Soulcraft, Rumi, and a Dissertation

I never fell asleep. Maybe it was the Ladysmith Black Mambazo playing in the background of our room, something to help me sleep. Maybe it was that shot or three of flat Mountain Dew I pounded just before heading to bed (why was that here? I so rarely drink soda now) keeping me up. There are at least a dozen other associations that come to mind.

IMG_3923.JPG

But I think I just found what I needed to move forward with my dissertation proposal. Connection after connection. And I woke up. Right to the laptop and type type type. Head to bed? Well, let’s pull this one book out to put some form to this line of thought. “Soulcraft” by Bill Plotkin. I know it well. I flip to the Contents.

And what is before me on the page, at 1:12am after getting out of bed on this Tuesday night now Wednesday, discovering the missing links that seemed to keep my project from moving forward, from keeping me from carrying out my vision “on this side of the trees,” from completing this fairly insane process?

The same quote that Julie, my wife, painted on our bedroom wall in New Hampshire while I was away in New Mexico on my Vision Quest the summer of ’07. Rumi:

“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.

Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.

Don’t go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill

Where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.

Don’t go back to sleep.”

Advertisements

Saying Good-bye

Almost 4 years in one place – one house, one town, one main job (grad school). This is the longest I’ve been in one place in quite some time. I suppose I lived in Ann Arbor for longer during my undergrad yeras, but there was a new room or new house every year. Even going back to Ann Arbor for over a year afterwards was great, but still different.

But this place, this land, this community, this endeavor, these people – it’s going to be so hard to leave, and I’m sure leaving won’t be just driving away. It’s already started, and I’m sure it will continue after the house is packed up and we roll out of town. The connections, the trials, the work, the experiences. Rich. Heavy.

It is safe to say that I have never connected to people and a place like I have here. Truly. It speaks to the power of this place and people, but also to my own journey and growth. It has rarely been easy, but I’ve gotten my hands in things I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve pushed harder than I’ve ever pushed.

The wild thing is that we don’t even know where we’ll be living next year…where the boys will be in daycare. Sure I know where my Internship will be, but there’s no place lined up, no other income. Fortunately, there are some family and friends in that area, but they can’t really put a roof over our heads for the most part.

But the attention right now is on the good-bye. There are some rituals in my program that will happen in a week. I’ll have to think of some for myself as well.

The way life unfolds continues to blow me away. Even at this moment, I am seeing a client/patient who has been through a great deal of loss recently. He is struggling to say good-bye while at the same time moving forward with his own health. Recently, I reminded him that my time here is limited as well. My next move is public knowledge. He quickly tensed up, fearing another loss and more abandonment.

So, I’ll finish up this section of my training with a parallel process working it’s magic. We are both learning how to let go, to say good-bye, to open up to new beginnings, and to just saying “Yes” to the unfolding of life. Right at this critical intersection, we’ll have to say good-bye to each other.

I have left places with a bummed heart. I have left places with a middle finger flying in the air as I drove away. I have left places without barely noticing. I have left places wondering why I was leaving.

I will leave this place in such a new and different way. In that process I will say “Good-Bye.” I hope I do it well.