October 17, 2009

Day 10 Committed To Self- Diwali

The Festival of Lights, Diwali, marks the new year for some. The first new moon day that ends the month of Ashwin, it is a harvest festival of abundance. Lakshmi is called in, candles are lit, and a new time begins. This is my understanding of Diwali, and how it was celebrated by my classmates and I today at Sea Ranch on the Northern California Coast. In part of India it is also the celebration of the home coming of Rama after 14-year of exile to the forest, Sita and Hunuman by his side. In my own tradition it is another chance to set intentions in the darkness, having faith in the coming of the light reflected by the moon and the light to reflect our own journey, illuminating our growth, struggles and joy.


Our field trip to Sea Ranch was intense and transformative. The thing is I can’t really explain what we did and do it justice. We went to the rocky bluffs, and explored the environment, paying attention to impulse, our feeling, our imaginings, our environment and each other. I had alot to write when we first arrived at the exploration site, watching the convergence of water and rock, violent and sweet, intimate and loud. When I finally got the writing out of me, I began moving with the intention of “following the impossible fall line”, making the impossible possible. The sandpaper texture of the rocks made this easier because I could grip it with my shoes while also grating my fingers raw from holding my weight on the rocks. I imagine it is a strange thing to see a group experiencing the environment via movement, drawing on a huge number of resources, I imagine many of you won’t even understand what that last wonky sentence even means! Suffice to say it looks a little like coming across an improvised modern dance performance out in the middle of nowhere, that or coming across a group of crazy folk. I remember once a little girl walking past us as we we doing a oil pastel drawing in response to a movement piece we had just completed, the little girl said, “What are they doing Daddy?”. He whispered back with what I imagined to be both information and longing, “They are artists honey”. I sure did like his answer.

After our Diwali Feast we sat round drinking wine with Soto, our lone man and teacher for the weekend. We gave each other our version of a pop quiz; give your partner a theoretical setting where they might present a class, or workshop, they are to then answer on the spot what they might do with this group. The conversation got animated, a bunch of “artists” sitting round talking about their beliefs, passions, egos. I realized how much I enjoy these lively conversation, where voices raise in defence of ideas and visions. I love this about myself too, that I am emotive when I speak, that I allow my feelings to arise giving life to my words. I have decided this is something I like very much. I want to grow, learn about myself, come fully into my glory, AND I want to honour that I am, just as I am. This is perfection for this moment, perfectly flawed perfection.

I set an intention this Diwali, this newest of the new moons, to fully be myself, to own me, all of me. The me who leaks emotion over all her words, who looses her keys constantly, who speaks in poetry and with multiple perspectives at once, the one who thinks beauty is important and in everything, the one who forgets appointments and is kinda flaky. The one who sees others struggles and feels their pain, the same one who works to not take it on, and only sometimes succeeds. The one who will let dishes pile up, and spend hours on things others find silly or pointless; one who trusts her instincts and innate knowing. The one who is scared even though she doesn’t want to be and brave when she doesn’t even see it.

I will fully live as me, all of me. I want to grow but not change...there is a difference.

“Is their something about yourself you would change if you could?” is the question is 12 days journal #188


  1. yes, but its lame, petty and selfish...

  2. That is a person I love very much that you are calling lame, petty and selfish.

  3. Yes, I would have perfect health and the hair I lost would grow back.

  4. I wouldn't change me--I like me a lot!--but I would definitely change my circumstances, without a doubt!

  5. love more..understanding my needs of affection and the "crazy things i have done to get them met"
    would I chang em hmm...that..where the line is all of this...how could i not hurt anyone..myself..when we all get hurt whether it's reasonable or not..whos to say...ya know....i need a higher opinion