Clouds

From the crest of the Roosevelt Road Bridge, the clouds stretched west layer upon layer, sun bright white tops over slate blue-grey bellies.  It looked like the angels had snapped a freshly laundered quilt that rippled across the sky.  It reminded me of Georgia O’Keefe’s painting Sky Above Clouds, a simple painting of clouds stretching to a pink horizon. 

Standing on the bridge, I edged on tiptoe mesmerized that the painting had come to life.  The sky teased me.   With a running jump, I imagined stepping high, pulling myself hand over hand onto the misty blanket.   Wading from one cloud to the next, I peeled back each layer to climb higher and deeper at the same time.  The mystery drew me in.   What was behind and above?  Where were the exact point of the sun’s kiss and the birth of the wind’s breath?   I wanted to lose myself in the clouds until every sense came alive with soft white light.   I knew if I could do that I would find my soul.

When I arrived home, I went out on my balcony to catch another glimpse but by that time the wind had scoured the sky.  Only a few wisps remained.

Feet firmly back on the ground, I thought how easy it is to get caught up on the treadmill of society’s expectations and standards thereby losing connection to my own needs.  My head aches from stress or desire.  I don’t know which.   Perhaps it is a combination, the stress of desire unfulfilled. 

A recent soul work exercise I came across in Caroline Myss’ Entering the Castle is to write down ten of your hidden talents.   Not the obvious ones, but rather the hidden secret ones that you are not even aware you have.  A few months ago when I attended a training class in integrative breath work as an icebreaker we went around the room exchanging first impressions of each other.  One woman said to me “in you I see hidden fire.”  And now, in time-delayed synchronicity, Caroline was urging me to find it. 

I sat pen in hand looking at the paper for a good thirty minutes.   Nothing came to mind.   So I started with a list of talents I already know I have hoping it would get the ball rolling. 

 Organized, calm, good listener, connected to nature, avid reader, pretty fast on the keyboard….a list of ordinary things.   Instead of uncovering secrets, however, I jogged a list of things I wished I could do but can’t.  

·         I enjoy music but can’t play or sing a note (well, I can but trust me you wouldn’t want to hear me). 

·         Fine art inspires me but my attempts to draw and paint fall short. 

·         I’m athletic but no star.  

·         I need a pre-baked frozen crust to make a pie.

·          I couldn’t tell you the difference between a Merlot and a Riesling. 

It was time to play hide and seek with myself.   In a meditative state, words came to me but as each one did it was shouldered aside by doubt.  I couldn’t bring myself to write anything down.  That gave me the first answer on my list.   My greatest hidden talent, what I am best at doing is self-doubt.   And then I thought, isn’t that true for all of us? 

So what do I need?  Like that cloudy sky I need a great wind to come along and scour my soul, ripping away the clouds of self-doubt and unveil the brilliance of internal light.

So I am putting it out there.  The way I figure it, if the Divine Mind, with all she has to do, could take the time to paint a beautiful sky that day – a sky that lasted only for a few minutes — I have to believe she must have taken the same care when she painted me.  I need to trust that I am good at something, to find it and to use it.

 

 

 

 

 

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