I was talking to someone who related Caroline Myss’ injunction that today’s challenge is not to seek enlightment in a monestary or ashram, but to seek it out in the wider world, where it can be transformational.
To me, that’s another way to express Joseph Campbell’s idea that the challenge of each new generation is to speak the truth in modern language.
One of my skills is directly from the television age. My mother lost a daughter before I was born, so we had a television from my birth, and I was connected to it. I knew the voices of announcers at age two, learned about tsunamis from Gilligan’s Island before Earth Science class. That glass teat, in Harlan Ellison’s term, fed me a bigger world, where more existed — even, in Jonathan Winters, people like me.
I move at the pace of TV. I ended up hosting my own daily magazine show, because that’s what I love, being in that moment.
Anyone who has read this blog with any regularity knows that my voice is fast and supple, that I don’t offer just empigrams or infrequent essays, rather I write almost daily essays that mix my experience, pop culture and a lifetime of learning. Give me a subject and I will connect it to the world as we know it, while seeing it from a different angle. These are the skills of a collumnist, or a TV host.
It’s where my viruosity lies. People loved the Marianne Williamson tapes, but those usually captured only the first part of her sessions, where she spoke on a topic. Those who attended said that the second half was a real hoot, seeing her answer questions on the fly, bringing it down to the choices in people’s lives. I remember a collegue who complained about a workshop leader that because he hadn’t internalized the material, he was unable to use it in the workshop, addressing real concerns.
If I go too slow, well, I lose the connection, fall off the wave upon which my spirit board rides. It’s at speed that I feel flow from the godhead, one reason why if something I am writing isn’t working, I usually just throw it out and start over, looking for the energy to catch & carry me. Other people may find this way of working odd, may be unable to imagine how I sit and write well, but it is the way creation works for me.
Marianne Williamson said that the big breakthough in her study of ACIM was the injunction to relax. She had been working so hard to be who others expected, and failing at that, that she was just tired and beat, unable to imagine she could work harder. It was when she began to relax and feel her own rythyms, her own energy, that she began to take her place in the world.
This is incredible to my parents. The one lesson my father always looks for reasons to repeat is the idea that I have to slow down and think more. The lesson my mother in the sky always reminds me is that when I speed up and relax, things go easier, better, smoother. It has something to do with having enough ∆V to achieve escape velocity, I think.
I used to know how to move fast, and when I acheieved any measure of viruosity it has been not from plodding but from dancing, moving fast enough to break free of measured strides and take flight, if only for a few moments.
I saw a bit of Kristi Yamaguchi’s Boniva Skating extravaganza yesterday. You know Bonviva — the magic medicine that saves you from the excrutiating and wasting torture of having to take one pill a week for bone loss, only demanding one pill a month. Ah, marketing crap.
The bit I saw was the skater’s children coming out in a little train, and then being escorted onto the ice. These are professionals who are used to executing a perfect and exacting routine on the ice, but the moment they turrned on parent role, perfection became impossible. All of a sudden, safety became the first priority, protecting the children, followed by helping them do their tricks, which were simple for the little kids and ranged to high comptency for the big ones. The skaters were in their stylized outfits, but their faces were the faces of parents, improvising in the moment with professional skills and deep caring.
Others may have watched the cute kids, but being the grandparent I am, parent to parents, I watched the parents encourage, empower and care for children, and I was moved. I saw these people use their skills in the moment to improvise, and it was powerful, at least to me.
I have the chops to do good work fast and have it turn out well.
It just turns out that’s hard to do when your feet are immersed in cement.