My alchemy group reconvened recently, for no particular reason. It had been two years since our last meeting, and we took a few moments to catch up on what had been happening. Four of us had gotten married since our last meeting (two to one other). Others had weathered health issues, career challenges, and various other things. Some of us talked about poetry. One member shared a poem she had memorized, “And for No Reason,” by Hafiz:
For no reason
I start skipping like a child.
For no reason
I turn into a leaf
That is carried so high
I kiss the Sun’s mouth
For no reason
A thousand birds
Choose my head for a conference table,
Start passing their
Cups of wine
And their wild songbooks all around.
For every reason in existence
I begin to eternally,
To eternally laugh and love!
When I turn into a leaf
And start dancing,
I run to kiss our beautiful Friend
And I dissolve in the Truth
That I Am.
There was silence for awhile after this poem was recited as we allowed it to set the tone for the evening.
We were asked to comment, also, on where we felt stuck or what felt challenging for us right now. As you can likely tell from the infrequency of posts on this blog, I have not been feeling too productive. I have been productive, but it feels like my energy is going in so many different directions, to so many demands and passions, that I am not feeling quite satisfied with my efforts in any area. I feel scattered and out of focus. (I have written about this problem before.)
When we began the image making, I fell right back into the familiar process, surveying materials, picking up what called to me. As is often the case, I had no plan. I started putting things together and let them become whatever they seemed to want to become. I quickly came to feel like nothing was really coming together. There were objects I knew I wanted to use and was not willing to put down, but I could not bring them together into any one vision that seemed to cohere. As things were winding down, I was tired and felt my project was unfinished, but I lacked the energy to take it any further.
As everyone presented their work and invited comment, I was amazed at the vast difference between how I viewed my work and how the group viewed it. “You made three different things! That’s amazing! How did find time to make three things when I barely finished one?” What looked to me like one fragmented idea that had never came together was actually reading to others as prolific and varied. What if I shifted my picture of other areas of my life this way? What if, instead of one grand idea called my life that is harried and fragmented and not quite coming together to form a big picture there are many different ideas at once: practicing therapy, renovating a house, spiritual practice? What if each aspect is its own work of art that doesn’t need to be part of a bigger picture?
Perhaps it’s time to understand that feeling pulled in many different directions at once is just part of the way my psyche operates. Perhaps, like getting lost, this is just how I move through the world, uncomfortable though it may sometimes be. Perhaps this is what my psyche needs in order to flourish. Perhaps this is true, and for no reason.