Thursday, June 25, 2009

An Experiment in Writing

We were short three women at our writer's group this past week. It was the second day of summer; I suppose it was to be expected. A beautiful day outside, so many different personalities, so many things to do. We quickly caught up on the events of the last seven days and moved smoothly into our now familiar writing routine. Mary read a piece out of Natalie Goldberg's book, Writing Down the Bones. In it she described a writing experiment to help our conscious brain let go, get out of the way, and allow a new perspective to emerge.

We decided to try it. Quite frankly I had reservations about the whole thing which, thank God, I did not express out loud. It sounded kind of dumb to me, but that was the whole point wasn't it? To step outside that part of the brain which makes a living categorizing everything according to is "right-ness" or "wrong-ness". A numbing, limited definition I might add. As I have come to trust our always-present-but-never-met-before-muse, Natalie, I followed the directions.

It was a riot. We belly laughed out loud at ourselves. I participated one hundred percent, as did every one in the room. We read our non-sense verbiage with honest emotion; each reader had their own pure delivery. I read the first sentence of my randomly punctuated word puzzle with great confidence. The second collection of words ended in a question mark? I tried to be true to my hypothetical punctuation and read the piece rocking back and forth from false bravado to deepening confusion. My friend read with a quiet, insistent voice, as if she really needed us to believe the nonsense that she had constructed with random words. It was beautiful, it was real, it was hysterical. Our reading led into a brilliant discussion of how this experiment can guide us in our everyday life. It showed us the importance of looking at one reality; then "flipping the switch" to see another way of being. We traded stories on methods that have worked for us in the past; meditation, deep breathing, and ways to ground our scattered energy.

In thinking of the experiment these last few days, I see how I get snookered into a dull way of being. It is easier. But what the heck, is that all I want out of this time on earth? My voice in the experiment mirrors my life. How many times do move I forward with all the confidence I can muster, only to hear my monkey brain question my own reasoning and end up second guessing myself ad-nausem? Enough!

It is vitally important to remember that I have CHOICE. No matter what I heard as a child growing up, no matter what I hear now on TV, no matter how desperately my frightened inner being tries to convince me that the middle path is right because it is well known and safe. "Just look at all the other people who are already on it", she insists. Be still. FLIP THE FRICKING SWITCH. I am going to write these words on a piece of paper in large colorful letters and tape it above my computer and on the front of the refrigerator. Already this week I have had to remind myself to flip the switch; shed new light on a stale perspective. My old eyes are tired; I desire new vision. If truth be told, and it must be, the old ways are not working. It is a new day. Thank you once again, to our fearless leader, Jyoti, for this writing process which has opened me .....

* annette

No comments: