Perfectionism- the addiction to trying to meet some imaginary “ideal” standard (spiritual or material) that does not leave room for real & changing conditions within & around us that are often beyond our control- takes away from our aliveness- our ability to be with ourselves or others with an open heart. When we catch ourselves devaluing who we are or what we do, pushing ourselves or others to meet standards that leave no room for humanness, we can gently loosen our grip on our endless trying, sit down, take a breath & tenderly hold the anxiety-ridden striver within. Sometimes we just need to comfort a frightened or hurting part of ourselves that is trying to outrun shame or pain, so that she can take joy once again in the messy beauty of life.
~Oriah Mountain Dreamer
I was at McGinley’s for the Irish Session on Sunday and I began to sketch the musicians in the pocket journal that I keep in my purse at all times. I gave myself permission to draw whatever I was inspired to draw and this is what happened. I did the drawing below a quote I had entered earlier that I had seen painted on the wall of the ear, nose, and throat doctor (Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.).
What it shows me is that I am on the right track in my thoughts about Assignment 3.
I wish to become part of and express artistically a particular moment in a particular place. This moment includes the quality and characteristics of the day in the world of nature– beneath and upon the earth and its atmosphere and even into the heavens. The sunflower is the one in Anda’s garden in the front yard, which is where I also saw the dragonflies on that day. I did not expect the night sky with stars to come in. But, indeed, it is now dark at night, and the stars are visible! My daily discipline includes observing sunrise, solar noon, and sunset, and this popped up as well.
I feel strange power, bearing fruit
And gaining strength to give myself to me.
I sense the seed maturing
And expectation, light-filled, weaving
Within me on my selfhood’s power.
“Our vitality is inextricably bound up with creativity. Like a tree whose expression is fruit, giving our gifts is what keeps life pushing through our veins. It’s what keeps us feeling alive. As anyone who has strayed too far from their creativity knows, without it every corner of one’s life can fall prey to a terrible greying spread. As Kahlil Gibran writes about trees in an orchard, ‘They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.'” – by Dreamwork with Toko-pa
“Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate
And though I oft have passed them by
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.”
Earth, isn’t this what you want? To arise in us, invisible?
Is it not your dream, to enter us so wholly
there’s nothing left outside us to see?
What, if not transformation,
is your deepest purpose?
–Rainer Maria Rilke
From the Ninth Duino Elegy
You are praising danger.
You are holding out your hand
to the dead and the unborn.
You are counting on what cannot be counted.
The poet’s measures serve anarchic joy.
The story-teller tells one story: freedom.
Above all beware of honoring women artists.
For the housewife will fill the house with lions
and in with the grandmother
come bears, wild horses, great horned owls, coyotes.
— Ursula K. Le Guin
“Listen, O dearly beloved”
from the Kitab al-Tajalliyat (Book of Theophanies)
translated in the form of a poem by Henry Corbin
In secret to encompass now
With memory what I’ve already got
Shall be my striving’s further aim:
Thus, ever strengthening, selfhood’s forces
Shall be awakened from within
And growing, give me to myself.