This afternoon I went to a excerpted performance of Loup Garou, a collaborative solo work meditating on the Louisiana wetlands, Big Oil and the importance of place. The performance was abrasive and moving, the kind of sweating performance that makes people of my cloth nervous in the best way possible. The performer, Nick Slie, brought a girl up from her seat for a wolfish dance cheek to cheek. After the performance, there was a talkback. We talked about the idea of rootlessness vs. being married to a place, and the responsibility that comes with the latter. Slie spoke of his realization, after Katrina, that there is no time to make work that doesn't matter. The goal of their collaborative work was to tell their deepest story. Tracing ancestors and river routes to discover the resonances in you of things past. We touched on the frustration of working against something as seemingly all consuming as Big Oil. What resonated with me is the idea of "one day". The struggle is to balance a greater awareness of the world with a focus on your specific life project. Slie called himself an "artist of place".
This resonated with an experience I had yesterday during a meditation practice in my school's spiritual space. I am participating in a series of events called Engaging Spirits, led by Paul Diamond who is an explorer and teacher of many traditions. We participated in a puja ceramony to the saviouress Tara, and then were led in meditation for about fifteen minutes. I struggled. It had been a long, emotional day and the last thing I wanted to do was sit with my thoughts. In all honesty, I found in excruciating. And I knew I had to keep doing it. I knew then that this practice was something I should pursue, everyday.
It's this idea of practice that I am interested in. We live in distracting times. It is very easy to go through one's day disconnected from those things we think are important. Community. Spirit. Peace. Mindfulness. The practice of daily meditation is a gesture of life among the bullshit.
Just as there is no time to do work that is not important, there is no time to not live this day, practice this day.
Everything connects today. In my class this morning on the philosophy of religious experience, my teacher mentioned a book we had read last semester by Bernadette Roberts. Bernie told us to not use our insights. Just have them, and let them work on you in their own time. If you cling to them too tightly, you are shoving them back into a preconceived framework where they become staid and frail.
Just keep engaging everyday. I ask myself all the time, how am I going to accomplish anything I want to? When is it going to happen? Right now, by gathering and communicating and looking people in the eye. Getting emotional. Breathing. Listening. Moving forward and endorsing your best self.