Monday, 23 March 2015

light years

photo by Jo Duck

Years whoosh past, and my, those flying months and disappearing minutes, and escape from my desperately clinging fingers like a teasing whisper. In my dancing, and in the writing that helps me decipher its endless intricacies and mysteries, I had been seeking clarity of vision. But as usual, I expected more. I wanted every last detail in my outpouring to be just right, in the hope that I could provoke, challenge, or perhaps even be profound. I was trying to eke out an art work of masterpiece proportions in every breath and comma. Aim high, I told myself, don’t settle on mediocrity, be persistent. 

But it was a little too much.

There came the inevitable crisis of confidence, and the perennial pull of resistance within, when you know you’re so far behind that you just … give up. For months, I felt that I was in a holding pattern. Circling ‘round and ‘round and ‘round, awaiting further instruction. Conditions outside were fine, but cloudy. There was almost a breakdown.

Then … flickers of light, in the form of a disparate constellation of a-million-and-one sparkling provocations; light years away from each other and seemingly many more light years away from me. Here on Earth, they’re a widely dispersed and flickering sea of semi-dimmed lamps. I could make out shapes in their blur-forming glow ... ideas crystallizing ... but I longed for a device that didn’t have such a widespread range of energy. I needed a searchlight, which clearly illuminates the path to its focal point.

Instead, I was handed - or, I venture to perhaps, I’d earned - a spotlight, and it was shining directly on me. It was so piercingly bright that I could barely see beyond its sharp edges. I could have felt like a specimen in a glass dome, stunned into static submission, but somehow the constricted environment forced me to find a light source within myself. With no sense of what lay outside, there was nothing to do but respond to within. Perceived entrapment became an opportunity for freedom. Channelled energy creates electricity, which generates sparkling wonders that science cannot explain.

To act on an idea requires conviction. Conviction requires confidence (or one begets the other), and this becomes lucid expression. Every human needs it, creative or not. Lacking courage in one's own thoughts, or worrying too much about approval, compromises expression – it becomes unsure, self-conscious, apologetic even. External motivators are the nemesis of integrity. This truth-seeker had rediscovered herself in a spotlight onstage, under the gaze of thousands of other searchers. They say that if you believe in what you’re saying and are brave enough to communicate it, others will believe you. Right there in that glass dome - a created, artificial environment - is where one can be freest to bare our most truthful, real selves, and dare to confront the most taboo questions and innermost fears. It is where we grow, faces earnestly reaching towards the light like a flower to the sun. We've no control except for the willing surrender of what comes from inside us. Such a naked, personal offering makes us so much more vulnerable to scrutiny - it can hurt in our deepest depths - and to unknown consequence. We've even less control over when that spotlight might be on us again.

The magical, beautiful, illuminated moment had passed.

The powerful, visceral truth of an opened-up soul requires emotional force of great magnitude, and it's surging forth at such a rate that it needs to continue its momentum. One too many bumps on that glowing path and all the sweet promise of growth and fulfilment escapes towards a stronger life-giving light source, away, away, away ... our light inside whimpers, crackles with a push of energy in vain, and then fades.