| Invitation | Fruition |
Intention: I engage with the pomegranate exercise and I provide my witness, learn what I need and shape what I have to give.
Witness: I re-read my first writing about the project. My overall intention was “to understand the relationship between my own creative process and the work of being in community.” This is the central work of dancing with opposites. I know in my own work that my writing requires solitude, limited stimulation. When I engage with others I get inspired by their ideas, I respond with millions of possibilities of things we can do together, connections. That sacred exchange of the vital creative spark, the light in the eye of the other mirrored back, the excitement of connection, these are wonderful and so intoxicating.
Of course the ‘toxin’ in this is a bubbling up like yeasted bread in a too-warm environment: nothing nourishing comes that which rises too fast, that is not taken back down in the kneading, the needing to be lovingly punched down again and again like the dough to give a sturdy loaf. I have often felt like yeast in situations where I have tried to find community.
This project has been an experiment in setting up a base camp for the last six months. That is how I have experienced it. Knowing you all were out there with a gnarled little pomegranate on your desk too, looking at it, letting it speak or simply being with its emptiness, this gave me something I needed as I wrote and wrote every day the novel I am writing about an alternative universe, a different story parallel to the one we see in the news. I felt connection that sustained rather distracted me.
But the deep place of wildness and frontier that I go alone when I write, this place is what my soul requires. It is my work. It sounds easy to say alternate between these two, what’s the big deal? But going to the wilderness is not a day trip.
What I have learned in this project is that a base camp pitched at the head of the next wilderness where no trail is yet cut, where provisions can be gathered and stories told, rest is taken and food, wounds can be tended is a place between these two. It is a meeting place between where one must go alone and the public world. Traveling in either direction is wonderful, necessary, energizing and powerful. This base camp isn’t the same as family, that necessary place. Rather, it is a temporary meeting place with whoever is on the trail at this moment, it is where those travels are shared, artifacts of the journey passed around as we are doing with our art. It is a community of fellow travelers with tips on the journey to share.
As women we are being called to recover some wisdom that has been stored in our cellular memory. This is not a return to a quaintly imagined matriarchal past that may or may not have ever existed, but instead a return to wise knowing and making it relevant for today.
Our expeditions into the wilderness, that internal place where I believe we must go to find out what’s next and ease the world through the transitions that are shaking us to the core, are rich and varied.
Back to Invitation