She wanted to play hide and seek.
In the dark.
This child of the light,
who loves to stride and run her way through life,
she wanted to go into the closet,
turn out the light
and, 'shhh...be quiet,'
and hide from her beloved Poppy.
So I picked her up, held her close and shut the closet door.
She turned out the light and urged me to go further in.
Very carefully -
because it was dark in there! -
I backed us up into the furthest corner,
"I can't see you, Nana," she whispered.
"I know. I can't see you, either."
She wrapped her arms around me a little bit more
tightly, touching her cheek close to mine.
"Your glasses seem scary in the dark, Nana."
"I'm sorry, honey. Can you feel them?
They're just my regular old glasses.
Nothing to be scared of."
"They look scary," and her voice quavered just a little.
But here is what she did:
as she got more frightened,
she clung to me ever more tightly.
We had failed to let Poppy in on the game,
so he never did come find us.
We turned on the light,
opened the door,
and went back to our usual Wednesday happiness -
tea party, books, lunch, nap.
Later that day, as I thought about that
sweet moment in the darkness,
I think I finally began to understand something
of what Julia Cameron has been trying to teach us
over at the TweetSpeak Poetry Book Club.
For the last six weeks, we've been exploring,
"The Artist's Way:
A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity."
And I've been fighting it hard,
regularly resisting the Morning Pages,
generally keeping myself on the edge of things,
watching curiously while others test these waters.
It feels like the dark to me, you see.
Reaching into the muck that is too often my mind
(especially in the morning),
feels strange; it feels scary.
Yet I find myself resonating with much of what Julia says,
nodding at the need for self-care,
agreeing with her call
to creating space for creativity in my life.
I particularly like this sentence
from our concluding week's assignment:
"Creativity is a spiritual practice." (pg. 182)
I believe this with my whole heart.
I have encouraged creativity,
in my kids,
in my home,
in my church,
in my ministry life.
Why, then, am I frightened by this 'artist's way?'
Maybe because even familiar things can take on
strange forms and shadows
when we're operating in the dark.
Maybe because I'm not sure what I'll find if
I hang out in that dark for very long.
Maybe because I'll discover a big
audacious dream in the middle of the muck,
and I'm not sure I can handle that.
Maybe because I've forgotten to cling to what I do know,
to cling to Whom I know,
and to trust that who I am -
even in the dark -
A little more nestling may be required.
Joining with Lyla and the gang over at TweetSpeak, with Emily for her last-for-the-summer Imperfect Prose, with Jennifer at God-Bumps and Ann's Wednesday group: