SkyBlue -- The Ways of Imagination and the Quest for Creativity
What does it mean to be free in today's world?
Is "freedom" just another catchphrase used by demagogues, influencers and politicians of all stripes?
Surely, everyone means something different.
Yet, if only we human beings could approach the issue from a higher standpoint, and realize that to be free can only happen when we are fully conscious and fully awake, then the word "freedom" would take on its deepest and best meaning: freedom as a right for all of us, in so far as it allows us to self-actualise within the confines of authentic respect for ourselves and others, who in their humanity are our equals.
A sense of authentic freedom can be cultivated in our lives and encouraged in the lives of our communities through the practice of intentional creativity.
By intentional creativity, I mean a creative endeavour or practice of any kind tackled from a mindful, authentic, aware, respectful and, at times, even visionary attitude.
We desperately need to bring creativity in our lives: in schools, in board-rooms, in community centres and other public places, as well as in our private spaces. However, we need diverse kinds of creativity: not only functional but also outright irreverent, playful, process-oriented and open to insight.
We don't need creativity only to increase production and devise new products, but to solve the many thorny environmental and social issues we live with, the injustice and the pain of the world, the deadends of many of our daily routines and relationships, as well as, at a higher level, to envision whole new ways of life, more just, kind and fulfilling for everyone.
Thus, let us uphold creativity at all times, especially when someone lies and says creativity is futile, in the face of current emergencies.
Conscious creativity starts with a clear and calm mind and a balanced, compassionate heart, two attributes so much needed in our lives...
Over the past few days, life has intensified.
Amid March wind blasts, and the inconstant heat of the sun came the Spring Equinox.
I have felt it in my body, as I sat in the warm train wagon, watching the silhouetted mountains pass by.
A movement towards expansion, a deep breath animated my body and propelled me into pure joy, as I got off the train in expectation.
I was about to be reunited to a friend I had not seen for many years.
Spring clean air, the cheerful bright sun, and the wind made me even more aware of my feelings. My joy was tinged with the hopeful nervousness that accompanies reunion to what we love most.
A cup of coffee sipped in the meaningful silence that fills the gaps between the years, a slow walk along the green river bank, a conversation held on a wooden bench, stretching the soul backward and forward into infinity.
Does it matter that our lifespan is limited?
In such moments, I know beyond any doubt that our time in this life escapes from the circling of the clock arms, from eight to four routines, and the ticking of linear logic.
We don't need a universal clock to keep track of our existence.
We only need a heart...
Desires, hopes, loves, aches: the heart keeps the score. Through pain, longing, solitude, misunderstanding, and discomfort, if we are brave enough and have pure intent, the heart will lead us to rebirth and resurrection.
Meanwhile, Spring comes; blades of grass are glistening in the sun.
According to Jungian psychology, archetypes are inherited symbols, patterns, images, motifs that are contained in the Collective Unconscious. They are autonomous forms that get actualized in human lives when they enter an individual's or culture's consciousness.
Thus, saying that Goddess is an archetype is not a reduction of her beingness. On the contrary, it means recognizing that she has both autonomous existence in the imaginal realm and multiple manifestations in human cultures and societies.
We can infer the existence of archetypes from their recurrence in art, literature, fairytales, religions all over the world. They also populate our most significant dreams.
The Universe being a mysterious and wondrous place, there are times in history when some archetypes become more prominent than others.
The resurgence of the Divine Feminine and its connected values is a case in point.
Nowadays, many traditional institutions are going through a crisis and have become ineffectual.
More and more women and men are recognizing the importance of upholding feminine values of empowerment through sensitivity, intuition, nurturance, creativity, cooperation and community-making. Masculine and Feminine need to be balanced in order for our world to be renewed.
There are several authors in the Goddess movement giving advice on how to contact specific Goddess archetypes we feel attuned to. However, I believe the bottom line is finding the Divine Feminine within.
Some ways we can cultivate inner knowing are self-observation and meditation, journaling, recording our dreams, intuitive art, spending time alone in nature, silence and solitude.
Both men and women need to retrieve the gentle voice of intuition and inner knowing for, as The Charge of the Goddess states, "if what you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without."
Today, during my daily walk I came across a robin twice.
The countryside was hushed in the greys and whites of winter. The sky was clear enough, with clouds that kept changing shapes all the time. I spotted a frog-cloud, and a heart cloud. The mountain facing my house was a huge silent body wrapped up in the seasonal slumber: the body of an asleep giantess dreaming.
As I observed the apple tree in my terrace garden, the robin hopped onto its lowest branches. I was surprised seeing twelve little red apples still hanging from the naked branches, resisting the frost.
I walked along the country path leading to the local fountain where in times of old village women used to collect water for their households.
On my way back, as I watched the ash-like colour of tree bark and mountain, I saw the robin again, perched on the slim bough of a small tree -- was it the same robin?
In folklore, robin is about change and renewal, an omen of awakening and better times to come, beyond the winter season. It also brings a message of patience and resilience in the midst of the winter lull, in the very moment we feel restless, while surrounded by material and existential snow: a standstill or a pause in the flow of our lives.
It can be winter inside even if outside nature is in blossom. It is not always easy to attune oneself to the seasonal rhythms: work demands and modern life conditions as well as our own inner cycles can make us feel out of synch.
It is key to pay attention to our inner rhythms, whether they are attuned to natural cycles or not.
Back home, I came across a poem called "White-Eyes" by Mary Oliver. In her words:
all the singing is in
the tops of the trees
where the wind-bird
with its white eyes
shoves and pushes
among the branches.
Like any of us
he wants to go to sleep,
but he's restless—
he has an idea,
and slowly it unfolds
from under his beating wings
as long as he stays awake.
But his big, round music, after all,
is too breathy to last.
So, it's over.
In the pine-crown
he makes his nest,
he's done all he can.
I don't know the name of this bird,
I only imagine his glittering beak
tucked in a white wing
while the clouds—
which he has summoned
from the north—
which he has taught
to be mild, and silent—
thicken, and begin to fall
into the world below
like stars, or the feathers
of some unimaginable bird
that loves us,
that is asleep now, and silent—
that has turned itself
I closed the book, and my eyes, all my restlessness little by little coming to a halt, as I breathed and accepted the gift of Now, the only moment we can inhabit fully.