Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Mary Oliver [The summer day]
this will be a year of direct experimentation, not only will i be pushing my making and my writing to see where it wants to go, i will be pushing and plying who i am and what will and should [should?] come of that. i say i am going to push to see where it wants to go because i don't have a clear vision of "go this way" or "that." i have clues, cues. i know i must sense purpose in a portion of what i do--a purpose beyond self. i don't devine a significant purpose from the making. in fact, i struggle with art as being anything more than a kind of propagation of trinkets, as a form of entertainment. i need it to be something more if i am to run after it whole heartedly. i need the act of making. yes, but i lack a clear vision of it being purposeful. i do see a role necessary in society that a portion of the population be makers, rubbing up against current thinking and stretching it. so i struggle back and forth as to the function and purpose of art. i get an inkling that it is very important, but then in a trinket based economic system, it gets lost again. sometimes we make some art more than it is and negate other forms. i might be a bit junging in how i see the practice of art vs the product. making is critical but not key [or is it? i suppose that is part of this year's experimentation in terms of pushing it to see where it will take me]. in writing, i can see a more substantial purposefulness that resides beyond the self serving. yet my writing is unruly, not yet tamed or directed with accessible intent. teaching, definitely purposeful beyond my self and though a field i excel directly within and propel...it is off the table, no matter giftedness/aptitudes or purposefulness. i've never believed that pecking order systems are truly in our cultural benefit, they typically loose sight of what is really important and become artificially oppressive. peck for the sake of peck ranking. i need to unpack more deeply the elements of excel and propel so as to redirect it in an environment conducive to who i am. i will test that this fall. below the teaching i know lies an intuitive ability to bond groups in a way that intimately knits them. this doesn't mean i become a part of that group, but instead set groups on a course that keeps them interlinking for years, even decades. i have had an inherent ability to encourage and accelerate a group's bonding through transparency, authenticity, vulnerability and, actually, not having the answers, instead having facilitated them in finding their own way. i've done this successfully even within the clouded environment of the past two and a half years. i refined and used the same methods from previous unrelated systems in developing a program within the collegiate setting that instilled these patterns and habits among designated groups. the first semester or two it didn't catch hold, but then again i was in the midst of a messy divorce [perhaps all are like that], and could hardly focus. anyhow, i consider teaching definitely off the table at this point even if considered my primary gift. all this makes a specific direction less than clear and frankly i am too old to run after things in which i am a cog but not a specific asset. placeholding, cogging, is not a path that interests me. perhaps that is a spoiled mentality, yet everything i have read supports the idea of pursuing the dream based on the hardwiring. ha and my hardwiring has always moved me to work but never for money. much of what i do well is highly valued by culture yet highly underpaid. i am attempting to kick maslow's hierarchy to the wind in some kind of screw you-life is far better than a system inherently locked in an attitude of not enough.
so what is the dream? as i snap my wings open, what is the path upon which i will float before the too soon arrives? so tell me, what is it that i should do with this one wild and precious life i've been gifted?
how do i weave the making, writing, mentoring into something new? something different? what do i refine to move me into that snapped wing float?
for now i shall wonder the hillside of my friend's and pick wild blackberries--that is prayer, it is a paying attention, a form of kneeling down, a way to get back to the task of what it is i do with this one wild and precious life.