I wrote this while sitting, feeling tired, waiting for a connector flight home in Vancouver International Airport. Despite being tired, I was grateful and able to reflect.
At the time, I was experiencing dis-ease. What got me through was people who reached out to me, sensing my unhappiness.
At the retreat I attended, forming relationships with people I had not met before was essential. In the midst of this, I was able to be vulnerable and drop a shield of invincibility. In the space provided. we were able express a sense of caring for each other and bring one another into the fold.
This type of experience raises questions, often without easy answers. What makes each of us who we are? It is scary, but rewarding. It is in the slow cooking of a crock pot in which intimacy can be born. In the slow brewing, we explore identity and masks of personae we wear, gazing into relational mirrors. But, it often sneaks up on us without us being aware the mirror is there.
In wondrous spaces–
Dropping one’s guard,
Hoping to fulfill hopes.
Informing new forms–
Shedding carnival mirror images,
Revealing being vulnerable;
Experiencing a new love.
Allowing intimacy to bloom–
Glimpsing who I am,
As if for the first time–
Revealing one’s self in an other’s presence.
I listen to the blues a lot. The blues have a quality of life about them that reminds me there is more than me in the world. Willie Dixon said “the blues is the roots and other musics is the fruits.” This resonates with me.
Shemikia Copeland is a superb singer/songwriter who reminds me of the plight of others and how much hope they have in the face of systemic injustices. This song is from her most recent album.
Retreats open up our souls for connection to ourselves and others. It’s been over a year since I went on one in person. I miss the contact and connection. 💛 thank you for sharing Ivon.
You are welcome Val. We are in challenging times to attend and online does not quite live up to face-to-face, even if it is a silent retreat.
Thoroughly enjoyed your poem/expression of your feelings, Ivon.
Deep sharing is essential for me. Thankfully, I have an adult daughter with whom I share on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. This interaction keeps us both ‘clear’; mental clarity is so important. It truly is the elixir that keeps giving.
Thank you Carolyn. Having someone you can share those inner most thoughts is essential to remaining clear and in the present.
Sharing my inner self is a very difficult thing for me. I’m much a lone wolf and tend to keep my feelings to myself. Have never gone to a retreat so maybe that should be on my Bucket List.
I think most humans are in the same boat Bev. We live in a world where vulnerability is discouraged. Retreats are tiring and rewarding.
Retreats whether individual for going deep within one’s self alone or with a small group sharing openly and honestly have enormous benefits for learning, growth and change. I’m sure you know Brene Brown’s work re vulnerability. Of course there’s much more to be gleaned from exercises of a mental, physical, emotional and spiritual nature. How or whether we evolve as human beings is worth further exploration and discovery.
Thank you for a lovely comment Gary. I agree there is always more to explore on the other side of reflecting.
Intimacy and self-reflection, your poem penetrates into questions I have about what’s possible when meeting with others, and while at retreat. It’s been a while for joining in person, but I have appreciated being able to have meeting spaces online. It is better than nothing and we are, after all, sharing our humanity in the most unique ways right now.
It is more challenging, but not impossible to have retreats in these times. I find others serve as a mirror for me and reflect back letting me understand myself more fully.
“As if for the first time.” Yes. I recall a time or two where I had this totally vulnerable experience. I think I’m pretty forthcoming. But then I discover another layer under a mask I wasn’t aware I was wearing. Well done, Ivon.
Thank you Bela. As forthcoming as I feel I might be, there is alway another layer beneath the mask.
Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
YES, LIFE IS LIKE THAT—OR CAN BE, WITH A LITTLE OPENNESS AND TRUST! 😀