Feasting on new ideas

May 20, 2010

In 2005, I spent a solid nine months commuting – 45 minutes up the interstate and 45 minutes down the interstate. During that time, I listened to all twelve sessions of the two volume Theatre of the Imagination. As I remember, each tape was about 45 minutes a side or maybe that isn’t how it was, but I do know that it took time, lots of time, and the changes of the moon cycles and the earth cycles for me to digest, percolate, and absorb the richness of the feast I experienced through those teaching tales – truly it was Story as Medicine. I have listened to parts of TOI since then – but it has never had the deep feel it had when I spent that time in deep contemplation.

And now, five years later, I am once again about to begin a period of commuting…

Up and over the Blue Ridge and over to the Piedmont several times a week, ninety minutes each way from now until December. I have mixed feelings about spending my life energy in a car. Yet the opportunity calls me and the opportunity is on the other side of the mountain.

When I was younger, it was fairly easy for me to make a decision. I had a better sense of “choose this” and if you don’t like it choose something else. And now… I still believe that… but there is a subtlety that makes choosing more difficult and if I am honest, there is a sense of being over half a century on this earth that shifts things for me. Time moves more slowly now and more quickly both.

The exuberant energy that carried me to my middle passage visit to the Swamplands, slowed and deepened into two four year cycles of depth work. And as I come out of the second cycle of depth work, I am moving more slowly and deliberately weighing things differently now. So the decision to commute was a difficult one to choose.

Part of what made me choose this is that I have just had two six week sessions with Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Her Mother Night series at SoundsTrue and following that the first of her epic opus The Dangerous Old Woman. I now have twelve sessions that are each about two hours long. A FEAST of heroic proportions. And I find that I can’t sit still and listen to the sessions. Yet… with a commute… with hours on the road each day… yes… that was part of what shifted the balance into choosing the distant opportunity.

So now, after a week of rain, the sun is out – metaphorically and literally – and the garden is calling me.

And you? What is your process for decision making? and has it changed as you age?



  1. I have always felt that I didn’t make decisions so much as they made me. With aging and different types of experience this still seems true although from a very different skew …

  2. True… I do think the mystery decides and we are drawn into the process in ways that don’t make sense until much time has elapsed.

    This has felt like such a “high-stakes” decision – and it has worked out better than I ever dreamed… but the anxiety level was pretty high during the uncertainty phase.

    Now I am settled and settled in and the next phase of work begins. I am so excited.

    How does your garden grow?

  3. I have been pondering over this question for a few days without an answer until now:

    I don’t think that I consciously make many decisions. I am guided towards a direction that comes from somewhere within myself and any step in that direction is a good decision. I’m not sure if that makes sense or not.

  4. Walrus – good to see you here… What you say makes a lot of sense – trusting your intuition and moving in the direction that feels right. And for me, there was a cognitive/intuitive split around this decision. This felt like such a “big” decision that all my familiar ways of deciding felt inadequate to the task… and yet in my perseverance, things have unfolded in ways that are expansive and charming! And I am grateful!

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