I went down to my friend (and Kindred Spirit) Teresa on Friday night. We were intending to go on Saturday to a gathering which had had to be cancelled. We found out at 10:00 after a lazy breakfast. What shall we do? Let’s just hang out. We sat comfortably on the couches, having a nice rest, while we talked and talked and talked. Somehow we never seemed to run out of things to talk about. Finally at 2:00 in the afternoon, we decided to go out.
Teresa drove us to Salem where we walked through the pedestrian section, which was lots of fun. She said not to come in October, because it was full of people come to celebrate Halloween. There were stores with witch garb, witch costumes, witch masks, lots of colorful and interesting shop windows. Then we came to the Peabody Essex Museum. Teresa wanted to see the exhibit of the Strandbeest, strange constructions that walked on the beach. What we saw, I realized later, were “fossils,” ones that had fallen apart and could no longer move. Apparently the artist, Theo Jansen, has been building them for 25 years. There was a talk, and then we wandered around, looking at and playing with creatures and small exhibits that demonstrated how parts of the machines worked. On Sunday morning, we finally watched the YouTube video.
Sunday morning we continued our workshop/therapy/Kindred family session. Finally at 2:00 I had to go if I hoped to get home in time for dance and to pick up my dog. We were still talking as we got in the cars. Teresa, bless her heart, drove me back to Rte 128 because I had got lost getting to her.
That morning we had watched the Tara Brach video “Committing to Joy” in which she talks about joy as a “moral obligation.” That struck me, it resonated with words Brother Cadfael is fond of saying “to refuse to enjoy ( beautiful women, bright colored flowers.. etc) is to throw God’s good gifts in his face.” So I was very much open to the idea. Tara described her own practice of saying “Yes” to whatever came along, good or bad. I started doing it, but it quickly faded into the background. But it didn’t stop. I had the most extraordinary experience. It helped to be in the company of a Kindred Spirit, with whom I felt utterly free to just be myself. What I felt is hard to describe. Tara calls it “openness and flow.” I was experiencing life as colored shapes that stretched and shrank and morphed and twisted and flowed past me, and it was all very easy and comfortable. It took me awhile even to recognize that I had had this experience, perhaps because it felt so completely natural. I am so thankful, to Teresa, to Tara, to the Kindred Spirits Camp, for opening this door for me.