Since October I’ve been slowly reading a book, savoring just a few pages each night before I go to sleep. WHEN THE HEART WAITS: Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions by Sue Monk Kidd. I suppose it’s exactly right that I should linger for months over a book about cultivating patience & acceptance during a spiritual crisis at mid-life. The author has used the imagery of a caterpillar that comes to rest and ripen as the chrysalis and then, ultimately, transform into the butterfly. She points out how we often stumble as we unfurl our new wings, our new way of being. I’d like to think that we’ve been slowly transforming into butterflies during the last year of slowness and isolation during this pandemic. Soon, with some patience still, we’ll emerge into the sky as butterflies. I like that. Toward the end, the author is talking about how we awaken, eventually, as “the True Self”, wherein a “new and impassioned approach to life often makes itself known.” She writes, “Delight comes by way of scars.” I interpret this reference to scars as suffering---of any type. “Delight comes that way—wounds, waiting, and finally wings. It gnaws out through the scar.” I love her description of delight. “Delight can become a way of life, a way of journeying. There’s a saying, ‘Religion is not to be believed, but danced.’ I like this idea, for it shifts the emphasis from our endless pursuit of religious knowledge back to the dimension of living our religion in such a way this becomes a dance, a celebration in which we open our arms and say yes to life.”
I’m ready, so ready to say “yes” to life again, fully and from a new perspective. We’ve taken time to slow down and count our blessings, to cultivate gratitude for the simple pleasures of life; for health, for connection, for work, for touch. It seems indulgent to linger too long over all that I miss from the pre-COVID world (and there’s plenty that I don’t miss), but let me just say this, I miss dancing with you. I miss hugging the people of this sweet community. And I’ll miss dancing with you tomorrow morning as we’re once again away at a secluded cabin in the mountains (with very shaky internet). I send you my love and the wish for a transformative dance experience.
There’s exquisite joy in reporting that our beloved Kathy Altman will be holding space and providing the soundscape. I’m sad to miss Kathy as I’m always curious to hear what she has to say, what new life lessons she’s learned lately. She so generously gives us love and tools we can use in life.
Zoom “opens” at 9:4am.
Here’s the link: https://www.openfloordance.org/community-dances
I suppose I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Valentine’s Day, right? I’m broadening the seasonal interpretation of love to include the beautiful love depicted in the poem below. May the reading of it bring you joy.
LOVE DOES THAT All day long a little burro labors, sometimes with heavy loads on her back and sometimes just with worries about things that bother only burros. And worries, as we know, can be more exhausting than physical labor. Once in a while a kind monk comes to her stable and brings a pear, but more than that, he looks into the burro's eyes and touches her ears and for a few seconds the burro is free and even seems to laugh, because love does that. Love Frees. ~ Meister Eckhart ~
May love, of all sorts, set you free.