Emergent Visions

April 12, 2007

Much biography of exceptional people is built around the image of a quest, a journey through a timeless landscape toward an end that is specific, even though it is not fully known. The pursuit of a quest is a pilgrim’s progress in which it is essential to resist the transitory contentment of attractive way stations and side roads, in which obstacles are overcome because the goal is visible on the horizon, onward and upward. The end is already apparent in the beginning. ~~~Mary Catherine Bateson Composing a Life

The combination of being sick, still, and turned inward (even more than I usually am!) allowed a consolidation of my endless interests. A few weeks ago – I felt a vague sense of frustration at the number of books on my nightstand and their disparate subjects. As I listened to the frustration and asked what it had to tell me – two things came up.

First – I am grateful to my husband for his steadiness as a provider, his stability, his natural capacity to be in the same job for over thirty years and his willingness to work even harder to refill our savings. Since I quit my job in 2003, I have averaged less than $5,000 in income each year. Slowly our savings are dwindling and that is part of the frustration I felt last week.

Second – I need a new focus. It is time to consolidate the gains of the last several years and reach a new stratified stability. As soon as I said yes! to an idea that lurks in the back of my mind, I felt a surge of alertness, energy, passion, excitement, and joy! It is an idea that I keep in chains in the basement. The chains are: “At your age?” “Just what you need – another credential or degree! are you starting a collection?” “what will you do when you are done?” For those of you who are familiar with the concept of the Loyal Soldier sub-personality – this is my LS wanting to keep me small and safe.

Fortunately, my LS has developed quite an advanced appreciation for poetry!

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.

~ David Whyte ~

Still sick – but I feel alive – and large – and expansive and mythic!

I like to be focussed. Focus brings me satisfaction because it leads to accomplishment. Focus leads to doing and doing feels more comfortable to me most days than being. Yet the last several years have been a life lesson in loss, loss of control, loss of security, loss of identity, loss of direction, loss of so much that I thought mattered to me. Loss of focus. Now – focus is back, but I am not the same person.

Is it Plato quoting Heraclitus? .. you could not step in the same river twice?



  1. Am a couselling student currentlly doing a research on self reclamation (heuristic)and I really gain alot from the information am getting from you guys. Thanks and may God bless you.

  2. Thanks for the information and may God bless you.

  3. How wonderful to connect with you through my blog. I am heartened at the number of people that I find online who speak my language and who really “get” what I am saying.

    I started that category – Self-Acceptance – to catalog some of the experiences I have had that helped me become more fully me!

    Salmon boy is the name of my therapist who I began to see after my father’s death in January, 2004. He introduced me to Soul Poets and James Hollis. Jungian and Depth Psychology. The use of dreams to access the unconscious.

    Another step in my journey of a thousand miles was studying with Bill Plotkin at http://www.animas.org. His book Soulcraft is a trail guide to soul. From Soulcraft and therapy, I became very intrigued with working with the archetype of The Shadow – the parts of ourselves that we need to reclaim to be more fully human and alive.

    For many people – midlife is a time of reckoning – for me – the death of my father was the catlalyst for that wake up call.

    As Rumi says…
    T he 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.

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