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. Or, 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 That 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 That 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 That 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 That 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 That It’s often not what you say that counts But the place in your heart from which you speak. And, Do you know, also, That 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 And When 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 If 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.
‘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.