Solstice writing circle
June 20, 2013
Fast write to the prompt: How I intend to spread my light in the world…
Summer’s here. It’s time to paint my lighthouse. I’ve never done this before, but this year it feels important. This year, I want to occupy my lighthouse. I’m moving in.
First I need to explore the inside. I open the front door, paint chips off into the sand. In front of me, I see a spiral staircase. My eyes follow it all the way up to the top. I begin climbing the stairs, the spine of the structure, twirling, rising, in concentric circles unfolding upwards. I feel a little nauseous as I reach the top. I step onto the wooden platform that surrounds this top floor. I catch my breath and look out the window. The sea is all I see, glistening under the sun. Its vastness takes on a new dimension up here. There are a lot of boats I could reach with my light. I’ve got work to do before nightfall. I find a towel and begin wiping cobwebs from the large lantern.
This is a new job for me, keeper of my own lighthouse. Until now, I’ve tended to run up and down the beach, in search of something: permission, guidance, affirmation. If I saw a boat, I’d shy away, not sure if I could trust its people, not sure if I wanted contact. It felt safer to dart behind a palm tree and hide.
But now something has shifted. Now I feel ready to occupy the lighthouse. And not just stay there for a night, but occupy it fully. To fill it with my essence, so full that the light that shines is fully authentically me. I will help guide the way for boats that are drawn to me. I will warn them if they get too close to shore.
The light I cast will be bright, it will be sweet, gentle yet focused, pure, wise, encouraging, hopeful. It will be a light of experience. It will say, yeah, I’ve experienced some tough times, and I’ve made it through. So can you. My light will be fueled by my creativity. As I light my own creative fire, the glow will extend far out into the sea.
Swan swam into my life this past week. I encountered her at a yoga circle dedicated to the goddess Saraswati. I was not familiar with Saraswati until this gathering, in the basement studio of a beautiful healer named Yulia. Here, among a circle of seven other women, I learned she is the goddess of creativity, knowledge, and wisdom. No wonder I was drawn to this workshop. My 4-month creativity coaching training class had just come to completion.
Two birds sit at the feet of Saraswati: a white swan and a peacock. The swan has a sensitive beak and is able to discriminate pure milk from a diluted mixture. The peacock is unpredictable. Saraswati uses the swan as her vehicle.
Would I rather ride a swan or a peacock? The swan glides gracefully over still waters. And peacocks? I’ve only seen them strutting around barnyards. Can they swim? The swan has pure white feathers. The peacock is multicolored and showy. The swan offers a smooth, confident ride. The peacock, a roller coaster.
I’ve ridden the peacock many times, allowing myself to get thrown off center by circumstances and perceived desires of others. I’ve been entranced by showy colors and fanned-out glory. These have been interesting rides. Interesting, but exhausting. I’ve experimented less with riding the swan. I’ve seen her as untouchable, in the center of the lake. Do I dare approach her and ask for a ride?
The swan isn’t better than the peacock, just different. Knowing the difference gives me space to choose my mode of transportation for today.
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