Of late friends and colleagues have been saying the same thing to me: "I feel lost. Just lost. I can't explain it. What do you think it means?"
I have to reveal that I share their feelings of being lost.
On October 1, 2011 I began a journal of 365 days of small steps. I was expecting that at the end I would know the way, the truth & the light.
I am continuing with the next 365.
Meanwhile, I have begun to read the entire 1331 & counting pages to listen for themes.
Here is what I found on Day 32 from the work of my hero, guide and guru: poet David Whyte:
"At the very core of creativity there seems to be an admonition that says, "Your own way is essential." This is true even in a traditional master-student relationship. The word "expert" seems to be like a fog in which we lose ourselves. We feel our lack before we have done the essential work of touching our own inner longing, in other words, we put the cart before the horse. Creativity has much more to do with giving ourselves over to our deepest longings than it does with giving ourselves over to any kind of strategy. Often the first impulse people have around their creativity has to do with signing up for school or arranging their schedule to fit more of every- thing in. The great poetic and mythic traditions say it's actually the opposite: Creativity has to do with unburdening, with giving yourself a break, with letting fresh air in through the windows, with allowing yourself to be lost - profoundly lost, deeply lost. There is a teaching story out of the Northwest Native American tradition that would be told by an elder to a young girl or boy who asked the question, "What do I do when I am lost in he forest?" In other words, "What do I do when I've lost my creative fire?" which is really "What do l do when I forget who I am?" It has been rendered into modern English in a marvelous way by David Wagoner. Here is the answer the elder gives:
Stand still. The trees ahead
and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here.
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger.
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers.
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it you may come back again.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you.
You are surely lost. Stand still.
The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
This poem makes three important points. First of all, it reminds us that the world demands our attention, tremendous attention. You cannot sleepwalk your way into this, hoping that things will turn out right. You have to face up to the fiercer aspects of life and to the eyes glittering out of that dark forest that may see the selfish part, the "expert" part of you as prey."