So I want to share with you, if you'll give me the gift of listening, something that I learned this morning. I woke with a stirring feeling in my chest. It was a feeling clouded by thought. A lot of ideas surfaced as soon as my mind was able to cast them out. They all started to feel dishonest after a while, though. For the feeling in my chest continued to sound.
I had to take deep breaths to listen. And wait in the darkness of dawn.
What the feeling in my chest said was, You don't know. These are all unknowns and you have to be okay with that. You see, I was trying to know what to write here to you, and where I want to rehearse next for a dance I'm working on, and what grants I should apply to, and if my Mom will get the job she has been praying for, and who I should email about maybe publishing an interview here and so on and so forth.
Creative ideas and goals and desires for myself and others, but not really. Really, just thoughts.
Sometimes my yoga teacher will get a question in class for which she does not know the answer. She sees in the student the deep desire to have an answer, to have my yoga teacher validate her/him by telling her/him what she thinks they should know. My yoga teacher, instead, will say, I don't know.
This always makes me smile. Such power in her ability to stand and say, I don't know.
Sometimes she'll even go on to say, I see in you your need to know. And this, I think, validates more fully the student and what they need.
I'm tired of the telling on the Internet, on blogging, Twitter, Facebook and more. Yet I am one of the storytellers. I am fully complicit in the act of trying to know. And wanting to tell.
A contradiction, then.
I think there is a quiet power in this contradiction, in not knowing. Something larger in me is trying to emerge.
It might not emerge here on the Internet in my telling. It might have to emerge somewhere else, on some other day, in a way that I won’t write about here. You will miss it. It will become private. A full moon in me that you will be asleep for the night it is out.
Last week I wrote of having lost my choreographic way. I am still lost in that, my chest holding some grief for those admissions of what I still see as a failure, but know some see as possibility. I think until I find the time to go rehearse and play, grief will stay locked there in my chest—an unknown until I let it move on its own instead of me trying to move it with writing.
Where do you go on the Internet to practice emptying? Where do you go to give someone or yourself the gift of listening and not knowing? Where is there space here for quiet?
Another blog post, perhaps. Maybe I am trying to create quiet in this post.
For now, I have to trust the quiet more than the telling. I have some dancing to go do and some writing to let go of.
I hope you have this quiet resolve in you to create and listen at some point in the near future. I am here to tell you, if no one else can, that you don't need to know and be an expert here. I don't know. If anything, I am trying to be an expert in not knowing.
So we are together on this, then, okay?
As the day approaches and people start to move about, I feel a sense of urgency in saying that. I feel the world needs so much openness and quiet right now—now more than ever.
"We needed time to figure out what all of this meant, how we were going to come to terms and redefine what our love was called. I learned from him that often contradiction is the clearest way to truth."
~Patti Smith on Robert Mappletjorpe in Just Kids