes I have presented my complications as art. Although I’m embarrassed about this, I have compassion for myself. I was lonely and needed help. I craved human companionship like water, but there were things I had to learn on my own, without the comfort and reassurance of mirrors so that I could learn to see with my own eyes. At first I became more selfish. Every crow call I happened to hear was a message for my ears only, and I wanted you to know about it. Over time I learned to see how my impulse to share was founded on the need to be seen, not on a desire to see someone and else, which is what it takes to make a true connection. This shifted for me this winter without me knowing it. The shift came either through writing poetry, or I noticed it after in my poems. Probably both, which means I have entered the realm of relationship I longed for.
Now that I see a bird and not a message, I am less lonely. In not needing to be seen, I see myself, and begin to ask forgiveness for my human arrogance that has kept me separate from the world. This is lucid dreaming I think. I am awake inside the dream, open to participating in creation, instead of thinking I can either control it, or have no control at all.
I once led a group into The Maze, a nature preserve on Block Island with serpentine trails where people who have hiked for years still get lost, for an authentic movement session. Authentic movement is a practice developed by a Jungian analyst to connect to the unconscious through the body. The work is done in partners, with each person switching roles as witness and mover. Starting on the ground, the mover follows the body’s impulses, while the witness holds the container. After the movement is complete, each person writes of the experience, with the understanding that, for the witness, everything written about the mover, is a reflection of themselves, and not just a statement about what they saw. Mover and witness have separate experiences that are also the same.
After we were finished I called everyone together to share their experiences with the group. One woman broke down in tears, telling us how she hadn’t touched the earth for years with anything besides shoes because she was so afraid of Lyme disease. Her grief was not just for this, but that, until she had sat down on the ground and touched it, she hadn’t even noticed.
How much are we not noticing because we’re afraid? And why are we afraid? The earth meets all the needs of every other creature on the earth. Do we really believe that it’s not the same for us? I invite you to wake up inside the dream of a being without words, whose language comes from the sounds water makes over stones or falling on leaves, a dream that doesn’t need to be interpreted, all of its meaning unto itself.