This is a great photo my husband took at Face Rock near Bandon on the Oregon coast. Holding a head lamp he uses when he is out shooting late at night, he set a long exposure then walked in front of his camera, and as you can see... he made love appear! He's good at that. You can see him faintly silhouetted behind the "love light". He did this just for me.
We are reentering our tandem orbits after each having unique and separate retreat time over the last 2 weeks. He piled tons of camera equipment in the Tacoma and for 2 weeks lived in yurts up and down the Oregon coast. For my part, it was staying at home to welcome silence, solitude, stillness: the computer stayed off as much as possible, no social plans, no television (here, I did cheat a few times with Rachel Maddow), no music, no reaching out for comfort from any source but soul source. It's not for everyone. But it was, for the most part, for me, rapturous.
What did I do? Everyday writing in the park, everyday walking and then later yoga, everyday conscious eating including veggies from my garden, everyday witnessing the pulse of life around me (the life around me became very vivid... even rocks seemed animated with their private stories). And everyday listening really hard for what comes next.
The other thing that happens, when one welcomes solitude and silence, is the eruption of old dreary messages you thought had flamed out into ash by now... but nooooooooo. So one sits with these still writhing voices, and one more time, listens... just listens... while breathing. Ah, still there are ya? Well, I have news for you... I am moving on. And I did. Sometimes you just have to act as if.
And now it's Monday and I'm back at it. My life reappears in a new lens. After a few days of decompression (I like this metaphor from my scuba days), I'm slowly acclimating to the heavier daily atmosphere of tasks, lists, computer. Also, ready for new projects that were given extra love and nurturing in the rare atmosphere of silence and soul sourcing.
I think I wrote about this next little story in an earlier post. It illustrates that no matter what, really, no matter WHAT, you are always safe and always given the next moment to begin again. I just thought it was good Monday material.
As told to me by a friend who, I think, maybe even knew such a person: A person went to a retreat at a Buddhist center to become her imaginary best self. She screwed up somehow very quickly (went out for a drink and watched television or something entirely human unless you're at a Buddhist center on best behavior) and didn't even finish the retreat. Feeling horrible, crappy unworthiness, she went to the monk in charge to say she made a mess of it and was a failure. The monk gave her one of those giggling, delightful Dalai Lama-type monk grins and said, "No problem! You can begin again, right now".