Dam, Dam, Dam

When I was a kid, I used to listen to all-folk WCAS, the radio voice of Watertown, Cambridge, Arlington and Somerville.

My favorite song back then was by It’s A Beautiful Day, off their Marrying Maiden album.

I let my woman flow to her own natural rhythm, I let my woman flow to her own natural rhyme,” it went.

Of course, I wanted to be that woman, flowing to my own natural rhythm.

Over the last few days talk has turned to explosions, to logjams, and then to flow.

Flow is where I suspect the talk should have been all along, because that’s the state in which action and awareness are merged, beyond blocks.

TBB, well, her gift to the world is positive statement that by take one positive step at a time you can move forward, move to better.  It’s my job to remind her of that when she gets worn down, when she believes too much in the shit facing her now and not enough in the existance of love.   I see her when she gets slowed down, in the weeds, and I see her when she flows, positive and powerful, offering that lesson she gives in the movie: if she can do it, so can you.

I watch when she appears to get sidetracked, making choices that don’t make sense to me.  And I know that when I see that, I only have one choice. That to encourage her choices, whatever they are.  They may not make sense to me, but then again, five or ten years ago I could have never predicted where she she has come to now.  Why should I have the arrogance to assume that I can judge what is right for her now?

No, the individual choices aren’t what’s important.  Sure, we talk about the choices, and in that discussion we both think through the options, getting more ready to make the next choice in the best way we can.   For many people, it’s easy to fall into “woulda, coulda, shoulda,” but in the end, we don’t ever make wrong choices.  We make the best choice we can in that moment, and if we get a lesson instead of a success from that choice, well, that’s what we needed.   Sure, we can go back and look to where we wished we made a different choice that might have had a better outcome, but we weren’t who we are now back then; we did the best we could.

What is important, I believe, is the flow of her life.  That’s what needs to be valued.    Flow isn’t habits, rather flow is that active balance I see as riding a surfboard; always making corrections, always shifting for the better, being in the moment the best we can so we have the next moment to make another connected, flowing choice.

When in doubt, people I meet are “gorgeous,” and I want them to tell me a story, to share the flow of their lives with me.  It’s my job to say yes to other people, to be encouraging and empowering.

Sure, maybe other people need to learn lessons, but the one thing I have learned is that no one can learn a lesson they aren’t ready to learn.  People heal & grow on their own schedule, and not on mine, and that even includes me.

I’m great to be around if you want to grow and heal.  I tend to illuminate the crocks and twists, and if you want to stay blind to them, then you best avoid me. But I’m not out to change people on my schedule, to teach them lessons.  It’s my job to believe that they can grow and learn, to believe that if they trust their own flow they will get there.   The most potent and the most terrifying thing in the world is the same: someone you care about who holds high expectations for you and what you can do.

It’s not for me to make other people learn.  It’s for them to grow, heal and learn on their own; it’s for me to illuminate and educate.

And, it should be no surprise, that what I want most from others is for them to support and encourage my flow.

That’s not easy for many people.  They feel the need to tell me where I am going wrong, where I need to block up, where I must retrench, fear and bobble.    Even when they know it’s their stuff, it’s important stuff to them, and they need to share it.

TBB sent me a link to some fundamentalist Sheldon crap that just railed at how sick Congress is to even hear deluded and demonic trannys, ignorance or evil incarnate as we are.   I have seen enough of this shit and know that I don’t really need to pay attention to it. It’s not about me and I have done the work facing it down and am clear where I stand.  I was looking at some old satire I wrote, all these trannys screaming at how evil the writer was.   I realized that the lesson was clear: If you don’t like the kind of tranny this guy is characterizing, well, then don’t be that tranny.  Shouting them down won’t work, only not doing what you find to be distateful to glimpse in the reflection will work.  Breaking mirrors never works, even if every mirror has its own flaws and twists.

Creeks flow, streams flow, rivers flow, and the route of none of them are straight or unchanging (at least until the corps finds them.)  They follow terrain and curve, shifting over time and distance, eventually connecting to the big oceans which connect all.  Water doesn’t have plans and goals, it flows and makes a difference, small & beautiful or grand & majestic.

And no matter how much I believe that the mind is powerful, a tool for seeing and effecting change, in the end all our smarts and thoughts are useless if we don’t have flow.

The way society inhibits us is by trying to dam us, trying to have us lose the flow, lose the power of movement and grace.

If we want to break free of those dams, if we want to empower our own flow, well, we have to support flow in the world.  We can always find ways to tell others that they are wrong, that they should stop and learn a lesson, but does that really empower them?  Isn’t it better to tell them they are right, that they need to keep flowing, staying smart & aware & engaged enough to find new and graceful solutions to blockages?

It is my experience that the key challenge most people face is breaking through the dam blockages in their lives.   Yes, we need to change, but if we have motion, momentum and flow, well, those changes happen as part of the process.

We become smoother and more integral, like a river rock polished by the flow.  The angles and ambiguities get tumbled out, the edges more graceful and attuned.

Language is hard because it forces us to express who we are and what we think in sequence, one bit after another.  Flow, though, helps with that, because when we see our life as a flow, when our language flows with us, that sequence becomes a flow and we can express nuances and ambiguities not as jagged sides, but as the flow of a process, the flow of a river, the flow of a life.

It’s easy to pick apart one phrase or another, but when that phrase is in the context of a flow, well, it may mean something very different.

Flow is the only way I have found to keep me and my world connected, to be the twists and turns while staying congruent and whole.

I let my woman flow to her own natural rhythm, I let my woman flow to her own natural rhyme.

And that means my inner woman too.

That’s why it seems to me that if I want to flow, the most important thing I can do in relationship is to support the flow of others.  That means not just throwing up one dam thing after another as blocks or challenges, but rather finding the flow and trusting it will get them, trusting it will get me past the challenges, finding a way around that may not be as simple as blasting a path, but will be effective and will honor the environment around us.

I need to trust my flow, and that means I have to trust the flow of others, even when it scares me, because we get what we value.   It seems to me that is the difference in my inner life now, that rather than cutting the world (and myself) up for analysis, I trust the flow.

Sometimes water gets blocked behind a dam, but we have to trust that it knows its own nature, and will break free when it needs to, in a trickle or in a torrent, and find its own path to the sea again. In the end, we dams only have limited control; it is nature that will run its course.

To me, the only way forward is trusting the flow, when it needs to pool or when it needs to crash.

And frankly, that means I can’t afford to give a dam.

2 thoughts on “Dam, Dam, Dam”

  1. I loved their self titled album “It’s a Beautiful Day.” I got it free in a stack of records that were given away by a radio station in Beverly Hills, CA at Christmas time 1968. I never had heard of them either before or after. I did purchase the release of their CD a few years ago.

    Too bad I missed your favorite song, but I was a newly wed at that time and in deep denial, so I might have missed the significance.



  2. Callie,

    So beautifully written! This piece expresses all that I know to be true about the universe and how I want to live in it — finding my own flow and supporting you and everyone else to find their own. It enriches my life immensely to know that you are here too, surfing the flow of life and supporting me as I find my own path, and you find yours.

    Many blessings,

    P.S. I’m going to be out of town for the next couple weeks (traveling to Trinidad to support my girlfriend through her SRS – yeah!). I’ll have some internet access but it’s doubtful I’ll be spending much time here or elsewhere on the blogosphere. But I’ll definitely check back in when I get back.

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