A Practice with the Unseen.

Everyone sees the unseen in proportion to the clarity of his heart. ~Rumi

Let us not be fooled that our experiences are merely events happening to us—but, in fact, events happening for us.

I have taken up drawing again. My first drawing was one I copied of a tree. Then, I looked up at the trees outside my window and saw the moon peaking from behind the bare branches. I added the moon to my drawing just as I had seen it outside, and then an owl. I then saw an image in my mind—an old man with a craggily finger pointing toward a long road.

old man

I drew the old man and his wrinkly finger. The wise old man was saying to me: Go, for the road is long. Not only is the road long, but it is unknown. Who knows what we will find there, what twists and turns, treasures and obstacles we will find on our road.

Little did I know that on my road in the past ten years I was shedding tears of suffering, loss and disappointment at each turn in the road not realizing that this turn wasn’t as bad as it can get. It can get worse, and it did. When I first began the journey, ten years ago, when I left my home in the cul-de-sac to live my dreams, I did not know these twists and turns were coming. I thought, arrogantly, hopefully and ignorantly so, I was going to a better life. I didn’t realize the life I was leading was the better life.

Now, I sit in the basement of my father’s home ten years later having given up everything for a dream. This latest turn has brought me to a place inside of myself where I have given up all hope. A place where I no longer think everything is going to get better, even though that is what everyone keeps telling me. A place where I am afraid to keep walking on the road, even though the wise old man tells me to go. Yet, even in this place, I have miraculously pressed on.

I see I have an opportunity here. It occurred to me in the kitchen of my father’s house this morning—I can begin a practice with the unseen—again. I once lived in the unseen, a time before I allowed the stuff of life to take me down into the mud of doubt and shame. The place of the unseen is of Spirit, where a spiritual wisdom lies. It lifts us from the mud, if only for a moment, so that perhaps as Rumi states, our hearts become clear.

This latest turn has been so muddy and murky, it seems I forgot I am of Spirit- that this space exists. Or maybe more true—not forgotten. In fact, I remember Spirit, but felt it had left too, like so many other things, which has caused even more suffering. Here I have been, a person who has devoted my life to my spirituality, and yet, I wasn’t even feeling held by it anymore. I thought it had let me go.

But, every once and awhile, in quiet moments I am lifted above the mud. I see that this experience, this latest turn is happening for me. This is the perspective of Spirit. It asks—what if this crisis is spiritual? What if this experience isn’t happening to me as some cruel twist of fate that is trying to destroy me? What if it is actually happening for me so I again return to Spirit, to apply all that I have learned and practice my faith in the unseen.

The Soul Reporter

And They Shall Make Art

We make art to survive and thrive.

Yesterday I wrote a post, where I thought while reading it, may seem harsh, but it is from my experience, and as Tina Fey says, “Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.”

I did my thing- and I had fun dammit. Later in the day my daughters and me (is that the right use of me? I never can figure that one out) went to Yogurtland, than to Starbucks for tea. A man was drawing a boy who sat near him at another table. To look at him, you wouldn’t think he was an artist- he didn’t wear a beret or have a funny little mustache, but there he was creating. I thought- maybe art is what we do here to survive this thing called life. I took my thought to my daughter, up-and-coming-actress- extraordinaire, and she said, “Mom that isn’t original. It’s been said before.” (When I am famous for my wisdom, she shall humble me.)

“By whom,?” (is that right use of whom? I can’t figure that one out either and if I am going to be published soon, I had better) I wanted to know.

“Mom, I have been surrounded by artists for five years. We talked about it.” In which I replied, “Oh, well I am surrounded by myself and I figured it out with myself.”

Anyhow, this all said, I think it safe to say art is going to be my therapy. That may be drawing wearing a beret, or writing a post that makes people unfollow me. Okay there was only one who said this of my post yesterday- “wow, u r arrogant…and unfollowed.” (Did they spell you and are right? I don’t think he or she will be published anytime soon.) And further, beyond art, I am going to be less judgmental (except of that person who unfollowed me) about what anyone does to survive this life. Even the kids who stole UPS packages from our neighbor’s front stoop this past weekend (on a Saturday in the daylight(I said less)). The pressure of life made them do it, or of peers- either way it is fucking pressure to live on the planet sometimes (probably when we aren’t going with the flow). But as we have been told, and maybe some coal miners have witnessed, pressure creates diamonds. And I am definitely in the rough and I do feel pressure and so I shall make art….

And in case, you couldn’t take any wisdom from me (I am a no-name), then hear this from Oriah Mountain Dreamer from her published book, What We Ache For:

No matter how far we roam, we always need to draw inspiration and vitality so we can go out into the world again. We must inhale to exhale, must receive what sustains us if we have anything to give. And the more practice we have at finding and recognizing what feeds us, the easier to venture from the familiar into unknown territory.


The Soul Reporter (& Oriah Mountain Dreamer)