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Lectio Finale: Found Poems in the End

I

It’s important to be on time.
I’m marking time.
You won’t experience time on the other side.
I feel like its been winter for a long time.
I’m marking time.
This is no way to live.
I feel like it’s been winter for a long time.
I’m ready.
This is no way to live.
You won’t experience time on the other side.
I’m ready.
It’s important to be on time.

 
The form of the pantoum poem lends itself to hearing the single voice of each line as a ‘final,’ disclosure or lesson, but also as a collection, the joint voices blend to speak their wisdom. These words come from listening to those speaking at the end of life. Discretion is being used to share the general spirit of the words disclosed.

 

WONDERING Around: The Play in Self Care and Creating

I’m in the “collecting ingredients for a stew” mode.  When I begin a process of designing for an event like a retreat, I listen to ‘what’s up,’ for me, what I’m curious about, what lands on my desk top – web frequency, what emerges from the meditation cushion, and of course the dream scape.  It’s all fair game for the stew.

After my sit this morning, I began playing my shruti box (a drone sound) and singing/vocalizing aloud through a litany of phrases and words to get at the bottom of this place of discontent I’ve been feeling for several weeks.  This state of mind – heart – body, i.e. confusion, fatigue, irritability, cynicism, manifests impatience, more fatigue, discouragement, criticalness of self and others.  NOT a pretty place to live.  VERY unhappy place in fact.  I kept singing about what I thought I was unhappy about, and then it occurred to me.  This is doubt!  This is what doubt is.  It’s insidious in that I never quite know when it starts.  It can lurk around for days, weeks, and I do my adapting thing of ‘explaining’ to myself and others, what’s up, when it’s really just about doubt.  Self doubt. As I spoke that truth, my heart began to soften with the fatigue that goes with this state in my mind/ bodyspirit.  The tears flowed.  Beginning to clear….Phew!

So as I continue to listen and bring my own voice and the voices of others to the ‘design field,’ I’m circling with women who are writing about spiritual development of women, my own experience of  “timing” in life, May Sarton, Annie Dillard, “Mystic Tech,” what does nature have to say about soul – timing, economy of energy/resource.  WONDERING around….

 

STRONG in VOICE WHEN SINGING

Last weekend, I traveled with 30 + Unitarian ‘sisters,’ to retreat at Rainbow Lodge for the annual women’s retreat.  My bodyspirit was tired, but as soon as I headed out past Issaquah, I cranked up the music in the car, and I felt the cares lift.  I led the opening session of our retreat, “CREATE, PLAY, REST: Sharing Our Self-Nurturing Practices for Life,” and we began, naturally, with a song. When I lead others in song, I feel strong in my voice. I know the pleasure of making music with others, and music’s capacity to gather people in a moment’s time for celebration and connection.

On Saturday, I took an early morning walk out along the trail, close to a gushing, babbling brook.  Though it was chilly, the sun’s warmth was just right.  And then, the idea just popped into my head.  I should invite others to come out here with me after lunch, and sing in the sun.  I extended the invitation at lunch, and 6 brave souls gathered with me.  I taught them a ‘layered,’ song by Velma Frye, where a phrase is repeated, and then another phrase is layered on top.  “Set the clock of your heart,” the first group held as our foundation.  “Breathe in the dawn,” the next group joined. “Lift high the chalice of your life, taste the joy the joy of being awake,” I rang out as the third voice. The song spun out of us, flowing from the root of our hearts, out into that wooded space.  It was created in a moment, and then, it was over.  Just like that.

VOCAL ROOTS: PART 1

I have been reflecting on early ‘root story,’ messages and experiences about voice.

I could talk about:

• Hearing my grandmother’s voice through the bedroom walls at night as she read scripture aloud to my grandfather before retiring to sleep
• As an 8 y/o asking my father during the singing of the last hymn what to say when I went to greet the preacher to tell him I wanted to be a Christian
• Having very few memories of hearing women in my life pray or say grace when I was growing up, as it was the job of men

Remembering early of my voice, other’s, and the implied messaging about what’s to be said, and who’s to say it, I am immediately struck with the missing, quiet voices, my mother’s in particular. While she was present in my life, she was also reserve – private in her verbal expressions of love and faith. What I’m also noticing, with relief, is that I was very curious by nature (even nosey, according to an uncle).

VOICE INQUIRY UNDERWAY

At the turn of the fall equinox, I launched an intentional year-long inquiry about VOICE, mine, yours, ours, … literally, and metaphorically. This idea surfaced as a focus following a powerful experience in an InterPlay Voice Workshop with Trish Watts, in June 2012, where I was lit with the idea of the embodiment of voice. This voice workshop occurred only a few months after returning from Australia, where I had the blessed fortune of traveling with my friend – teacher, Cynthia Winton-Henry, and discovered on a deep body level that I was living safely within the scope of my gifts and talents. I was called OUT! I didn’t know what would happen when I made the private confessional prayer of saying, “I’ve lived like this, now what?!” The invitations began to come from diverse people and places, to come and present, to sing, to teach, to lead. I felt invited to the edge of what I thought I could and couldn’t do, and this journey continues. Honestly, for the first time in my life, I AM standing in my own authentic voice, and I want to create from this place.