I'm always amazed and delighted about how I hear/see/find things when I most need them. This conversation between visual storyteller Maira Kalman and wisdom goddess Krista Tippett is making my day. Two quotes by Ms. Kalman that I'm really resonating with right now are:
"Right, well, the angst is invisible. I worry and suffer tremendously, I must assure everybody. But I just somehow am able to eliminate that and come across as a very optimistic and joyous person, which, in fact, I also am. So I’m completely confused."
I feel that statement so much. It's why I'm working on speaking and showing all the emotions, all the things that come up. I see so much the tendency to show/reveal/create only one aspect of an existence and I think this does us all a disservice. Trying to eliminate all "negativity" doesn't work and isn't true or necessary - and I find it is often detrimental. Conversely, only speaking and believing in disaster and negative outcomes - not being able to allow for joy, delight, and positive change/outcome also diminishes us. I can - and I believe we all can and do - carry all of it all the time. It can be very confusing but I also find it very hopeful. What a tremendous range of possibility we have in any given moment. It's tremendous.
The second statement I am feeling into - which expands on the first - is:
"It’s taken me these many years to understand that a human being can encompass very contradictory ideas and feelings at the exact same time. They’re not separate; they don’t even follow each other so much. They just live in you. For me, to clarify what I love, to do what’s amazing, to understand my confusion or my sorrow and to still continue to — the thing about it is that you persevere. I do follow my nose, and I do have many rituals that I love following, and I love breaking the rituals, so I’m not a prisoner of the construct of my day.
"Sometimes, I’m spending too much time wandering around when I actually have work to do, but I always say that’s — “Oh, well, this must be the work that I need to do right now, before I do that other work.” And really, I think, the more that I work and the more that I see what my life is, the more simple it becomes — and very elemental. I mean it’s very boring, actually. If most people had to live it, they would go, “Oh, that’s it?”
I have to remind myself often that the path of art, of healing, of life, is not linear. It loops and swirls and backtracks - it wanders in circles and spirals and off into jagged edges and drops. What I or others might see as going off track, or losing my way, or not going anywhere always result in new revelation and understanding. Trusting the "time wandering around when I actually have work to do" is often THE WORK is hard in a world that wants straight lines and definitive answers.
Listening to these two women speak and hearing pieces of me in them helps me stay on my path. Reminds me I am not alone. It's easy to get caught in the trap of only looking at what I'm not, and the ways other people are, and finding myself wrong or deficient. Making sure I tap back into those I resonate with, who have been in the game and persevered and found perspective that resonates with or expands my own, is vitally important. It's also something I tend to let go of when I'm in a less good head space. So I'm super grateful I decided to listen to On Being today and heard exactly what I needed to hear. Perhaps it will hold something you need to hear today too.
What do you listen to or read to re-inspire and connect yourself?
What helps you drop back into resonance and acceptance?
Have you had an experience today that gave you exactly what you needed? If so, what was it?
I'd love to know.
Love always. <3