DANCING THE SPIRAL – Reflections* – June 2003

by Susan Lindsay

It is not important to me
How many books you’ve read and digested.
You may be enlightened and peaceful,
You may be holding your own,
Sure and steady in the ways of the world,
Or be befuddled and muddled, as you clumsily stumble  
Over the stone you meant to put your foot upon.
It doesn’t matter to me if you have your doctorate in theology, or any other ‘ology,    Or your Primary Certificate in basic English,
If you’ve studied the worlds religions
Or been initiated by enlightened Masters.
If One Taste suffices for ever
Or if you’re enthralled in the womb’s soft embrace 
Or the longing for a mothers arms  
Or the safety of your fathers hand as you step out into the world 
Or the priests hand as you leave it  
Or any hand to steady you or to be a thread as you seek your way
To or from the catacombs you dare to explore.
It doesn’t interest me if you pray on your knees
Or meditate with a straight back,
If you sweat in the Lodges, face Mecca to bow in reverence three times a day,  
Or any times a day,    
If you eat kosher food, or honour your parents or leave the dead to bury the dead.
You may have been in therapy six times a week for ten years
Breathed to the music of the shamans
You may have been with Fritz in Esalen
Or tended to the dying in Calcutta with Mother Theresa,      
Or have never left home.
These things are important.   
But, I hope
That your heart has been touched
That you look with compassion on the failing of others
Knowing some of your own
That you can open your heart and still dare to love –     
Even if only for this one moment more.
If your wound is too deep,
That its searing cut has revealed through a chink
The ravine in the depth of your soul      
That never runs dry.
I hope
In the midst of your pain
Or the glory of your seeming success
You can take a moment to be touched
By the beauty that surrounds you   
To see the sunbeam, even if it only lightens the dust on a hard stone floor  
Or, when it travels in waves of light over the purple, green and yellow mountains.
I dare to hope
When truth touches your blind spot
You dare to allow yourself a moment of confusion
To let yourself discover something new
Despite the fact it doesn’t fit the jigsaw of constructs
You’ve so painfully put together  
And now must reconfigure.
I dare to hope
You can be a fool for love.
Not just for the passion that sweeps you away-
Although that is important too,
For it is the part of the dance that knowingly risks encountering fools gold at its end.
But, I dare to hope
You can be the innocent fool
Who will dare to be open to love
Knowing only too well that innocence is not valued by the world
But that it is the key to opening the heart
To the skein of gold
That leads to the place
Where the heart finds rest.
I want to know
If you endeavour
To materialise that love into compassionate action.
I want to know
Do you know
It’s often not what you say that counts
But the place in your heart from which you speak.
Do you know, also,
Action is sometimes all that is needed
No matter from where it stems.


When you’re full of the need to be heard and seen
Can you hear compassionate action
You’re full of the need to act
Can you stop
To listen
And let yourself be touched by what you hear.


I want to know
If you seek that skein of Love
That is the thread of life.
And if,
Having caught a glimpse
Of the Spiral of beauty, truth and love,
You are willing to hold fast to faith
And dare to trust
Whilst the screaming voice of reason calls caution in your ear.


I want to know
You will share the story of that journey
And let its sacred narrative unfold
The compelling drama of the dance
That becomes,
A skein
In the weave
Of the universe itself.

*Reflections as in: memories, cogitations and mirrored images.


Inspired by

‘Self Portrait’ by David Whyte

‘The Invitation’ by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Dancing the Spiral community workshop, June 2003.

Susan Lindsay is a psychotherapist, facilitator and workshop leader. She was a founder member of The Creative Counselling Centre, Dunlaoghaire, Connect Associates, Blackrock, and IAHIP.  She moved to Galway in 2004 where she has a practice at Nun’s Island. Susan conceived the Dancing the Spiral Community Workshops in 2000 and has been facilitating them regularly since. She can be contacted at Killeenaran, Kilcolgan, Co. Galway  091-776881.