October 18th, 2010
What do you say when it’s time to make a change?
If you’re lucky you don’t say anything. You just do the thing you’re supposed to do and stop doing the thing you’re not. Again and again, until new habits are born, stick, and stay. There’s no hemming and hawing, kicking or screaming, clinging and clanging. But if you’re me, you resist. Stay in the slow lane. Take the same road. Fall in the same potholes. Something sort of like, “Hey look! There’s a crossroads! Well would you look at the time? Gotta turn around and go back the way I came!”
The Creative Alliance “house” in Ojai, CA.
Then what if there’s something you’ve known all along? A truth I suppose you’d say. Something firm and strong and convictious in your soul. Something you know but ignore, let die, or worse, forget?
There’s darkness, then.
Again, if you’re lucky, people come into your life, little slices of magic that stand at your crossroads and beckon you forward. Beautiful swaths of light that illuminate what you need brightened, polish what’s become rough, make you remember.
One of those people is my husband. He’s been waiting for me at the crossroads a long time.
More of those people I spent time with this weekend. Good forgotten friends, new lifelong friends, struggling and strong friends. All on roads of their own, but letting me thumb a ride to a safe place.
Heather, Me, Ellie.
This is a circuitous way to describe Creative Alliance, a retreat-conference-spiritual awakening I attended last weekend.
If I had to tell you in a few short sentences what the past few days meant to me, I guess I could say that it’s about remembering who you are and who you told yourself you would become, and then standing confidently on the platform of it all. Without apology.
Of course there were talks about writing and aligning and branding (should you choose); and there were speeches and conversations and suggestions. But through it all, through it all, the threads were passion and authenticity. Becomes sometimes we forget.
What do you say when you sit on a a seat carved into a hillside, watching writers read their words just feet in front of you with nothing but them and you and the words. A stool. Some lights. And a lightly falling rain that looked for all the world like a million falling stars?
What do you say?
What do you say when you are called upon to read your words; words you’ve written in a fit of passion and sadness and grief; words you’ve never spoken aloud; words you didn’t think you ever could?
You stand in front of the crossroads is what you do. You take deep breaths. You let the tears come forth and part. You let your legs shake. Your mouth mumble, your soul crack. And you do it, you do it.
So what do you say.
You don’t. You just are, there in the half-light; absorbing and beckoning.
Watching the stardust fall.
(Thanks to Lee — a major light beckoner — and the love force behind Creative Alliance; and to Ann for the amazing Listen to Your Mother concept and for general amazingness; and to Ellie and to Heather and to Smacksy, for reasons of being at the crossroads; and to Jessica, who is light even though she doesn’t always think so; and to my weekend bedmate, who offered a supportive ear, clarity of vision — and toothpaste.)