Detail from my painting about Anne Boleyn/oil and acrylic on paper/1996
Years ago, a parent of a child I taught in Boston, read my palm. She was part of the old Boston Brahmin class like my mother’s family line, but she had the ability to read palms, and discreetly, she shared that with me. She told me that my life as I got older would not be conventional, “not a straight line” as in–changes and moves atypical of a conventional life. It seems to be true because as I go forward raising my children, we’ve had all kinds of adventures that have been not-so-practical, not very conventional. When we owned a house that was very conventional, that lasted only 2 years before we sold it and moved on. If we had not left that house, we’d have had it paid for by now. But we answered an inner call to get our young boys on a farm, or in the rural life. It was such a rich blessing and now, forever, within me (us), at the heart chakra, is an ideal place with a roaring brook (how we named Simon’s imprint, Roaring Brook Press), seven acres of land with open space and forest, a tobacco barn, black rich soil and a house built in 1750. We never thought we’d leave that place, but eventually I began having “suburban dreams”–waking up in sheer panic, the last thing I ever wanted was to leave that place and end up in suburbs. But as our lives were shaped through time, we did need to move, Roaring Brook Press and First:Second got sold to MacMillan, and we had to move closer to New York City. It was a sudden release when it happened. It seems crazy, but it was the best choice we could have made at the time, and my life has opened up ten-fold for the better since we had that move to Westport.
You can never know how your purpose will be fulfilled, but following the intuitive call within (as without) has been a great teacher for me. It is not the way of the world, always, not practical, not monetarily sound perhaps, not smart or logical, even. And yet, I cannot imagine fighting the flow and holding on to what the Universe seemed to say was a phase gone by, urging us into a new phase. There have been hard lessons in this change, but what my sons recently told me, when I asked them if they’d finally like us to buy a house of our own again, truly made me grateful. Walking with my twelve year old son, he said, “Home is US, not where we are, but who we are together.” My older son the next day told me that he thought that the saying is true, “Home is where the heart is.”
The 23rd Psalm teaches that the Lord is our shepherd and there is “nothing I shall want”. I like this state of being–it is a state of trusting the flow and not being taken over by desires that maneuver us to manipulate situations or people in order to have our will and desire fulfilled. Within reason, I ask for the basics and try not to yearn for things, but rather to be in an intuitive calm, no matter what. It is not always easy.
If the flow is not there, I generally get the point eventually and allow myself to be moved by the powerful tide that will only save me if I do not resist. Fighting this enormous power of nature and life will only exhaust me and kill me in the end. When caught in a fierce tide of life, my only hope is to go limp and see what fate brings.
We are in the midst of a local move now, and the flow seems very choppy and the process has not been very happy, in part because of drastic misunderstandings and actions taken out of our control. This is a travesty, but if I truly live an intuitive life, I have to allow for a healthy balance of rational thought mixed with open and fluent intuitive flow. I am trusting and asking for guidance, and as nutty and unconventional as it all seems, I only feel well when I stop resisting. It is not at all logical. It is pure intuitive, spiritual release of control. We’re living in the mystery at this moment, waiting to see where the shepherd will lead us. Maybe all this prepares us for the coming changes ahead, makes us loose and light-footed. While packing our things for temporary storage (again), I feel sentimental about each family photograph and treasure, knowing though, that these are just things. My heart cannot be much too much into those things, it needs to be warmly enriched by WHO we are as a family, not where we are or by what we have in our possession. I am grateful for this moment, even though I cannot fully understand all it means. Just like Jane Eyre on the moors–she has long been a heroine of mine. I note that we seem to know what archetypes we need, the ones that will shape us and prepare us for our days ahead. Only we’re like the suburban version of Jane, crawling across the congested roads of Westport (yes, of course–being run over several times by every Mercedes SUV in town, but we’re still alive and determined to live!), clinging to the curb, crossing Winslow Park on our stomachs, eating gravel and grabbing at tree roots to pull ourselves along. I know it is silly to be so dramatic, but why not have fun with the drama while I pack?
Looking down at the palm of my hands, I see the map that person read so long ago. (I remember that Jane, too, had her palm read by Rochester when he was a gypsy in disguise.) These lines of mine I’ve read many times myself, and what I see is life with all the signs of experience and potential, and I know that it is true, I have not lead a very conventional life in many ways, partly because of listening to my inner voice. There is such a lightness that comes with that, even in the heavy times.