From my journal for May 4
After reading Margaret Wheatley, and recognizing that the things I love — circle dance — and what is of most value to me — writing about my life — are not about achieving a certain result. So I let myself accept that the earth will die — well of course it will die eventually — and was able to walk outside and appreciate the green grass and the buds on the trees. But it’s clear that I lost it right away. Well. My job is not to be happy, but to be present, and often what I have to be present to is pain.
I’ve heard people say that if you’re in the present, you will be happy. Not my experience. And I think anyone in physical pain would say that’s not their experience either. When my trauma is triggered, then what’s present is pain.
I have a lot of things I have to deal with, the form to fill out for the oral surgery, and stuff like that. Things I keep putting off because I’m too tired. I was just reading something in my blog about the long ongoing struggle between letting myself rest and getting things done. One thing I didn’t keep track of was when I stopped being able to do things that actually nurtured me: changing the hangings at Neskaya, putting up a Christmas Tree, an Easter egg hunt for my dancers, even elaborate centerpieces. Slowly, one by one, I’ve had to let those things go.
From The Bird in the Tree by Elizabeth Goudge, p316:
“Shall I not see that to live is to have relinquished
beauty to the sequestration of the dark…”
Was that what life must be, a continual loss of beauty? Youth, love, happiness, health, work, life itself, one left them one by one behind as life went on. “Relinquish.” It was a good word. It suggested not the tearing away of treasures but the willing and graceful sacrifice of them.
I have been feeling a little sad and — not sure of the word, “defective” isn’t right — maybe it’s that I’m seeing that so much life experience has passed me by while I struggled with severe depression. Not so much marriage and sex and children, as jobs and travel and wide interests. Here’s Susan with her teaching, her eggs, her dollhouses, her genealogy, her singing group… I told Mary at Meeting, when she asked what I did, that I had been a “professional psychotherapy client.” I feel bereft of my “career” as founder of Neskaya, teacher and priestess of Sacred Dance. It’s not something I can talk about easily. I did try telling someone about it, but I could tell that she wasn’t interested. And I don’t expect many people to be interested. So where do I go from here?
While I was still teaching at Neskaya and designing seasonal ceremonies, I didn’t feel like it was a career, or that I was doing something “worthwhile.” Since I’ve been at Kendal, where I’m not part of the container, I’ve been able to see that my work involving Neskaya, is a career, is worthwhile. I have not wasted my life. The fact that most people aren’t interested does not lessen the value of my achievement.