Vacay

I am on vacation this week, here:

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I’ve finally realized that even though I live in a really nice place, I still need to vacate it once in a while—leave behind my  duties and obligations, internally and externally imposed, and immerse myself in the sensual delights of someplace wholly different…

Full Moon Dreams

This morning I woke up with the light of the setting full moon splashing over my pillow. It woke me from a dream about an old house I used to live in. In my dream I was looking for the house, but I couldn’t find it. Where it had been was now a strip mall and light industries. But it was just a dream.

In my real life—that is to say, my waking life—that house wasn’t just any old house. It was the place I fixed up for eight years. I glazed windows, sawed floorboards, painted walls, split wood, learned to farm, and grew most of my own food. It was a time of self-reliance and it taught me, that if I put my mind to it, I could do anything. So to dream that it was all gone, lost under a tide of human activity unconscious to the deeper forces that connect us to the earth and to each other—what did that mean? I also dreamt, within that dream, that my two best friends from high school were with me; even though one of them had committed suicide more than thirty years earlier and the other I haven’t had any contact with.

This dream could have easily been a nightmare, but it wasn’t. In the dream I felt some frustration and a little sadness that I couldn’t find my old house again, but I was not much distressed. I think the dream was telling me that even profound experiences and the memories they create have a limited shelf life within our psyches. It was time to let them—the old house and my friends—go. Whatever purpose their existence had had in my life was fulfilled. The memory was neutralized, no longer active. The pattern was completed.

Full moon dreams stir the depths, bringing them to light. And this full moon was showing me it’s time to stride ahead, confident and unencumbered.

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Strong Men Marry Strong Women

There is a trend I’ve been noticing in the public forum lately–that of men publicly respecting their wives. Not the age-old, rather patronizing professed admiration for their mothering skills, but a real respect for them as partners beyond gender stereotype. It is perhaps most noticeable in Barack Obama. He clearly and publicly respects his wife and perhaps this has given tacit, sub-conscious permission for all strong men to publicly respect their wives. My own husband is a case in point, although he didn’t need the permission of the commander in chief to extol my virtues (as he sees them, others may disagree). He has been on my side since day one and made it no secret.

Another notable respecter-of-their-wife is mega-author Stephen King. I don’t know him personally, but I did read his “On Writing,” a book that is part memoir, part writing advice and a paragon of clear thinking. He doesn’t go on and on about how his wife, Tabitha, is the “wind beneath his wings.” He just tells it like it is, inserting her contributions into his success where they belong. There are plenty of them and they are pivotal. In this way, he is paying her the compliment of genuine respect—he’s not overstating it, and not understating it.

It’s a good trend—this trend of men being strong enough to be vulnerable enough to give someone else the credit they deserve. Women are strong. That’s just a fact. And as more and more men stop trying to ignore that and more and more women accept their own strength, we become the partners we’re supposed to be.

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You Are What You Think You Are

I’ve had several self-constructed careers and at the beginning of each one, I’ve felt a shyness about declaring who I am this time—artist, photographer, video producer, craftsperson, massage therapist, writer/illustrator. But after that first moment of hesitancy on my part, I found that everyone accepted me in my new role. Even people who had been closely involved in my old role. Oh, she’s this now? Ok.

This gives me a profound feeling of gratitude because I consider this acceptance of my current profession, by extension, an acceptance of me. I see it as an offering of faith in me and my abilities that I sometimes don’t have in myself.

In my career shifting, I have learned that you are what you think you are. If you think you are a writer, and you work at being a writer and you declare yourself a writer, people will treat you as a writer and your friends will support you as a writer. Ditto for being a craftsperson.

Supportive people are the safety net of trying something new, and the urge to try something new is as old as human kind itself. Think teen years and mid-life crisis.

Every year, in a Nevada desert, an ephemeral city comes into being for one week; it’s a place where people go to try new things—identities, creativities, lifestyles. This year the attendance at Burning Man was over sixty thousand. I’m intrigued: Are there so many people who need an infrastructure and permission to be creative and take chances? Burning Man is an interesting concept, but do you need to pay money and travel to a set-aside place to try on new interests? I think you can do it in your everyday life. Take that leap—the worst that can happen is that you find it’s not what you thought it would be and in that case you move on. And once you’ve found the courage to take that chance with yourself—and it is just a springboard really, the leap into the pond—you will discover the real jewel in the heart of the lotus.

You will find that you will be supported. People will help you. And as you realize this, you will find that you too, will support. The acceptance and generosity from others will find an empathizing home of acceptance and generosity within you and you will be moved to support your own friends’ interests and changes. In this way, the support and tolerance and creativity grows, until eventually it becomes an undeniable truth: There’s room for everybody.

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