26 June 2014

Playing and being played

I just gave my cats a little electric guitar concert. I hadn't gotten out my fuchsia solidbody Godin for a long time; I had forgotten how messed up its pickups are and felt embarrassed for never having gotten around to getting them fixed. But on some of the pickup combinations the sound is just fine, and I have a booming chorus amp that adds to my meager musical efforts as much distortion and reverb and overall glow as I like at any given moment. This makes my little wanderings more fun, but loud for the little cats with big ears.
    Nora has probably heard me play two or three times in the two years she's been a part of our family. Her whiskers and tufted ears leading the way, Nora followed me into my office, her plume of tail high. Nora lowered her tail and crept closer to the amp's speaker as I played. She stopped, shook her head as if to shed the excess sound from her ears, and turned and trotted out of deafening range. She and Jack watched me from the sidelines as I played. Even though I didn't think the volume was that loud, the cats did look concerned from their vantage points at the edge of the room.
    When I play music awkwardly, or sit down to write without knowing what I will say until I say it, I feel sort of like a teenager who is about to graduate from college and doesn't know what is going to happen next. I feel perfectly positioned to take Tosha Silver's advice to do my things (because even though writing and storytelling is my main thing, there's more than one thing with me, always) and  see where the divine leads me. I feel more willing than ever to put myself in the hands of something that's not me, which is both a very new sensation and a very old sensation.
    It's a new sensation in that my judgments and skepticism have been falling away. I wonder lately whether each of us has a field of energy interacting with everyone else's energy field, or auras that mix and match or clash or that glow bright or dim according to circumstances or health or interactions with others. It's like starting with three colors of paint and combining them to make more colors: each time you mix two colors, you get something different. If there's one thing I've learned from my mother's health issues, it's that we are all so different, each exposed to a different set of hazards, blessed with a different set of genetic strengths and environmental advantages while having a unique achilles heel in each of our reactions to toxins, pollution, allergies, or other insults to our health.
    This sensation of turning my ... fate, for lack of a better word, over to something as vague as “the divine,” as Tosha Silver says, is also an old, familiar one in that I've always thrown the I Ching when I have not known what I wanted or where I was going. Sometimes I turn to the the ritual of shaking three pennies six times and recording the hexagram so I can look it up in the I Ching for advice, but it's more that I want some landmarks as I continue on my way, some signposts indicating what I should remain mindful of as I walk down the next section of the path. I trust that my contact with the coins will lead me to something I need to know at this moment. My edition of the I Ching has two different books that each list interpretations of each hexagram, so I look up the hexagram in each book to make sure I don't miss some detail I should to pay attention to, just the way I look up two different recipes for the same new dish so I understand how the recipe is supposed to work in theory, not just in one instance.
    Today I admitted to my sister that I've been having this growing sensation that science isn't all it's cracked up to be, that there's information I feel science's reductionist explanations leaves out, possibilities science doesn't admit. It's all these little coincidences that make me feel that way, and the ongoing feeling that the more I take chances and pick things up, the more things are being put in my path when I need them. I read about the actress Mila Kunis today, who said she decided to say yes for a year, instead of trying to protect herself, and a lot of great things happened as a result during that year as a result of all that yesing. I think my friend Hanna once said something to me about doing that, too, but I never really tried it.
    These days I feel I'm saying yes a lot, trying creative enterprises, asking for jobs that look interesting, and trusting the universe will say yes in one way or many. I also told my sister anything could happen; if getting a technical writing job is the next thing I do, that is part of it all, part of how I can serve my family and community, and I'll still have all these other things to offer, more things to which I can say yes.

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