Not only do we live in a living universe, but the living universe lives within us.
— Duane Elgin
We are living through challenging times when problems that seem both monumental and intractable beset us on all sides. The center of our common life seems to not be holding because our traditional cultural, political, spiritual, educational and commercial institutions all appear to be insufficient to the task of renewal. When what once was an edifice of is no longer, it isn’t entirely gone, it’s just broken into pieces and still exists as rubble which has been scattered.
The great mythologist, Michael Meade has said that an old Irish myth tells us that when the center no longer holds, we each need to look to the periphery to find the source of our own renewal. We need to find that thing which, while seeming marginalized, both attracts us and scares us. As we explore it, we will find a thread which, if we pull on it, will lead us back to the center where we will find all those others who have followed their threads and together we can, once again, weave the tapestry of trust.
As the awakening life progresses, the world often feels more and more kindred and intimate and at the same time dissembling becomes less and less possible to pull off. Care for people, the earth, the creatures, this whole life deepens and devotion feels increasingly appropriate. If you are one who is predisposed to great sensitivity, you may find in your awakening life that encounters with beauty, awe and reverence become frequent companions on your journey.
In my experience, it is often the case that the shyest and tenderest part of who you are is also your deepest and most inherent gift to give to the world. You will never feel more exposed than when you reveal this part of who you are and at the same time you will never be more radiantly generous to the world and your life itself may feel like a prayer.
~~ Steve Boggs
What happens is this:
I’m at the party talking, listening, sighing, laughing, snacking, dancing, singing along and after a couple hours I step out on to the porch headed for my truck thinking I’ve been having fun before when suddenly a whole new sensibility opens up in me; my belly relaxes, my heart opens and my whole body comes much more alive as I feel the cool night air caress my face and the quiet of the darkness cloaks me in the tenderest embrace. The deep sky beckons and I notice the large tree across the fence, a silent sentinel to a hundred autumns like this one, a witness to how many lightning strikes, how many assaults, how many first kisses, how many last breaths? The half moon is emerging from a cloud and also silhouettes the telephone line running through the ancient tree carrying conversations everywhere from Sioux City to the Seychelles bearing words of hope, boredom, impatience, compassion, amorous longing, betrayal, dread and delight. The tree extends as far under the earth as it does above, its roots penetrating deeply into the moist, fecund soil which is filled with numberless tiny insects, bacteria and fungi all endlessly and rapaciously feeding on the dying detritus of the life above and tonight they are feasting on the life blood of the opossum run over by the Buick that just flashed by. All this and more is pouring through me and this life and this world seem so incredibly precious and poignant and overflowing with exquisite beauty and exquisite pain and the two are locked in each other’s arms and a ferocious love of the whole throbbing, glorious, ghastly reality that is this existence incinerates this Steve Boggs character and the limited and the limitless are a little difficult to distinguish.
~~ Steve Boggs
Margit Bantowksy, MA, is an artist, coach, teacher and facilitator.