Thursday, December 9, 2010

Divine dreamlike absorption

Why am I doing this?

When three people suggested I blog, I knew I had to do more than listen. It was time to act. In the back of my mind, it seemed somehow beneficial for the book I am creating. I am a writer and wanted to stay current. I'd had the name selected for something forever, so why not?

Now, I really must explore why, not why not.

I think it's because I have been a listener for so long that those stories, as well as any residual including my experience, were mounting to something and demanding synthesis and an audience. I believe – this is  a BIG step for me to verbalize – I have some wisdom to share. Granted much of that wisdom was sparked by others, but I do offer a unique spin.

I am so grateful for those loyal from the beginning and those who've even stopped in once. I realize Salon for the Soul is not everyone's cup of tea [heck, it wasn't mine 10 years ago], but it feels like a piece of my work. You know, the place where my deep desire meets the world's great need.*

It hasn't been easy stepping from behind the curtain of journalist/observer to own my voice, not merely interpreting someone else's.

It isn't about numbers or reputation, it's about depth and connection -- well, at least, I hope it is.

I have been very surprised by one of my biggest lessons: that the appeal of Salon for the Soul is not just some little Quaker niche. In fact, I have been disappointed to not feel recognized in larger Quaker circles, yet am much more gratified by those I hear from saying something really hit home or they share my warped perspective!

Every once in awhile, I google this blog or a specific post to see if it even makes the first page. It has, but usually way down the list or only very specifically. I've read books about special media and what's important. I've been told by Quaker bloggers that the way to get noticed is to visit other bloggers in the tight community and leave comments, hopefully directing people back to your blog. Sorry, but that's not why I'm doing this. I had hoped by writing with depth and integrity, that would draw attention. Then, I also recognize this is not a Quaker blog, though I do mention periodically that's what I practice. I think I transcend that and that makes me very happy. Happy that some experience, reflection or thought speaks to someone else. So very pleased to see who it impacts.

I was rather proud of the inspiration for the title I'd had for my last post, "Praying attention." It was telling, pithy and succinctly captured the text. I was stunned when it was listed fourth on google yesterday. I am interpreting that as I have made a small footing of showing up here regularly, being credible and speaking to an audience.

Please don't take this as totally self-serving. It's just a good way for me to reflect on what this is, who I am, where I am and how I connect. I also think it's helping me determine that an audience for the book I am compiling is broader than I originally conceived. A well-respected editor in spirituality circles told me the same thing. She said to look beyond spirituality to self-help and creativity. Together, we noodled that what I was offering there (and here) was DIY spiritual direction.

Anyone agree (or not)?

• What is my vocation (not just my job)?
• How am I doing that or moving toward  it?
• How have I been prayerfully paying attention?
• What are my gifts in connecting with others?
• How am I using or developing those?

it's a dreamlike sequence
my life right now
things are flowing,
falling into place

after so long in limbo
my limbo

like the thin, radiant shaft of light
piercing through the layered, frosty window

I unfurl my palm and catch it
it was meant for me and I feel its power,
let it envelop me as it had
hours earlier in yoga 
when, with my eyes closed, that same
light hovered overhead
pouring itself into every cell

and all I do is absorb

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