Friday, September 23, 2011

Messy palette of awareness

Listen to this post:

Is life a cluster of unrelated loose ends or do those ends seem to connect when we are listening and aware?

I have to confess to almost a week of roller-coasting with doors opening, closing, then opening in a different direction. I don't appear to be any closer to my goal [and I am learning who am I to judge? My vision is very narrow], but it certainly has been an interesting ride.

Some of it you know. Like whirling off a marketing package to a local business, then bumping into the owner two days later. I danced, dreamlike for a couple of days until I called his office. I never got a live person, but was patched through three times to his secretary, who finally left a voicemail saying he's rarely in this office, so she passed my materials on to their "creative" person. No name or contact info. I called back to ask who, specifically, only to get voice mail. I hung up, called the general number and asked who did marketing. "Jim," the operator said. How about creative services? "Jim," she parroted. The guy I have been trying to get to again. Finally, she gave me the name of someone. I Googled this person and found her on Linkedin. She is real. I guess I should confess that I scoured the internet for this company's corporate structure before I settled on sending it to the Big Guy. There's none on their website, in local news articles or anywhere.

So, I screw up the courage to call this person and a live voice answers. But quickly tells me that, yes, my materials landed with her and no, there are no positions open for my qualifications. "But I'm only looking for part-time or freelance," I brightly respond. The voice seems to soften. "So, shall I keep in touch ... I know you'll be opening a second location?" "We have your things on file," she says.

I hang up deflated. Almost immediately the phone rings. I check caller ID because I am not in much of a mood to talk. The listed name makes me smile and dive for the phone: Renee. I was in her first class of yoga students. She touched me deeply, we share the same Myers-Briggs type and have stayed in fairly close touch over the years. Our journeys also seem to echo each other's. Ostensibly, she's calling to arrange a time to return something she borrowed. We both know that's just the excuse. She's struggling and knows I understand. We often give each other permission to duck out of life and care for ourselves, to lay down our guilt and perfectionism because we personally know the burden of carrying so much. After a few minutes, I share my recent upset. "You know," she says, "my neighbor does [such and such] for that company." My ears and heart perk up. She knows someone there. Not just someone, it turns out ... the someone I have just spoken to. She says if she runs into her, she'll mentioned she knows me.

What in the world does that mean, I wonder:
– That I keep trying?
– That I attempt a different approach?
– That I hang it up?
– That I continue to seek out the big guy?
– That I get more creative?
– That I write nice thank-yous to the secretary and person with whom I did manage a live conversation?

"Why isn't it clear and easy?" I ask Renee. "Well," she says, "that's been my prayer lately."

I am holding several ends in my hands and seeking guidance on how to weave them. Something is different this time: I am aware I have the ends and I hold faith that they will – eventually – connect somehow.

• Am I in a period of scattered loose ends or beginning to sense some connection?
• How can I discern next steps?
• How have I used or can I use prayer in this discernment?
• Do I have a human sounding board I can tap?
• How can I deepen my awareness in the midst of unknowing?

I had forgotten the exhilaration
of the roller coaster

exciting highs,
dizzying lows

a messy palette of 
vibrant colors,
constantly changing

and preferable

to the dull greys of hopelessness

at least now I recognize the ends
may connect

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