“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,

and you shall see that in truth you are weeping

for that which has been your delight.”

Kahlil Gibran


My writing has been somewhat helter-skelter since I returned from Santa Fe last Tuesday evening. I suppose in an act of kindness to myself, that is ok. I have been pretty busy as I had to jump right back into work the following day and then I had a very busy weekend so there really hasn’t been a lot of time for writing.

But here I am now, up past my bedtime and that is not a good thing as I have an important work meeting first thing tomorrow morning. And instead, I have been bitten by the writing bug. The short of it is that I had my final meeting tonight with the Artist’s Way group. It was truly bittersweet – partly a celebration of all that we have accomplished in our seven months together, and also a celebration of the way in which we have kept the circle for each other. Consistent, compassionate, supportive, and even, dare I say, loving? Sometimes you stumble upon these moments in your life that, while you’re not quite sure what it is about, you just know it has the possibility of being something special. And then, every once in a while it becomes just that – something special. And perhaps even something extraordinary.

We held our very first meeting way back at the tail end of September, 2014. When I came upon the “course” description, one of the parameters was that each person had to really be committed to showing up every week. That gave me pause – am I really going to show up to 13 meetings that run on a Sunday night during the busiest period of my work year? Well, I decided I would make that commitment and I signed up for the class. Who knew what a ride it would turn out to be? And as if 13 weeks, spread out over three and a half months weren’t enough, we all, seven intrepid adventurers, re-committed for a second go round of 13 meetings which brought us into May 2015 and which we affectionately called AW2. All in all, it has been a seven month run and what a journey it has been!

I will say, first and foremost, that this special group of people have truly been there for me when I really needed something to be there. I was just coming off my first summer without Laureen and was deep in my grieving over the loss of having her in my life. And it was interesting that even before I had left for Santa Fe in mid-August of last year, I had this “knowing” that at the end of that trip a door would be closing and a new one would be opening. Of course, I had no idea what it would be so I was going on faith with that. I took my August trip to Santa Fe and in an odd sort of way it actually started to ground me again. And then I think I had only been back from Santa Fe for about three days when I received an email from a holistic center that I go to for meditation and the email included a description of a new Fall offering for an Artist’s Way group, based on the book, The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron. I immediately knew that this was my next thing. This was the new door opening.

Looking back now, I can still remember the first minutes of our first meeting. I was looking around the room thinking, “Who are these people and I wonder how many will drop out within a few weeks?”  Always the gentle skeptic. . . I think we all had the look of quiet apprehension on our faces, almost as if to say, “Is this really going to work?”  And yet, within two hours the energy had shifted to the point where I felt a little reluctance both in myself and in the others, when it was time for us to leave. And give credit to our esteemed and quietly amazing facilitator who was able to show us the possibilities within a short amount of time. She really only had two and a half hours in our first meeting to either win us over, or lose our attention. And win us over she did.

I honestly don’t know how else to describe the experience. I can say that in some manner or another, we are all changed because of it. I certainly feel that for myself. I can say that I hold the deepest respect for each and every person who was a part of our journey. They have helped immensely in my healing from devastating loss. I love them all as family. I also, sadly, acknowledge that in the completion of our journey together, we will now move on in our lives and what we had will begin to dissolve away.

So much of life is like that. Whether it be work, or school, or friends that you have, or even those special ones who become an intimate part of your life. Much of it comes and goes, like waves of the ocean lapping upon the beaches of our souls. Situations rise up, and then fade away. People come into our lives, and people leave our lives. I’m not sure it is always an easy thing for us to process it all, emotionally. At least, it isn’t for me. However I do feel that I am becoming more accepting of it. I certainly did not want our AW group to end. But at the same time, I knew, understood, and accepted that we were in fact coming to an end. And in the back of my mind, the question, “So what is next?”  It wasn’t all that long ago that I’d be saying, “Oh shit, here we go again!”  I’ve modified that just a bit so that now I think to myself, “Here we grow again!” And while it may be tinged with a bit of reluctance as an undertone, often accompanied by sadness, there is also an acknowledgement that each experience is meant to help grow my soul and boy, have I done a lot of growing in this iteration of my life.

And finally, it was not lost on me that the ending of our AW meetings has coincided pretty well with some of my other experiences just in this past week, since I returned home. I do feel like new doors are opening, just as old ones are, once again, closing. For myself, I just keep putting one foot in front of the other and try to remember to breathe. And then I just let go and let be. . . knowing that whatever is meant to be, it will be. Well, ok, and sometimes I do a little research on Google, looking for what that next thing might be. I sometimes think of Google as being something of a divination tool for me. I form the question in my mind and then I go looking for the answer. Or sometimes it just comes to me, as the Artist’s Way did, with little to no work on my part.

Perhaps that is when you know that you are on the right path.

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2 Responses to IMPERMANENCE

  1. First, and foremost, I love “Here we grow again.” I wish I’d heard that a thousand moons ago; perhaps I would have saved myself so much needless anguish.

    This piece raises an odd question in me, I hope I have the capability to express it. Why is it we almost always feel regret when people leave our lives, or situations change, we look back with the question why, and yet, so seldom do we seem to do the same when we are the agents of leaving? Is it because when we’ve left, we left Full, so to speak, whereas when we are left, there is always that sense of not having experienced the person or situation in full?

  2. nowandzenn says:

    I do think that is the perfect description of it, Ray. Even with this particular group, I would say I reached that point of feeling full. And I think I hit it perfectly, that being, in the very last session of our meeting together. So I did not grieve in the same way that I have in the past with other things that ended without me feeling filled from the experience.

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