Entries in creative process of transformation (1)



For months now, I have been wanting to sit down long enough to write and share the internal process that I experience when I challenge myself to tackle activities that require clearing out the old, discovering anew and reclaiming the value found in the abandoned or forgotten spaces. These spaces I speak of exist, both inside me and outside me, in my home and in my environments. There are the closets, the archival attic, and the weeded, tangled corners of my mind, as well as my outdoor property, that have spaces and places that need attention.

Although to most, I am considered a pretty organized person, not a pack rat, life never stands still while I sip my coffee and take five. I can hear the weeds growing in my garden, so what do I do, but turn up the music louder.  I am convinced that there are just some days, weeks, months and now years like that in our lives. While we have to accept that our motivations wax and wane like the moon cycles, karma never forgets. There is always that one day when we have to face our spaces, our places. Unless of course, you are like my mother who just left it all for her children to inherit. It still makes me wonder what kind of karmic debt she carries in her afterlife? I have the feeling though, she got one of those monopoly game cards that said "Go Free and Collect $200". 

Recently, while wrestling vines in the backyard that were strangling trees and flowering bushes, I discovered that I could weave those menacing flexible, pliable vines around my door way into a textural, sculptural arch. It was to my surprise and delight that 24hrs. later, a pair of morning dove selected this as a perfect nesting site; shortly after, my moon flowers and morning glories began their ascent too. I was reminded that transformation is a creative process that emerges out of the willingness to address the ugliest of situations. Being a therapist, I have been witness to many profound healings that began with difficult and painful histories. I was also reminded of the teachings of Dr. Carl Jung, an Austrian psychiatrist, analytic seeker of metaphor and the collective unconscious, who spoke to the essential birthrights and evolution of man's consciousness to carry the creative archetype of the Magician. It is this alchemist in us that knows how to  turn the unhealthy into health, the dark into light, fear into love and backyard messes into beauty. 

My latest task at hand, as a Magician, is the arduous process of clearing out a thirty year attic of family memories. I am reminded of who I was as a young woman, mother, spouse, student, entrepreneur, healer and therapist. I am also reminded of who I am not any longer as I attempt to squeeze into my old pair of leather, hip hugger, bell bottoms! The love letters, postcards and photos I discover force me to review the naivete, idealism, impulsiveness, willfulness, adventurous, romantic and visionary person I was. In these moments, as I stand in the sweltering heat of the attic before my personal heaven and hell while the sweat pours down my face, I become choked up.

I am feeling my life before me. A life that could not have been more passionately lived. A life that was bold with beliefs and convictions that carved out my destiny. A life that was blind to understanding my own parts in sabotaging happiness and acceptance. A life of unconditional love visible in the tattered remnants of hand made items, valentine cards and children's toys. A life that always asked questions and always sought answers. A life lived with doubt, pain and sadness. A life of laughter, playfulness and wonder. A life of dreams that came true in expected and unexpected ways. A life lived unafraid to know the truth.

The questions that I carry down with me as I descend from the steps of the attic, are full of their own cobwebs and the light of day will help bring clarity to answer them. Who am I now? What in me remains the same? How have I evolved or devolved? What within myself have I forgotten or stored away until now when I can better appreciate its value? What do I want or still need to reclaim from myself, if anything?  Doesn't it come as no surprise at all why we postpone facing the spaces, the places, that we call home?