dear marti

marti, September 10, 2004

whatever you think for the prayer room, i am certain will be well.

i have been finding myself (interesting, i could end the sentence there) needing to be out of the center of things right now.

please do not miss me, but continue to let me touch you with my words. i am so fully in them, marti, unlike i am fully in any other place. it is the way that i be myself and give of myself most authentically. read them slowly and carefully, there is much put into them.

i will tell you this story, because it is coming to light for me just now. yesterday, i read an article in smithsonian magazine about an artist, a sculpter, from the 60’s. she was all the rage in the galleries at the time, the “find of the year”, and demand was high for her work. but she did not want to be famous. she was once quoted as saying “i don’t want to be star, it is the art that is the star”. she wanted to live in her cheap loft over the laundry and create. she wanted freedom. she simply wanted to express what it was she saw. shortly after a studio asked her to alter one of her sculptures so that it would fit into a buyer’s space…she disappeared from the gallery world and moved to a self-sustaining rural farm in pennsylvania with her husband and what she calls the greatest piece of art her body has ever created, her child.

she was recently hunted down, 40 years later, by a young curator who wanted to do an exhibit of her old work and was seeking permission. after long months of writing with no response, the artist finally trusted her enough to come out. as it turns out, she has, of course, been making art all this time in her barn. her “new” work is now making a tour across the country in museums where it is being received as a gift to the world.

….don will often tell me what a gift i am, what a blessing i could be to others if i would just put myself out there. but, marti, i get lost somehow “out there” and i cannot express what it is i see. you see, it is not me in the physical that is the gift, it is what comes through me when i go into my quiet place of connection with God and bring forth what it is i find there. my gift is writing words…it is not teaching them, or guiding, or hearing, or planning, or creating spaces…the only spaces i create perhaps are in the silences between my words.

…don and i stopped at kirkridge on the way home from our post wedding escape. i sat along the edge of the pond, there on the rock that i had sat upon 3 years ago when the tadpoles lit upon my toes. i again touched my toes into the water, with just a little wiggle and we watched together the concentric circles reach clear across to the opposite shore. i like to think that the small circle of persons to whom i send my ponderings, my letters, my poems, are also touched in some way, see something of what i am seeing and trying to express, and that the concentric circles grow in the same way…that i do not have to make a splash nor shout to be heard across the pond, that i do not have to behave in any way that is not natural for me, become anything but one who touches her toes upon the water.

i also do not for a moment delude myself into believing that some day, 40 years from now, someone will discover my writings and i will be a big splash…. but i do believe that somehow, in some way, my quiet littleness itself is a gift to the world right here, right now. even if i am wrong, i can do no different, for this is who i am, what i am made to be. to do different, to try to be what i am not is to divide myself again, is to cause great pain. i am painfully an introvert.

godspell tuaght me this in a very real way. while i could remain true to myself and to what i know of Loving, on the inside, within the microcosm of the cast, and within the microcosm of lovingly understanding my character’s and the author’s and even jesus’ woundedness, making a big “splash” out there (or “altering” what it was i saw in order to fit within the confines of the show as it was written) proved to be quite painful to me. i simply could not express my truth in such a big arena and i am afraid that i was lost, almost drowned in the tidal wave. i am also very afraid that others could have been hurt by it. i never want to do harm.

i think i prefer to return to more gentle wiggles of my toes…like the proverbial butterfly wings that flapping in africa can change the weather in England. (actually, i dreamt that butterflies were coming from my lips a few weeks ago)…i think i need direct and quiet contact with the words, with the water, with the one beside me…. the wedding felt good to me in this…although i was certainly out there and exposed, on stage perhaps,…it was more intimate, more gentle, more careful, more touching one to one, more concentric, as love simply permeated the air.

this week i dreamt that i had 3 children. an older, 2 year old, baby girl who was still nursing and twin newborns, one a boy, one a girl. the baby boy would not awaken from his sleep to eat. finally i picked him up. instantly he became so small that he fit into the palm of my hand and was to wood. don said “he looks like he’s black”. i replied, “he is. but i don’t think he’s negro. i think he is Indian” my milk let down and started squirting from my breasts. i expressed it into his mouth and tipped him so that the milk would go down the hole, like that of a doll’s, at the back of his mouth. instantly he began to grow and soon was the size of a 4 year old boy, laughing and playing with great joy..although he was just weeks old. i commented to don that we would have to take care with him, because people would demand more of him than he was capable of because he looked so much older than he was.

i have perhaps been starving, of late or perhaps forever?, not trusting in the value of this introspective, quiet eastern consciousness of mine. i know, however, just last week when i had no place to write, i was needing it sooo badly, i was starving, i was needful, i was hungry, until one day, josh stopped by and i just grabbed him and we carried the desk (unfinished as it was) into the basement and he set up the computer that day for me. when i finally sat down , the words just flowed, unstoppable like my milk in the dream…it felt soooo good to release, to express, to write, to find myself again, to feed myself again, to awaken my soul in this house!!! i gorged myself upon it.

…the place where i now write, is just below the surface of the earth, the windows over my computer screen sit directly on the ground. it is like i am sitting among the roots of plants. i love it… as i also go beneath the surface to bring to light that which has been rooted within me.

this male child of mine…the one who has been sleeping, who has been dead and stifled, this one who has been starving, this male child (whose role is to go out into the world, as the seed to fertilize rather than receive) is Indian…eastern, imagine that. he knows that his gift to the world is in the being, in the being love, and that simply his joyous expression of that as he plays brings to others great gifts. when i feed him he will grow. but i must protect him so that others do not ask him to be something that he is not yet capable of.

enough for today,
yes, all is well,

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